The real beauty of any professional wedding album lies in the album design. It is so important that the album layout shows off the best images and tells a story. The design can really make or break the impact of a wedding album. Before you get started with a project, learn the do’s and don’ts of wedding album design.
These helpful tips make album design an easier process whether you are using a service, or doing designs yourself. Those images aren’t going to put themselves on the pages, so let’s get started with the “Do’s”.
- Do be sure to select quality images for the album. Printed images are not as forgiving as what we see on the screen. Images that are slightly out of focus, or ones that are pushing the limits on proper exposure, should be eliminated from the selection gallery. Remember this keepsake will also be a marketing piece for future clients. Having images looking less than spectacular is not going to impress.
- Do you provide the correct file type, size, and color space when submitting spreads or images to the design team? Zoobinders requires images to be sRGB jpegs at a minimum of 240 ppi. Knowing what is required will save you the frustration of getting error messages when placing an order or having to go back and export adjusted mages.
- Do make sure that you understand the safety margins and trim area on spreads that you design yourself. Safety margins are those areas near the edges of your designs that should be free of heads, feet, elbows, or critical design elements. The trim is the area that will be cut off. For more information on the Zookbinders trim and safety margins, check out the Design Guide.
- Do restrict the number of images per spread so that the design isn’t crowded. Zookbinders recommends an average of 4.5 images per spread. The spread is the left and right side of an open album (some spreads may be one panoramic image and other spreads have eight images). Calculating this average controls the number of spreads you are offering and your album cost. If a client wants to add more images to their wedding album, they’ll need to add, and pay for, more spreads.
- Do help the newlyweds pick out the images for their album. This doesn’t mean a 4-hour hand holding consultation in front of a laptop, but do cull the images to a manageable number. Better yet, suggest the best images for the album design. If making decisions about your favorite images feels like Sophie’s Choice, try using Zookbinders’ Selection Service. Giving your couples a headstart when it comes to picking out album images alleviates a huge pain point. Check out this Selection Service Test Dive to learn more!
- Don’t forget about the cover. When planning your album design remember that the cover is prime real estate for your best image. Whether you do an acrylic cover or a cameo, this featured image will be seen when the album is on display. Depending on the dimensions you may want to suggest an image to your clients so that the cover has the most impact.
- Don’t overlook the placement of images across the center line. Some professional flush mount albums have a gap between the left and right-hand side of the spread. Other albums just have a fold, where the print is slightly creased. It’s not a problem to have images cross over the middle line. However, be mindful of cutting through faces or important objects as this may be distracting
- Don’t offer a specific number of images until you calculate the number of spreads and your cost. This is a repeat of one of the “Do’s”, but this is an important piece of the album puzzle. Offering a customer 100 images in their wedding album, but only allowing for 10 spreads to keep costs down, is going to result in a very crowded, unappealing album. An album with 100 images would likely require 22 spreads. You’ll need to have pricing in place to cover the cost and earn your profit on a larger album.
- Don’t set yourself up for lots of revisions. Of course, it is fair to allow clients to make changes to their design, however, with great communication you can keep adjustments to a minimum. Rather than saying, “Here’s your album design, let me know if there are any changes.” Try something like, “I’m so excited your wedding album design is complete. I absolutely love the way it turned out, especially the center spread of you guys walking in the park. Let me know that it’s good to go and I’ll get it into production.” Your professional opinion will go a long way.
- Don’t spend time chained to your desk doing designs. If this part of the creative process is not something you enjoy doing or excel at, look for other solutions. If wedding album design is a total time suck for you, hire an outside designer or find software that can better assist you.
One of the most rewarding things as a professional photographer is seeing your images in print. Creating unique wedding albums for your clients gives them an opportunity to have a physical keepsake of the memories that they created on their wedding day. Designing a wedding album takes a little planning and preparation. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of wedding album design can set you up for success!