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Photo books are a great way to display and preserve your memories, and services like iBooks and Blurb make it easy and affordable to create professional quality bound books. But your design choices are what make them special. Join designer Nigel French as he covers the basics of planning and building a photo book, reviews the qualities of good photo books, and examines the design principles at work in their creation—regardless of the software used. This course provides both inspiration and practical techniques for creating your photo book.
I'm going to say a few words about the cover of your photo book. Firstly, the cover will be designed as a separate document, and is comprised of three parts: the front cover, the back cover and the spine. Choose an image that most fully represents the theme of your book, so that its obvious at a glance what the book is about. It's okay if the image is also used inside the book. Along with the title of the book, you'll also want to include your name as author.
When combining the cover image with type, everything we've already discussed applies. Keep it simple, keep it stylistically consistent with the rest of the book and remember that the type is there to play a supporting role to the image. The back cover should not be forgotten. By the time you get to designing the back cover, you may already be tired and keen to be finished. But the back cover serves some useful functions. Stylistically, you can tie together front and back cover by choosing an image that wraps around both. But don't force it, as not many images will be suited to this task. They will need to have the subject on the right side, and sufficient quiet space on the left to run text over and have it still be readable. If you are including an image on the back cover, it should be one that offers a sense of closure to your theme or story.
Text on the back cover can describe who the book is for, and without giving away any plot spoilers, give a brief synopsis of its content. This text can also serve as the descriptive text for the photo book website's online store. You can also include a short author biography along with your web address. The text for the spine should be big enough and bold enough, and on a background with sufficient contrast that it can be read from a distance. Look at the books on your bookshelf and think about which spines are easy to read and why.
In the United States, the British Commonwealth, Scandinavia and for books in Dutch, titles are usually written top to bottom on the spine, or 90 degrees counterclockwise. In most of Continental Europe and Latin America, titles are usually written often the top on the spine or with the text rotated 90 degrees clockwise.
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