Book making tips & suggestions

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  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 6 days ago by Adrian Midgley.
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    • #15836
      Bridget Davies

        Website about photobooks

        Biblioscapes ( is a great place to look at the photobooks currently being produced by both artistic pro photographers & amateurs.  Photobooks are an important channel to market for the former.

        Commercial book printers

        I have used Blurb, Loxley (a while ago) and Saal.  The last is probably the highest quality and most expensive.  All have easy to use software which you can use to layout and design your books.  Other brands are available.

        Graphic design software

        If you want to do your own graphic design, either for a commercial printer to use (possible with a pdf version) or to make your own book, I recommend trying software created for this type of work.  I use Adobe Indesign, which we have access to at home anyway as we have the full (pricey) Adobe package.  It is sophisticated software, used by professionals, with complexity to match, but can be used by novices like me who are prepared to climb a little way up the learning curve.  An alternative which many use is Affinity, which I have not tried, but Di Wilkins is familiar with it.

        Very simple designs, with straightforward pagination can be done using ordinary photo software, which can accommodate text (if you are using it), as well as images.  Photoshop will do fine.

        Books about book making

        The standard book that everyone uses is called ‘Making Books’ by Simon Goode & Ira Yonemura.  It has clear instructions, describes the tools you need, lists useful suppliers of materials & is great for getting started.

        I have also used ‘Handmade Books’ by Alisa Golden, which has masses of different potential projects, some quite odd, which can be fun to try, or to use elements of.

        Papers for book making

        You can use ordinary paper, or photopaper for book making.  I use matt photopaper for mine.

        Photopaper is often quite thick, and printable on only one side.  (I expect that you could print text on the wrong side without a problem.)  The thinnest paper I have used is Hahnemühle rice paper (100gsm), which is good for Japanese stab bound books because it is not very stiff.  You do need to print with a reduced amount of ink (I drop it by 50%) to avoid soaking the paper too much, especially in darker areas.

        I have used two double sided papers: Hahnemühle Photo Rag Book & Album & Fotospeed Art Smooth Duo.   The latter is generally cheaper, but slightly less good quality.  Both are available in A4 & A3.  The Fotospeed paper also comes in panoramic size (equivalent to a double spread of two A4 pages in landscape orientation).

        • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Bridget Davies.
      • #15844
        Adrian Midgley

          Affinity has very recently been acquired by Canva, who declare they will continue it.

          Tools in the Open Source space include InkScape, and the GIMP. I lack experience of that use of them.

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