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Designing The Book Cover

Lesson 11 from: Create a Blurb Photo Book with the Book Module in Lightroom

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

11. Designing The Book Cover

Lesson Info

Designing The Book Cover

So once you've designed all of your pages, and you've used your text tool, and you've worked on the image cells, and you've added blank pages, and you've done all of the work on adjusting your images and making sure that they work together and flow together, so that you have black and white's together or the color treatment on your images is the same on each image. Once you've done all of that, then it's time to cover your book. I choose to always make my cover last simply because I don't know where the book is gonna go, and generally speaking I don't know what my favorite images or the image that really tells the story, or encapsulates the story, until the very end. And once I've gotten to the very end and I know okay this is the hero photo, this is the climax of the book or this is the best photo of the book, the one that really tells the story, that's the one I'm gonna put on the cover. So if we go all the way up to the top, you'll see that when you design the book in the first plac...

e, Lightroom's gonna automatically put two images on the front and back page. You don't have to keep them and it's just a duplicate image, so the back page has a duplicate image on it and the front page does. So these are also somewhere in the auto-design that it made in the first place, but now it has them up there on the top on the back and the front. So I'm just gonna replace them, so I'm gonna go down into my collection, find the images that are the most important to me. So I can just kinda scan through and look and this image here is my favorite image from the entire series, or at least it's the one that seems to tell the story best, and it's the one that's on the cover of the book itself. So you can see that this is a really great image, I love the way it looks, it feels nice, and it says child life, it's like running and playing and this is what I feel being a child is all about. And so I'm going to make that my cover and so I'm gonna go to the top, simply grab that image, and drag it in to the cover design and you can see that it adds that image. And remember, that you can drag and drop images anywhere inside of your design no matter where you are you can grab an image and simply drag it into any page and overwrite any of these photographs the same way that you can grab it and drag it up to here. So the pages and the book cover operate exactly the same when you're dragging images onto them. Now that we've got the cover somewhat designed, I'm gonna actually zoom in so that we can see the cover and you can see that we've got a front, we've got a spine, and we've got a back and we've got to design all of those. The first way to design your cover is to go to this, again this little triangle button down at the bottom, and when I click on it, it gives me different styles or designs of a cover. So for instance, you could just have one full-bleed on the front, one on the back. Then you could also do one full cover so that it's an entire spread so the image goes across the entire front and back, and then you could put text over the top of it. You can also do an interesting one, this is kind of a fun one, if you click on this one here, it allows you to have one picture on the front and then it has a whole series of cells right here in the back that you can put just as many photographs as you like there. So we'll play with that one. In the front we're going to click on this cell and we're going to zoom to fit the cell. So I will move the photograph until it's in the right position leaving some space for the text, and this is the text box. I'm gonna add text and I'm gonna type in Child Life, keeping in mind that I can change the size of that text here and I can change the color of the text as well as where it lands inside of the text box, which is all done down here at the bottom. And once I've done that, you can see that I've got my cover all made and you can see that this is exactly what it looks like here on the book itself. So there's the cover of the book, Child Life, and that's where I designed it, inside of Lightroom. Now, on the back we have more design to do. We've got all these photographs that represent what's gonna happen in the book. So this is like the little, this is the advertisement to show you what kind of pictures you're gonna see in this book and we want to make those now. So the way we're gonna make those, is come over here and we can just choose, you could grab as many as you like or you can kind of filter these and say let's only look at the three star images, so the absolute best images inside the book. Now we're gonna highlight all of those images from start to finish, and I don't know exactly how many slots we have, but we certainly have a number of them, and I'm going to just grab them all and drag them into that first position and when I let go, it auto-designs the entire area right there. See how that works? So now all of the images have been placed and now it's just a matter of going in and playing around with those images. Now if I right-click one of those images, it will zoom to fill and I can do that to every single one. I can also click on more than one image at a time and right-click and zoom to fill and all of them zoom to fill at the same time. So you can see now that I've got a bunch of images that are square rather than rectangular. 'Cause the rectangle looks a little messy, so we want to go in and highlight all of these images and make sure that we zoom to fit and then play with those and make sure that they are all, you see how I can crop each one of these to my liking simply by grabbing onto the photo and cropping. So I'm gonna make sure that each one of these is cropped the way it should be cropped, just by dragging them and then once I'm done with that, I will have this design with a bunch of square images and all of them will be perfectly all of them will be perfectly centered within their given frame. Then of course I can add text at the bottom, right here, and this is where I put in Child Life Portraits by Jared Plat. So there's the credit at the back and I can choose the color of the text and of course then I need to make a spine and in the spine I do the same thing, just type in Child Life Portraits by Jared Plat and that's going to be what's on the spine. And then the last thing I need to do is, I need to choose a color for the back of the book because of course in this book it would be kinda odd for this to be a white background. So I prefer to have a darker background on the page if I have a full-bleed cover here I don't want it to turn to white right here. 'Cause that's just too drastic, and so what we're gonna do is we're gonna go to the actual cover itself and scroll all the way down to the bottom to that area that says background color, and we're gonna click on choosing a background color and then we can go through and choose whichever background color we would like. And we want something that's akin to what we're seeing inside of these trees and so we simply drag that down until we get something close, there we go, see how we're getting that brown now, there, and then we're gonna take some of that saturation out of it, and now we have that kind of brown color that matches the trees in the background of the front cover. And that's how we create the cover to our book.

Ratings and Reviews


This was fantastic! I've been using Blurb for years but somehow never made the connection between Lightroom and Blurb via the Book module. This streamlines the process brilliantly (well done, Adobe!) and Jared's excellent instructions are clear, concise and it's super easy to follow his logical steps through the entire process. Great presenter. Thanks, Jared.


I have been looking for a new “publisher” for my grandchildren’s birthday books and my photo trip books since My Publisher was absorbed by Shutterfly. Neither of these two offered me the photographic control I have in Lightroom. Blurb looks like a flexible option and Jared’s class has given me the courage to start publishing again. Many thanks!

a Creativelive Student

A very informative class. Jared did a good job getting me excited to start printing some books of my travels. One thing I found surprising however, was that particularly at the end, there were multiple sections that should have been edited out (where Jared started, made a mistake and restarted. I don't know why these weren't removed. Other than that a good class

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