Book Design

I decided that I would finally get my book made at GF Smiths. As most of their albums need to be made using their own specialist software I have chosen to use InDesign and use their ‘MakeBook’ specifications.

I downloaded a template from their website and used that for the structure of my design.

After seeing the books that G F Smiths brought along the other week I decided that instead of using images from several of my trips I would use a range of photographs taken in just one country. I felt that would give the book more focus but still allow me to display a range of photographic subjects.

I looked at a few books and magazines and discussed the options with my tutor and decided that I wanted to produce something that allowed my photographs to stand out on their own. Nothing too cluttered and just a little text to explain some of the photographs. See Portfolio Inspiration for some of the magazines and websites that I visited for inspiration.

I printed out a large selection of the photos that I might use. I used Photobox to print out 6×4 copies at low cost and reasonable quality. Then I spread them out on the floor and arranged them in the order that I thought I would look good in a book, discarded those that I felt didn’t fit and still added in a few others that I hadn’t considered before.

Right from the beginning I had visualised a landscape book so using the appropriate MakeBook template I left the first spread blank as this will be a plain piece of paper. I then set up the second spread so that there is some text about me on the left and a single photograph on the right. I positioned the photograph so that there is room for a caption beneath and chose to use Goku Stencil and Perpetua fonts to match my branding and website. See last year’s New Technologies – Branding assignment for the thought process behind this choice.

I chose not to use a Master Page (layout that is repeated on each page) but instead used the ‘Paste in Place’ command to repeat the layout on each of my pages. This way I had the flexibility of designing a number of layouts for the photographs that could be displayed on the left or right of the spread.

These are the images of the final layout.


The MakeBook template comes with just 10 spreads or 20 pages included so I chose to add another five spreads to make it a 30 page book. This would allow me to tell the story of my trip in more detail and allow me to include more images.

The cover needed to be designed separately and because I had added extra pages I needed to use a cover template that allowed room in the spine for those pages. MakeBook covers can be covered in plain ‘Colorplan’ paper with a portion of the front available for a photograph. You choose the colour when you purchase the book so the image below is just of the printed part.

I chose a photograph that I felt reflected my theme and that would also allow space for a book title and logo.

Tan Book Landscape Cover


I have some experience of using InDesign before and in designing this book didn’t come across any issues or problems with it.

All I need to do now is upload the pdf files to G F Smith and they will print it out. They have a very good video that shows the process they use to make the books.

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