Monday, February 23, 2009

Lesson 3: Pano or Not

You might have heard album vendors refer to some of their books as "pano" books. It is important to distinguish between panoramic pictures that can go into a book and a panoramic book. The official definition of panoramic is "wide" format and most album makers allow for you to place panoramic pictures across two pages of a spread. (See Lesson 1)

In the past, when book binding technology was in the pre-digital age, the easiest way for an album maker to have one picture span across two pages (1 spread) was to cut the picture in half and place each half on either page. Sometimes this is also called "split binding." This way, the album maker did not need to bend the photo to make the album close. However, this created a "visible" gutter right in the middle of the picture!

However, now in the digital age, photo printing has changed dramatically. Photographs can now be printed on various types of paper using a variety of inks and still look like a photograph. Therefore, many album makers can now supply a "pano" book. In other words, they will print the entire picture or deisgn on one spread (both pages at the same time) and mount it into the album as one piece. Even though the book still technically has a gutter (the book has to bend somewhere), it is sometimes called an "invisible" gutter. This is what album makers call an pano(ramic) book because the picture or design is in full panoramic view - no more cutting.

Depending on your style, you may still choose to go with an album that has a gutter. There are many good reasons to choose an album with a gutter and there are many designs that look great in non-pano books. Either way, keep your album style and design in mind when you choose that next great album!

Example photograph from Pictobooks

1 comment:

  1. Ahh yes...gutters. Where my mind spends most of its time.