Use a photo spread across two pages

Want to use a single image across two pages? It's easy and looks great in your book. Read on for tips on how to get the best results from your two-page spread.

This information applies to our perfect-bound books and not to our Layflat option. Layflat books use a single sheet of paper for each two-page spread so there's no gutter loss or potential for misaligned spreads--just a crease going down the center of the spread.

Beware the gutter

Anything placed in the area between the two pages, otherwise known as the gutter, may get lost in the binding of the book. The amount that is lost will vary depending on how many pages are in your book, where the pages are in the book (e.g. in the middle or at either end), the paper thickness, and other variations that occur in the printing, trimming, and binding of the book. The exact amount of gutter loss may vary slightly from one copy to the next due to the potential for small shifts during printing and trimming. 

Consequently, you cannot perfectly prepare your spread to compensate for this variation and there's no exact allowance we can recommend. What you can do is make sure that you do not have important content spanning the gutter. This means:

  • Don't position people's bodies or faces across or near the gutter.
  • Images with lots of straight lines across the gutter may result in a printed book in which the lines don't perfectly align.
  • Placing text across or near the gutter is also a bad idea. 

Avoid putting faces in the gutter of the book 

You should avoid putting people’s faces in the book gutter. They may be trimmed off or uneven in the printed and bound book.


Avoid multiple lines crossing the page

Diagonal or horizontal lines that span a two-page photo spread can have unexpected results in your printed book. If some of the line is lost or the printing just slightly shifted, the two halves of the image will not line up and the lines will appear mismatched.


Avoid putting text in the gutter

The layout below was made in InDesign, saved as a PNG file, and placed into a two-page spread layout. Unfortunately the text ends up in the gutter of book. The text in the gutter of the printed book may be misaligned or be partially lost in the gutter.


Have minimal lines crossing the gutter.

In the below example there is no important content in the center/gutter and there are minimal lines crossing the gutter (and, in this case, it won't matter as much if the lines don't match up exactly).



Keep important content out of the gutter

In this layout the important content (the couple on the right) is kept far from the gutter.


How to create two-page spreads in our book-making tools

Follow the links below for step-by-step guides to making two-page spreads in our book-making tools.


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