Credit to Blurb

It was my girlfriend Lucy’s 21st birthday last Friday (feel free to wish her a belated happy birthday!) and one of the presents I got her was a personalised photo book which contains family photos from her 21 years so far. I designed the book myself and ordered it from I felt it appropriate to mention just how brilliant the quality of the book was. Not the content of course (I’m not that big headed!), but the printing. I was a bit sceptical about ordering the book from a website I’d never used before as it was something that was going to cost a fair bit.

The one drawback from ordering a book from Blurb is that you have to use the BookSmart software that they provide on their website. Now although there is nothing particularly ‘wrong’ with the software it is extremely limited and aimed towards those who are not familiar to laying out pubications. As someone who enjoys that sort of thing I found it frustrating to have to stick to such a limited selection of page layouts, however I did find somewhat of a solution to it. one thing I did was, instead of using the standard layouts to define where you place your text, simply design the page in the software of your choice (InDesign, Quark etc) and then save your page as a high quality jpeg. Then you can use that newly created layout as the background image of the page. This will mean that you can ignore the text fields on the Blurb layout as you’ve already included the text in the background.

Lucy's birthday book

Overall the finished book quality was fantastic. I ordered a large landscape hard backed version (there are a number of variations available) which feels very well made and similar to any book you would see on sale in a shop. The one thing I would advice on is to pay the couple of pound extra to get your book printed on premium paper. Although I’ve never ordered the normal paper I’ve heard a lot of negative things about it. I found the premium paper to be very nice, not too glossy but still nice enough to show up a good conrast in colours.

I’ve uploaded some images of the book itself to my website. Feel free to have a look.

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~ by kelvinwins on February 20, 2009.

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