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, 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. On top of that, 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. 

This means you can't perfectly prepare your spread to compensate for this variation and there's no exact allowance we can recommend. So make sure that you don't have important content across the gutter. This means:

  • Don't place 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. 

Don't place important content in the gutter
Avoid putting anyone's face or body or any other important content in the gutter. It may be trimmed off or look uneven in the printed and bound book.

This is a bad layout because the subject is placed in the gutter of the book, between the two facing pages.

bad_gutter.png

This is better because the subject is no longer in the gutter. (The mountains in the background might not be perfectly aligned in the printed book but I don't mind). 

better.png

Horizontal lines across the spread
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.

Below, the horizontal lines might not align perfectly in the printed and bound book.

lines_gutter.png

Don't put text in the gutter
Text in the gutter of the printed book may be misaligned or partially lost in the gutter.

bad_text.png        

  

How to create two-page spreads in our book-making tools
Placing content across the gutter means creating a two page spread. Follow the links below for step-by-step guides to making spreads in our book-making tools.

 

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