Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Hello Shabby Shoppe readers! Today I (Rosy) will be talking about creating covers for your photo book projects. I love printing my layouts in photo books! To be able to physically hold a book and flip through all the pages I’ve created is so rewarding to me.
Many photo book printers give you the option of designing your own custom image to put on the cover of your book. Here are some things to consider when you create a cover and also a few examples to spark your creativity.
The cover of your book should be a representation of the theme inside the book. The viewer should be able to tell by looking at the cover whether your book is a summary of your year, photos of your baby boy or all about a family vacation you took. For this reason, I usually wait to design my cover until the rest of the book is finished and I know exactly what is inside.
Kim shared some questions that she considers when thinking about a cover:
Will this cover be displayed somewhere? My family books are displayed for a year before the next year’s is printed and the old year goes on the bookshelf with the others where you only see the spine. So one thing I care about is colors (there are some colors I wouldn’t put on the front because they would “clash” with other things in my house). And there are other preferences people might consider if the book is going to be displayed.
Do I want to include a dedication? I often do this on the back cover. I write a note saying who made the book and why. (For example: This book was made by Mommy for Caleb so that he would be able to look back at his first year. Someday when you have children of your own, I hope this is a special keepsake.) And as an additional note, when making covers, don’t forget to think about the back cover too! There’s room to be creative there too.
Do I want to include a “recap”? This isn’t something I usually do because I tend to do a summary on the title page of my books. But I’ve seen examples where the cover had a “top 10 of 2012″ for a family yearbook or a “top 10 things I love about you” for a baby book.
What special verses, quotes, poems, song lyrics, etc should be included?
Kylie shared a quote that she used in her 2011 projectSCRAP album and would be great on a gift book:
“We gather up pictures and bits of our past and scrapbook them into a gift that will last” ~Kimberly Rinehart, “Scrapbooker’s Verse” found here.
Once you’ve decided on the purpose and what you want your cover to say, you can get on to the fun of designing it!
A cover can be designed with or without photos, but it should make the viewer want to open the book to see more!
Every printing service will have their own guidelines as to trim area and such. Most photo book printers have a cover template with trim guides that you can download so that you can design your cover specifically for their process. Hardback covers usually have a trim area just like the inside pages, plus the area that gets “wrapped” under, so your best option is to simply keep everything off the edges. If you’re a “living on the edge” type of person and willing to take the risk of having something important trimmed off, then by all means go ahead and put it out there, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;o)
Some printing companies let you stretch your image across front and back covers like this:
And others have the covers divided into front cover, back cover, and spine images like this:
I recommend deciding on your choice of printer and downloading their cover templates or finding their crop guidelines before you start designing your cover.
One thing to note is that your cover colors may vary depending on your choice of print shop. I have had a book printed where the cover colors were more saturated than the inside pages and so I shy away from using brightly colored backgrounds on my covers, but Jenelle has had the exact opposite experience and says that she tries not to use pale “colours”.
Some other thoughts that Jenelle shared about covers:
I am very wary of the cropping that can occur with some print places so always make sure I have left a large margin on the covers. (Way to go, Jenelle!)
I like to write a little summary on the back of what the book is about/where we went/dates etc.
I usually choose some favourite photos for the front cover and keep one quite large. Then I add smaller photos on the back.
I sometimes get a smaller/soft cover book printed as well that the kids can keep on their bookshelves. Then I don’t stress about grubby little fingers or ripped pages and they can still enjoy looking at our holiday snaps themselves.
I hope we’re not making this sound more daunting than it really is! Like any other scrapping, there is no wrong way to create the cover of your book, but I hope our ideas can give some inspiration and direction to anyone who may be struggling with this part of the book printing process.