Book Design and Imaging

full bleed vs. trimmed sizes for 10 X 8

Experts,

I’m doing an experiment with the custom layout flow (Quark / InDesign – pdf – png – Booksmart). The starting point for this seems to be setting up the full bleed page size in one’s page editior of choice (Quark in my case).

In preparing to do this I came across the following anomoly in the Blurb documentation for the 10 X 8 (landscape) book:

In the vertical dimension full bleed is 8.25 inches and final trim is 8.00 inches (reasonable).

In the horizontal dimension full bleed is 9.627 inches and final trim is 9.63 inches (not intuitve).

In other words, the Blurb FAQs say that the full bleed size is virtually equal to the final tirm size for the 10 inch dimension. This same thing  occurs for the horizontal dimension of the portrait 8 X 10 book. I haven’t  checked the others. From this I would conclude that  full bleed = final trim for the horizontal page dimension, at least for the 8 X 10 books. But that is not consistent with the nice illustration in Bryan Burkhart’s note on full bleed page sizes, which clearly shows 0.125 inch trimming in the horizontal page dimension.

I’m sure somebody can explain this. The Blurb help folks just sent me a form letter pointing to the FAQ pages that generated the question in the first place.

Mike Reitsma, Burlingame, CA

 

 

 

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
argusmike
Feb 19, 2009 1:38pm PDT
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argusmike
 

I’m assuming that 9.63 is 9.627 rounded up.  According to the FAQ’s,  1/8 inch is trimmed from the top, bottom and face of the page.  this would reduce the height by 1/4 inch and the width by 1/8 inch.  If I had to guess why the page is the same size as the one I started with, I’d assume that 1/8 inch was added to the binding edge to minimize the loss of viewable image in the binding.  I’d be surprised if Blurb is resizing the full bleed page.

Mike

Posted by
Charybdis
Feb 19, 2009 4:27pm PDT
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Charybdis
 

Mike, Thanks for your thought on this – it seems plausible. If this is what is happening it would be "nice" if the Bryan Burkhart diagram included it explicitly (why state things to 3 decimal places and then throw in an undocumented 0.125 inches?). Regards, M. Reitsma

Posted by
argusmike
Feb 19, 2009 8:17pm PDT
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argusmike
 

I got confused as well and gave up trying to understand those FAQs and Blogs.

I now ignore both and hover my mouse over a full bleed page and use the dimension given in the popup when creating pages in Photoshop (I use the pixel dimensions rather than the inches).  Then just ensure there just no critical part within 1/8"  of the edge (well, I use  1/4" for safety).  I’ve had no problems in any of my books.

.........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Feb 20, 2009 2:03am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Tony,

Thanks for your attention and reply on this and the tip on mouse hovering.

To clarilfy, I don’t think that the information is necessarily wrong,  it may be that the explanation is just incomplete (e. g., see the plausible explanation by Chanybdis above). But until the explanation makes sense (including the Bryan Burkhart illustration) it’s hard to have confidence going forward. Have your books used the custom layout flow (the origin of this thread)?

Regards, Mike Reitsma

Posted by
argusmike
Feb 20, 2009 11:20am PDT
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argusmike
 

Mike,

I haven’t used Quark or InDesign but I did do a batch of pages using MS Word -> PDF -> Photoshop -> PNG -> BookSmart which turned out fine. I have also created many pages in Phtoshop which were also  fine. In each case I set the page size to that given by the "hover". With word I used the inch dimensions with Photoshop I used the pixel dimensions.

So not exactly the custom layout flow but pretty close with the use of Word rather than InDesign/Quark.

I agree the FAQs are probably not wrong, just confusing! The Mike (Charybdis) explanation is the best I’ve seen.

.......Tony

 

Posted by
tfrankland
Feb 20, 2009 3:04pm PDT
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tfrankland
 

I have gone over this question at least 4x with blurb tech support and never gotten a real answer, except a repeated reply that the dimensions with bleed are correct. They never answer why the trim dimensions are apparently off. On the 8×10 dims, how in the world can the bleed dimensions and trim dimensions be the SAME on the horizontal axis? With bleed on the outside edge, the finish trim should be .125” LESS than the flat dimensions. That just worries me. I just uploaded the book for my client today and I’m anxiously awaiting to see how the whole thing comes out.

