Creating a custom-made photo book is like an invitation to a playground with endless possibilities. Online photo book builders offer such a wide variety in customization options that it’s not surprising when customers want to include everything. But while having fun with editing is just part of the magic, many people often lose the focus on the photos themselves and end up with an artistic hodgepodge.
However, by sticking to certain rules surrounding photo book layouts, the book will end up devoid of common errors like overcrowded pages and will definitely convey the story in your own, unique way.
Get Inspired Before Acting
No matter whether the book is designed from scratch or draws inspiration from other creations, adding your own pictures into the mix is naturally going to make it unique to you. However, taking a closer look at what others have created never hurts since it could help to trigger a new idea of your own or simply help add awareness of what is possible.
The easiest source of inspiration is, of course, the internet. Sites like Pinterest have plenty of pictures showcasing beautiful photo books made by amateurs and professionals alike that could be used as the base for your own photo book. However, there also are many websites for ‘purists’, those creators who want to learn proper photo book layout design not by looking at the work of others but by going through a guide and assembling the new book afterwards. And last but not least, there is always the option to check out the designs offered by major photo printing companies or, better yet, create an account to take the online photo book builder for a test drive and see what it’s capable of yourself.
How to Make Truly Professional Layouts
Inspiration aside, putting together a photo book from scratch is the ultimate way of creating truly unique photo book layouts. And even though doing so without crutches may seem overwhelming at first, sticking to the following steps ensures that the final result will resemble the work of a professional.
No Need to Upload Everything
Although photo books can contain hundreds of pages, remember that they are, in fact, a limited medium. As such, only choose those photos of the best quality that will tell a story when put into the right order. In fact, consider first going through your photos with a basic story in mind to narrow down the list of potential images until the ideal picks are finalized.
The Importance of the Focal Point
While it’s one thing to remember that photo book pages should never be overcrowded – meaning that the number of pictures per page should be around 3 or 4 tops – you also need to pay attention to the so-called focal point, too. This means that gallery-like layouts, where photos are equally sized on each page, should not be used. Instead, think about creating pages with emphasis on one large photo with others surrounding it.
However, using multiple images per layout isn’t obligatory; some photos are strong enough to stand alone or, if it’s a panoramic photo, can be used across two pages as a full-bleed spread, too.
Mixing Without Remorse
Preset layouts and themes provided by photo book builders are extremely helpful, but there is no need to stick to these conventions at all. Almost all photo book editors allow users to do whatever they want with the preset themes to adapt them to their liking. You’re not restricted by layout design, either. In this regard, if each page has a different appearance or pages don’t resemble one another, then you are on the right track.
Clever Use of Text and Embellishments
Photos are usually powerful enough to tell a complex story on their own, but that doesn’t mean text must be completely omitted from photo books. Single words, your own thoughts, or famous quotes can all add something to a particular photo or spread, so if you have an idea for some annotation to include then do so without hesitation. So long as the text is related to the image and is formatted in such a way that it feels like an integral part of the book, then it’s a worthwhile addition.
The same is also true for embellishments. As long as they aren’t too distracting and match the tone of the book and your photos, then their inclusion on pages can only add to the uniqueness of your custom layouts.
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