FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Album Personalisation

Which part of the logo will engrave / deboss?

The black part of your logo is the part which would be debossed (impressed into the cover material) or engraved (burnt into the cover material).

Studio logo engraving/debossing

You can personalise your album by engraving or debossing your studio logo.

The maximum size for your logo is 8cm x 8cm however depending on the style of your logo we may suggest a suitable size. Most people use 7cm as the maximum dimension of their logo.

Please note that debossing and engraving are not available on Photo Cotton and debossing is only available on our 12″x12″, 10″x10″ and 8″x8″ albums. Debossing is not available on 6×6 albums. 6×6 albums can be engraved however.

Debossing (aka embossing/blocking/imprinting)

To deboss your logo in to the cover we need to have a bespoke metal die made from your artwork. There is no charge to have your first logo made but we will need a high resolution version of your logo – specification below. If you need help with converting your logo in to suitable formation please get in touch.

If you rebrand there will be a small charge for a replacement metal die.

Engraving

We also need a high resolution version of you logo to engrave your logo – specification below – but as the engraving process is digital, we do not need to have a metal die made and hence there is no additional fee if you rebrand.

 

Logo file format

JPG

We require a black and white image (no greyscale I’m afraid) with black being the part engraved/imprinted into the cover. Your file needs to be saved in RGB mode with a minimum resolution of 600dpi and a maximum size of 8cm x 8cm. Upsizing a low resolution file won’t work very well as the jagged edges will be amplified. If possible please create your JPG from a high resolution version.

Vector Graphics

We can also accept EPS and Adobe Illustrator files although we will need to know the required engraving/debossing dimensions. Please get in touch for assistance after you have placed your order.

 

Want more detail? Head over to the ‘Pro Zone’, once logged into the Shop 🙂

What is the optical centre?

The optical centre is a spot just above the physical centre of the cover.  It’s typically about 10% higher and is accepted as a natural position to give balance to a page. Placing objects in the physical centre can be perceived as being too low. It’s one of those odd optical illusions.

We can deboss/engraving in the physical centre if requested. If you have any questions please get in touch.

Cover text engraving/debossing

Engraving

Using a highly accurate laser we can digitally engrave your text or logo on to the cover. The whole process reminds us of something from James Bond, and works by removing the top layer of the material. This has the effect of revealing the natural hues of the material underneath or changing the colour to create a pleasing effect.

Engraving has the advantage, as a digital process, of enabling us to reproduce the fine detail of logos and almost any international language character supported in the available fonts.

Your cover text will be engraved in the optical centre (see FAQ “What is the optical centre?”) of the front cover in the case supplied on your order.

12″ x 12″ albums: Maximum of 23 characters.

10″ x 10″ albums: Maximum of 19 characters.

8″ x 8″ albums: Maximum of 15 characters.

 

Debossing (aka embossing/blocking/imprinting)

Please note that debossing is not available on Photo Cotton and is only avaliable on our 12″x12″, 10″x10″ and 8″x8″ albums. Debossing is not available on 6×6 albums. 6×6 albums can be engraved however.

Your clients’ names are imprinted in the optical centre (see FAQ “What is the optical centre?”) of the front cover in uppercase. We offer two fonts to choose from, Helvetica & Coronation . You have two lines of text to play with and there is a physical limit to the number of characters – see below. Alongside your clients’ name(s) you can also add the date of the wedding / shoot. Alternatively, you can use the cover text option to add your studio name on the front of any sample albums.

12″ x 12″ albums: Maximum of 23 characters.

10″ x 10″ albums: Maximum of 19 characters.

8″ x 8″ albums: Maximum of 15 characters.

Please note that the characters available for text debossing are [A-Z],[0-9],[. & – ‘ ,]

Which fonts are available for engraving?

Fonts available for engraving

  • Century abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Century Gothic abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Courier abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Gill Sans abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Helvetica abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Times abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Trajan abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Univers abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Folio Albums Designer

Exporting and uploading your Folio Albums Designer design

Once all the high-resolution files have been successfully uploaded the option to export the design will become available.

After selecting the required album size a prompt will appear asking for an order number to be entered. Enter the order number, starting with ‘FO’, that was assigned when placing your order on the shop. Once the order number has been entered you can then select OK. The spreads will start to generate with a progress bar appearing above them. After all the spreads have generated, and all the previews are showing, we ask for you to please give them a quick check over by clicking on each one to ensure everything looks as it should.

