I have made a few interesting observations about design the past few days, and wonder at times if I am walking into a obsolete career.
The other day I pulled out out wedding photos in order to finally do something with them and wound up facing the reality that the cheapest means of an album was a coffee table photo book, like those that Iphoto produce. I found Iphoto somewhat limiting – probably because I haven’t upgraded my mac to Leopard yet, but got put something similar called Blurb. Thus far I am fairly impressed, we shall have to see what a completed book looks like, but the cost and the design software is clean and fairly impressive.
But there you have it, designed photo albums for anyone with half a bolt of computer know-how’s finger tips. There are templates for layouts and lots of them, and lots of them are quite nice. Yes it is still limited. (There are ways to get your own layouts into the software, I intend to explore that avenue).
The simple fact is, anyone can make a photo book.
In the few photography classes I’ve taken, photographers either bemoan the coming of the digital age because it takes generic photography further from their hands or they celebrate it and the capacity it opens up for ease/scope and the need for photographers to display a greater level of skill.
Photographers still make money and for the most part they still take better photographs.
It is the same for designers. You can go and make your photo book and perhaps you will be happy with it and perhaps you have some skill or eye for it, but for the most part the sample books out there – the ones people have created and paid to have printed look like absolute crap. What surprised me most was that many professional photographers books look just as ridiculous.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, at the very least read up on design, or for or goodness sakes pay someone to do it, or even get your arty-eyed grandson to help you.
And ladies, it might be fun to make a wedding album and you might not care if it’s not super professional but please, please, please do not use pink text over a photo… or pretty much anywhere, however much you like pink. It’s difficult to read and screams tacky.
The Blurb software is not as easy to use as some of the other photobook publishers. Blurb is really best if you make your photobook in another program and upload it.
I like both Shutterfly and Picaboo. Both have great help, a lot of samples, and Picaboo has over 12,000 different background. And, I found they both had better software than Burb – or it seemed so to me.
Thanks Linda, I shall have a look.
I’d love to know what kind of gsm (paper weight) any of these companies use, paper weight makes all the difference.
wow, im checking it out now.
ive been meaning to do something like this for quite a while.
I am a professioanl graphic designer who customs designs and prints high-end photobooks http://www.signaturebook.com.au
and I couldn’t agree with you more on your comments re those who DIY their own wedding and photobooks. And it’s not only the pink type that says tacky – it’s all thoses scrapbooking style backgrounds that adds nothing to the photos.
I actually have on my website under faq the Q and A
“DIY photo book printing companies vs. SignatureBook. What is the difference?”
To read my observations visit
in terms of print quality i have found xbook.com.au to be the best photobook publishers. their only drawback is, that, as far as i know there software is not mac-compatible.
Thanks for the advice. I’m coming in a bit late, but I found http://www.lifedesignbooks.com.au to have really simple software, but you still get a great product.
Hope that helps