Tutorial Page Revamp

Just want to give everyone an update on the tutorials. I have slowed down on the blog for now as I am hard at work creating micro-tutorials for each and every tool, trick and step of the design and checkout process. I’ll start posting a few here as they are completed and then you will eventually see a revamped, in-depth tutorial page covering everything you’d need to know to make your designs.

 

Is there anything specific you’ve noticed that you think you’d like some tips or support for?

 

Take care and hope you all enjoyed your summer. Just a few days left of it so make sure to take advantage!

Ready for Back to School?

School is back in session. Hopefully, the kids had a great summer and got their fill. I’m not at that point with my son yet, but I remember the days from when I was younger. Starting a new school year was always a little bitter-sweet. The free summer days were done but you got to see all of your friends everyday, (plus, having always loved playing hockey, it meant the Hockey season was starting soon!).

Back to school created a whole bunch of new opportunities to make new Photobooks and other stuff. It is always best to start planning your books from the start to make sure you get everything you need.

Some pictures you might want to take are day 1 backpack items, lunches, field trips, big projects and any other “firsts” they will have this year. If it is your child’s first day of school, why not start a tradition of taking their photo on each 1st day of school. I know it is a long time until they are done with school, but I have seen some cool series of pictures of kids from Kindergarten to grade 12, all in the same setting. Amazing to look at and see how they grow (and how the clothing styles change!).

Big projects are also something that might be worth using GroupBook items for. Have a  big science project you need to display on a poster, you can build that online. Reports and art projects look great as soft cover Photobooks. Wow the class with personalized Christmas and Valentines cards?

At the end of the year, scan all the report cards, art and projects and build you child (and yourself) a nice, organized way to keep those items around forever. I know that my parents kept various projects from my years in school and it quickly became a big mess with all the stuff I had brought home. This would have been a great solution for that.

 

These are just a few ideas and few things to think of for the coming school year. Get creative and think up some that you think would be worthwhile. There are lots of resources out there with other ideas too. Check them out and good luck with the school year!

 

Photobooks for Businesses

When people think Photobooks, they think of baby pictures, family vacations and birthdays and weddings. What many people don’t think of is how Photobooks can be a great tool for businesses.

Now, they might not be a great fit for some, but it is perfect for many. Here are a few examples to think about.

Bakers: Think wedding\birthday cakes. You make an awesome, beautiful cake that really shows off your talent. Then (after the artistry of it is appreciated) it is sliced up, dished out and gobbled up. Now, if you were to take a photo of that cake and many of the other ones you were so proud of and put them in a Photobook, you have a cake portfolio to show future potential clients. Sure, you could just print the photos out, but in a book, it feels classier, more professional and more interesting.

Lawn Care and Landscaping: You go to a trade show and tell people about what you do and how much your customers love the work you did to their yards. Unfortunately, you can’t pack up a nice showcase yard and bring it to your booth. Next best thing? A Photobook. Take pictures of your best work and put it in a book. Put that on your table and people want to look at it. Maybe even make a bunch of them and give them to really good prospects.

Real Estate: Ever gone to an open house and while it is clean and and organized, it feels almost lifeless or too proper? Well, why not make a Photobook with the people selling it and get some shots of it being lived in. Give the house life.

These are just a few of the examples I have, but there are so many businesses that could benefit from showing off their products and work in a Photobook. Can you think of any ways they could work for your own business or another?

Some Great Photobook Ideas

I’ve shared some of my ideas for books on our Get Inspired page and here in the blog. Being a big fan of Photobooks, I am always checking around the net looking for other great ideas. One blog I found was The Daily Buzz, by Simone and she had a great article about some ideas for Photobooks. Some would work on our site, some won’t, but I find them inspiring all the same. It seems they even did a very similar Alphabet book I made for my son.

Check it out: http://www.thedailybuzz.com.au/2012/06/15-creative-photobook-ideas_digital-scrapbook_photo-book/

Common Mistakes We Find in Photobooks

As we see Photobooks come in, we are always checking through them for any defects or production issues before we send them out. We want you to get the best Photobook possible. While doing that, we sometimes notice layout problems or mistakes in a few.

I figured a great post would be to let everyone know what these mistakes are and some suggestions for fixing or preventing them. There are 3 common ones I’d like to share.

 

1. Putting a face or important image right in the gutter area.

As you see here, sometimes a layout will call for an image to spread from one page to another. This puts an image into the gutter where the book is bound together. In the example below, you can see the face is going right down the middle and you might loose some of it when the book is put together.

This is not what you want…

 

To fix this, try using an image that doesn’t have a face or important right in the middle. The images still look great going from one page to another, but by using an image that has the subject off to the side, it will turn out much better.

There. That’s better.

 

2. Having text or logo in the gutter area.

Much like the problem above, having text or a logo in the gutter is not a good idea. It is ever worse than having an image there because the words just won’t read properly. Loosing a bit affects the text a lot.

This will read “Baly’s firt Chrismas 200″ after being bound. Not what we want.

Now, unlike above, we can’t just swap another image in there. The best option is to just avoid the issue entirely. Move the layout around so you never have text running through the middle like that.

Layout is different, but the problem is gone.

 

3. Images and text too close to the edge.

This is really common. When a book or design is trimmed down after printing, we cut away what is called the “bleed” area. This is an extra 1/8″ area around the design where the artwork and colour continues past the final dimensions of the book. Objects right against the edge of the design fall into this “bleed” area.

The top of this type might be cut off in the finished product. Notice the warning.

To fix this, simply leave a gap between anything important that you don’t want cut off and the edge of the design.

Ha! Take that “bleed” area. No text getting cut off now!

 

Hopefully these tips help you when you create your books. As long as you keep an eye out fro these common mistakes, you can be sure your book will look great!

 

Wedding Thank You’s

Have you newlyweds made your thank you cards yet?

If not, why not use those great photos you have and make something really personal? We have some great templates you can use, or just make one from scratch. Here is a little preview of the wedding type cards and invites you can make for yourself online. These are completely customizable and the ready to go templates can be used as a starting point if you like.

                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a crafty idea I found almost 4 years ago when I made thank you cards for my own wedding. When you take two thumb prints and press them onto paper the right way, it makes a heart. Leave some space on the back of the card and add these hearts before sending them out. Maybe put your names below the space and make it almost like your wedding “logo”.  Maybe this is something you might like to use yourself, but regardless, always remember that you can add your extra embellishments even after the cards have been printed. Do you have any cool “extras” you’ve came up with or want to share?