4 Tips for Better Photo Book Layouts

When it comes to choosing a photo book layout—or even designing your own—to commemorate your latest achievements and activities, you can either opt for a crafty handmade effect or aim for a sleeker modern design. To create a final product you can be proud of, we gathered four tips you can try with our editor to make the most of your photo book layout, no matter which style you select.

Creating a Crafty Photo Book Layout
The best part of digital scrapbooking is having zero mess to clean up. But just because you’re not working with paper, stickers, and scissors doesn’t mean that your photo book can’t look like it came straight out of your living room. Here are two ways you can use our editor to create a photo book that achieves the handmade quality you’re aiming for.

1. Tilt Your Axis

scrapbook photo book

For a homey effect, throw the ruler out the window by loosening up the reins on your layout grid. Tilt images, layer one on top of another, and add words and phrases that help convey the emotions you felt at the time of the featured event. Sprinkling quotes throughout your layout is great way to express how you felt during the special moments you’re memorializing.

2. Experiment with Materials and Effects

online scrapbooking

It’s not only fun to add paper stickers and ribbon to your layout, but it’s also an effective way to create a charming photo book that’s full of dimension. Experiment with different materials including buttons, flowers, and corner frames to achieve a handmade effect. To make your layout uniquely yours, add sticker clusters. Set yourself free from templates by layering stickers that complement one another. Piling stickers from within the same theme helps keep your layout looking cohesive and not sporadic. Experiment with drop shadows to create a three dimensional effect.

Creating a Sleek Photo Book Layout
If a modern, professional-looking photo book layout is your aim, give the following two tips a whirl.

1. Follow the Rules

professional photo book

In contrast to the free-form grid we previously mentioned, you can easily create a polished photo book by placing images on a page in a way that keeps in line with a traditional (albeit imaginary) grid. Add interest to your layout by increasing the size of some photos to expand into one or two “boxes” of your grid. For a quick and easy way to fill a grid with photos, try our AutoMix magic wand tool, which automatically populates sleek layouts with your photos.

2. Minimize Distractions 

photo book layout template

While stickers and embellishments are charming, they can also work against you if you want to keep the focus on your photos. Just say no to adding extras. When you opt out of layering accessories on your pages, you’ll end up with a clean photo book layout that you’ll be proud to show off. One key design element that distinguishes professional layouts from homey ones is space. Create a path for your eye to travel from one image to the next with ease. Not only does this technique make it easier to visually digest photo book pages, but it also gives each photo the prominence it deserves.

{ 38 comments… add one }

  • Angel January 19, 2012, 5:10 am

    I love mixbook!!!
    I have made 3 books so far and am ready to start my 4th one.
    It’s easy friendly and I love the final production and so do the families that I have made them for!!!

    I love getting my groupons from mixbook. I also like waiting for free shipping or another offer that you may have. It helps with the cost.

    Keep up the great work!!

    Angel

  • bob weiss January 19, 2012, 6:06 am

    Very impressed with the results of my first project. The discounts are very helpful in reducing cost. Also impressed with the available assistance afforded me during the project. I have some ideas that will improve clarity of procedures as they are expressed in the directions. I found some of the procedure directions confusing.

  • Lori January 19, 2012, 6:25 am

    I would love to start doing my scrapbooking digitally, but I haven’t found the same background paper selection that I see in your examples or that I can find in the store when creating books. The same is true for border and stickers also. What is the trick to getting bigger selections?

  • jan January 19, 2012, 6:48 am

    Great ideas. Is this all available on Mixbook? How do you get the extra paper affect as in the second layout?
    Thanks,
    jan

  • Arlene Davis January 19, 2012, 7:23 am

    I love this idea of digital scrapping. I spend hours paper scrapbooking which I do love. At first glance your layouts look charming and I think I may try to do my 2012 Year to Remember book using Mixbook. I have used Kodak Gallery and Winkflash for my last 2 digital books, but I want to be more creative.

    Do you have a better promo than the 30% off so I can test the waters with Mixbook? I scrap monthly with my neighbors and I think we are all heading this way.

  • Pat Cockrum January 19, 2012, 8:04 am

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your site! I have used other photobook services, and been pleased, and now am working on my first one with you. I am very excited about all the options you offer with layouts, positioning, and stickers. I do have one request – if it would be possible to let one access ALL of the backgrounds, stickers, etc., not just the ones designated to the chosen theme, it would greatly enhance the creative potential for the author. I believe you are also working on adding more choices for backgrounds and stickers, too, and that will be very welcome. Especially for people who do a lot of photobooking – you don’t want to see the same ones over and over in your books. Again, congratulations on a great site! If the finished product is as good as the creative process, I will be a many times repeat customer! (In case you’re wondering, I found you because of your television ad. Have pinned you to Pinterest, and mentioned you to all my scrapbooking/photobooking friends.)

