When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I help people turn digital images into memorable book, cards, calendar, etc. And I mean it. Before I joined Picaboo, my memories were stuck on my computer and my phone. And then I started fooling around with Picaboo and quickly tranferred my memories into tangible items. I’ve got a Classic Calendar hanging in my office, a lovely Canvas Print sitting on my mantle and a Forest Green Classic Leather Photo Book on the ottoman in our living room. I’ve taken on a lot of projects since I started and from this experience, I’ve learned a a couple of things that help me make the best projects ever. Here are my five rules that I review when each project is complete. Hopefully they’ll help you make the best projects ever.

Tip #1: Check your Speling, Grammar and Punctuation
Did you catch the misspelling in the tip above? If not, double check the tip. This is a great reminder to re-read each word and double check punctunation marks throughout your photo book to make sure everything is perfect. Picaboo does have filters that spot misspelled or duplicate words but it doesn’t catch everything. When it does catch an error, you’ll see a word underlined in red, like the example below. To make sure your project is perfect, reread it backwards starting from the last page to the cover. When you do this, you won’t skip over the familiar sections and the text comes across a lot fresher. This will help you spot text errors you may have missed.

Tip #2: Image Quality Issues: Low-Resolution Images, Dark, Grainy or Blurry Photo
When I see the yellow Low-Resolution caution sign on a photo, I take heed. This means the image is not fit to print. These warnings are important and should not be ignored. When an image I want to use is too low-res for printing, I either resize my image or select a different one.

Tip #3: Cropping Your Pictures
To make sure your images are printed perfectly, we have a “crop zone” warning, which is the area highlighted in yellow around the edges of your project. This zone indicates the area that may be cropped or lost when your project is printed and bound. Since all Picaboo projects are handcrafted, there is some variability in the production process. While content in this zone may be cropped, there is no guarantee that all of it will be. It’s best not to assume that the inner edge of the crop zone represents the edge of the printed page. Before you submit your book to order, take a moment to review the crop zones on each page. To view the crop zone warning in Edit mode, click “View” in the top Picaboo menu, and then select “Show Print Cropping Safety Zone.” One other to keep in mind: If you are ordering lay-flat pages, there is no cropping at the center of the spread.


Tip #4: Check Your Design Elements
Sometimes when I’m working on a layout, I’ll edit my page a couple of times just to get it right. I’ll fool around with backgrounds, embellishments and captions until it’s perfect. This is all part of the fun for me. But what isn’t fun is when I don’t see a design element left over from my editing. This happened to me when I was making a calendar for my mom.  At one point, I had seven different backgrounds layered on top of each other. See the one peeking on the left. Yep, that was printed. And while it’s not a big deal because my mom still loved her calendar, it was a big deal for me. So my advice to you is to review each design element when you’re finished with your project. In Edit Mode, click around on the images, the backgrounds and the text boxes. Make sure that everything on your page is exactly how you intend it to be.


Tip #5: Ordering What You Want
Before you process your order, make sure you’ve selectied the right size, cover type, quantity. And of course, make sure it’s going to the right address. After you place your order, you  you can cancel, for any reason, within 30 minutes at no cost to you. After 30 minutes, your order is automatically added to the production queue and cannot be canceled.

I hope these tricks help you continue to make amazing projects. Did I miss one of your personal tips?
Leave your tip or trick in the comments so we can all get better.


Want to see some amazing Picaboo books? Check out Little Brown Bear, Holiday Traditions or The Cookie of The Month Cookbook.