I guess after making photo books for many, many years I do certain things automatically which might not be obvious when you are creating your first photo book… so today I decided I would try to write some of those tips down.
They are a bit random so I will just list them with bullet points, if you have any questions about them feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- When adding a photo covering 2 pages (in a spread), make sure that the most important part of the photo (people’s faces for example) are not directly in the centre of the 2 pages. Although we do try to minimise the loss of the picture in the ‘crease’ there is always some loss of picture and it would be a real shame not be able to see the most important part of the photo. The same applies to all photos over the middle of the 2 pages.
- When you use a photo to fill one page (one side of the spread), also make sure that the most important part of the photo doesn’t disappear into the crease. Even when you place multiple photos on a page, make sure to place them a little away from the spine so you will be able to see the whole photo in the photo book.
- All the above also applies to text! Keep it away from the edges and make sure it is within the red line! Read about the red line and what it does here.
- If you use text in your photo books (I use a lot of text!) ask somebody else to read it for you to check for spelling (and grammar!) mistakes. It is sometimes really hard to spot them and it is a lot of effort to read all the text if you have written whole stories in your photo book, but believe me – it’s worth the effort!
- When using a full-page photo on the cover (either front or back), be aware that the spine might show some of that photo. Safest is to use one background colour for the entire cover (front and back, including spine) and place the photos and text a little away from the spine.
- I like to start with one photo that is typical of the entire photo book on the first page and write a message to people who might read the photo book not knowing what the photo book is about. Even if I then don’t use a lot of text in the rest of the photo book, they will know what photos they are looking at, etc. This is also very nice to do for your children: when you create a photo book of their first year you can write them a ‘letter’ on the first page. It is great for them to read back when they get older!
- Remember when using text that the font size is the same as for example typing in Word and printing that text. It might look small on the page, but a font size 12 (when using the font Arial) is easy to read once printed and if you are using a lot of text I would suggest not making it much larger than that. Use a font size slightly bigger for headings.
If you are creating a photo book for an older person you can set a bigger font size to make it easier for them to read the text or when you only add limited text to a page you can make it bigger as well so it stands out and is easy to read quickly.