    Patricia Cockrum

  • Carole Hershman January 19, 2012, 8:50 am

    I am interested in using Mixbook to create an album of historic family photos – dating back to 1890 and the turn of the century. Do you have any tips for this? There are single photos, old school shots and groups, all in black and white of course. When I joined, it looked as if you offered a special format for this sort of album, but I can’t find any information.

    Thank you (I am in Ireland, by the way)

  • Sharon Chambers January 19, 2012, 9:25 am

    OMG……I just received my first book from Mixbook. I am now published. I used to be with Scrapblog and loved their site and was terribly disappointed because I missed their user-friendly software, etc. etc. However, I am feeling the same way with you now and enjoy using the book (or album) format. I was nervous receiving my first book thinking the colors wouldn’t be as bright or vibrant as on Mixbook…….or the lettering may be too light on some pages, etc. etc. Everything came out absolutely gorgeous. I am pleased and will continue making albums with you. In reality, time I buy good quality photo paper and ink, and try to make my own albums, I will have surpassed the price big time on the albums you offer. Going digital with you will last a lot longer than the traditional scrapbooking in my opinion. I am convinced to stay with you. I have seen photo books from other companies and they are not as professional looking as with Mixbook. Thank you for your support when I have questions, and thank you for your periodic sales on albums, calendars, etc.

  • Kris January 19, 2012, 9:41 am

    To access more selections of backgrunds, stickers and layouts than what your chosen theme offers, click on “Add Backgrounds” or “Add Stickers” and you can browse by theme or content which you can narrow down by color, stlye, etc. I have also had fun changing the layouts. When you change layouts, you can add regular borders to the photos by clicking on the photo, it is an option in the tool bar that appears under the photo! I have made 6 Mixbooks and love it!! I did baby books for my sons and have completely caught up to the present… I just couldn’t find the time to do scrapbooking the old way; Mixbook makes it easy!!! Unless you’re in a rush; wait for a promo to save, I have found that they generally run promos every few weeks!! Enjoy!!

  • erica January 19, 2012, 10:11 am

    Ditto on the question re: how do you layer the papers as shown in the first picture?

  • Almeda J. Haskins January 19, 2012, 10:33 am

    I am new to Mixbooks. I too have been scrapbooking for years which I enjoyed, but it took a lot of material and work. A freind on Facebook was talking about Mixbooks so I decided to check it out, I’m so glad that I did… Now, I have to tear myself away from my PC. Mixbooks has so much to help me with layouts, background etc. It is exciting watching my project grow as I work on it… Thank you so much for this great website!
    I was wondering when we are ready to order the finished book, could we also order a CD/DVD as a backup for our treasured book? Almeda J. Haskins

  • erica January 19, 2012, 10:35 am

    Pat – if you click “Add Backgrounds” (or stickers) at the top left corner – then choose “Browse content” tab – You should be able to see them all…

  • Adiel January 19, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Wow! 30% off? I don’t know if I can pass that up!

  • Jan January 20, 2012, 12:00 pm

    I am new to MixBook and want to know if it is possible to add a page of text to explain a picture on the opposite page. If so, can I type up the text in Word and then transfer the text over? Is there a word limit?

  • Dorothy Siegel January 21, 2012, 6:24 pm

    I have been so interested in Mixbook. I really enjoyed reading the comments. When people ask a question, where can I find the answer to the question?

    I broke my arm a few days ago, and I can’t wait until it is better so i can begin.

  • Laura January 21, 2012, 7:02 pm

    @erica- the layered paper look uses ‘papers’ that are in the sticker section. First pick your background paper, and then put your sticker paper on. Drag the corner to make the paper bigger, smaller, longer, shorter, and even rotate it. Layer as many of these stickers as you like. Good luck!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 9:17 am

    Hi Bob,
    We’re so happy to hear you are enjoying your Mixbook experience! If you could e-mail support@mixbook.com your feedback on our directions, that would definitely help us out! We love hearing feedback and improving the site. :)

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 9:24 am

    Hi Lori,
    To use different backgrounds and stickers from other themes, first open up the editor. Once your project has loaded, click on the Add Backgrounds or Add Stickers button. In the box that opens, click on the Theme Content tab and you can access all other backgrounds and stickers. We hope this helps! If you have any further questions, e-mail us at support@mixbook.com!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 9:51 am

