Book Design and Imaging

Custom template & two page photo spread tutorials

I recently received my Blurb book and I love it!  I created all my own pages using Photoshop and I’ve had a ton of people asking me how I did that.  So I wrote two tutorials in my blog that I thought people on this board would be interested in. 

Here’s the post about how to create your own album templates.

Here’s the post about how to put a photo across the gutter of a page.

I’ve received a lot of help from these forums (especially with the soft proofing) and so I wanted to offer help to others.  Below are some pictures of how my book turned out.  For people’s reference it’s a 276 page 13×11" hardcover book.  

Let me know if you have any questions!

 

 

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Posted by
rlmaly
Jan 13, 2008 11:08am PDT
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rlmaly
 

Your pages look very good.
I see you have spent a bit of effort to create the tutorial on page templates.
Have you ever considered making these photoshop templates available, with the guides, for download?
I am not sure why Blurb doesn’t do this.
Companies like Modern Postcard and AsukaBook do and it makes things much easier.

Posted by
TomM
Jan 13, 2008 8:41pm PDT
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TomM
 

That’s a good idea, thanks! 

But judging by the lack of responses I don’t know if people on these forums would care.

Posted by
rlmaly
Jan 14, 2008 7:34pm PDT
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rlmaly
 

Thanks for those tutorials, it’s generous of you to make them available. I’m currently working on a few two-page photo spreads, now I’ll go back and revisit the gutter…... if you see what I mean :-)

.......Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Jan 15, 2008 1:04am PDT
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tfrankland
 

I’m sure that people would be interested. I have your tutorials printed out at pinned to the wall above the mnitor!

 Great looking book. All the techincal skills in the world don’t give a would-be author the immagination that I have seen in many of the books I have seen in the fourms – your book is very impressive.

Posted by
flatcoat77
Jan 15, 2008 10:15am PDT
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flatcoat77
 

Thanks for creating and posting these Robin!

Posted by
CapnScrappy
Jan 15, 2008 11:56am PDT
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CapnScrappy
 

Well if people are interested I can make some templates available.  But I’ll probably make them for all the different sizes of books so that everyone can use them.

My only question is what file type should I save them in?  I have Photoshop CS2 (CS3 is ready to be installed) so can people with other types of Photoshop open a .psd file saved in CS2?  I know there is a way to export files from InDesign to be able to open them in previous versions but I’m not sure about Photoshop.

Posted by
rlmaly
Jan 15, 2008 12:00pm PDT
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rlmaly
 

I would think a flat 300 dpi PSD or Tiff would work.

Posted by
TomM
Jan 15, 2008 7:28pm PDT
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TomM
 

Robin.  Thanks for taking the time to do the tutorials.  I was impressed by the detail you put into the tutorials.  The graphics were great too and made it much easier to follow.  I look forward to seeing your templates. 

Posted by
Orchids
Jan 15, 2008 9:12pm PDT
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Orchids
 

Thanks Orchids!  Let me know if you have any suggestions for future posts.  

The only problem with that Tom is that when you save it as a tiff (or similar file) you loose the guides associated with it. 

I’ll have to google it after I finish this post about Photoshop actions… 

Robin

 

Posted by
rlmaly
Jan 15, 2008 9:40pm PDT
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rlmaly
 

Robin,

I would think that your detailed information about gutter set up in Photoshop is a brilliant idea. I am currently in middle of other book project about recent Mexican Riviera cruise trip with 3,560 raw images taken with my dSLR camera.

I have Adobe CS3 Premium package on my end.

I have a suggestion that you might want to add .25 inch for “safe” gutter inside the book, especially with text – so that text won’t be cut off along with 1/8 inch (or .125”) cut off edge.

Do you work with InDesign app, no? I do work with InDesign a lot.

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jan 15, 2008 10:26pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

“The only problem with that Tom is that when you save it as a tiff (or similar file) you loose the guides associated with it. “

Actually not so.
I have no problem saving flat Tiffs and PSDs with guides with PS 9 and 10.
Of course one has to have view>show>guides checked. ;)

Posted by
TomM
Jan 15, 2008 10:39pm PDT
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TomM
 

Brian,

I also have CS3 Premium but I haven’t installed it yet so I’m still on CS2 Premium.  I do work with InDesign from time to time but I’m much more familiar with Photoshop.  I was originally going to use both Photoshop and InDesign for my Blurb layouts but decided to do it all in Photoshop since I would have to go back through it anyways.  I was nervous about how my text would turn out but was very happy with the final product.  I used a white sans serif typeface on a black background in 14 point so it is larger than most people probably use.  I just thought the larger size fit the scale of the book better in my practice prints. 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I’ll add some safe guides in the center.  For my size of book (276 pages) though I used a 1/4" gutter on each page or a 1/2" total gutter which ended up working out very well.  I would think that if I had made a book with fewer pages that I would need to use the recommended 1/8" gutter on each page.  I wish there were some guidelines on this in respect to book size and type.

Tom,

Thanks so much!  I must have been thinking about giffs or something.  I’m going to get working on those templates.

 Robin

Posted by
rlmaly
Jan 17, 2008 8:44am PDT
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rlmaly
 

<font size="3"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman">Hi Robin.  I have a question on your tutorial for putting a photo across the gutter of a spread.  In your tutorial you placed the photo on the left page and adjusted the part of the photo on the right.  On Step 6 you say you’re finished.  Does this mean that at that point you are finished for both the left and right pages for insertion into the Blurb album?  Don’t I need to repeat the steps (by placing the photo on the right page and adjust the part of the photo on the left) to get the left page?  Your clarification would be much appreciated.    </font></font></font>

Posted by
Orchids
Jan 19, 2008 2:01am PDT
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Orchids
 

THANK YOU for the tutorials! Great work and so easy to follow.

Posted by
kgaillour
Jan 19, 2008 6:57am PDT
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kgaillour
 

Glad I could help kgaillour!  It really is pretty easy once you get the hang of it and then everyone can make beautiful books.

Thanks for asking that question Orchids.  There are probably other people who had that question but were too scared to ask it.   No, at step 6 you are finished.  Only one side should have a copied portion of the original picture.  You can, however, do this the opposite way of my example with the right side being the original and the left side having the copied portion. 

Hope that helps.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

Robin 

Posted by
rlmaly
Jan 19, 2008 10:59am PDT
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rlmaly
 

Thanks Robin for your timely response.  I just put in my book order and will anxiously wait to see the results.  Since my book (10" x 8") has only 22 pages, I used the 1/8" trim guide for the gutter and did not add the additional 1/8" safety guide.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.   

Posted by
Orchids
Jan 19, 2008 11:48am PDT
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Orchids
 

I would love to have a copy of your tutorials..

Posted by
Andyb9
Jan 19, 2008 3:10pm PDT
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Andyb9
 

Good idea Orchids.  I just received my returned book back today (the first one had spots on two of the pages) and am slightly disappointed with it.  The margins didn’t line up like they did on the first copy.  It’s only really noticeable on a few pages but still annoying.

I will have a full review shortly with pictures of the differences between the two books. 

Andyb9 if you mean the tutorials there are links in the original post.  But if you mean actual downloadable templates they will be on my blog shortly.  I have all of the templates done but I’m working on the "How to use these" guide and on how to get zip files on a blog that doesn’t support them.  (I think I have a work around though) 

I’ll make a new post when I have it all finished. 

Posted by
rlmaly
Jan 19, 2008 6:00pm PDT
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rlmaly