Digital album or Fine Art?
One of the most often asked questions I get is ‘what’s the difference between a Fine Art and a Digital album’?
There’s really only two differences – the print finish on the page, and the thickness of the page itself. That’s because the two books use a different kind of paper and as a result a different process to manufacture the book. A digital book prints real photographs, which are then stuck to a card core, trimmed to size and bound together as a book. Nearly all the paper stock used is lustre, or semi-matt, which you’ve seen countless times when you’ve handled a ‘real’ photograph. Fine Art books, on the other hand, are inkjet-printed onto Fine Art paper (hence the name), which is then trimmed to size and bound. The finish is much more muted and matte, and the paper often has a beautiful feel when touched – all adding to the tactile, sensory appeal. Because the pages are printed and bound, but not mounted on a core page first, they also tend to be thinner.
To be honest, these technical differences make little difference to most people. They’re hardly more than finishing touches, like the choice of cover material. The albums come in the same sizes and shapes, and the way that the images are printed doesn’t affect the design at all. Both styles follow the same basic principles of being able to go edge-to-edge, and across the central crease without losing any of the image (as you can see in any of the photos and layouts below).
An example of a digital book is this album I designed for Nicki and Kevin following their wedding in the autumn. It’s a square book, printed on lustre paper and bound with a white leather cover. You can pick up the print finish in the photos below, and if you’d like to see the entire design please keep scrolling down to the layouts underneath.