10 Tips for Making Your Own Photo Books
A photo is just an ordinary image by itself, but photo books take those images to an entirely different level. What’s so special about a custom-made pictorial that will probably last longer than digital jpegs? It’s cost-effective, great for gift-giving, and by carefully combining several elements, you depict an unbelievable storyline.
Here are 10 tips for making your own photo books;
1. Plan before you begin to design. It can be frustrating to design your photo books and have the final copy faintly resemble what you really wanted. The best way to avoid mistakes is to decide on your preferences. Are you more interested in a hard cover or soft cover book? Do you prefer landscape or a portrait? You should also determine if the software you will use has “bleed marks.” This shows you where your margins are set so none of the page elements are eliminated in the final print. Once you decide on the basic attributes of the book, you can move on to design the pages.
2. Gather your images. It may seem time-consuming but the images you choose will influence the tone and visual style of your book. It may not seem important now, but a page with a distorted blurry image becomes a distraction. So choose good quality pictures.
3. Less is more – choose minimalist designs. Unless you’re building a scrapbook, the basic design should be clean and simple. Don’t create distractions by infusing too many different elements and a complex page layout. Pick something simple that will accentuate your photos, yet easy on the eyes. Many online DIY publishing sites offer pre-formatted, drag and drop templates, making the layout process flexible.
4. Use a cohesive theme. The best photo books use a consistent theme, and not just your best collection of varied snapshots. Consistency helps build a visual message. For example, pictures from a specific timeframe like your child’s first year, or your teenager’s high school senior year. Your photo book will tell a story based on the theme you select.
5. Make pages appealing with color. One of the fastest ways to make a page standout is by adding color. Color evokes moods and symbolizes meaning. Also, an important component of producing your book is determining how the final copy will look. If you do plan on using colorful elements, play attention to your mock up before you go to print.
6. Create a story. You’ve selected the pictures you want to include, and now need to consider the order to present them. As was mentioned in #3, the flow of the images should tell a story, so consider the narrative elements your pictures can offer. You’ll also want to construct a balance of different sized images that engage your audience. For example, don’t gather all the landscapes in the middle, or the 4×3 sizes at the beginning.
7. Use proper image resolution. Most sites will provide guidance about using pictures with minimum resolution. It’s always best to use the original images uploaded from your computer, rather than copying from Facebook and other social media sites, which probably are using a compressed version. Most of the sites will give you an error message warning you about poor picture resolution, which will distort the final copy.
8. Avoid these errors. Refrain from cramming every image you have onto a single page. When this happens, nothing unique stands out and we typically scan the page, instead of enjoying each picture. Also, never overuse elements like different font types and sizes. The pages become unbalanced and distracting.
9. The cover completes your pictorial. Of course, the cover is the first element of your book that guests will notice, and there’s a wide range available for every budget. Choose from an assortment of styles including linen, leather, or fabric, and several others designed in a particular motif, or accessorized for a special occasion.
10. All photo books get better with time. As you start working on the next one, think of personal items to infuse into the design, like an envelope to hold locks of hair. I guarantee you’ll find ways to improve on the next one.