Tips and Tricks

Anyway around the rigid layouts?

I’m laying out my first book with Blurb and finding it to be a pretty good experience.

 However at times I become very frustrated by the infelxible layout system. I understand that you can’t allow free-form layouts, but can we not even flip or mirror a layout so boxes floated to the left are now on the right?

 I have a set of photos that would work great with one of the provided layouts—a full bleed image with two landscape oriented inset images. However, the inset images need to be on the right side of the page, otherwise they are covering up the most interesting aspects of the background photo.

 Is there a way to mirror a layout?

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
c2frobbo
Oct 8, 2008 9:09pm PDT
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c2frobbo
 

I’m with you. I get frustrated at the rigidness. Sometimes I’d like to add text to my page, but that particular layout won’t allow text; or else it will allow only a very small amount. I would LOVE free-form layouts.

Posted by
cindirtx
Oct 10, 2008 8:12am PDT
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cindirtx
 

You can use professional design software, like InDesign (which I use) or similar. Anything that will allow you to save each page as a 300dpi JPEG will be fine. Then you just save each page as described and paste it into a blank page of BookSmart.

Posted by
P-H-C
Nov 10, 2008 5:50am PDT
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P-H-C
 

I think if you intend doing books regularly, it might be an idea to use Photoshop or similar. I have just finished another photo book, and nearly all the pages were done in Photoshop.  Obviously you end up with exactly what you want. But I agree about being able to flick a page, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

 

Posted by
omeyas
Nov 10, 2008 8:44am PDT
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omeyas
 

I agree, the book editor I still beta product so I’m looking forward to more editing features in the future.

Just to note- if you do decide to use the custom layout work around described above ( combining text and image in another editor and then uploading as a 300dpi image) be aware the text will NOT be nearly as crisp as if it’s internally generated. It would work somewhat for larger text but small text will be difficult to read.

Good luck!

Posted by
APINKY
Nov 10, 2008 11:18am PDT
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APINKY
 

Hey c2frobbo,

You can actually ‘hack’ the software. What I mean is that you use the templates creatively. For example, you said you wanted inset two smaller photos into a full bleed image. BoomSmart does actually flip around on the fly, some of the templates if you use it on the right or left pages. But if that option doesn’t exist for the template you want, you can actually use another template, like a collage one and just fill in some of the image containers. You can also shrink down and shift your images to reveal what you want and leave the rest of the grey space alone. When you look at your page in Preview mode, you’ll realise that the grey or unfilled part of the image container will just be the background colour of your page.

In other words, you can get really creative with the layouts provided because you can partially fill an image container. For example, if you use a template with the nine image containers, you can fill in just five in the shape of a cross and leave the four corners blank for an interesting look.

You can pick up a lot of tricks from this training video provided by Blurb itself:

http://www.blurb.com/help/video/design_tips_techniques

Posted by
amsk
Nov 10, 2008 4:58pm PDT
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amsk
 

I  have successfully used the book templates provided at a site called "The Art Of Engineering". They have a 3-part series titled  "Want to Make a Blurb Book?"  and provide free downloadable templates in both Photoshop and InDesign format for book sizes 7×7, 8×10, 10×8, and 13×11. Here’s the link:

http://theartofengineering.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/free-blurb-templates/

 

Posted by
teelions920
Nov 11, 2008 12:18am PDT
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teelions920