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Printing Digi (part 1)

Printing Digi (part 1)

Last year I wrote a post on my process for getting my digital layouts off my computer & printed into books. I decided since I’m FINALLY ready to print again, (and I say finally since I was hoping I’d have enough layouts by February & not August), that I’d better detail my process & hope that it helps or inspires someone else.

Here’s the link to my previous explanation of my process: Embrace Randomness.

“I don’t scrap all 1 family, or 1 theme, or anything like that to make a specific FOCUSED book. And so … I decided to embrace the randomness!!! But randomness is hard with some of my slight OCD tendencies, so I decided to make a few rules for myself or else I’d NEVER print or I’d end up not being happy with what I DID print.” – Me, May 2011

I don’t scrap in any order or in just 1 style, so I had to come up with some system that would allow the Orderly part of my brain to print. I’m going to break my posts up into 2 parts: getting things ready for printing & the final steps with finished results. Some things will obviously be repeated from my first posting above, but hopefully this won’t be as scatterbrained as that one. (Plus I’m proud of myself for taking more screenshots & photos along the way!!!)

(click images to enlarge them to 800px)

What is Needed?

  • Enough layouts for desired book size. For me that’s a 200 page 7×7 Hardcover Imagewrap Blurb Book which results in a nice sized collection about .5″ thick.
  • Since I print 2 books at a time, to ensure that if printing processes change I’ll have at least 2 books that match, I need 400 pages + a cover for each book.
  • Of the 400 pages: 2 of those pages are my “Custom Logo” image, (instead of having Blurb’s logo), & 398 layouts.
    Book 5 PS Screenshot

My Formula, (aka, how I can fool my brain into thinking there is order to my random):

  • Cover, First Page, & Logo all use the same kit. For me that’s a Paislee Press collaborative kit since they give me a larger variety in paper patterns & I adore her designs.
  • Covers of each book feature a different Squared Template by TaylorMade so there is direct continuity when seeing all the books in a group.
  • Title comes from Wordart, (typically something that could sound like a title). Subtitle features “Everyday”. All backs feature my slogan “.simple.everyday.beautiful.”
    Book 6 PS Screenshot
  • First page layout DOESN’T include a person. Since I scrap a variety of people I didn’t want to focus on just 1, & I wanted the first page to be more like a title page, (hence the same kit as the cover).
  • Like I said before, I print 2 different books at a time so 2 always match in the way they were printed. (This is just my way of doing it to avoid an oddball book.) I also print 2 copies of each book: 1 for me, 1 for mom.
  • Logo page features same square design from cover & date printed. In this case it says “Printed August 2012”.
  • Thumbnails of all layouts are printed with layout name included so I can use this to pair up pages & later find them in Blurb. With this step I’m looking for colors that look good together. Designs that complement. I’m not completely picky on this step since I know not every page will have a match, but so far I’ve been completely happy with the way things have paired up.
    Thumbnail Priting Screenshot
  • To determine page order I spread out all the paired thumbnails & just start picking them up – Randomly – until I have 100 pairings in two stacks. These “mini-books” are rubber-banded together & I’ll use them to find the layouts in the Blurb software later.
    Pairing Up Layouts
  • Once all that is done I work on getting the digital files themselves ready. When scrapping I only save the layered file, in case I need to make changes, & a websize JPEG, to save on space. Now I create a Flattened Full-Size Jpeg & then resize and add a border for printing to Blurb. For these two steps I created actions in Photoshop to help it go faster, (be sure to pay attention to the foreground/background color that’s set in Photoshop if you are running an action…Let’s just say when I added my border this time around it was blue & then I had to go in and fix them all, lol!).
    Flattening Jpegs For Printing

My Process Simplified, (aka, what I need & do before heading to Blurb):

  1. Create 396 layouts
  2. Choose 2 kits & 2 templates for Cover
  3. Create 1 layout with each kit for title pages of both books
  4. Create 1 “logo” with each kit for each book
  5. Create 1 cover with each kit for each book – duplicate, flatten, & flip for back cover
  6. Print thumbnails, Spread them out, Pair them up
  7. Create 2 stacks of 100 pairs & bundle together. (These are the books.)
  8. Back to the PC: Open Layered Files in PS to flatten & save
  9. Open flattened files in PS to size down & add white border
  10. Ready to head to Blurb!

There you have it. Part 1 of my process for printing digi.  I started writing this post yesterday afternoon & here it is a day later finally posting it…Lots of interruptions & then I was up all night getting my files sent of to Blurb to be printed before a sale deadline! (Yep I like to wait till the final hours, ugh!) Part 2 will come when the books arrive in my hands!!! But here’s a tiny sampling of what I’ll share:
Blurb View of Paired Layouts

I know last time I didn’t show what too many of the pairings looked like, so hopefully this will help you see that even completely different subjects can look great together & even complement each other.

That’s all for now! Any questions? Want to know anything else? Do you have any of your own tips to give me? Obviously the steps everyone takes to get to their end result will be different, if you have your own process or books posted somewhere link me up! I’d love to see them! Or if your pages are creating some digital dust on your hard drive & you’ve been wanting to print, I hope this post will inspire you to see that it doesn’t have to be completely perfect. Just print, see, & share.

Embrace YOUR randomness.

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  1. Printing Digi (part 2) | Elisa Hubbard Studios - [...] Digi” topic! This part is the fun one where I get to see how all the work I did…

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