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Author Topic: Books and borders  (Read 6105 times)
john beardsworth
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« on: April 22, 2009, 08:58:14 AM »
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I'm putting together a book of pictures and wonder what people think about the virtues or otherwise of borders around images.

The layout, which I'm doing in InDesign, is not full bleed, and each page will have a single image (mostly b&w) centred on the page and surrounded with lots of white. There's no text other than a 2 word caption and a page number, and no decoration. And to my eye a plain, fine black border looks as right on the book layout as it does on an inkjet print.

Meanwhile I've been looking through various photo books and it strikes me that non-bleed images are almost always borderless, even when a bright area lies close to a picture's edge. I don't think this looks too bad, maybe a bit looser, and my test print will have some pages with borderless images so I can decide for myself. But it interested me that even recent photobooks, where it would be easy to switch on borders, remain borderless. Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 08:59:20 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

Gordon Buck
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009, 10:34:02 AM »
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I've done a few Blurb books without borders but having recently seen some with borders have decided to switch to borders for my next book.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 10:46:13 AM »
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Why is that, Gordon? I'm also using Blurb, but it's more the aesthetics of it that interests me.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 07:26:46 PM »
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There are two main reasons to place a rule (border) around your photos, three if you just like how it looks. The first is to cover up possible misregistration in the printing process, which is why every newspaper used a rule around images. Without the line, a badly registered photo would show a colored edge on two or more sides, especially with the rough line screens used on newsprint. Second, a rule can help define the print borders when very bright highlights are near the edges of the image. It prevents blown or poorly rendered highlights from blending into the page white.

Blurb does an adequate job of printing, but as you never know which print shop will be printing any particular job, the quality is a bit variable. If you're at all concerned about very light print edges (1%-3%) blowing out in the printing process, it would be best to place a thin rule around the images. If that is not a concern, then there is no need.

Personally, I find them a bit harsh, especially with subtle tones.
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 06:18:42 AM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
Why is that, Gordon? I'm also using Blurb, but it's more the aesthetics of it that interests me.

No technical reasons or good explanation other than the borders grabbed my attention -- perhaps just something different from my previous work.  My upcoming Blurb book is 8x10 with a single picture per page.  I don't think I'd use a border on smaller pictures.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2009, 08:31:15 AM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
Why is that, Gordon? I'm also using Blurb, but it's more the aesthetics of it that interests me.

When viewing others' photobooks, I much prefer those with borders around the images. For my own photobook design, I would choose borders. Here are my very subjective reasons:

- Book borders can act as mat borders, making an image look like it is matted.

- An image with borders implies that it is displayed 100%. An image without borders can look like it is cropped.

- For the above two reasons, reading a photobook with borders feels like going through a portfolio, and reading one without borders feels like leaving through a magazine.

- Book borders are good places for text, if so desired. Without borders, text would have to overlay on the image. Not only would an image be "disfigured", but the text may have legibility problems.

- Book borders can be non-white, if so desired.

- The only negative about borders is that they take up precious room on a page.

BTW, it seems like with your simple page layout, using PS instead of InDesign would be a simpler approach, as suggested here:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....33473&st=15
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 08:35:45 AM by Chris_T » Logged
john beardsworth
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 09:31:09 AM »
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Quote from: Chris_T
BTW, it seems like with your simple page layout, using PS instead of InDesign would be a simpler approach, as suggested here:
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....33473&st=15
Not really. Individual pages may be simple, but apart from the text elements like page numbers there are section introductions, and I want to manage / preview the whole book in one place and, for instance have the freedom to change all captions' size and position. When it's ready, I can quickly generate the sequentially-numbered PNGs that Blurb needs and import them into BookSmart using its AutoFlow feature.

John
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