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Anne Ruthmann, New England Occupation: Photographer Website: Anne Ruthmann Photography About Me: Things that make me happy: old people getting crazy on the dance floor, world travel, hello hugs & goodbye kisses, cultural celebrations, acoustic live music, indie handmade crafts, cinema, environmental protection, diversity, the sound of nature, authenticity, white water rafting, discovering artists, photographing people in love. Things that bore me: bland food, celebrity gossip, negativity, fake anything, waiting in lines, egotism.
About anneruthmann

I believe your wedding album design should reflect your sense of style just as much as every other choice you make for your wedding day. To help you identify which wedding album design is most appealing to you, I’ve taken one set of images and created a variety of album designs to show how each album design affects the viewing and interaction of the images on the page. While there are literally infinite design possibilities for wedding albums, I’ve found that most designs can fall into one of the following categories: Fine Art, Traditional, Editorial, Collage, or Embellished. I’ve included a quick preview here, but you can click on the links to view the complete album design sample.

FINE ART
This album design displays one image per page, like a gallery in a book, allowing each image to stand on its own and command the full attention of the viewer one image at a time. Images are usually centered on the page with a white or black background or matting, with or without contrasting border/bevel (the sample below is black background with contrasting white border/bevel.) If the book is printed with images on the front and back of each page (allowing two images to lay side by side when open) there are opportunities for pairings of images that uncover hidden or implied relationships. If you’re a minimalist, or want your album to look like a portfolio of art, this is the album design for you:

Fine Art Album Design Sample
Fine Art Album Design Sample

TRADITIONAL
This design is based on traditional matted album templates. Images are dropped into pre-cut or pre-designed openings, allowing for a collection of images to work together by appearing on the same page, rather than each image standing alone. A nice traditional design will typically average about two images per page, with some pages having one large image and other pages having a few smaller images. Other than the simple album, this album style has been around the longest, going well back into the film and pre-computer days. Images can have contrasting borders or can sit on a plain background of black or white. (This example sits on a plain black background with no borders/bevels.) If you’re looking for a matted album (or matted album look) that will stand the test of time despite fads and trends, the traditional album may be one you want to consider.

Traditional Album Design Sample
Traditional Album Design Sample

EDITORIAL
This is a cross-over design that takes the clean simplicity of the traditional album but utilizes the benefits of full bleed printing and layout design software. It’s named editorial because it most closely resembles the kind of layouts you’ll find in a lot of magazines and editorial photo spreads. This design makes use of collections of images sharing a full bleed spread of page and uses size to highlight more important images or to diminish less important images. Typically you can put more images into an album with this design than you can with the first two designs, while still maintaining the overall clean look. If you want your album to look like a magazine layout, this may be the album for you.

Editorial Album Design Sample
Editorial Album Design Sample

COLLAGE
The collage album design started to emerge in the late film days when darkrooms started overlaying images on the same print using advanced darkroom techniques. Since the invention of photoshop and other photo layering software, collage design has emerged on the wedding market as the most popular style of album design for approximately the last 10 years. This type of design offers the most flexibility and possibilities for how photos are laid out on a page, how collections are styled, and adds elements like overlapping images, translucent white or black filters on images, colored backgrounds, tilted cropping, and various bordering options. If you like a contemporary look with the ability to use images as your backgrounds, this album design will offer the most flexibility for you:

Collage Album Design Sample
Collage Album Design Sample

EMBELLISHED
An embellished album creates graphic designs and embellishments around the images in an album, making the graphic elements of the album of equal importance to the images. Starting with a base similar to the collage style album, the embellished album adds flourishes of swirly stamps, textured overlays, fading vignettes, graphic backgrounds, and/or text with quotes, names, or phrases. Somewhat inspired by scrapbooking, this design style is creative and trendy for people who want to stylize their album with whatever is fashionable right now. It’s often used to enhance albums that focus on portraits and details, and used less when the focus of the images are moments or scenes since it can become visual competition for the images on the page. If you love whimsical and trendy, this album will appeal to your aesthetic (note, the example below is not mine and does not use the same images as the others- eventually I’ll change that, but I chose this example for efficiency):

