When it comes to creating a scrapbook page, it's all about emotions. A photo by itself can evoke emotions but put it on a scrapbook page and you can kick those feelings up a notch, create emotion where there seems to be very little or add to what's already there, and convey information while you're at it. I would suggest that adding a coat of arms as a design element to your scrapbook page will give your photo a punch of heritage.
Take a look at a photo of my grandfather. What does it tell you? What's his name? What's his heritage? When did he live? If you looked at this photo among a few dozen other similar ones in a photo album, what could you say about it? Let's just say his name was on the back but you couldn't see the back of the photo to read it. What more does the photo tell you? You could say that he was well-to-do given that he was well dressed but then again the photo could have been taken on his wedding day while he was wearing a suit he borrowed. Where did live? Where did he come from? Who really was this man?
Now let's take a look at the same photo used on a scrapbook page with a coat of arms as a design element. What is your first reaction? Does it give you a different feeling from looking at the photo by itself? What impression do you get of this man now? There's a bit of journaling to tell you his name and something about the man, but the coat of arms adds even more information about him. Doesn't it lend him an air of importance? Doesn't it speak of tradition? Doesn't it add wonderful visual interest to the page?
Given his occupation, I could have created a background of bakery images (rolling pin, oven mitts, pastries, cake). That would have made sense from a theme perspective. But given the formal photograph, it would probably look incongruous. When you have a formal/serious photograph, especially a vintage one, it's important to compliment it with a congruent theme. And when it comes to a traditional style coat of arms, you know you've got winner. You may have to recolor some of the coat of arms elements to match your background paper (as I have done with this one) or maybe recolor your paper to coordinate with your coat of arms. Either way you'll want to make the colors consistent for eye appeal.
Use your coat of arms to make a statement. Use it in scrapbooking for a wonderful heritage design element. Show it off with pride!
Coming up next: Using a Coat of Arms on Your Website/Blog
Credits: The photo frame and beige mat were actually part of a quick page on a CD collection called A Formal Heritage by Jenny Binder. I also used a background paper from the Raspberry Cream collection. I don't know the name of the designer, if you know it please leave a note in the comments. Thanks!