Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lesson 1: Spreads, pages, and sides - OH MY!

Having been in photography, editing, and publishing, I sometimes take it for granted that everyone understands design terminology. On top of that, Album vendors don't help. They use terms and definitions interchangeably depending on the products they offer. Totally confusing - even to me!!

Here's a shout out to a friend and great photographer - Moshe Zusman - who stopped me while we were on the trade show floor at WPPI and asked, "Is a side or a page the same a spread?" What a great question, and of course we're all scratching our heads because we use all of those terms!

So from a design perspective, here are the definitions:

A spread is a standard design term for the entire image that you see when you open a book and lay it flat. For example:A page is the design (and common) term for the half of a spread divided by the gutter. I remember it by thinking about where page numbers are located. If you would put a page number on it, it is a page. A spread is always made up of two adjoining pages. For example:

A side is essentially the same as a page. However, the difference in design terms would be that a side can be used to describe any page whereas a page is often associated to be a part of a spread. In other words, the front and back of a single sheet of paper would also consider sides. For example:

So after all of that, it's all really the same thing to the bride so use whatever terminology makes sense to them. But when you're talking to a vendor, you'll know how to ask them -- "When you say 20 sides, you really mean 10 spreads, right?"

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