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How to win a photo book award: judge’s enlightenment

To guide you in the creation of an award-winning photo book we’ve curated some comments from the 2018 judges of the Australia & New Zealand Photobook Awards, that may help you avoid some pitfalls and inspire you to consider some elements for your own publication.

The success of a photo book is subjective but at the Australia & New Zealand Photobook Awards the guiding principle is the “fitness for purpose and audience” for every element of the work: the photography, the design, layout, sequencing, text, typography, cover and format. An engaging visual narrative and originality of the concept and design are also vital.

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Photo book design tips from design experts

In this blog post we’ve collected design tips from local and international photo book creators, and some photo book design theory, to help you do your photographs justice. The focus is not on ‘commercially successful’ design but on design that is fit for the purpose of the book whether it be a personal photo project, a self published book, an artist book or other.

Great layout and page design is not intuitive, a fact that has been proven by thousands of books that have passed through Momento’s print facility. We see many good designs but many would also benefit from using a few design fundamentals.

While photographers are more visually literate than most, the ability to compose within the frame of a photograph doesn’t always translate to composition within the frame of a double page spread, but if you want to create the most effective photo book, good design is critical. Depending on the purpose and budget for your book you can choose to design it yourself, or seek assistance from a professional. In either case, the design should always be driven by the purpose and intention of your book.

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