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Advanced artworking instructions for laying out your own photo book

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Advanced artworking

Please note that this is a page for those who wish to create complex layouts using professional artworking applications. If this isn't you, don't worry, just supply us one image per page and we'll do the rest!

We are careful and successful with colour and our experience tells us your book will look stunning. However me make no guarantee that the colour or brightness will be 100% to what you see in your original images. This is due to many reasons like, paper weights, calibration of monitor, paper densities and even daylight you are seeing in. Our terms and conditions mean that we do our best but do not guarantee absolute exactness.

Colour space
We prefer modern digital camera files that have ISO COATED v2 (ECI) or CMYK colour space. RGB files are fine but if you are able to convert to CMYK please do so. We do not provide profiles. If you are using large areas of black it needs to be a 'rich' black comprised of 100% K and 20% each of the other CM & Y which you can choose in the colour picker in Photoshop. In Indesign it needs to be black - not registration black - that is in the swatch panel.

Resolution and file size
Anything between 240dpi and 300dpi at actual size is recommended. This is of course flexible, and we have printed at 100dpi before with acceptable results in the absence of better files. Text will only print well at 600dpi or as a vector file. Text at 240dpi will not look very good, even though images will. Please note as tempting as you may find it, it is unnecessary to try and supply the highest dpi you can muster, or the biggest file size you can create. Jpeg's are preferred to TIFF files. You will never need to go to DVD and handling charges for unwieldy file sizes will apply on all orders above 300mb (at 20p per megabyte).

On the A3 book, the cover is slightly larger than A3, and the contents slightly smaller. A5 and A4 books have a larger cover, and A4/5 contents. We must leave a gap on the inside margin of the pages to ensure perfect adhesion to the spine.

Content Mechanicals
PDF Template cropped
(this is the size you will get).
with bleed
(this is the size you should submit)
A5 195mm wide x 145 deep 201mm wide x 151mm deep
A4 Landscape:
287mm wide x 204 deep
293mm wide x 210mm deep
211mm wide x 276mm deep
A3 395mm wide x 277 deep 401mm wide x 283mm deep
Cover Mechanicals
PSD Template cropped
(this is the size you will get).
Sizing approximate due to page weight and materials.

with bleed
(this is the size you should submit)

A5 194x150mm (plus spine) 201x167mm
A4 L

A4 P
278x214mm (plus spine)
A3 395x287mm (plus spine) 407x309mm

Internal page templates (PDF format)
A5 A4 A3
This is just for reference so that you can envisage or plan your layout to the above information. Note there is only 1 mm bleed on the inside of the spread (it doesn't have to be so much as the rest owing to the page going into the spine).

Cover templates (PSD format)
We print to one sheet of satin book cloth, which is then wrapped around boards to make the cover.
A5 A4 landscape A4 portrait A3


Useful info

Please supply at least 3mm bleed with your image, and remember that due to the bespoke nature of our product some movement and skew can occur, although obviously we try to keep this to a minimum.

File formats
We recommend that you supply images as TIF, JPG, EPS, AI, INDD, PDF. We can though work with a lot of file formats, so if you want to send us something in a less universal format please give us a call.

We print to satin book cloth for the cover which is then hand bound. Some marginal shrinkage is to be expected although this is unnoticeable and we allow for this in the planning. Internal pages 160gsm white silk paper.

Safe margin
Remember not to leave important things close to the edge. Even with a perfect crop it always looks nice to have a little room around the edge of the page.

Portrait Photos
We rotate all photographs 90° so the head is to the left, unless you specify otherwise or send pre-sized artwork.

Common Sense!
We use common sense with assembling these books, and anything that does not fit perfectly we will either crop or zoom in sensibly. If you foresee any problem areas please indicate them to us at time of order. We naturally do our best to achieve best results but we print what we are given.

Important tips

Tip: Double page spreads are fine for scenic panoramas but are not advised where there are key features like text or faces that need to meet perfectly in the middle. Our books do not open completely flat and the hand bound process means we need to have some of the image deep in the central bind so no white edges show.

Tip: Landscape photos work best, but portrait can work well. We will rotate all portrait photos to fit the page (head to spine) or print them with white space around. All our picture books are landscape opening with spine on the left hand side (on the short edge) - except our new A4 portrait one.

Tip: Don't overcrowd the book with similar shots! Choose the best shots and think about the page sequence.

Tip: If you are considering Text on the front or back cover please make sure it is planned at 18pt size and is not too fine.

Please understand that we will print what is given to us with no adjustments except at our discretion to help achieve best results.


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