My other complaint is that the “preview book” mode apparently does not indicate the bleed trim. The “preview” mode looks exactly the same as the “edit” mode, except that the “pasteboard” is grayed out. Preview mode should also gray out the bleeds, so users get a better idea of how the final will trim. Even after uploading the book, the preview in the bookstore seems to show the bleeds. Even though my book design has a lot of play, as a perfectionist, this really bothers me. I won’t rest easy until I see the final printed copy. Sigh…

Posted by
FallLine
Feb 20, 2009 8:59pm PDT
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FallLine
 

Tony, Thanks for the additional info. I agree, you are essentially doing the custom flow with respect to my question. Mike Reitsma

Posted by
argusmike
Feb 22, 2009 2:03pm PDT
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argusmike
 

FallLine,

Thanks for giving me confidence that this is something worth bringing up. I have 3 messages now sent to the tech support people – similar responses as yours. I am coming to the same conclusion as Tony: Charybds (Mike Sosnoski) has the most plausible explanation.

Mike Reitsma

Posted by
argusmike
Feb 22, 2009 2:08pm PDT
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argusmike
 

Just for grins, I went and looked at my books.  If you look down from the top edgewise, near the binding,  you can clearly see 1/8 inch of white paper added after the color stops.  Might be hard to see if you have white background, but very clear on dark background and full bleed books.

Mike

Posted by
Charybdis
Feb 24, 2009 10:05am PDT
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Charybdis
 

 Mike (Charybdis), FallLine, Tony,

Received the following from Craig of Tech Support (via Eri and Mark). It confirms Mike’s (Charbdis) initial idea and his note immediately above. Thanks guys, it now makes sense to me.

"Mark has passed your ticket to me. Yes, there is typically an extra 1/8" added for binding purposes. It’s good to keep in mind though, that the final actual size of a book *may* be just a bit different with each print run due to the physical nature of the product. In a nutshell, I recommend that you ignore the Book Dimensions page when designing your custom pages (it can get quite confusing!). This page is intended only as a reference of the final trim size of the book (to verify defects and such). You’ll want to design your page to the specs that are listed on the Custom Design blog post. Best, Craig"

 Mike Reitsma

Posted by
argusmike
Feb 25, 2009 2:44pm PDT
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argusmike
 

Thanks for reporting back Mike (Reitsma).

Craig’s response helps to clarify the issue (I think?).

.........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Feb 25, 2009 3:06pm PDT
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tfrankland
 

This discussion is part of the the reason I created my "Total Control" reference books (search on my UserID: rdavidd). I’ve received one printed copy of each size book so far. My test pages had black trim borders (you can see them in the preview of my book) which should have been totally trimmed off if the Blurb process was precisely accurate. They were not. From page to page, they were very consistent, but every page of my 10×8 book, regardless of it being a left or right page, showed 0.05" to 0.06" of black (using an engineer’s scale under a magnifying glass) on the outer edge of the vertical edge of pages (i.e., the edge opposite the binding). This consistency however needs to be qualified with the additional observation that trimming is not totally square, since the 0.05-0.06” result is only true at the top left or right. At bottom left and right the result was 0.02-0.03 inches. Equally consistent where the top and bottom edges which showed 0.01-0.03” of black on the bottom outer most corners (diminishing to 0 or into the red safety margin at the bottom inner corners at the binding because of the non-square trimming). As would be expected, since the bottom trimming did not remove all it should have, the top trimming removed more than it should have. Thus on the top edge at the outer most corner instead of having a 0.1267 safety margin there was only a 0.08 safety margin (obviously the 0.1267 is not what I can measure but rather what should be there based on my test image which had a red 38 pixel safety margin at 300ppi). On my 38 page soft cover book approximately 1/3 of the red safety margin is visible at the binding when viewed in a normal fashion (i.e., typical page turning rather than pulling hard to flatten the book out and thus forcing the binding area to become more visible). If the black trim borders and red safety borders I refer to here are not clear, if you look at the preview of one of my books I think you will see what I’m talking about. The preview of my book also confirms what others have conjectured: the preview does not cut off the trim allowance (if it did, you would not see the black border around my pages). Consistency within one book is good and I did see that. I’ll be having another 10×8 printed to see if there is consistency between books. And then of course there is the question of Blurb making adjustments in the future. Interesting, but unfortunate that I have to spend this much money just to find out how Blurb really does things, or maybe the engineer in me is just expecting too much.

Posted by
rdavidd
Feb 25, 2009 3:32pm PDT
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rdavidd
 

Mike,

You say we should use the "specs that are listed on the Custom Design blog." OK, where does one find that—I don’t see a blog with the title "Custom Design."

David 

 

Posted by
rdavidd
Feb 25, 2009 3:39pm PDT
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rdavidd
 

It took me awhile, but I found them.  They are identical to the ones listed in the FAQ.  When I click the "Search FAQ’s" button, it is the top of the list of the most popular.

 Mike

Posted by
Charybdis
Feb 25, 2009 9:34pm PDT
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Charybdis