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12x12 Scrapbook Albums: An Industry Standard?
Scrapbooking albums come in many sizes from 6x6, 8x8, 8 1/2x11 and the popular 12x12 format. Over the years as this hobby has become more and more popular, some album sizes have come and gone. The 8x10 album is much more difficult to find and so is the 12x14. Yet, the 12x12 has become the most common scrapbooking album available.
Why Are 12x12 Albums So Popular?
When the scrapbooking craze took off in the 1990s, Pioneer and Creative Memories, the predominant acid-free album manufacturers at the time, both offered 12x12 albums. This size gives you a square foot of space and seems perfect to give enough room for photos, journaling and a few embellishments. The most common size for snapshots is 4x6, and 12x12 accommodates that photo size very well. Yet, it can still handle portrait sizes like 5x7 and 8x10. Since this format is square, it works well with balancing page elements and creating 2-page layouts.
The Challenge of 12x12 Storage
For many years, 12x12 storage was nearly impossible. Containers seem to be cursed to hold only standard letter-size or legal-size paper. Before scrapbooking manufacturers responded to the needs of scrapbookers stocking massive quantities of paper and supplies, it was common to see crops and workshops filled with large Rubbermaid tubs filled with their supplies. Now, we have so many more choices, including totes on wheels and storage bins in the 12x12 size. You can even go to your local Target and pick up a rolling cart with 12x12 bins.
The Scrapbooking Industry Makes 12x12 A Standard
You certainly still can find a variety of scrapbooking album sizes, but the 12x12 album has dominated the scrapbook paper industry in recent years. In the beginning we had albums with paper pages in black or white. We added our photos and embellishments directly to these pages. Now, top-load pages are the most common. Using a 12x12 sheet of paper, a page slides into an acid-free plastic page protector that is then inserted into the album. You can find many sizes of open paper stock, but 12x12 is definitely the most widely available format for individual paper purchases. Most page kits also come in this size, and the majority of monthly scrapbooking clubs have stayed with this standard format.
12x12 and the Digital Age
Even digital scrapbooking, the newcomer to the craft, has taken to the 12x12 album. Scanners are available with flatbeds in this size. These scanners are still quite expensive in comparison to their letter-size counterparts. Printing the 12x12 size scrapbooking page is a challenge since most desktop printers use letter-sized paper. However, online photo processing services are now offering 12x12 prints in response to digital scrapbookers who prefer to use the that format.
The future of 12x12 Albums
The 12 x 12 album is here to stay. It not only won over the traditional scrapbookers, but it has been embraced by the digital scrapbooking fans as well. Trends are moving towards album kits with coordinated papers and embellishments, and these are leaning towards smaller sizes like the 8x8. Yet, for everyday scrapbooking, 12x12 is still going strong.
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