For fellow photographers:)

Justin and I have been contemplating doing a post with some of our favorite album design elements for quite some time. We have had a ton of questions asked at our LYON-SHOP classes about album design, so we thought it would be helpful to post a full design and explain a few things that we like to keep in mind when designing an album for a client. Note: the images you are seeing  below are full page spreads (left side to right a magazine, with a small fold down the center of each spread). Also, I've added our watermark for blog purposes only, this isn't included in our final design.

1.We sell and design all of our albums in "spreads", this mean left side to right side (so essentially a spread is actually two pages).

2.We don't do any wording on the cover, the only wording you'll ever see is on the first spread with the client's name and date of wedding...we like to keep it simple! Remember that less is more!

3. For the page layouts, we keep it minimal. Each image should tell it's own story, so we don't like to over crowd the pages with too many images.

4. We don't like to use any drop shadows! We're really going for more of an art-book/high fashion type look. We have a few fashion books we've collected from Dior and Dolce & Gabbana and there's not one drop shadow!

5. We like all of the image lines to match up, look below and you'll see what we mean.

6. When designing the spreads, we try to keep in mind the "story" that each spread is telling and this what is helpful when grouping the images together.

Here is one of our favorite album designs to date! It is an 11x14 album, vertical, with 26 spreads.

Since there is a fold down the center of each spread, we are VERY cautious to not put faces or anything super important right on that folded line. In this spread below, the center folded line goes right down the left shoulder of the groomsman just four people over from the bride and groom.
lt_album016.jpglt_album017.jpgThis spread makes me happy:)
lt_album020.jpglt_album021.jpglt_album022.jpglt_album023.jpglt_album024.jpglt_album025.jpgWe always like to end the album with a photo of just the bride and groom, this sort of helps wrap it all up!
We have to give a quick "high five" to our awesome album company that we do all of our printing and binding through: Renaissance Albums, you really are the best!

