Sunday, October 7, 2007

Digital vs. Traditional Scrapbooking

I was asked in a comment, "Can you please explain to me this digital scrapbooking?" Basically, digital scrapbooking is creating a "scrapbook page" entirely on the computer, typically using graphic software like Photoshop. Of course, using software to create layouts is nothing new. I remember spending a summer work-term as a student doing "Desktop Publishing" with PageMaker in the late eighties.

What makes digital scrapbooking different is that it is done mainly by regular people, not professional photographers or graphic designers. The digital scrapbooker's goals are the same as those of traditional scrapbookers: to preserve memories and do it in a fun and creative way. Digital scrapbookers use the same language too, so we have digital "papers", "ribbons", "stamps", "brads", and so on, even though they're really just JPG and PNG files. (One can similarly make the argument that the "real" scrapbooking materials are just a bunch of molecules moving around together.)

It will be interesting to see how the digital and traditional scrapbooking industries develop. The traditional scrapbooking industry has really boomed over the past decade. There are now three scrapbooking stores within a 15-minute drive of my house, compared to one lonely specialty yarn store (which I greatly prize). However, digital scrapbooking is growing rapidly, to the extent that there seems to be a bit of a backlash. Clearly, its rise is hurting the traditional industry. I doubt paper scrapbooking will ever die out, but many people are "hybrid" scrapbookers these days, using a combination of paper and digital elements. I confess I'm quite drawn to digital scrapbooking ... but I really don't need another reason to spend more hours on my computer.


Jill said...

So then, do you print out your digital scrapbook pages or just leave them on the computer? If you print, isn't that a lot of ink? If you leave them on the computer, you need to set up a webpage!

Paulina said...

I haven't printed out any of my digital layouts yet, but I might try that later.

I do have a Webpage. See the "My Scrapbook Layouts" link on the side-bar.