Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creating a Heritage Photobook - Part I

As I'm getting closer to putting my Heritage Photobook together, I thought I would record the process. This way I can go back and read it to refresh my memory when I want to make the next one! LOL! First off, I've been checking out some different photobook publishers and have found that different publishers offer different page sizes. That isn't to say that there isn't some overlap, but there are definitely different dimensions, particularly as you move away from a square format. Thus, in general, it is probably a good idea to evaluate and choose a publisher before creating layouts.I have narrowed my choices down to two or three and will probably post here when I make a final choice. I have decided on a nominal 8x8 square format, and all the publishers I am looking at support that size.

The second thing to be aware of is trim and bleed. I knew from my many years working on the elementary school yearbook that this was going to be a factor. Many of the complaints that people have deal with designs being cut off and/or white bands along the edges. This is because of the page trimming tolerance, possibly as much as 1/4 of an inch. This means that design might shift up, down, left or right by this amount. To avoid white bands, the background design paper needs to extend out each direction by this amount - that would be the bleed. The other part to this is that key elements of the design, and especially journaling, cannot fall outside of the potential trim area. If it does, it might possibly be cut off. All the publishers I'm looking at tell you their particular trim and bleed tolerances. Some even provide templates so you can see how far to extend your background papers as well as the limits of where to put your design.

So to recap, the first steps are to decide on the size and dimensions of the book, choose a publisher, and then to get the bleed and trim tolerance from the publisher. The next part of the process is to make decisions about the book content: which kit(s), how many pages, and what to include on each page. I'll break here and cover
those topics in Part II.

That's it for now.


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