When the message ‘The spreads have been generated successfully’ appears you can close the window and they will be safely with us!

Can I proof my album before it goes to print?

The print team performs a visual check of the printed layouts, but we work on the basis that you have designed your album ready for print. As long as you’ve numbered your spreads in sequence they’ll be printed and bound in the correct order.

An integrated commenting system allows designs to be shared with clients via a web link generated within the software. Your clients can add comments to spreads, which in turn are automatically shared with you, saving time and making it easy to keep track of any changes.

After clicking on the ‘Export’ button you will be prompted to double check all spreads, before confirming you are happy for them to be printed.

Do you check my layouts/images before they go to print?

We assume that your uploaded images are print-ready, but if you select the ‘Folio File Check’ option when ordering your album we will give them a visual once over to check for any obvious design, colour and tone issues prior to putting your album in our print queue.

However, as the photographer, we ask you to take responsibility for ensuring that the images are of an acceptable quality and that they are laid out correctly on the page. Although we do our very best to spot possible problems, we cannot accept responsibility for any printing issues due to poor layout, or image quality.

Please note that when sending a design using our Folio Albums Designer we do not check your layouts for alignment issues. If you’ve designed the page layout in another application and placed it within a blank template, we will not check the alignment.

If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How do I design with Folio Albums Designer?

Folio Albums Designer has been created with the professional photographer in mind. Allowing you to create beautiful designs for both our Matted Albums and Fine Art Books.

Matted Albums

We have created simple yet stunning Matted Album templates that really show off your images to their full potential. Once in the Folio Albums Designer select the size of Matted Album you would like to create, upload your images, then select ‘Edit Spreads’ and start designing!

Fine Art Books

Our Fine Art Books designs have a much wider range of templates to choose from, as they are lay-flat with an invisible crease, allowing you to take images over the crease. When creating a new design in the Folio Albums Designer please ensure ‘Fine Art Book’ is selected to gain access to the full range of templates. Drag and drop your images from the top toolbar onto the blank spread, then select from our large range of templates along the bottom.

There is no need to worry about centering, alignment, aperture sizing or spacing, since we have taken care of all of that for you.

We have created a helpful How To guide that explains all the tips and tricks of our Folio Albums Designer.

What is Folio Albums Designer?

The Folio Albums Designer is a simple, quick way of designing your albums with a large range of templates at your fingertips. We took the knowledge gained from designing albums, and the feedback received from our customers, to create Folio Albums Designer with the professional photographer in mind.

Once you have registered with us just login to the shop, a direct link is available in the grey bar at the top of the page.

General Album Questions

Is there a guarantee?

Absolutely. Our albums are individually handmade and we’re proud of the skill and craft that goes into their production. Each album is guaranteed from manufacturing defects.

The guarantee does not cover issues with the original layouts supplied or mistakes when ordering, such as incorrect client’s names for debossing. Please thoroughly check your order and contact us as soon as possible should there be an error with the order.

Is there a discount for multiple copies?

Sorry, there isn’t. Our process is optimised for one-off album production, so each album uses the same amount of material and labour.

How do I order an album?

We’ve kept it simple. First, you need to be a professional photographer as Folio Albums is only available directly to the trade. Secondly, register at our store and then simply choose your album, the relevant options and add it to your cart. Please use a separate order for each design. This way we ensure your designs aren’t confused.

How will my album be packaged?

We wanted to create a packaging experience that your clients would appreciate and enjoy, whilst remaining true to our commitment to simplicity and the environment.

As standard, all of our albums are packaged in a protective cotton bag and presentation box, which are designed and created to our specification. If you have multiple albums in your order they will each come in their own individual presentation bag and box. This way you can ensure that when you deliver, or show, your fine art books to your clients they are presented in a manner that looks both professional and attractive.

For those of you who want a little extra, see our Bamboo Boxes and Designer Bags.

How long does it take to hand make an album?

See our Getting Started section for production time information.

What’s a spread and how many are included as standard?

1 spread = 2 sides.

