To Bleed or Not to Bleed

6 Jul

SBC+ users: have you ever noticed that in StoryBook Creator Plus, when you go to Save pages as… there is a “Use full bleed” checkbox? Have you ever wondered why you might want to have that checked or unchecked when you’re saving your pages as jpeg files? I have been using SBC+ since it was introduced 2 years ago, and I have consistently left that box unchecked every time I make jpegs of my pages—until last week, when I finally had a reason to check it! (If you’re unfamiliar with the term “full bleed,” please read my Full Bleed post.)

It’s true that much of the time you will not want the bleed exported in your page. If you’re sharing your pages electronically at a social networking site, for example, you’ll probably want to share the page as it’s going to look when it’s actually in a finished StoryBook—without the bleed. In fact, it’s precisely because I wanted to share my pages online with my friends that I found when I need to use it!

My friends convinced me to join a social network this year, and after doing that I decided that I would like to share album pages online along with photos. Since I’m planning a 12×12 StoryBook for my 2009 album, I decided that I’d make pages that could go in it and that I could share online, too. That worked great for my Mother’s Day photos. I created and shared 7 pages.

Then late last month I joined my husband during the last half of one of his business trips to Seattle. I didn’t even expect to take that many photos, but it ended up being an amazing adventure, staying in hotels and eating at restaurants much nicer than we usually do! We were only gone 4 days, and even after deleting unwanted photos, I had 25 album pages with photos that I want to remember and celebrate! Was I going to use up an entire quarter of the pages in my annual album with an adventure that lasted 4 days? No way! This trip called for its own album.

I decided that an 8×8 photobook was better suited to this trip than a 12×12 one. So I created jpegs of the pages I had already created, checking the “Use full bleed” checkbox so that the bleed would carry over to the 8×8 book! Otherwise, less of my page would end up in the finished product. I created a new 8×8 StoryBook, imported all those jpegs as photos, and made them backgrounds on the 8×8 pages. It worked out great! Well, after solving one other issue. When you order a StoryBook, you are always paying for an even number of pages even if you have an odd number in your project. I don’t like wasting pages, so what to do on the extra page? I chose to include a map of the area we visited. :)

Keep these things in mind if you think you might also need to move pages from one project to another:

  1. Starting with 12×12 and going down to 8×8 works. Going the other direction doesn’t because you end up with less-than-print-quality resolution.
  2. StoryBook projects have bleed, Page Print projects (where the end product is unbound pages waiting to be placed in a slide-in album) do not.
  3. With the above in mind, if you aren’t sure what size or type of album you’re going to want to make with your digital pages, it is always best to create and design them in a 12×12 StoryBook project.

8/3/09 UPDATE: With the upcoming version 3.0 of StoryBook Creator Plus, not only is there an easy Convert option for copying or moving a 12×12 project to an 8×8 one, Page Print projects now have bleed (which makes sense, actually). Because of resolution issues, I believe it is still best if you create and design in a larger project if you think you might move it to a smaller one later. Custom and Local projects do not have bleed. The “Use full bleed” checkbox still works in the same way, but there is less of a reason to ever check it in 3.0!

© Carolyn Gordon and Cropping with Care, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Carolyn Gordon is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carolyn Gordon and Cropping with Care with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Carolyn Gordon is an independent consultant and the opinions and content on this site are not necessarily endorsed by Creative Memories. StoryBook and StoryBook Creator Plus are trademarks of Creative Memories.

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