A Review of Photo Book Covers:
Fortunately, all that has changed. Today, there are a lot more options for covers for a photo book. Depending on the printer you choose, you can make the cover for a photo book from almost any material you can think of.
Common Photobook Cover Materials and OptionsThere areso many more materials to choose from when choosing a cover for your photobook, including the option of printing on the front cover or even creating a photo book dust jacket.
We only discuss the cover choices here. Interested in reading about the binding and pages? Book Binding describes your photo book binding options.
Cover Choices for Hardcover Photo Books
Below, I'll talk about these different photo book covers, where to find them, and how to choose the right cover for your photo book project.
1. Die Cut or Photo Frame Photo BooksFor many photo book printing services, this one is the original or standard photo book cover design. In general, this kind of photo book is in hardcover cardboard, or covered with linen or leather.
The front has a die-cut rectangle that allows a picture on the inside to show through. It is very attractive and you can have a cover color that frames the picture that you choose to have show through.
There are plenty of different versions of this standard cover for a digital photo book, ranging from budget versions to ultra-elegant ones.
Examples of Die Cut Covers
|Picaboo "Classic" Photo Book
This photo book has a die cut photo cover with your choice of a hardcover linen or textured softcover. Their least expensive photo book.
|Picaboo "Modern" Book with Photo Frame Cover
This is a very high end example of a high quality photo book with a die-cut/photo frame cover, by Picaboo.com. A bit expensive, so good for weddings or other very special occasions.
|Kodak Gallery Die Cut Designer Photo Book
This hard bound die cut photo book cover comes in black and silver. Intended for wedding photo books, but can be used for any special occasion.
2. Printed Hardcover or Softcover Photo BooksThis is a newer type of cover and the front cover, spine, and back cover can normally be printed with the photo or design of your choice. Some photo book printers will only do the front cover, but many will print all three areas. The cover has a glossy laminate. The first size that had printed covers was the 8x8, but now there are many sizes that have printed covers. These are commonly called "custom covers".
Examples of Custom Photo Hardcover Books
Picaboo Madison Custom Cover Photobook
This is the more upscale (i.e. expensive) of Picaboo's custom cover photo book options, and is best for special occasions and weddings. It has lay-flat pages for a very polished look.
|Picaboo's "Classic Custom" Photo Book
This is one of Picaboo's cheaper custom photo book covers. It allows you to add your custom photo and text to a hardcover photo book.
Kodak Gallery Printed Custom Cover Photo Book
This photo book comes in hardcover only, and allows you to choose your own cover photo and text for your photo book.
3. Classic Leather Cover Photo BooksWhen you want the nicest most high quality photo book possible, you'll probably opt for a leather photo book cover.
These special leather photobooks are very elegant and are usually reserved to commemorate a special occasion. Some photo book printers allow a title to be printed on the cover or spine, but others some do not.
|Picaboo "Classic Leather" Photo Book
This is Picaboo's easier-on-the-budget leather cover photo book. It come in matte or shiny croc leather with a die-cut photo window.
|Picaboo's "Ranch" Leather Photo Book
This photo book is ultra fancy, quite expensive, and covered in full-grain distressed leather. Allows you to put a custom stamp. Very understated and elegant. Only one step down from their top of the line flush mount book.
|Shutterfly Die-Cut Leather Photo Book
Shutterfly's die-cut photo book covers come in either leather or cloth, and are only available for their 8x8" or larger photo books. Check out Shutterfly's photo book gallery to see some of the photo books created with these cover options.
4. Dust Jacket or Book Jacket Photo BooksSome people really like to have dust jackets for their books and this is now one of the choices you can have. The dust jacket can be printed with a variety of layouts, including a plain photo or photo with text.
Unfortunately, the number of photo book printers offering dust jackets with their hardcover photo book covers is dwindling. Most of the main ones, such as Picaboo and Shutterfly, don't offer this option.
The only printer I can think of where you can find this sort of photo book is Blurb.
5. Fabric Cover Photo BooksYour last option for photo book covers is fabric. A lot of photo book printing services offer a standard linen hardcover photo book in a bunch of different colors. Many also offer fake suede, velvet, and other options. It's always a pretty and understated option.
Examples of Fabric Photo Book Covers
|KodakGallery Linen Cover Classic Photo Book
This photo book comes in 11 different color options with a die-cut center displaying the photo of your choice. Really nice color range.
|Picaboo's "Victorian" Velvet Cover Photobook
With one of the prettiest velvet photo book covers, this is a good one to use for a family history or an old-fashioned wedding. Black or red velvet with gold or silver foil stamp. Lay flat pages. And very pricey.
Photo Book Cover and Color AvailabilityDeciding which type of cover to use for a photo book will help you decide which publisher to choose. Since even the same publisher will not offer all the covers for all sizes it is hard to chart the availability. Here is a basic chart that should help you gauge your photobook cover options.
But please be sure to check on the photo book printer's site to make sure that the cover is available for the size book that you want to use. I try to keep all of this information updated, but it's hard when printers change their product offerings all the time!
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