Here’s a little insight into the way we work: whenever we review a photo book company’s services we usually try out the editor by creating an 8×8 photo book. The reason behind this is that 8×8 books are not only popular and convenient, but their prices are also more than reasonable. But that doesn’t mean we are against large photo books; in fact, if you feel like creating a book that exceeds the average dimensions, you should.
There’s plenty of reasons why you might prefer a larger book, in fact, and while they often have to be built in a different way to their smaller counterparts, there are some benefits to spending a little more to a get a lot back.
A small or regular size book can indeed be very convenient, but unless you design it to stand out from the rest of your books it will easily get lost on your bookshelf. A large photo book, on the other hand, immediately demands attention by the sheer size of it, as well as its typically higher-quality cover. “And if something draws attention with such power, that thing must be super important,” you might think. And you’d be 100% right: this is why a large photo book should be for important events in your life like a wedding, but it could also store a collection of your artistic photos, paintings, drawings or anything else close to your heart as its main focus.
Creating a Large Photo Book
Creating a large photo book with the major photo book editors (Shutterfly, MILK Books or SmileBooks) is just as easy as building a smaller photo book; however, the process requires some extra attention, especially when it comes to the following details:
The most important rule to remember is that the bigger the picture, the bigger chances are that it might end up pixelating and looking bad, and this is particularly true with large photo books. Still, you can avoid the distortion of photos if you choose a layout with more space for normal sized and decent quality pictures and choose the layout with one photo per page for those deemed spectacular or taken with an HD camera. However, if you’re taking your photos with a photo album in mind, try to assume you will use one photo per page and try to position the shot in a way that would look best when it is occupying the whole page.
If you want to use your own photo for a background, only use photos that don’t appear distorted at increased sizes. But if you prefer to rely on the default backgrounds offered by photo book editors, then there are no restrictions at all; just make sure the background doesn’t distract viewers from the photos.
Text and Embellishments
This is probably the only attribute to which the same rule applies for larger photo books as it does for regular photo books: add text wherever and whenever it’s appropriate and stay faithful to the tone or theme of your book.
As for embellishments, think about whether you need them or not. If the photos look better without them or you would rather add embellishments once the book is printed, then just omit them. In any of these cases remember that there is such thing as over-designing something; just because larger photo books have more space doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it, too many additions could just make your item look classless and tacky, and you don’t want that.
Larger books weigh more, especially when the number of pages equal or exceed that of a short novel. However, don’t let that discourage you, include as many pages as you like or might need.
When it comes to the paper type, choose according to the occasion: once in a lifetime events demand photo books with pages made from finer materials or a more luxurious finish, but otherwise the standard quality paper is usually more than enough.
Covers and Binding
Almost all cover types are available for large photo books with the exception of soft covers. But most importantly, these larger books look the best if you order them with higher quality covers like (genuine) leather and linen, both of which are available with die-cut windows. And if you really want to impress your readers, pick the layflat binding to simulate the appearance and feeling of a truly professional photo album.
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