The base price for a Fine Art Book includes 15 spreads (30 sides). The minimum number of spreads we would recommend in any Fine Art Book album would be 10 (20 sides), although the base price remains the same as for 15 spreads. The maximum number of spreads in any Fine Art Book is 40 (80 sides).

The base price for a Matted Album includes 10 spreads (20 sides). The minimum number spreads we would recommend in any Matted Album would be 5 (10 sides), although the base price remains the same as for 10 spreads. The maximum number of spreads in any Matted Album is 30 (60 sides).

Can I order mini copies?

Yes. 6″x6″ albums are available as direct copies of our larger 12″x12″, 10″x10″ and 8″x8″ books, or as duplicates of a 6″x6″ main album. You can order these at the same time as your main album order, or for up to 3 months afterwards.

What size album can I order?

There’s no complexity when it comes to size and shape – just select either a 12″x12″, 10″x10″, 8″x8″, or 6″x6″ as your main album.

We love the simplicity and flexibility of the square format and you can place images across the crease to create a landscape format.

Album Page Thickness

To achieve a lay-flat album we bond each spread back to back. Each page therefore becomes double thickness resulting in a page thickness of approximately 1mm for Art White and Art Cotton and 1.2mm for Gallery Cotton and Art White Plus. The result is a page turn which is firm yet supple.

Click here to find out more about our different paper types.

Is the first page in the album on the left or on the right?

We print our albums in spreads of two pages, so the first page in your album will be on the left. If you want to start your design on the right, just leave the first page blank.

General Design FAQs

Can I make changes to the layout after I’ve placed an order?

If we pick up an issue before print, or if you contact us before the album goes to print, then the answer is yes. If your album has gone to print it may be possible to replace a spread before binding but there will be an additional charge per spread. In either case, if you need to make a change please contact us as soon as possible.

How to upload your files

Once you have completed the checkout stage and placed your order via our online shop you will automatically be taken to the upload page for that order. Simply drag and drop you images into the relevant provided box, or select your images to be uploaded.

You can navigate to the upload page at any time by going to the ‘My Account’ page and selecting the relevant order number.

When all files have been uploaded correctly the bar will turn green and the words ‘your file has been uploaded’ will appear next to each file. Once we have downloaded your files from our server we will send you an acknowledgement email, which will contain your estimated ship date, and outline the next stages of the order progress.

Do you colour correct my layouts?

When it comes to colour correction, we don’t touch your images. It is sometimes hard for us to determine if an image has been edited for artist effect or by error. So, when it comes to colour calibration and correction we ask for you to send us print ready images.

Do you check my layouts/images before they go to print?

We assume that your uploaded images are print-ready, but if you select the ‘Folio File Check’ option when ordering your album we will give them a visual once over to check for any obvious design, colour and tone issues prior to putting your album in our print queue.

However, as the photographer, we ask you to take responsibility for ensuring that the images are of an acceptable quality and that they are laid out correctly on the page. Although we do our very best to spot possible problems, we cannot accept responsibility for any printing issues due to poor layout, or image quality.

Please note that when sending a design using our Folio Albums Designer we do not check your layouts for alignment issues. If you’ve designed the page layout in another application and placed it within a blank template, we will not check the alignment.

If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How much space should I leave around the page edge?

Unless the image is bleeding off the page, we recommend leaving between 15mm-20mm of space between the trim line and your images. Leaving a nice gutter ensures that images are not too close to the page edge when we trim your book.

The trim line is indicated as a guide in Photoshop or bleed in Indesign. As a ruel of thumb, we trim the following off each book size;

  • 12×12: 6mm on all edges
  • 10×10: 5mm on all edges
  • 8×8: 4mm on all edges
  • 6×6: 3mm on all edges

NB: this relates to Fine Art Books only.

Leaving a 15-20mm white gutter also helps when ordering smaller duplicates of a larger album, or 6×6 Mini Copies, as space and gutters are reduced during the resizing process.

Can I bleed my images off the page edge?

Yes and to ensure that the image fully bleeds off the page you will need to place your image to the very edge of the page.

Is the first page in the album on the left or on the right?

We print our albums in spreads of two pages, so the first page in your album will be on the left. If you want to start your design on the right, just leave the first page blank.

Glossary

Glossary

glossary * Please click image to enlarge

Portfolios

Download Portfolio templates + instructions

Our templates have been designed to work in Photoshop and are bundled together by Portfolio size.

