Saturday, June 8, 2013

A blurb about

Ta-da!! My first Blurb book.

This past Friday, I found a nice surprise at my doorstep: a box leaning dangerously close to a puddle as the dying rains of tropical storm Andrea washed through the open halls of my condo building.

Packaged carefully inside the box was a book from which I had ordered five days earlier and expected to received a week and a half later.

The back side.
The book I had printed was a 20-page edition featuring my submissions to Dani Jones' Daily Doodlers sketch challenge from back in March. I had requested a paper sample package from and also received a promotional code for any order placed by June 2. Got it in just under the wire.

Due to copyright restrictions of some of the images' inspirations and quotes that I used, this book won't be made available for distribution. It was only a personal test-drive of Blurb's Indesign plugin, PDF transfer and printing. I may be involved in a Blurb-printed project for someone else later this year, and wanted to learn more about the process. Still, it was quite exciting to see my own little book.

I was very happy with Blurb's printing results overall. The book was a perfect-bound softcover with their premium lustre paper. The colors on the glossy cover were brilliant. (The photos don't accurately convey the colors. It really looked good.) The inside pages were also bright and saturated. 20 pages exactly, placed right, plus one page at the end which had the Blurb logo on it, which I could have had removed by paying an extra 7 or 8 bucks. It didn't matter much to me at this point.

Inside pages.
The only areas to keep an eye on with future printings are these: Any textures or patterns in which the colors are similar seem to lose contrast. This can happen under any printing process. I've seen it in the best art books. The images also look a bit darker - not in a way that I was very upset about, though. But, it is something to keep in mind when prepping any photos or images. They always look brighter on the screen. If the digital file looks dark, the printed piece certainly will be, perhaps even more so. And, it is so important to use the color profile that Blurb provides. It will make all the difference.

More inside pages.
The process for creating the book was relatively easy. Having worked in the graphic design industry for many years, I can't emphasize enough the importance of good image and file preparation prior to submitting to any printer. I scoured all of's FAQ pages, tutorials and forums for every ounce of information on how to get the best result. Blurb has great webinars available on their site covering monitor calibration, book design, file preparation and more.

They also offer tools like Bookify, which can be used to upload photos and make books instantly, and BookSmart, downloadable software that allows for more personalization. I chose to go with their InDesign plugin for maximum control. It helps you create the document at the right size and page count, including bleed and safe area marks. The final PDF can also be uploaded through the plugin. It was really simple.

So, here I am, thrilled with the results and very motivated to create more images for future publications of all sorts. Thank you,

And, special thanks also to Dani Jones, who provided a great inspiration with her daily sketch challenge. Many artists participated and produced some awesome images. They can be found on Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr under the hashtag #dailydoodlers.