    Hi Jan,
    This is all available on our site! The base of the second layout comes from the Refined Father’s Day theme. From there, you can browse stickers from other themes to create just the right page! Hope this helps! If you have any further questions, you can always e-mail us at support@mixbook.com!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 9:53 am

    Hi Arlene,
    We run different promotions from time to time, so do make sure you are signed up for our e-mails. This will ensure you are the first to know about any new promotions. Happy Mixbooking!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 9:57 am

    Hi Pat,
    Thank you so much for all your kind words! You can actually view and use backgrounds and stickers that are not a part of your theme. To do this, click on the Add Backgrounds or Add Stickers button. In the box that opens, click on the Theme Content, and from there you have access to the backgrounds and stickers of other themes.
    Using layouts from a different theme is also a possibility! Click on the Change Theme button to access a window that will appear within the Editor. From there you can scroll through the different themes we offer. Once you have found the one you like, click on the orange/yellow Change Theme button and it will change the theme of your project.

    Please note that changing your theme does not change your whole book, but it does change the selection of layouts, backgrounds, and stickers that you can apply to the book. When you first change your theme, your existing pages will appear to look the same. You can apply layouts from your new theme by selecting the page from the bottom page preview bar, then clicking the “Layouts” tab in the top left corner of the editor. The first section of layouts that appears (“Theme Pages”) will be the layouts from your new themes. Clicking on one of these themes will apply your layout to your page. We hope this helps!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 9:59 am

    Hi Carol,
    The theme you may be looking for is titled Family History and can be found under the Family category. When scanning in your photos, we suggest scanning them at 300dpi for the best print quality. We hope this helps! If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at support@mixbook.com!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 10:32 am

    Hi Erica,
    All your elements can be layered using our arrow tools. Click on the element that you would like to move forward or backwards on the page. On the toolbar that appears, you should see two arrow buttons, one pointing up and the other pointing down. The arrow pointing up will bring the element forward one layer, while the arrow pointing down will push the element back a layer. Hope this helps!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 10:34 am

    Hi Almeda,
    We’re so happy to hear that you are enjoying your Mixbook experience! :) At this time, we do not offer digital copies of your projects, but we will definitely take this to our creative team! Let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to see offered on the site!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 10:45 am

    Welcome to Mixbook Jan! You can definitely add only text on an opposing page of a photo. If you click on the Layouts tab, you will see some Text Only layouts. Alternatively, you can just hit the Add Text button and start typing away. You can definitely type the text in a Word document first. When you go to copy and paste, make sure you use ctrl-V when pasting the text into your Mixbook. We hope this helps!

  • Marielle Daquioag January 23, 2012, 10:54 am

    Hi Dorothy,
    Questions asked on the Blog will be answered in the comment section. Additionally, we have many users asking questions on our Facebook wall. Our FAQ is also a great resource. If you have time, we would suggest clicking around the blog and taking a look at our YouTube channel for different tutorials. If you still have unanswered questions, you can direct them to support@mixbook.com and our customer care team will be more than happy to assist you! We hope this helps and hope you get well soon!

  • MartyB January 24, 2012, 9:36 am

    I used to print on double-sided Matte paper using a program that let me layout a page with multiple photos. That still left me with sheets to keep in the original box or large albums. Books are much more space efficient and look better on a bookcase. Once I discovered the all white theme, I was set. I like the fact that you can choose your own backgrounds and don’t have to delete the decorations. The alignment, framing and brightness tools are great. I had to change my mind about the order so page insertion and deletion was helpful. I also changed from landscape to square and everything was preserved.

    I use Google’s Picasa and they bought the online editing website Picnik. I love Picnik’s framing options. Unfortunately they are being swallowed up and will be out of business in April. I discovered on the Picnik forum, there are many online editing sites. You can pick up ideas for adding features to Mixbook like picture frames. Another area is textures. Photoshop has had mosaic tiles and craquelure for years. Ipppiccy.com has peeling paint, basket weave and engraving looks. Picasa 3.9 took over a couple of frame looks but won’t have the scalloped postage stamp look or the film sprocket or the jigsaw puzzle options.

  • Rosie Peasley January 24, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Seems that, with all the sophisticated software you’ve included (andthat I have such fun with) page numbers would be a useful addition. Any chance?