To use the templates download the ZIP using the link below and extract the contents to your computer. Open the required templates in Photoshop and follow the instructions.

  1. Ensure guides are visible – the guides indicate crop within portfolio mount.
  2. Select layer (not mask) and paste image
  3. Resize to fit within frame
  4. Flatten and save as JPG

It is very important that you save your files as JPGs as this is the format we’ll be expecting from you.

 

Download 12×12 Portfolio template bundle

Download 10×10 Portfolio template bundle

Download 8×8 Portfolio template bundle

Download 6×6 Portfolio template bundle

 

We have put together an easy step by step guide to help with putting your images into our Portfolio templates.

Click to download Portfolio how to guide
 

Which fonts are available for engraving?

Fonts available for engraving

  • Century abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Century Gothic abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Courier abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Gill Sans abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Helvetica abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Times abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Trajan abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • Univers abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Studio Samples

Which products are available as Studio Samples

Any of our albums or mini 6×6 duplicates.

Do you have ‘off-the-shelf’ sample albums?

No, but give us a call as we may be able to help.

Are Studio Samples different to client albums

The only difference is that we deboss “STUDIO SAMPLE” on to the back of the album (see image for example).

studio_sample_001

If your album has a Photo Cotton cover we’ll place “STUDIO SAMPLE” on the back cover in a suitable position. Alternatively, you can add “STUDIO SAMPLE” to the cover yourself before uploading your file.

folio-photo-cotton-2

How many Studio Sample albums can I order?

As many as you like.

How does it work?

Simply add any item from the store section called STUDIO SAMPLE to receive a 25% discount. The discount will be automatically applied when you add any of these albums to your cart. Each studio sample album with be debossed with the words “STUDIO SAMPLE” on the back cover.

Technical Details

Can I get a test print?

Yes, we offer a free test print service. You can send us up to four of your images, sized as A5 files, which we will print on our Art White paper. To order a test print, you’ll need to register before visiting the Folio Albums Store and heading to the ‘Extras’ category where you can add a test print to your cart. Once the order is placed you will receive an order confirmation with a unique order number, and the link to our upload server.

Colour management

We operate a fully colour calibrated workflow and we highly recommend your workflow is also colour calibrated. If you’re having problems with dark images from other labs and album companies, it’s probably an issue with your screen brightness being set too high – this is the most common problem. Read this site for more information on colour management and monitor calibration.

Do I need to apply sharpening to my page layouts before uploading?

It all depends on how sharp you like your images. As part of our standard workflow we add a very small amount of sharpening as they go to print. This compensates for the natural reduction in sharpness when printing on different media types.

If you would like to test the amount of sharpening please order a bespoke test print from the store. If you’re unsure please don’t apply any extra sharpening.

Can I soft proof my images with your ICC profiles?

Not at the moment. We regularly optimise our profiles to achieve the very best quality and consistency.

You can utilise our free test print service prior to placing your first order to compare your images both on the screen and in print. You can have a maximum of four A5 prints. If you have any image concerns on later orders, or after the initial test print batch, please get in touch so we can advise how to proceed.

How should I name my files?

Your album spreads are printed and bound in sequential order, so naming your files correctly is important. We suggest that you use a sequence number at the beginning or at the end of the file name and that each sequence number has two digits. For example 1 would actually be 01. A full filename therefore could be…

abcphotography_smithwedding_01.jpg
abcphotography_smithwedding_02.jpg
abcphotography_smithwedding_03.jpg
abcphotography_smithwedding_04.jpg

abcphotography_smithwedding_10.jpg
abcphotography_smithwedding_11.jpg
and so on…

If you are uploading multiple designs against one order number please include the design name in the file names so we can differentiate your layouts.

USB Support Information

USB Support Information

Your USB is ready for you to use straight away.

Please note:

OS X keeps track of indexing, folder positions, trash bins and file system events on every drive connected to your Mac by creating files. These files are used regularly by your Mac and are hidden from you, the user. However, when the drive is then plugged into a Windows PC these files become visible they will appear with the prefix ._ or .DS_Store. There are a number of applications which can be downloaded to clean up disks before ejecting them or specific commands can be written into Terminal to disable the creation of some of these files.