Use a photo spread across two pages

Want to use a single image across two pages? Here are some tips on how to get the best results from that design, also called a page spread or photo spread.

This information applies only to our perfect-bound books and not to our Layflat optionLayflat books use a single sheet of paper for each page spread so content can't get lost in the binding and there's no potential for misalignment, just a crease down the center of the book.

Sample page spread. Note how the image crosses over two facing pages.

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Tip 1. Don't put important content in the gutter

Anything placed in the area between the two pages, also known as the gutter, may get lost in the binding of the book. The amount lost will vary depending on the number of pages, where the pages are in the book (beginning, middle or end), the paper thickness, and slight variations that occur in the printing, trimming, and binding of the book. (Remember, none of this applies to our Layflat books).

All this means you can't perfectly prepare your spread to compensate for gutter loss. Therefore, it’s vital that you don’t have important content across the gutter. Pay attention to these points in particular:

  • Straight lines and text running across the gutter may appear slightly misaligned in the printed version of your book.
  • Avoid putting people, text, or other important content in the gutter. It may be trimmed off or look uneven in the printed and bound book. 

Below is an example of a bad layout. The dog on the left is in the gutter of the book, where the two facing pages meet. He could look uneven or "squished" in the trimmed and bound book.

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Below is an example of a better layout. The size of the photo has been reduced, moving both dogs to the right of the spread and out of the gutter.

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Tip 2. Avoid horizontal lines across the gutter

Diagonal or horizontal lines that span a two-page photo spread may appear misaligned at the gutter.

Below, the horizontal lines might not align perfectly in the printed and bound book. This is bad. Try to avoid horizontal lines across the gutter, unless you're ok with the chance of some slight misalignment.

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Tip 3. Don't put text in the gutter

This is really an extension of Tip 1 above but worth a separate mention: any text in the gutter of the printed book may be misaligned or partially lost.

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Tip 4. How to create page spreads in our design tools
To place content across the gutter you’ll need to create a page spread. Follow the links below for step-by-step guides to setting up page spreads in each of our book-making tools.

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