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10 top tips for designing your first photobook by Bob Books


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Bob Books explains how to make sure you get the design of your photobook right first time around. Avoid disappointment and costly mistakes with their great top 10 tips. 

If you are making your first photobook, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start. Bob Books talk you through making sure you get your design right first time round, and avoid costly mistakes.

So where should you start?

You’ll no doubt have many images stored on your phone, tablets and computer. We think that the best place for them is in a beautifully bound photo book so that you and others can enjoy them in one place. Bob Books makes it quick and easy to transfer all you images, design and print them in one professional quality photo book.

We’ve put together our top 10 tips to keep in mind when you come to making your first photo book. So you can get it perfect, first time round.

1. Tell a story

Every book should have a beginning, middle and end. How are you going to tell your story? What is the reason for making this book? Who will be your audience, who will be looking at your book? Have a clear idea in mind – it will help you cut down your images and keep your photo book interesting. It will also help you organise your images, if you think about how to split your photobook into sections or chapters.

2. Organise

Be ruthless when it comes to editing your images and text. Save them together in one folder for easy access when designing. You'll enjoy the book making process so much more if your photos are all ready organised, that way you can concentrate on the layouts and design. This is the best way to make sure you don’t leave out any important images.

3. Pick a format and paper type.

Which type of book suits your project? Bob Books photo books come in hardback or paperback covers, with 7 different sizes and 5 paper types to choose from. Whether you are creating a travel photo book, a personalised wedding album or a photographic portfolio, you will find the book to suit your project. The paper types range from classic semi or high gloss finish, lustre or gloss lay-flat photographic paper or new true matte finish paper. Depending on your projects, if you want to show off some bright colours or simple black and white images, the choice is yours.


4. Choose your design tool.

If you have Adobe InDesign, then our PDF-to-book option has been created especially for you. Most of our customers opt for the free Bob Designer desktop software. This means all your books are stored on your desktop and you will only need Internet connection when you are ready to place your order. If you prefer not to download the software, you could use the Online Book Creator, or even let us do the work with our Design Service. We recently launched our Bob Books Photo Books App for iPad and iPhone that is now available in the UK App Store. The easy-to-use app allows you to design and order coffee table quality books using your own images straight from your iPad or iPhone, allowing you to create your photobooks anywhere.

5. Ask for help.

The Bob Designer software is very powerful, but if you aren't a technical genius, it can take little bit of practice to get to grips with. We've put together some really helpful (short) video tutorials that are a great place to start. If they don't get you back on track, then just get in touch. Our UK based Customer Care team is able to help with all technical and production problems you may have. You can contact us by phone, email, live chat, Twitter and Facebook.

6. Look around. 

Don't be afraid to borrow design ideas. Look through other books taking note of designs you like. A good place to start is the Bob Bookshop and our Inspiration and Ideas section for photobook projects. Or why not checkout the photo book section in your local bookstore or library. Take note of how fonts and layouts have been used in the books you like and design elements you think work well and ones you want to avoid.

7. Less is more. 

Give your photos some room to breathe. We often get asked 'how many photos can I put in my Bob Book?' While there is no limit to the number of images you can put on each page, there is probably a limit to how many photos you should put on a page. A photo collage can be a fun way to show off your 'outtakes', but if you're putting more than 6-8 photos on average on a page, then you may find that all the images a fighting for your attention. Let your star images shine by giving them a page or double page spread of their own. We’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, but people do and you should make sure it looks as inviting and irresistible as possible so people want to pick it up and look at it. If you have a star image from your trip, make sure to use it here.

8. Mix it up - but just a little bit.

It could make sense to show just one image per page if you are designing a portfolio book, but if you are creating your holiday safari photobook, you'll probably want something a little more dynamic. We offer hundreds of different layouts in the Bob Designer software and you can even design and save your own layouts to re-use.  We recommend that you find a set of 4-8 different page layouts that work well together and use these throughout your book. This will keep the book interesting and cohesive.

9. Including text.

Including text in your book is completely optional. There are no limits or restrictions to where or how much text you choose to add. Captions, locations, names, dates, heading, page numbers and other details can help enrich your book and keep the story flowing. Opt for a classic font and make sure it is legible, and that it compliments not over powers your images.

10. Publish and share. 

When your photobook is ready and you've hit the order button, now it's time to share your hard work and let the world admire it. Publish your book in the online Bob Bookshop for free and pass around copies of your book to friends and family. You can even enter it in our monthly Book of the Month competition and win yourself a free Book.


Your photobooks is special and you want it to be perfect. It belongs to you after-all. It’s a reflection of you, your creativity, your life and things that you love. The very reason you make a photo book is to have a physical memento of your special moments. With a little bit of research and preparation making a photobook, can be and absorbing and enjoyable process, resulting in a lovely photobook you will cherish.


Established in 2007, Bob Books is a UK based company that offers the ability to create personal, customised, beautifully presented coffee-table photo books. The Bob Books platforms make designing a book easy and quick. Bob Books is the proud winner of the Good Web Guide, 2014 Best of British Award.