FAQ - Design

I designed my Zen Layflat book with templates and/or software released before September 13, 2012. What do I do?
On September 13, 2012, the Zen Layflat binding was updated to offer a more seamless and layflat presentation. Zen Layflat book files ordered after September 13, 2012 must be designed on the new templates and created by the new File Checker, or created with the latest version of AsukaBook Maker. These books will have slight variations from Zen Layflat books ordered prior.

If you have your JPEG page spreads, please follow the directions below to create a new PDF with the new specifications with Photoshop templates and File Checker.

1. Download new Photoshop templates.
2. Transfer your designed cover page, first inside page, and last inside page into the new templates.
3. Replace the remaining inside page new templates with your designed templates in the new template folder.
4. Download new File Checker to create a PDF with the new Zen Layflat binding.
5. Create a new PDF using the new template folder and the new File Checker application.
6. Review your new PDF at a 100% minimum.
7. Upload your new PDF as a normal order.

If you have your JPEG page spreads, please follow the directions below to create a new PDF file with the new specifications in AsukaBook Maker.

1. Download the updated version of AsukaBook Maker.
2. Open AsukaBook Maker.
3. Click 'New Book' and select the Zen Layflat book style you would like.
4. Go to the folders tab and open up the folder of your JPEG page spreads.
4. Drag each designed spread onto the corresponding pages in AsukaBook Maker.
5. Go to Tools > Export PDF file.
5. Review your new PDF at a 100% minimum.
6. Upload your new PDF as an normal order.

If you have a predesigned ab2 file (AsukaBook Maker file), please follow the directions below to create a new PDF file with the new specifications in AsukaBook Maker.

1. Download the updated version of AsukaBook Maker.
2. Open your designed ab2 file in AsukaBook Maker.
3. Click on Tools > Change Book Type and select the Zen Layflat book style you would like.
5. Go to Tools > Export PDF file.
5. Review your new PDF at a 100% minimum.
6. Upload your new PDF as an normal order.

Do you provide design services?
We offer an outstanding value Asukabook design service. Please view more details at http://pixelperfect.com.au/albumdesign
What design program is recommended for designing an AsukaBook?
Adobe Photoshop is recommended to design an AsukaBook.
Can I use other programs such as FotoFusion or InDesign to create my album layout?
Yes, you may use other design programs to layout a book. But you must export high resolution RGB images from your preferred design package and place your design into the relevant page of an AsukaBook blank template. When the blank templates are fully populated you must create the final print-ready file with File Checker.
Do you provide colour correction and retouching services?
We do not retouch or colour correct any of the files provided. It is your responsibility to ensure that all corrections and adjustments to your images have been completed before designing and ordering. Please make sure you soft proof your book files. We print exactly what is submitted. For all your post-production image editing needs we recommend Pixel Perfect's Imaging Services
Can I order an AsukaBook by sending single digital images or film to you?
Currently We now offer a design service. Please go to http://www.pixelperfect.com.au/album-design/
What is the proper image size for the layouts?
The cover and inside pages have predetermined resolution and canvas size, though they are not the exact size of the book as we must allow space for the gutter area and trim lines around the edges.  Please do not change the resolution or canvas size, as this will cause problems with File Checker processing your files.  Simply place your images onto the blank templates and design your book.
Why are the templates required?
The templates have the correct dimensions, resolution, and colour space that our printers need. THis allows you to focus on the layout and design of your book not technicalities.
Why are the templates blank?
The blank templates allow creative freedom when designing so you can add as many images, colour blocks and other graphic elements and enhancements to the layout. If you would prefer to use layout templates, we recommend using Asuka Templates from Janet Merritt. You may also considers AutoAlbum from Kubota Image Tools, which provides over 500 predetermined layout templates.
How do I get my page designs created with Kevin Kubota's AutoAlbum into an AsukaBook template?
Your layout will be placed on the template and will automatically shrink to fit the template if it is larger. By using this method, it places the file as a SMART Object which is a unique single layer file. However, you can RIGHT-CLICK (control click if you do not have a right click mouse) on the layer itself and choose EDIT CONTENTS. This allows you to open a copy of the layered file in case you need to make any positioning adjustments later.
What do the Photoshop guidelines on the blank templates represent?
Turning Guides On:

View > Show > Guides or Command + ; (semicolon)

Cover

  • The outer guidelines represent the area where the cover will be folded over the cover.
  • The center guidelines represent the spine of the book.

Pages

  • The outer guidelines represent the area where the pages will be trimmed.
  • The center guidelines represent the center or gutter of the book.
Tip: Place your images at least 1/4 inch away from the blue guidelines to avoid any desired trimming.

Tip: Place image to the edge of the canvas to ensure a "Full Bleed".

Tip: Place important parts of an image (such as a face) or text away from the centerline to ensure nothing will be unintentionally lost in the gutter.

Please click HERE for more layout and design tips.
Will the gray rectangle showing on the back cover and last page of my PDF be printed on the final book?
There will be a small barcode where that place marker is located, but in the final book it is not as prominent as what you see in the template.  Be sure to delete or turn off that layer before saving the jpg. The barcode indicator boxes will appear at actual size in the PDF file. Please review this file before uploading to be sure it is not covering any important information, as this is where it will print on your final book.
How many images can I place on each page/side?
You may place as many images as you would like.
Can I add text as part of the design?
You may add text anywhere on the design.  Keep in mind the guidelines, gutters and bar code areas, as any text and image information placed there will be lost.
What is the font and size of the Hot Stamp Text?
The font type is Skia which is a Mac OS standard font. You have up to 30 characters including spaces and only a single line of text.

The approximate font size varies for each size of book. For example, a 10x10 is 24pt, an 8x8 is 18pt, a 7x7 is 16 pt, a 5x5 is 13 pt, etc.
Do I have to place an image on the cover?
No. The design is totally up to you so you can have an image on the cover or you can do something different. The cover file will be the 000000.psd in the downloaded folder of templates. Once you've opened that in Photoshop and made sure you can see the guidelines, you can design it however you would like. You can have an image wrap around to the back cover, a single image, or multiple images on the front and/or back. You may also leave it blank and have the colour of your canvas as the printed colour. You may also add text to the front and/or back cover as well as the spine.
Do I have to convert my files to CMYK before submitting?
No. Submit your files in either Adobe RGB or sRGB.  The production center will convert the files to CMYK for you.
How do I resize my book layout from one size to another?
In Photoshop, you may simply drag and drop or use the "place" option (under the File menu) to move your layouts into the smaller template. Be sure to review your file for bleeds and gutter concerns once the design has been transferred to new template sizes.
When saving images in JPEG Book Styles, which degree of compression should be used?
We recommend the image quality be set to 11(Maximum) with Baseline Optimized.
Can you provide a proof sheet of my book order before it is printed?
No, we do not offer proof sheets. We do, however, provide you with the tools to ensure that you receive a product you are happy with. We provide information on design tips and accurate colour HERE. If you would like sample pages printed on the press with the type of paper and page finish used, please contac Customer Care to request them.
Are there any restrictions on what can be printed?
AsukaBook requires that you have copyright permission for all images included in your order. Additionally, your files will not be sent into production if they contain illegal and/or immoral content, or if the subject may be offensive to the public. We are also unable to print books with exposed genitalia or that show implied sexual acts.