The following article is from the Digital Scrapbook Place. It was written by Jenna Robertson. Because they are no longer in business, I have copied and pasted the article here. I hope you find it helpful.
Scrapping Size: Does it Really Matter?
by Jenna Robertson
One of the wonderful qualities of digital scrapping is its versatility. We can scrap in traditional paper-scrapping sizes as well as any other dimensions we can imagine. Some sizes are easier to print than others and some are easier to display, but the sky is the limit when it comes to options in digital scrapping.
Positives: This is a standard size in the scrapbooking industry. 12×12 offers a lot of workspace as well as a familiar look to scrappers. It is easy to store and display 12×12 layouts because albums in this size are readily available. Many photos can be used and they are clear and visible after printing.
Negatives: Layout is larger than your average home printer so most scrappers will need to have these printed outside the home. Many scrappers have to print at 11×11 at local copiers.
Jill says: I either put these in a post bound album or frame them, or I send them out to have them bound in a hard cover coffee table book.
11×8.5 or 8.5×11
Positives: Not only a standard and familiar size to scrapbookers, this is an easy size to print from home. Storage is easy to find and can often be very cheap: a 3-ring binder from the office supply store and some inexpensive page protectors.
Negatives: In general, this size needs to be printed from home as it’s not a standard print size at your photo shop. Scrappers will have to trim 12×12 digital papers to fit their needs.
Tina says: I like the option of being able to do a landscape format layout.
10×8 or 8×10
Positives: Easy to create prints from home or in a photo lab. This size is easy to store in a similar manner as 11×8.5 layouts. Prints can easily be framed for hanging at home or presenting as gifts. Most of our products at The Digital Scrapbook Place come in 8×10 size so no resizing is needed.
Negatives: Can be expensive to print in a lab if you print many layouts at this size. 8x10s tend to swim in the large page protectors.
Lauren says: It is the largest size I can get printed here in New Zealand
professionally at a reasonable cost. I do find it limiting as to the number of photos it will hold – I would love to scrap in 12×12 now and then.
Positives: This is the size of a panoramic photo print. This size can be adapted for holiday cards and mailed in a standard business-sized envelope with a single stamp. They can easily be printed from home or at a local photo mart. Can be stored in panoramic photo albums that are easy to find.
Negatives: This is not a familiar print size and not every photo processor will be able to print them One-Hour.
Jenna says: Have you ever seen the holiday cards you can order at your local photo mart with a limited selection of greetings and backgrounds? For digital scrappers, options are limitless!
Positives: Can be easily sized from 12×12 products or “trimmed” from 8×10 images. Finding 8×8 albums and refills is as easy as walking into your local scrapbook store or Michaels Craft Store. A multi-page album can be completed quickly for gift giving.
Negatives: This size often needs to be an 8×10 when printing at the photo mart, leaving you 2 inches to trim from the print. When resizing from 12×12, details can be lost and text may become too small to read clearly.
7×5 or 5×7
Positives: A standard photo size that can often be printed for about $1 at any photo mart. This size is easy to print at home and easy to store in 5×7 albums. This is a great size for gift albums as well as a good size for small children to hold. Prints can be framed for home display and gift giving.
Negatives: This is a small size for scrappers to work with and layouts work best with few photos on the page.
Jenna says: Most of my layouts are done 5×7. I often like to showcase a single photo and find this size perfect. I have also made several complete gift albums at this size and everyone is thrilled with the results.
Positives: Can be easily sized from 12×12 products or “trimmed” from 8×10 images. Finding 6×6 albums and refills is as easy as walking into your local scrapbook store or Michaels Craft Store. A multi-page album can be completed quickly for gift giving.
Negatives: This size often needs to be an 8×10 when printing at the photo mart, leaving you a 2-inch and 4-inch border to trim from the print. When resizing from 12×12, details can be lost and text may become too small to read clearly.
6×4 or 4×6
Positives: A standard photo print, this is easy to print from home and very inexpensive to print at a lab. You can print multiple images on one piece of paper and the prints are very easy to store. Simple WordArt can be added to enhance a favorite photo for sharing with family and friends.
Negatives: This is not a standard scrapbook size, of course. This size works best for highlighting a single photo. Would not be ideal for multiple photos and elements as the print size would make them fairly small.
Positives: Can be easily sized from 12×12 products or “trimmed” from 8×10 images. This uncommon size actually works best as a physical thumbnail image of existing layouts. You can print at a photo lab in 4×6 size, allowing a 2 inch border for notes, credits and other information. Easily stored in a standard 4×6 photo album.
Negatives: 4×4 is not a standard size in the industry. Often needs to be presented to the photo lab at 4×6 size and the border needs to be trimmed, if desired.
You are, of course, not limited to the “usual” choices listed above. Digital Scrapbook Place designer, Cris, usually scraps in “a long, 9.5 x 6-7.5 rectangle”. She admits, “there are no binders or books to accommodate this size” but feels 8×10 can sometimes be too limiting. Whatever size you decide to scrap in is okay. Paper scrappers share the same worries about changing your size later or finding the perfect album to store your layouts. We scrappers worry about so many things, it’s a wonder we get any layouts done at all. The choices may seem endless but for many digital scrappers, that’s exactly why we love this hobby.