Creative Keynote – Create a Title Page

Creative Keynote – Create a Title Page

Most of my family history projects could best be described as text-heavy scrapbooks. I want something that will catch their eye and pull them in to read the story. I use the Ulysses writing platform to organize, write and manage my text and I’ve found that Keynote – the presentation software for Mac and iOS – is a delightful layout platform for combining that text with photos, scanned documents…

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Creative Keynote – Create a Title Page

Most of my family history projects could best be described as text-heavy scrapbooks. I want something that will catch their eye and pull them in to read the story. I use the Ulysses writing platform to organize, write and manage my text and I’ve found that Keynote – the presentation software for Mac and iOS – is a delightful layout platform for combining that text with photos, scanned documents and ephemera to complete the story. The first step is the title page.

One of the very nice things about Keynote is that I can work on these projects using either my Mac desktop or my iPad. The story text in Ulysses is saved in iCloud and is accessible to both systems. So are my photos and graphical elements. This title page was created on my iPad. Here’s how it was done.

The photo of the moorings was taken several years ago on my way to work. It not only makes a great background for my title page, it also sets the color scheme for this entire section. I tapped the + icon in the toolbar, selected the Photos panel and wandered through the albums to find the image I wanted. I’ve found it’s a good idea to first select the photos I plan to use for a story project using the Photos app. I “favorite” them by tapping the heart icon so they will be easily accessible in the Favorites album. Once this project is finished, I’ll go back and un-heart them so that the Favorites album doesn’t get out of control.

Dad looks quite “commanding” in the small photo. After inserting this photo on the slide, I resized it and put it in the top left corner of the slide. With the photo selected, I tapped the paintbrush icon to bring up the formatting panel. Notice there are actually three panels available: Style, Image and Arrange. I’m using the Style panel to create a border around the photo. I’ve chosen the rough edge style in one of the darker gray colors found at the bottom of the moorings photo. Using the Width slider, I gave the border enough thickness to make the photo stand out without being overpowering.

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Still in the Style panel, I scroll down to see the Shadow options. I selected the shadow option I liked best and left the opacity at 100% because of the dark background.

Now for the title. Here I’m using the same gray color I used in the photo border. Although the lighter background behind the text does make it stand out, I added a narrow black shadow to add dimension. The font used here is an “antique” font called Blackbeard. Yes, you can install custom fonts on your iPad. The delightful AnyFont app makes that happen. See Managing Fonts on Your iPad for details.

If you want a custom color for your font, tap the > icon you see just to the right of the Color box in the example above. It will display a color wheel similar to the one you see below so you can swirl and twirl the wheel until you find just the color you want. There’s even an eyedropper icon at the bottom of the panel to pick out a color from a photo or image.

It’s amazing what you can create using Keynote on your iPad. It has an impressive range of tools and features just waiting for you to put them to work. If you’d like to learn more about Keynote on your iPad, open your iBooks app and search for Keynote for iPad Starter Guide from Apple Education. It’s free and full of great information.

A Book of Things

Inspired by Debbie West’s article, My Lucky Journey, in the current issue of Somerset Digital Studio, I’m beginning a scrapbook of my own to tell the story of our family heirlooms along with the treasures my husband and I have collected throughout our marriage. One of the things I found fascinating in Debbie’s examples was the way she staged the items she photographed. For example, the photograph of her pearl necklace has the pearls draped over the side of an elegant box. The clasp and the pearls next to it are on the top of the box and get the focus while the puddled pearls below are artfully blurred. D’uh! I don’t need a mugshot of my pearls to recognize them either. The photograph of her mother’s depression glass bowl was staged with fruit in it – much like it would have been when her mother pulled it out for special occasions.

Debbie’s photography is divine, but that’s just the beginning. There’s plenty of text to tell the story of each item. And she puts her scrapbooking skills to good use too. She used a collection of simple design elements that highlighted each photograph and its story without overpowering them. Each treasure has its own page and while the design is basically the same for each page, the size and shape of the photograph along with the amount of text in each story determines the actual design. Graphic elements are repeated throughout her book, but are used differently on each page.

While I’m taking inspiration from Debbie, my book of things will be quite different. Instead of the standard 12″x12″ scrapbook page, my book will be designed to display digitally on an iPad. I’ll use Pixelmator for photo editing and Keynote for layout. My style will be more minimalistic.

I’m still in the planning stage. I’ve identified six items I want to use to kick off my project. Once photographed, I’ll use them to develop a couple of page templates. Right now I’m looking at my scrapbook graphics collection – and checking in with my favorite designers – to build a collection just for this project.

I don’t see this as a project with a definite end result – which is one reason I’ve chosen to build it digitally. Like a scrapbook, I expect to continue adding to it regularly. Oh, yeah . . . I’ll be writing about what worked and what didn’t and showing off pages as I build them.