There are few things as satisfying as putting together your own photo book of cherished memories. But even these well-designed tools can sometimes go wrong, leading the software to start displaying messages that the book is full or errors. For newcomers who have never used a photo book builder before, this could be discouraging enough to never even finish their photo book.
However, while those error messages can actually be quite helpful, surely it’s better to learn how to avoid the most common photo book editing mistakes in the first place.
Trust the Software – for the Most Part
Photo book companies want to ensure that the final result is 100% satisfactory, which is why their programs are equipped with lots of help tools. This means that when the software warns of an error, it’s important to take the necessary actions to make sure that the book is free of mistakes as photo books are always printed exactly as they appear.
But as useful as these error messages are, there may be cases when the builder mistakenly considers something as error – like text written in a foreign language – or doesn’t even recognize that you are making a mistake. Simply put, error messages should be taken seriously but the best results are only achieved if mistakes are prevented from the get-go and you manually check the project for errors multiple times and, if possible, by multiple eyes before it’s sent to print.
Some Easily Avoidable Common Photo Book Errors
Aside from being sure to use .JPG images, there are two things to do with photos before the photo book project is finalized. The first thing is to make sure that the pictures aren’t a low resolution – which means the image must first be captured at the recommended 1600×1200 pixels before it’s even added to the photo book, since resizing a low resolution photo will only stretch the poor quality image and look worse. The other thing is to edit photo attributes like brightness or saturation either with the photo book builder’s own tool or, failing that, with photo editing software.
However, note that photos appearing differently in the printed book despite being altered to look their best in the software isn’t always a defect, and could be the result of the different printing methods used by photo product companies.
Pictures in the Trimming and Binding Area
The general rule of thumb is that the edges of the book and the so-called binding area are no-go zones for photos and embellishments as parts of them are automatically cut when the book is printed. As such, you shouldn’t put anything into these areas unless you intentionally want elements to be cut off or the photo is a full-page spread.
One thing to consider, though: issues with the binding area can be eliminated by opting for the visually more impressive layflat binding, which has the pages opening completely flat and therefore has no binding area.
Erroneous and Illegible Text
Whether the text is written into a word processor or is typed right into the text boxes within the photo book editor, spell-checking is a must, which can easily be performed with photo book builders that have a built-in spellchecker. But even if this tool is present, small typos can still slip in, which is why it’s best to ask others to take a look at the text.
Also, remember that legibility is just as important as correctness, so make sure that the text is readable on all pages by using the sensible colors and fonts.
Not Enough or Too Many Pages
The binding of the book can affect how many pages in total are available, which is the main reason why complying with the page requirements of the chosen photo book company is especially important. In that regard, pay attention to the minimum number of pages in particular; if the photo book doesn’t contain at least 10-20 pages, either the editor won’t let you order the book or the final product will be printed with blank pages.
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