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anda said:
thanks so much for sharing! i especially like the part about collecting high fashion books and them not having drop shadows :) i need to tell my clients that from now on!
(03.25.10 12:31 PM)
Mel said:
Simplicity is so refreshing! I so appreciate your willingess to share what makes you guys *you*
(03.25.10 12:33 PM)
Victoria said:
Beautiful! I love it! And this helps me a lot since I'm starting to sell albums with my wedding packages.. Thanks!
(03.25.10 12:33 PM)
Larry Reeves said:
Thanks for sharing this Amelia. It's really cool of you guys to give this kind of insight. Awesome album design, too!
(03.25.10 12:35 PM)
Kellan said: you choose the images or does the client? What do you cap it at? We also avg the same album size/spreads as this example so I am curious who chooses the images and how many you/they chose for an average album. Wonderful layout, love the clean and modern style. Thanks for sharing, always helpful. Blessings
(03.25.10 12:36 PM)
amelialyon said:
Kellan, I actually let my clients choose their own images and I usually have them choose double the amount of spreads they are purchasing. So for example, if they have a 25 spread album they want, then I have them choose about 50 images. If they want more then they need to be open to purchasing more spreads. Hope this helps! If you show them a simple design upfront then they will understand why they only get to choose 50 images rather than 100!
(03.25.10 12:42 PM)
Kellan said:
THANK YOU! Exactly what we needed to know. My husband and I have this debate all the time on who should choose and how many. It's hard for the client to understand sometimes that LESS is definitely MORE! Appreciate the quick response.
(03.25.10 12:47 PM)
Marissa Rodriguez said:
This is great stuff! Thanks so much for sharing!
(03.25.10 01:07 PM)
AmyPunky Photography said:
This is really gorgeous!!! I love this clean and neat look of your albums.
(03.25.10 01:22 PM)
Candace Jeffery said:
Great post! Thank you so much for sharing!
(03.25.10 01:45 PM)
helen said:
I LOVE THIS! you guys are so talented. seeing this album design was definitely inspiring! thanks so much for sharing.
(03.25.10 01:56 PM)
Hannah Lundberg said:
Thank you for this! I am currently in the process of designing my albums and I am going for a very 'fashion book' approach, too so it is awesome to see another (far, far, far more experienced) photographer's approach. Thanks for sharing the love! :)
(03.25.10 02:26 PM)
heather saunders said:
thanks so much for this post! its a great refresher from the Lyon Shop. Excited to do my first book with Rennaissance this week. You guys are the best! Hope everyone is well! xoxo
(03.25.10 02:38 PM)
Becky said:
Thank you so much for posting this! So talented Amelia! This answers a ton of questions for me. Hope you guys are doing great!
(03.25.10 03:15 PM)
Malinda Warder said:
Thank you for sharing!! I check up on your blog at weekly. Love your style. Wondering what program you use to design your layouts. Thanks for all the tips.
(03.25.10 03:22 PM)
Jonathan Connolly said:
Awesome post! Is this who you do all your photo printing through as well? I am looking for some good quality printers to do individual photos in all different sizes. One last question - What kind of finishes on the paper do they offer or which have you found comes out the best?
(03.25.10 05:03 PM)
Dana Goodson said:
I'd love to know what software you're using to design your albums. I hear a lot of people talk about using Photojunction and was wondering if that's what you use? Do you like to use templates are is each album from scratch?
(03.25.10 06:09 PM)
Krystle said:
Love love this session! Amazing work, incredible style! I especially love the first photo! Bravo!
(03.25.10 06:49 PM)
Shari Barnes said:
I would love to know what program you use for your designing also. Thanks! :-) GORGEOUS photography and design!
(03.25.10 07:41 PM)
Mikey said:
Folks, thank you for sharing your insight. Not only does it assist others in need but elevates you in our industry. Keep up the excellent posts. Mikey
(03.25.10 09:04 PM)
alejandra Sura said:
Awesome! Thanks.
(03.25.10 09:46 PM)
Terra Dawn said:
Absolutely gorgeous!!! I LOVE the story!!! :D
(03.25.10 11:58 PM)
Catherine Guidry said:
Yes..these albums are beautiful. Simple and I enjoy the sequencing of your images. Including beginning with a couples image, then details, then the time order. Nice!
(03.26.10 12:10 AM)
Katy Gray said:
Beautiful - thanks so much for sharing!
(03.26.10 09:16 AM)
gus said:
Overall great layout, not sure of mixing color/bw on same page though.
(03.26.10 01:20 PM)
amelialyon said:
Dana, I just used good old Photoshop CS3, BUT there are amazing album softwares out there, I know of some specifically in In Design: Hope this helps!
(03.26.10 03:18 PM)
amelialyon said:
Jonathan, We do all of our printing through White House Custom Color: Renaissance just prints albums, they don't do individual prints. Hope this helps!
(03.26.10 03:20 PM)
sally said:
lovely! very classy & timeless!
(03.27.10 03:50 AM)
connieMchung said:
thanks for sharing amelia! you rock!
(03.28.10 10:56 PM)
Elaine Gates said:
love how clean your albums are, gorgeous!
(03.29.10 03:13 AM)
Hannah said:
Beautifuly clean design can only be carried of with amazingly skilled photography. You have skill in leaps and bounds though, so naturally the end result is stunning. I have to say I love the two shots of the bride laughing as she's being helped into her dress.
(03.29.10 03:30 PM)
mike Larson said:
Love the shots and the album spread! They are super duper! :)
(03.29.10 09:27 PM)
Betsy, La Vida said:
Lovely!!! Thanks for sharing with us all!
(04.01.10 11:23 AM)
Kent West said:
Wow and wow. Perfect timing, I'm about to design my first album. Thanks so much for sharing. It is great when other photographers impart of their genius.
(04.07.10 10:47 AM)
Kent West said:
Suhweet, double sweet. Quick question: So want to make a 10X10 book. I'm trying to make a full spread. My pics aren't 20 inches wide. I'm trying to keep them at 300 dpi. Any thoughts? Many thanks!
(08.12.10 04:09 PM)