How do you define the best photo book

7 photo book tips: design ideas for photo books

"Without photography, the moment is lost forever, as if it had never existed," said the legendary photographer Richard Avedon. So that the most valuable moments are remembered, you can capture them with WhiteWall and design and create an individual photo book. Here you will find inspiring tips and creative design ideas so that the project will succeed and the answer to the question: "How do I design a beautiful photo book?"

Table of Contents:

Photo book tip 1: create a concept for the photo book

Before you start designing the photo book, you should create a concept. This serves as a guide and ensures a successful result. It's easy to do by answering the following four questions:

1. What story should the photo book tell?

The conception of the photo book begins with the definition of a topic. Photo books with a narrative focus show memories in an emotional and moving combination of text and images, such as special moments in a friendship or a love affair. At a documentary focus, such as a travel report, the photo book lists selected events in a certain order. If you have the Focus on aesthetics the focus is on artistic photography and the images work through their expressiveness alone. This makes the photo book ideal for artists who want to design their portfolio.


© Axel Kohlhase

2. How do you sort the pictures?

The tension in the book is important for guiding the reader: The pictures are either arranged chronologically, thematically or geographically. Such a classification is also important for expressive, artistic photo books so that the book retains a central theme and the reader is guided. If the pictures are thrown together, the reader tends to turn over a few pages and “rushes” through the photo book - it loses its effect. The chronological arrangement is suitable for narrative and documentary photo books, the thematic grouping is more suitable for aesthetic or documentary photo series. Tip: Presort the images in the folder and insert the corresponding row number in front of the file name (example: "1-Waldspaziergang"), this makes it easier to arrange them in the editing software. So you can select the function "Sort by: Name".

3. Who is the photo book designed for?

Setting the target group facilitates the selection of pictures, because personal and intimate moments are already a thing of the past when photo books are intended for a larger group. In addition, you can aim for the desired effect: Should the picture impress the viewer with its stylistics, make him laugh or touch him emotionally? The target group should always be kept in mind when creating.


Think beforehand for whom you are conceiving the photo book

4. What is the size of the photo book?

Once the thematic focus, the image arrangement and the target group have been defined, the required scope can be determined: How many images are available for this concept? How many pages is the designed content filling? The WhiteWall photo book allows between 24 and 252 pages, depending on the variation. Caution: The book must not bore the viewer with empty space, but it must also not be overloaded with too much content.

Checklist for the concept:

  • Set topic focus √
  • Image grouping fixed √
  • Target group defined √
  • Determine the scope √

Photo book tip 2: Select the right software for design

When the concept is set, you can implement your vision and create the photo book. With WhiteWall there are three options for this: with the online software directly in the browser, with the download software on your own computer or with the professional PDF upload. The online software is easy to use and ideal for beginners. If you want to design your photo book without software, you have various layout options here easy and intuitive are to be controlled. Images can be inserted, moved or deleted as desired. This also applies to the downloadable photo book software for Windows and Mac, which has some additional features compared to the online software. Advanced and professionalsThose who want to let off steam creatively can create their own photo book as a PDF with InDesign and upload their own layout.

Photo book tip 3: Choose the right production process, material and format

High-resolution inkjet printing or photo-chemical development - premium digital printing and real photo book

You can choose from two variants of the production process:

  1. Premium digital printing process: Your pictures are printed on paper with the help of high-resolution inkjet printers printed. One advantage is the number of pages: a generous 252 pages are possible. In addition, you have a larger selection of covers: leather, linen, hard and soft covers are available. Another advantage is the better representation of writing. If your photo book project plays with a combination of text and images, i.e. has a narrative or documentary function, the digital printing process is your favorite.

    Recommendation for digital printing: ► Hardcover photo book
  2. Real photo book process: As with classic photography, the image is exposed photo-chemically and so on real photo paper transfer. With colored motifs you have somore brilliance and the Resolution is gridless. Another advantage is the lay-flat binding: panorama images that run over an entire double page are not interrupted by an annoying fold at the page transition. Depending on the format, up to 72 pages are possible. It is particularly suitable for concepts where the emphasis is on aesthetics lies. The hardcover underlines this aspect - an ideal medium for presenting your own portfolio.

    ► Order a real photo book (only for customers in Germany)

Tip for choosing the material for the cover

The cover can be thematically adapted to the narrative: In addition to the classic soft or hard cover, which is ideally printed with a meaningful leading photograph, there is a cover version made of leather or linen. A cover made of leather looks serious and meaningful, the soft linen fabric, on the other hand, is light and elegant.

