What to look for in a photo book

SBC Europe Photo Book - CoverWith the holiday season upon us, more and more people are ordering photo books as gifts or for themselves. Here is list of questions to ask. These questions assume you are looking for a hard-bound photo book.

  1. Is the book stitched or adhesive bound? Both types of books can be high-quality.
  2. If the book is stitched, is it side-sewn or sewn signatures (Smythe sewn)? Sewn signatures are best because the books lay flat and the pages cannot come out.
  3. If the book is adhesive bound, is the adhesive PUR or hot melt? Books made with hot melt adhesives do not have good permanence and should be avoided.
  4. Is the cover laminated or coated to ensure durability. Covers that are not protected will not hold up.

Once, you receive your book, evaluate print quality. If the print quality does not meet your expectations try another manufacturer. Unfortunately, print quality is subjective and I do not have specific questions you can ask to ensure high-quality printing.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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