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I am looking at 8x11, 11x8.5, and 12x12 inch photobooks (other sizes are available but are mostly obtained by rescaling these). I want to include both portrait and landscape photos. Which overall dimension of the photobook will be the best?

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    Are you printing and adding matted photos to the pages (a la traditional books), printing photos and slipping them into the pages, or is each page going to be a printed layout, like the more modern coffee table book? – Hueco Oct 6 '17 at 23:33
  • Whose photobook are we talking about i.e. do you get the final edit? Do you have control over page layout and image dimensions? – onacosmicscale Oct 7 '17 at 3:37
  • Each page is a printed layout, I have control over everything. – Alex Oct 7 '17 at 3:49
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    Like everything in photography, the photographer has to decide which tradeoffs matter and which don't. Hiring a professional designer is an option that creates a unique tradeoff profile. – user50888 Oct 7 '17 at 13:52
  • Do the printed pages meet in the middle? (No depression). If so, you can design layouts to fit per page or even stretch across the page, giving you page layout options that include double the width of the page. In these cases, I prefer to go as large as possible and would go with the 12x12. As your layouts could be 12x12 or 24x12 or any mix in between. (Use a 12x6 block next to a 12x18 for example to get a vertical image and large horizontal on the same spread) – Hueco Oct 7 '17 at 18:48
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The format you choose is ultimately down to your personal preference. However, there are basic, and fairly obvious, design principles you can follow. If the vast majority of your images are "landscape", then choose a format that reflects that. The same is true if the majority of your images are "portrait".

You then have to decide how to best fit in the non-conforming images: for example, you could place two portrait images on a single page of a landscape book. Or, if you have text, you can place the text in the spaces around the non-conforming images.

My favourite solution is to go for a square format, which accommodates both landscape and portrait images equally well and leaves plenty of space for captions and other text. But, obviously, a square format only really makes sense if you have a roughly equal mix of landscape and portrait images. And, as printers like using standard paper sizes, then square formats are often more expensive, as they are made by printing on a standard paper size, which is then trimmed square, which increases wastage.

  • And, as printers like using standard paper sizes, then square formats are often more expensive, as they are made by printing on a standard paper size, which is then trimmed square, which increases wastage. Not necessarily. Most large commercial printers use rolled, rather than cut size, paper. A specific width can be cut to any length. This is even true of photosensitive paper. Smaller. local type printers are the ones that prefer standard paper sizes because they often don't have the ability to use rolled paper. – Michael C Oct 8 '17 at 23:30

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