Photo books conserve memories, present our best work, and provide a platform for the stories we want to tell.
Petra Vogt, Create Your Own Photo Book, 2012
Petra Vogt’s Create Your Own Photo Book provides detailed instructions to create well-designed photo books. The book contains useful tips, and even though it does not cover Panstoria’s Artisan software, many of the tips are generally applicable. I skipped over the sections related to software that I do not use.
Vogt stresses the importance of simplicity and avoiding overly complex page layouts, mixed colors, and hard-to-read fonts. She also provides recommendations for making a book look professional, including handling of text, background colors, and borders. Other topics covered include adding images from the internet to a photo book and organizing photos.
Creating Your Own Photo Book highlights the importance of two page layouts, and being able to easily extend photos over the gutter. Artisan has significant limitations here, and I hope Panstoria addresses them in a future update to their software.
Vogt provides details on completing projects, including a checklist to identify possible problems before printing. Here are some of the items on her list:
- Spelling, names, and dates are correct.
- Page numbers are correct and in the correct order.
- Photos are not blurred, grainy, or off color.
- Image/text and content are alligned
- Fonts show up correctly
- Trim and bleed are correct
- Permission to use photos
Vogt describes Blurb, Lulu, Viovio, AdoramaPix, RitzPix, Smilebooks, and other photo book manufacturers. Unfortunately, she does not provide a detailed comparison but instead relies on anecdotal experience. Vogt discusses photo book quality and lists the defects are due to improperly manufactured books:
- Cover is bent or torn; binding is inaccurate, weak or shoddy
- Pages show blots, ink spots, or stick together
- Pages fall out or the cover is loose
Other defects are more likely due to the way the photo book was created. For example, dark photo may be caused by monitors that display inaccurate color and blurry images may be due to unsharp or low-resolution photos.
Overall, Create Your Own Photo Book is recommended. It is not critical to creating a photo book; however it is helpful and has many useful tips.