APP2: Finishing the design and sending it off to print

For this blog post, I will be discussing the main alterations made after the second test print, and looking at the final process of preparing the book to be uploaded to Blurb for printing.



For the cover of the book, I worked very hard on getting the layout just right. I firstly edited the photos so they were properly straightened, and decided while the front cover image worked best bleeding off the page, the back cover image definitely needed containing, as it just looked better.

The colour for the back cover and spine was a tricky one to decide on, I initially tried a pale grey just for the sake of experimentation, but that did not work. I tried some darker tones from the image using the Eyedropper Tool in InDesign, but I was not impressed with any of them, so I tried black, and that worked very well.

St. Luke's Church book cover

As for the type on the back cover, I was very pleased with the layout of the images and really didn’t want to spoil it with a blurb about what the book contained, as it would be obvious to the audience what it would contain. So therefore I moved the church’s mission statement from the contents page to the back cover, which filled a space perfectly.

I set it as a pull quote, with enlarged speech marks to emphasise the quote. Underneath I placed the relevant information about the quote so the audience would understand what it was referring to.

Back cover quote

For the front cover, I knew I had some typographic changes that needed making, so I adjusted all the kerning and tracking and decreased the size of the ‘sell’ line of the title and lined it up so that it was the same width as that of ‘St. Luke’s’ in the title’s top line.

Front cover type changes


For the contents page, I altered the titles and numbering to match that of the pages, and in the bottom left corner to replace the mission statement that had disappeared, put some information about the book saying I had designed and edited it, the year, and thanking the archivist for allowing me to look through the church’s archives.

I placed a small discreet cross in the bottom right corner to balance the aesthetic of the page, and it is obviously a clear reference to the nature of St. Luke’s Church being Christian.

New contents page

Below is an up-close image of the cross I had made earlier in the project, as an experiment for the front cover, an idea which could be traced back to my initial sketches for the project. The idea was to create a cross, and merge it with an image background. I tried a stained glass window to get the colours, but this didn’t work, so I tried the stone background and that did work.

At large sizes, it is not the best resolved design, but at smaller sizes like it is on the contents page, it works very well at providing some texture in the object.

Stone cross

The spreads previous to the stained glass window ones only needed very minor proof-reading changes, not worth showing here.

The first proper developments that took place were on the ‘Stained Glass Windows’ spread. Firstly I added a caption in for the main image on the left page as it helped the audience understand more about the windows.


Then, I worked on the content of the right page and the new second spread together to try and lay everything out properly so the audience could read one section at a time, with images corresponding to the text.

Finished Stained Glass Windows spread 1

The second spread did not feature much text allowing for bigger images to be used, which helps to provide a more visual element to the book.

Finished Stained Glass Windows spread 2

For this spread, it was a case of finishing it and choosing the best selection of images I had to represent the many plaques around the church. I could never include them all as there were so many (well, unless I was producing a much larger book.)

A Time To Remember finished

The vicars page was completed when I received the two image from the church archivist, which I was able to edit suitably.

Vicars page finished

As for the final page, focusing on Miss Mitchell, the new image was placed in, but because of its height, I changed the layout from what it was, and what I had proposed to change it to in my blog post covering the second test print, so I stacked the images and ran the majority of the text down the left column which works very well.

Miss Adelaide Anne Mitchell page finished


I kept proof-reading the book throughout the day, picking up on very small mistakes which I obviously corrected. Once this was done and the book was ‘finished’, I then asked a couple of people to proof-read the book for me and see if they could find any errors. They did find a couple of typos and a couple of grammatical errors which I would not have realised, so it was important to get those fixed.

It goes to show the value of having other people reading through your work as they can bring up different viewpoints and spot mistakes you may have missed.

Sending the book to print:

Because I am using Blurb’s InDesign plug-in for this project, they provide a way of uploading the book from the initial dialog box to their website, and from there you can checkout.

Blurb Book Creator

The process is very simple, once Upload Book is pressed, it takes through a pre-flight procedure where it points out if there are any problems that cause poor quality printing.

For me, it flagged up that the old paper background I was using on the ‘Worship’ spread was only 120dpi, which would result in it being pixellated, so I then had to find a new suitable background to replace it, which can be seen below.

New paper background

Then it creates the PDF files that will be uploaded, lets you preview them to see if there are any mistakes, which there was one mistake on the back cover where the black box wasn’t extended properly to the bleed line, although the InDesign program showed there to be no issue. So I had to cancel the proceedings, fix the error and start uploading all over again… how frustrating, but it would have been more frustrating had the error slipped through the net.

From there, things went well, the book was uploaded and sent off to Blurb for printing. When I get the book back I’ll post up some images of it. In the meantime, I’ll probably see how I can embed the PDF version on my blog to share it to a wider audience.

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