Monday, 12 June 2006

Form vs Function - that old debate

I have just finished reading one of my fave US scrapping mags and one little comment made me a bit angry: there is a tip on one page on how to type text and encourages others to use only a single space (rather than double) after the end punctuation in a sentence. All very good advice and all that... but it did strike me as a bit, how shall I put it? Nit-picky.

There are pages and pages in this same mag and others that try hard to encourage others to use their own handwriting on layouts: their imperfect, sloppy, messy handwriting, as this is truly beautiful and an embellishment on it’s own. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, they say, as long as it’s yours. Then I read the “one space after punctuation” tip and I get mixed messages.

I agree that it does look better to use only one space after each sentence – I do that all the time and have done so here. Makes text flow nicer and spacing works better. But, in the context of scrapbooking, does it really matter? If I’d been reading a design magazine, then it does matter but a scrapbooking one? I thought it didn’t matter HOW the memory looked as long as it was saved for the future.

I know I’ve ranted about this before, but this “beauty before substance” trend in the scrapbooking world makes me angry, because it sounds suspiciously of manufacturers trying to convince scrappers that only the best and most beautiful things should be used in your craft (read: the most expensive) and that handmade, quirky embellishments just aren’t good enough. Your family will think less of you if you handwrite your journaling rather than if it is typed and laid like professionals do.

I know we all want our pages to look pretty, but does it really matter that they are beautiful yet convey nothing? What do you think?

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