Tip for setting the size

The Choice of format should not be underestimated, it gives the first impression of the book and clarifies its overall message. A large landscape format suggests extensive photographic perspectives, a square format appears avant-garde and modern. If you want to show a lot of portrait-format photographs or portraits, it is best to opt for a portrait format from "A4". The photo book in the small square is perfect as a photo gift.

Now the most beautiful part of the creation takes place, namely inserting and arranging the content. There are two options: manual editing or selecting a ready-made design template.


You have the greatest freedom when you prepare your photo book as a PDF

Photo book tip 4: The perfect photo selection

Image resolution requirements

With WhiteWall you don't have to worry about image resolution. As soon as the resolution is too low and thus the print quality is impaired, a yellow frame appears around the photo. When you click on the small Warning triangle you get the hint again that the picture could be pixelated. So when you order your photo book, there can be no nasty surprises. We recommend using pictures in their original size (in 300 dpi).

The lead picture

The first picture in the photo book, the so-called "lead picture", is supposed to pick up the viewer and introduce him to the book. A meaningful image with a vector that runs into the book is particularly suitable: a portrait looking into the book or an architectural photograph that opens to the right. Choose a subject whose composition leads the viewer to the next page of the photo book

Image sequences and colors

Image sequences are an exciting stylistic device to give the photo book more movement: The viewer has the feeling of being there up close. This picture arrangement is particularly effective in a baby album or a wedding album. In the case of large-format images, detailed views can be added to create dynamism.

Image colors are also an underrated tool: one Double page has more expressiveness if you combine images in complementary colors (red / green, yellow / blue).

If a picture fills the background semi-transparently, it should not communicate the main message of the double page, but rather have an accompanying function. A wide landscape or a view into the distance are suitable for this.

The final picture

Theres final picture beends the journey through the photo book and should be a expressive statement be. If the image vector runs into the book, the circle closes and the entire book concept appears well thought-out, coherent and harmonious.

Photo book tip 5: The optimal page design

The Golden cut

When designing a double page, the golden ratio helps, i.e. the page division in a division ratio of 62 percent to 38 percent.

This proportion is considered to be A particularly well-balanced guideline, as it occurs frequently in nature and is perceived as harmonious by humans becomes. For the design of a double page, this means that the picture takes up about a fifth of the second page.

The rule of thirds


The panorama runs over both sides and takes up 2/3 of the total area

The rule of thirds is also a good aid: the photo book page is divided horizontally and / or vertically into thirds, with dominant image lines ideally running on one of the two inner grid lines. In general, photo books should not be overloaded and have free space. The free area next to the panorama on a neutral background ensures peace and harmony - the eye can linger.

Tips on the text-to-image ratio

If you indulge in the past narrative, occasional sayings evoke memories. The text can be pasted anywhere with a text box.


You can freely insert text, whether in Indesign or with our software.

However, this stylistic device should be used with caution: A photo book is a pictorial medium, too much text damages the appearance. At a The text is essential for the documentary focus, because it expands the meaning of the picture with facts such as date, place and plot. The text arranges the picture or the series of pictures in the larger context. Important: It is essential to use a uniform text layout so that the photo book does not appear too restless. When you focus on the artistic photography you should no text to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Photo book tip 6: choose a suitable font

When choosing a font, legibility comes first: a generous, sans serif font guides the reader and is ideal for headings and large font sizes. With smaller font sizes, serifs increase readability. If you want to vary the fonts and occasionally include a "squiggle" slogan, you should no more than three fonts be used.


Headline and Subheadline: Combination of two fonts

Photo book tip 7: use inspirational quotes and sayings

Travel photo book

"Never hesitate to go far, beyond all seas, all borders, all countries, all beliefs."
Amin Maalouf

"There is no safer way to determine whether you like a person or not than to travel with them."
Mark Twain

"That's the pleasant thing about traveling, that even the ordinary gains the reputation of an adventure through novelty and surprise."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“A long journey doesn't stop at the destination. A piece of us will continue to travel in our minds. "
Andreas Bechstein

Love photo book

"The sum of our lives are the hours in which we loved."
Wilhelm Busch

"Happiness is love, nothing else. Who can love is happy."
Hermann Hesse

"Love is not about looking at each other, but about looking together in the same direction."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"A drop of love is more than an ocean of mind."
Blaise Pascal

Friendship photo book

"Of all the gifts that fate gives us, there is no greater good than friendship - no greater wealth, no greater joy."
Epicurus of Samos

"Friendship is a door between two people. It can creak sometimes, it can jam, but it is never locked. "
Balthasar Gracián y Morales

"Friendship, that is one soul in two bodies."
Aristotle

"A little friendship is worth more to me than admiration from the whole world."
Otto von Bismarck

If you feel inspired and have already collected ideas for your photo album, you can create your own photo book with us:

Design a photo book