About the Book
This is a reference book that I’m making available “at cost,” i.e., no mark up, no profit for me or anybody else (just Blurb I guess since they get to print it and sell it to you) simply because I believe that helping others is a good thing to do. THIS BOOK WAS CREATED INDEPENDENTLY BY MYSELF, A BLURB USER, AND NOT PRODUCED BY, NOR FORMALLY ENDORSED BY, BLURB STAFF. The book provides examples that will guide you when you're making your own 7x7 book. No more guessing, hoping or using the opinions of others.
What do standard color targets look like when Blurb prints them? How do standard colors compare between what you see on your monitor and how Blurb prints them? The exact web addresses for the color targets are in the book so you can download them without cost. Note that starting Sept. 2008 Blurb started using the same printer for both 7x7 and 10x8 books. Instead of using Blurb's fixed formats, what will you get if you just add text directly into the images you upload? What size of a very fine line script font still looks good? If you use a sans serif font like Arial Narrow will it be more readable than a serif font like Garamond at the same point size? How about bold fonts? Do PNG files really produce better results than a JPEG? What JPEG compression really affects results? When doing full bleeds, how accurate is Blurb's margin trimming and centering? How can you easily create two page spreads, even if you don’t have Photoshop? How is the alignment on two page spreads?
The above questions are the reason I created this book. I didn’t want to spend days creating a book and then be disappointed in the results because I didn’t have answers to these questions. With this book you will see for yourself.
This book is intended for those who want to have total control over their BookSmart efforts by using full bleed images which include text; and they want to do two page spreads without a big hassle regardless of what image editing software is used. And they want to know how Blurb color compares to the color they see on their monitor.
Every page in this book was created in total as a full bleed TIF image at 300 ppi and then saved as a PNG or JPEG at different compression factors (aka quality settings). Thus each page was created with a width of 2063 pixels and a height of 2067 pixels. Every page was created from a TIF (i.e., no JPEG was used to create another JPEG). Sorry Blurb, ppi and dpi are not synonyms. Images are created with a ppi value; printers print with a dpi setting. Check out your desktop printer. If you print at 300 dpi the output will be terrible -- draft quality at best. Most desktop printers go to at least 1440 dpi; my Epson Stylus Pro 7600 goes to 2880 dpi. Images are created with a ppi value, but they are printed at a dpi setting -- and they are virtually never the same. For quality output the printer dpi needs to be significantly greater than the image ppi, typically by a factor of 5.
Each page (except the final 4 two page spreads) was created with a 38 pixel outer black band and then a 38 pixel red band inside that (38 pixels at 300 ppi giving a size of 0.1267 inches). Upon printing, if the full bleed trim was perfect you will see no black, but there will be an even sized red band around each page. Thus you will have visual verification of Blurb’s trim and centering accuracy.
Font samples include serif, sans serif, italic and script fonts at various JPEG compressions and as PNG output. Is PNG really better? You get examples of very fine lined, typical and bold fonts so you can make your own judgment. Other than the copyright page, no text was entered via BookSmart.
The book "Preview" shows the color target pages and some of the font pages (for some strange reason two pages at the end of the preview are blank, but that is not true in the actual book).
Two different high resolution images, are provided at their native resolution (i.e., no interpolation to bring the images up to the needed size), with text being added as a PNG and JPEGs at various compressions so as to see the impact on the photographic image and on the fonts. Additionally a very simple method, with exact pixel specifications, is provided for creating two page spreads. And the method can be used with any image editing software (Photoshop not required). Four examples of the use of the method are included.
If you print 10x8 books, see my other reference book which is in the 10x8 size. Do a search on my userID: rdavidd