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Thread: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

  1. #1
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    S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    Hi,

    Not sure what subforum to post this, but there is much respected experience in this subforum;

    I wish to make an arts style photo book and have it low volume printed (merely a few copies) with my text at a print shop. What I look for is following:

    1. A simple high quality software for Mac to make layout and text, color calibrated workflow of course

    2. Enable print to PDF for ebook

    3. Very standard format for printers to enable me to reprint in future

    4. Any advise of layout sizes, paper etc... making it reasonable price, yet very high quality

    Much appreciate advises, with many thanks!

    Regards
    Anders

  2. #2
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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    Adobe InDesign will do all that. As far as making the best cost-effective book, speak to your printer. Since the type of printing/press and the paper stock on-hand have a huge effect on that, there is no real way to give you an answer. Printing is always a destination process where you need to start with the printer and work backwards. Just like with photo printing, glossy coated paper gives the sharpest contrasty images. It is also expensive. You need to look at the paper stock as it does have color which varies from stock to stock. Online press like Blurb tend to be very expensive compared to other presses that cater to publishers and design firms. Check your local area. Overseas printer in Hong Kong, for example, can give excellent results at very good prices, but shipping and importing can be another factor to that cost. The large print run, the less cost per copy. Printing less than 500 is not cost effective.

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    The two major ones are InDesign and Quark. Quark has been along longer, simpler and more straightforward. Indesign is current, easier for tracking large number of images and more common with younger generation. They are very similar, the differences are subtle.

    I'd recommend you "design" your book with some eye to who/how it is being printed. For example, a 10" x12" book may be lovely, but if Blurb (for example) only prints 12x12 or 11 x 13, then what? Small runs locally printed tend to be very expensive. ID the on-line printers, get samples, try them. The common ones are Lulu and Blurb, but there are other fine-art photo book makers of short runs. They don't all print the same sizes... FYI - I've had very good BW printing from Blurb.

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    There are no quality e-book services:

    GarphiStudio like to try to tell us they do a quality service for top pros, but, to my eyes, their books are rubbish... or, judging by the pixelation, their "top pros" are using 4Mpx cameras!

    If you want high quality and only a few copies, do normal photo prints and have them bound.

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Adobe InDesign will do all that. As far as making the best cost-effective book, speak to your printer. Since the type of printing/press and the paper stock on-hand have a huge effect on that, there is no real way to give you an answer. Printing is always a destination process where you need to start with the printer and work backwards. Just like with photo printing, glossy coated paper gives the sharpest contrasty images. It is also expensive. You need to look at the paper stock as it does have color which varies from stock to stock. Online press like Blurb tend to be very expensive compared to other presses that cater to publishers and design firms. Check your local area.
    +1 for InDesign. You may also consider Aperture or iPhoto (shock horror) but make sure you go into the preferences and set up the print resolution at something decent like 300ppi+. From memory, iPhoto defaults to ~200ppi for easy uploading and fast printing. You can also delete/modify the default Apple logo page.

    The most important things are design, paper stock and the printing company. Most "on-demand" printers cater to the lowest common denominator and aim for speed at the expense of quality. Try to talk to a few decent graphic designers – they will be able to point you towards decent printers who offer a choice of paper stock and understand quality (as opposed to just giving it lip service).

    I have seen some beautiful small-run books/portfolios/marketing collateral (~50 copies) that have been beautifully printed and bound on nice stock. IMO you will have a better chance of getting a quality result if you source a printer who frequently works with graphic designers.

    Also, you don't have to accept a printer's "stock" paper choices. You may want to research paper companies and order samples of their products. Most companies offer free samples or charge a modest fee. It is well worth the effort if you are fussy about how your work will be presented.

  6. #6
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    At least for me, InDesign has always been the solution for layout, but that's not even the same discussion as print quality.

    As a wedding photographer (semi-retired ) I'm used to having albums printed that are basically photo prints that have been bound into a nice cover. While nice, it's uber-expensive if you talk about runs of any quantity.

    All that said, some of the online services offer compelling services for decent quality. Blurb.com sometimes hits the mark with regards to quality... sometimes not. Their software is pretty easy or you can use their templates for inDesign are accessible as well. This is an MF forum, lol, so most of us would hold their books up next to epson art-prints and not be very appreciative, but for the money blurb might be on your radar. I have used them for nicely designed mid-level, perfect-bound softcover proof books... and clients have always liked them. Wedding Albums? Nope, not good enough... but then again, most clients expect books of photographic prints bound in nice Italian leather.

    My $.02

    Cheers!
    Shelby

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    I haven't tried it, but Photojunction is supposed to be a decent free book designing software to use.

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I haven't tried it, but Photojunction is supposed to be a decent free book designing software to use.
    Works only with supported labs. As far as I know you can't export the layout and take it somewhere else.

    I am using InDesign for album layout and export PDFs or JPEGs depending on what the lab requires.

    InDesign is extremely easy to use.

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Works only with supported labs. As far as I know you can't export the layout and take it somewhere else.

    ....
    That would be a bummer. But the site (www.photojunction.com) seems to indicate it will work with numerous bookmakers, or just allow you to designate the height and width of the book. Export print options listed on the site include psd, tif, jpg, and pdf. I guess I would be pissed off if I paid for the program and my hands were tied. Can't complain too much since Photojunction is free.

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    Hi Anders (are you actually in HK?)

    You probably already have photoshop, and given this is low volume you can achieve what you want with CS4/CS5. Its probably tedious in the sense that indesign will handle things like page headers, numbering, index, alternate pages and stuff, but I suspect for an occasional user and probably more like 20-40 pages as opposed to 200-1500 pages, you'll be fine. CS can handle text as glyphs as well as vector shapes, as long as you save each page as a photoshop file. Only final rendering to Tif for printing will render the shapes as a matrix at the given DPI.

    If this method suits you, save each side of each page as a separate file. I can write some more when I'm home to explain how to stitch these altogether as a PDF.

    Finally you'll have to most choice regarding printing, anything from a single side photo printer, duplex photo printing or right through to a commercial printing press. They'll love you as you, especially if the work is colour as the pre-production will be so easy.

    Also, if you're in HK, feel free to get in touch, I used to run a printing company in the UK and working on setting one up in HK.

    Paul

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    Re: S/w for Mac for High Quality Arts Photo Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    Hi,

    Not sure what subforum to post this, but there is much respected experience in this subforum;

    I wish to make an arts style photo book and have it low volume printed (merely a few copies) with my text at a print shop. What I look for is following:

    1. A simple high quality software for Mac to make layout and text, color calibrated workflow of course
    2. Enable print to PDF for ebook
    3. Very standard format for printers to enable me to reprint in future
    4. Any advise of layout sizes, paper etc... making it reasonable price, yet very high quality

    Much appreciate advises, with many thanks!

    Regards
    Anders
    Anders,

    Here's a thought (this quote from Slashdot site):

    "Scribus is an open source desktop publishing tool that helps you create professionally laid out documents, from simple documents to full blown magazines, corporate brochures or even books. Desktop publishing tools are not a replacement for word processors, instead they give you the freedom to create uniquely designed documents and help you manage large sets of text and graphic content. Scribus is similar to Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress and gives you a wide range of tools to layout content in either print or digital media form. Scribus is pretty easy to get to grips with and has good documentation on the project website."

    I've just downloaded Scribus (it's free) and have been fiddling with it. The program certainly seems easy to get onto, and evidently has most of the good features of Quark. It generated a good-looking PDF for me without a hitch. No apparent bug so far using Mac Pro, 16gb...

    http://scribus.net/canvas/Scribus

    Kindly, David

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