USA Mexico blurb book blurb book review image wrap by Shantele IannaI have been trying to get all of our photos organised and into books. I have used “momento” in the past but this time I tried Blurb. I ordered two 7 by 7 inch books and am thrilled with how they turned out.USA and Mexico blurb book review by Shantele Ianna USA Mexico blurb book book review square format by Shantele Ianna USA Mexico blurb book review panorama with two photots by Shantele Ianna

I know that I am pretty late to the blurb game here. But I have only recently found out about them and realised that they have good prices and even better, reasonable shipping to Australia.9 IMG_8443

Because I ordered two books I chose different papers to compare the two. One book was from our holiday in 2012 to USA and Mexico and the other book was from our time living in Mackay from 2005 to2011 (this book is a lot thinner and reflects that I take way more photos these days). I have outlined what I ordered below:

  • Size – I used the small square 18x18cm (7 x7 inch) sized book
  • paper –  for the Mexico & USA book I used the premium paper with a matte finish and a grey end sheet. For the Mackay book I used the standard paper (Proline with white end sheets). In my opinion it is definitely worth upgrading to the better paper, it is thicker and feels so much nicer.
  • cover – I chose the hard cover image wrap on both books. I’ve used a dust jacket before on my momento photo books and I hate it. It gets in the way and gets creased when I am flipping through the book. I will always order an image wrap from now on.
  • Pages – the Mexico book has 184 pages and the Mackay book 134 pages. I think that the thicker the book the better, the Mexico book, combined with thicker pages, is a joy to look through.
  • text/fonts – I decided not to add any text digitally and just write on the pages with my own handwriting. If I added text digitally I don’t think that this book would have ever been finished!!. I like the element that the hand written text adds to the book and I like playing with different font styles. I used a Staedtler permanent lumocolor fine black pen. I am really happy with this pen for this project, it was not too thick and not too thin and dried within seconds. The only downside is that it is very smelly.

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For both books I used the BookSmart software and manually loaded the photos because I wanted to have control over the layouts. I generally stuck to a full page photo and then 4 small square photos and the occasional panorama.  I altered some of the spread layouts depending on what photos I had, but I think the book works better visually when the spreads are pretty consistent.blurb book review by Shantele Ianna blurb book review by Shantele Ianna

To manage my overwhelming amount of travel photos I group the photos in subfolders for each town/location (e.g. Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Oaxaca etc), and just upload one subfolder at a time to create the page layout.blurb book review by Shantele Ianna blurb book review by Shantele Ianna blurb book review by Shantele Ianna

You can read as many reviews as you like but photo books are really just one of those things that you have to hold in your hand and see for yourself. I definitely recommend trying blurb and signing up for their newsletter, because they are always offering deals of 15% off or more. I have just ordered another book in the small landscape format, so will do a review when that arrives. Happy bookmaking everyone…..

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