- 10 years ago
- Wedding: May 2007
Hi Everyone! I just spent a couple hours researching this dilemma I had on my Blurb photobook design, and I thought I’d share my discovery w/ everyone. I designed my own layouts, and used text elements in them. I had to plow through many, many forum postings and link over to a number of different posters’ personal sites to discover the answer to my problem, which was:
Why did the text elements I created (i.e. our logo and a special "text art" message) come out looking like crap?
Here’s what happened: I uploaded my perfectly beautiful looking design, expecting it’d come out how it looked on my screen and on my soft proof. It didn’t. It came back with the text edges looked all "jagged." (For all you pro- and semi-pro designers, yes, I turned the text into outlines in Adobe Illustrator first.) The text that I entered using Blurb’s software came out perfect. I was really disappointed b/c I’d also used this same technique for all our other wedding materials at different printers, and had no problems, so I expected the same results.
Long story short, because of the way that Blurb uploads your files, converts them, and then prints them, you will end up with "JPEG artifacts" — those ugly jaggedy, blurry edges that are common in low resolution photos if you blow ’em up too big.
Moral of the story: If you are doing your own layouts, do not use any text elements! You’ll have to compromise and try to find a pre-made Blurb layout that will let you put text in the area you want (the good news: the program seems to let you use any font you have stored in your computer!).
Two other things I learned in my research:
1) If you choose the small square (7×7?) books, they are printed on a different press than the larger format books. Therefore, if you’ve ordered one or the other, you can’t really accurately judge how your photos will come out if you decide to order the other size later. (I ordered the small, which is apparently done with an inferior process to the larger format; it’s not horrible, it’s just not as spiffy, and therefore, accordingly, cheaper — once again proving that you get what you pay for, right?)
2) If you incorporate design elements (little doo-dads like flowers or swirls, etc.) into your own layout designs, make sure your monitor is properly calibrated, and the color you make them is an RGB color — that’s how Blurb uploads (your photos also need to be in their sRGB profile — I know, this is really complicated — I only understand about half of it myself). I used an element in our logo that was 100% magenta — so, super super pink — and it came out more like Grimace (purple) because of how the Blurb software "interprets" the color.
To summarize, if you’re an amature that’s familiar enough with Photoshop and Illustrator to create your own layouts, you’ll probably be OK as long as you aren’t adding in any text or design elements into it yourself. If you’re more professional than that, you can probably get the color stuff figured out, but you’ll have the same issues with JPEG quality turning your pretty designs all jagged-y. (You cannot upload PDFs.)
Sorry for the super long post — if you’ve stuck with it this far, I hope it helps you! It’s stuff I wish I knew before I’d started my project.