Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Exemplar: A Colorful Family History Book

Color can be tricky in a book of family pictures. Too many color pictures on a page can make for a wearying experience for the reader. Norma Strube Rue reined it in quite nicely in The Family Strube. She used two techniques to make color work successfully in her book. They are today's Ideas:
  • When using more than one color photo on a page or a spread, choose photos whose colors are similar and harmonious together. Clashing colors don't look any better together on a page than they do in the mirror when you dress yourself badly. There's not much chance that an orange polka-dotted shirt will look good with your red plaid pants, is there? Well, they don't want to spend eternity on the same page with each other either, even in separate pictures!
  • Norma carried a color theme through her book even on pages which had only neutral photos. She did so by using a two-tone scheme for her text, keeping the main body of text black, but using a dark reddish color for titles, captions and such. This creates a strong unity throughout her book no matter what kind of pictures are on any particular page-spread. And it looks terrific!
Having said that, I should hasten to point out that I love the cover art as well, despite the flurry of activity therein. Norma brought a great sense of balance and harmony to it, along with a sense of fun, and that restful white spot in the middle where the title sits quietly, hinting that it's about to bring order to the flurry. Nice!
    Reader, what ideas do you get from this book?


    Heather Rojo said...

    What a beautiful family history book! I love your Friday series on these books, they are all giving me loads of ideas. I thought I was the only one reading all the genealogy books in the Blurb bookstore!

    T.K. said...

    Heather, they give me so many ideas too. I had to collect 'em someplace! At the moment I have ten (or eleven, depending on how you count) projects open in BookSmart. I can't keep up with all the great ideas!

    Brett Payne said...

    Another inspirational example of what can be done, thank you T.K. I like this one, but I think I'll have to spend some time working out exactly what aspects of it appeal to me. Too many projects on the go ...

    T.K. said...

    So many books, so little time!

    Blog Archive


    Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

    • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
    • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
    • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
    • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
    • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
    • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
    • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
    • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
    • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
    • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
    • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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