If you’ve been following my posts for a while now, you’ll see that I often draw my inspiration from catalogs, brochures and magazines. I look past the content and try to visualize what I might do with the core layout when designing my photo books. Last week I wrote about creative labeling and date strips. This week is another catalog inspired post – this time a furniture catalog from Cassina. Hmmm…can you tell I’m doing a little spring cleaning and getting rid of some magazines and catalogs I’ve been holding on to for too long? 🙂
There are a few things I thought could translate well to photo book design:
I like the simple clean layouts. Two smaller photos on the left and one large one on the right and lots of open space to let the photos take center stage. Same goes with the layout below:
Also note the catalog stuck to some basic colors for backgrounds: white, black, red, beige, purple and blue. Keeping a cohesive color scheme helps tie the whole book together.
This next photo below illustrates the same concept of simplicity but with text. If you plan to write a narrative, think about giving it some breathing room. Crowding the text or having too much text on the page makes it harder to read and may discourage your reader from wanting to read it if it looks too cluttered. I also like the bold background color and contrasting text. Just make sure there is enough contrast between the background color and text color so it’s easier to read.
Additionally, my preference for adding text to my photo book layouts is more minimalist. I don’t like to caption each photo. I like to write one block of text that explains all the photos on the page. For example, if I were making a travel photo book, I like to write one paragraph of text that explains everything we did on “Day 5” of our trip so that one paragraph takes care of explaining all the photos that follow on the next set of pages.
Along those lines, this next photo illustrates a great idea for a “title page” or “table of contents” page.
If I were making a travel book, I might use a similar layout to create an overview of our itinerary. Picture each column being a day of your trip with a small narrative of where you went that day, what you ate etc. You could use a favorite shot of the day at the top of each column. I could also see using this as a “cast of characters” page. I did something similar in a collaborative book I made with my friends where each person featured in the book answered a short list of questions, sort of like a mini bio with their photo above it. I think it adds a great personal touch to your books, rather than just your standard layouts of your vacation snapshots. I’m planning to do something like this for my Disney photo book. I may even add Goofy and Mickey to our cast of characters!
I hope you get some good ideas for your projects!