Embellished Album Design Sample

While I’m able to offer all of the design options above, I personally love the Fine Art & Editorial album designs for their simplicity, timelessness, clean lines, and emphasis on the art, real moments, and people. I’ve learned to enjoy the collage style designs as well for my clients in order to offer added flexibility and more client customization in design. I think the embellished designs are really creative, but I also realize that in a decade those embellishments will start to look more like grandma’s floral tweed couch and avocado colored sink, which were once the height of fashion. I have no problem honoring my clients requests for something different than what I prefer because ultimately it’s the album that THEY are going to live with forever and pass on to their children and I believe it should reflect an aesthetic that they identify with. ;-)

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16 Responses to “Wedding Album Design Examples”

1.
melodicsighs1
Member
melodicsighs1 (message)  1,290 posts, Bumble bee

Thanks for posting this! I am going to be working on my album myself (via my friendor photographer), so it’s really good to know what the options are. I love the editorial style.

 
2.
Mrs. Gloss
Bee
Mrs. Gloss (message)  1,249 posts, Bumble bee

Great post - do you have any recommendations for printing? I am designing my own album but want to have it professionally printed.

 
3.
elaineathon
Member
elaineathon (message)  349 posts, Helper bee

This is an excellent post! I’m going to be making my own album so it’s helpful to see all the styles compared. Editorial is my favorite so far. Anyone have ideas for a good inexpensive (or free!) program to use in making the album?

 
4.
knapper08
Member
knapper08 (message)  189 posts, Blushing bee

I am also working on my own album! I’ve spent a lot of time previewing wedding albums on Blurb to get a sense of what I am looking for, and you’ve hit the nail on the head! I love the editorial style.

A friend of mine has offered to make a scrapbook for us for our present, so the embellished style will be captured in that!

 
5.
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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography (message)  44 posts, Newbee

@melodicsighs1: Oooh.. I think you just came up with a new name: Frientographer! :-) What software will you be using to work on your album?

 
6.
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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography (message)  44 posts, Newbee

@Mrs. Gloss: printing is a whoooooole other post, because frankly, it’s quite complicated. If you REALLY want to educate yourself on PROFESSIONAL printing, check out this post on my photolovecat blog: http://photolovecat.blogspot.com/2007/03/album-resources.html

If you just want something quick & easy… blurb.com does a great job for consumers and it’s very affordable.

 
7.
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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography (message)  44 posts, Newbee

@elaineathon: start with where you’d like to have it printed. Some printers include free layout software. ;)

 
8.
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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography (message)  44 posts, Newbee

@knapper08: what a generous friend you have!! I hope she gets and awesome thank you gift!

 
9.
pren79
Member
pren79 (message)  664 posts, Busy bee

Thanks for this post. Per your comments, I’ll be diligently reading your blog to figure out print options in order to figure out design tools in order to make an album…..

 
10.
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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography (message)  44 posts, Newbee

@pren79: ha!! Try not to get lost!

 
11.
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Guest
Erica Brooks

Thanks for the detailed breakdown of the different style options. All of the styles are lovely but I really like the Fine Art style. Very elegant.

 
12.
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Member
KMSull (message)  6,442 posts, Bee Keeper

Love the editorial one! I’ve never seen an album like that… must look into it!

 
13.
Miss Poodle
Bee
Miss Poodle (message)  3,386 posts, Sugar bee

this is a really cool post :) thank you opening my eyes LOL

 
14.
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Guest
Sabrina

I love Editorial and Fine Art. It’s exciting how wedding albums are getting more and more creative and personalized!

 
15.
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Guest
Ginny Corbett Photography

Thanks for sharing different options for wedding album. I guess the lay out is also good for all occasion- baby shower, birthday or any special event you want to document for a lifetime memory.

 
16.
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Katie Beyer Photography

The fine art album design is stunning. Your special photos will stand out because of the emphasis contributed by the background and contrasting frame. However you can only post few pictures because it is one picture per page. It is also great to alternate the Fine Art design page with collage so you can have more photos in the album.

 

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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography Anne Ruthmann, New England Occupation: Photographer Website: Anne Ruthmann Photography About Me: Things that make me happy: old people getting crazy on the dance floor, world travel, hello hugs & goodbye kisses, cultural celebrations, acoustic live music, indie handmade crafts, cinema, environmental protection, diversity, the sound of nature, authenticity, white water rafting, discovering artists, photographing people in love. Things that bore me: bland food, celebrity gossip, negativity, fake anything, waiting in lines, egotism.
 
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