Last month, the first group of my Novice Program students worked on the lesson about spreads. While spread design was not something I set out to do, it became clear early on that I had a natural understanding of spreads, how they work, and how to create them. That's why I ended up writing a book on the subject (which you can learn more about HERE). Consequently, I was really curious to see how my students did with this lesson.
Part of the homework is to use what they learned in the lesson to analyze a few spreads. Then they pick one and do a reading with it. After that, they modify the spread based on their analysis and do another reading.
Most of the modifications were fairly small, but I was shocked (and they were, too!) by what a difference those changes made for them. Without exception, the readings flowed better, made more sense, and were simply easier to use while providing better results.
For anyone who has never modified an existing spread, let me encourage you to try it. Spreads are not these unchangeable, holy things that must remain intact. They were created by someone to meet a need. It is perfectly okay to adjust them to meet your own needs. Rearrange the layout. Change some positional meanings. Add or eliminate positions. A spread should be, in some ways, like a matt for a framed picture: something that helps show off and highlight the work of the artist. You, as a reader, are an artist. Let the spreads you use showcase your unique skills and style and your readings will be stronger because of it.