The following is an ongoing series from Create Your Own Great Photo Book. The first “Be a Ruthless Photo Editor” covers activities you can use to take control of your image library. The second, “Storyboarding, Not Just For Filmmakers,” presents concepts for creating a theme for your images. Third, Conduct Your Symphony, Visually, introduces techniques to establish a cognitive flow for your photo book.
Structure is Your Foundation
Have you ever open up a book and found it difficult to read because the margins were to small? Not enough space in the gutter? Image placements left you confused?
Reverse engineering the vision of your finish book, as a product, can ease the pain of bringing all the elements together. It’s more than just the text, images, cut lines and other content; you must take into consideration the overall structure and specifications of the book (print & digital).
This is where a working relationship with a graphic designer who knows how to work with the specifications and your content will produce a professional photo book.
I’m working with my husband, Dominic Sondy, on the updated edition of “Saigon Shuffle”; the first book we self-published in 2009. To take advantage of upgraded print options and distribution, this book will be published via Amazon’s CreateSpace. Since this book is heavy with images, the upgraded paper stock options was a big consideration.
After reviewing the sizes and other specifications, we decided on a 7″ wide x 10″ height format. I got to work, sketching out page structures for interior pages. Particular regard to how the mostly horizontal images would be placed on the page.
This is a list of key elements that a designer considers when developing page structure for a book:
- Spread: Opened, displaying left and right pages
- Inside margins (aka ‘gutter’)
- Top Margin + Header
- Botton Margin + Footer
- Center of Content Area
- Body Copy
- Font size (points) and line spacing (leading)
The foundation of a page structure is irrelevant in flowing screens of ebooks you’re reading on your mobile device. Ebooks are wonderful; I can devour a fiction novel over a weekend.