  • Marielle Daquioag January 24, 2012, 4:51 pm

    Hi Rosie,
    That is definitely a great idea! We will pass this idea along to our engineering team! Let us know if you have any other suggestions! :)

  • Ninichick January 29, 2012, 3:28 pm

    This is the first digital book I have done. I just finished uploading about 135 pictures, enough for two books. I painstakingly renamed those pics before uploading so that they would be alphabetical and grouped together for ease in locating from your site. The thumbnail pics on the left are really small and NONE of the names are under the pictures. Any chance that could be changed in the future? Looking forward to working on these books.

  • Marielle Daquioag January 30, 2012, 7:44 am

    Hi Ninichick,
    Your photos can be sorted in the following 3 ways by clicking the drop down menu at the bottom left of the photo tray:

    1) Sort by: Usage
This will sort your pictures so that they match the order they are used in your project. Photos that have not been used will appear at the bottom. Photos that have been used will have a green circle with a check mark in the top left corner. You can additionally click the “Hide Used” button at the bottom right of the photo tray to hide all photos with a green check mark.

    2) Sort by: Date Added
This will sort your pictures in the order they were uploaded to the editor – the top photos being the most recently added.

    3) Sort by: Date Taken
This will sort your pictures by the date it was taken. Please note that the Mixbook editor uses the data associated with your original photo files to determine when the photo was taken. If your date settings in your camera are not correct, or if photo management software on your computer has edited this data, it is possible that these photos may not be sorted correctly in the Mixbook photo tray.

    Additionally, you can filter your photos by name, date or source. To do so, please click on the magnifying glass on the top left corner of the photo tray. This will bring up a search bar.

    To filter your photos by name please search for them by key term. For example, entering the word “Hawaii” will bring up any photo that has the word “Hawaii” in the file name.

    To filter your photos by source, please use the search format “from:source”. Examples of sources would be Facebook, Picasa, or Flikr.

    To filter your photos by date, please use the search format “after:yyyy-mm before:yyyy-mm”. Photos taken during this date range will appear at the top of your photo bar. Again, please note that Mixbook uses the data available in your original photo file to determine when the photo was taken.

    You can combine filters by separating them with a space (Ex: “Hawaii from:facebook”)

    If you ever need a reminder on how to use the filter feature, you can click the blue question mark circle located to the right of the search field. We hope this helps! If you have further questions, please feel free to e-mail us at support@mixbook.com!

  • Ninichick January 30, 2012, 9:33 am

    Wow! that is the most detailed explanation of a question I have ever received online. Thank you so much…I truly appreciate the time it took you to respond. And, it will certainly solve my concerns. Can’t wait to get started on my project.

  • Brittany January 30, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I made a mixbook for my boyfriend for our anniversary and he loved it!
    I enjoyed being abl to customize the book myself and learned new things everyday.
    This is deffinatly something I would recommend to people with a knact for the creative feel.
    Put it this way I am helping a friend right now make her own. Mixbook is the best idea by far to being able to make your own memeoires and not spending a fortune!

  • Debbie March 8, 2012, 7:34 am

    I recieved a mixbook from my niece as a gift and absolutely love it, I have since made three
    and will be making many many more…Thank you so much for this wonderful site!!! Can you
    please email me any promotions you will be having.

  • judy May 1, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Was trying to find out what the paper weight is that’s used in the photo books. One company I’ve used uses 170lb. paper. I know other companies out there use 100lb. – 120lb. I’m looking forward to using Mixbook for my next project. Thanks

  • Mixbook Customer Care Team May 2, 2012, 10:15 am

    Hi Judy!
    Currently we print on heavy glossy stock for soft covers, while the hard covers are printed on a glossy laminate cover which is adhered to a hard book case. Our leather books are bound with a black bonded leather adhered to a hard book case. Our leather books additionally come with a dust jacket that wraps around the leather cover.
    Our interior pages printed are 100 lb. silk semi-gloss paper. We hope this helps!
    Best Regards,
    Veronica

  • Gloria Ciametti July 8, 2012, 11:59 am

    Love my Mixbooks.

    Is there any way to move an entire page in the edit mode from one area of the book to another?

    Thanks for your help.
    Gloria

  • Mixbook Customer Care Team July 9, 2012, 8:48 am

    Hi Gloria!
    We have a video tutorial on how you can move pages within a book. This tutorial covers how to swap pages and also how to move a two-page spread to another location. Please visit our tutorial here:

    http://blog.mixbook.com/tutorial-moving-pages-together-as-spreads/

    Please note that at this time, if you delete a page in your book we do not automatically move up all of the pages to fill in the blank page. You will either need to delete the second associated page in the spread, or swap an alternate page in your book with the blank page. (Any pages left blank in your book will print out that way.)

    We hope this helps! Please feel free to contact us again with any further questions or concerns!
    Best Regards,
    Veronica

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