‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ goes the ancient saying. But if we want to be honest, books are always judged by their covers, particularly in a world obsessed with the exterior qualities of physical appearances. And when it comes to photo books, a visually appealing cover could be even more important than the content. Most people are well aware of that, which explains why image wrapping photo books is so popular.
Although image-wrapped covers can make any photo book stand out and tell readers what to expect, if this method is taken to the next level then even an average photo book can easily become a masterpiece.
The Types of Image Wrap Covers
Technically speaking every cover falls under the category of an ‘image wrap’ provided that a full-bleed photo takes up the entirety of the cover. However, this effect can only be achieved if the picture is printed directly onto the cover, which requires a sturdier material that can withstand the printing process. Due to this reason image-wrapped photo books are always manufactured with an easy-to-flip soft cover or a regular hard cover.
Sadly, this means that high-end cover materials like linen or leather are out of question, unless you turn to companies like Altar Albums – formerly BrideBox – that specialize in printing images on more refined covers. However, in most cases if a photo is put on a cover made out of finer materials it’s usually either glued onto that cover – as in the case with MILK Books – or a die cut window is used to display the image printed on the book’s flyleaf. Still, it’s worth noting that there is one way to order a photo book with an image wrapped around it while leaving the premium cover untouched. By using a fully customized dust jacket you’ll be able to utilize the same effect while also creating an extra layer of protection from damage.
Creating an Image Wrap Cover
Just as is the case for the photo book’s content, creating an image wrap is child’s play; in fact, customizing the cover is one of the few features that all photo book editors include by default. However, in order to have the best result it’s highly recommended to turn to bigger photo printing services – such as Shutterfly or Mixbook – which provide endless customization options for image wrap covers.
There are still a couple of things to pay attention to when creating an image wrap cover, however, to ensure you end up with stunning results.
The Right Photo
Admittedly, there is the option to have multiple images on the front cover, but for the best effect it’s worthwhile using only one image on the front and a montage of photos on the back. As for which photo should be featured, this is completely up to you provided that the full-bleed image is a high resolution so it doesn’t look blurry. Also, think about picking a photo that you’re proud of or something that could convey the story of the photo book at a single glance.
Title and Embellishments
Again, this is a question of personal preference – but remember that the title and embellishments should always be applied with caution. It’s best to try out the cover that comes with the chosen photo book theme first and simply insert the preferred photo and the title in their places. Remember that if you don’t like the editor’s settings there is always the option to create a cover from scratch.
However, there are two major rules to follow. Firstly, text and embellishments shouldn’t be disturbing or occupy to much space, the featured photo should always be the star of the cover. And secondly, choose the title’s font, size, and color in such a way that it remains legible.
Looking at the Whole Picture
Customers often forget that once the book is ordered it’ll be printed exactly how they left it, even if the cover looks terrible. Thankfully, most online photo book builders warn users of easily avoidable errors – such as blurry images, text not fitting into its text box or spelling errors – during the editing process.
Additionally, these editors often display crop zones to mark where the cover image will be cropped during production. And as a nice extra, all editors have a preview mode where it’s possible to see how the book will appear in real life, even showing those parts of the final product that may not look good due to the binding.
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