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Flush Mount Albums & Flush Mount Press Books

Creating your beautiful Loktah album should be easy, but sometimes it helps to have a little step by step. This tutorial takes you from step 1 to step done in no time.

Flush Mount Albums & Flush Mount Press Books

1 - Preparing Your Artwork

The first step to ordering a Loktah album is creating the artwork. This first step is a lot easier if you use our free Album templates and Photoshop actions.

Here are some things you need to know before jumping in.

We assume that you are familiar with the Adobe Photoshop software.
BASIC TEMPLATE BUILDING BLOCKS

  1. Bleed - The area of each spread that will be trimmed during production. Indicated by a red border in our templates.

  2. Page Edge - Where the page stops and the bleed begins.This represents the final trimmed size of your spread.

  3. Text Margin - These are the blue lines that create the Text Safe Area on each page.

  4. Center Line - The absolute middle of the spread is indicated by a solid black line. This is where the spread folds.

  5. Smart Object - This is the layer named "Click to edit" in our Photoshop templates. To edit this object, double click its layer's palette icon.

1 - Preparing Your Artwork

1 - Preparing Your Artwork

FULL PAGE / SPREAD IMAGES

  1. Full Page Images - Images that cover the entire page or spread. It is important that an image in format also covers the entire bleed area.

  2. Remember to "Bleed" - The outer edge (¼ of an inch) of your image will be trimmed. Keep this in mind when selecting your full page or full spread images.

CENTERED IMAGES

  1. Images that are centered on a page need to be centered in relation to the text safe area, not the edge of the document and the center.

  2. If you plan to use a full spread image (covering both pages) remember not to have a prominent feature (like someone's face) dead center.

TEXT

  1. The blue box inside each page is the "Safe Text Area". Any text placed on your spread needs to be within this area to make sure we don't trim it by accident.

How to Use a Loktah Template

Open the template that matches the product you are planning to order. For example, when ordering a 10x8 Flush Mount Album make sure to use the "Flush Album 10x8.psd" template file.

  1. In Photoshop, open the "Layers" palette and double click on the "Smart Object thumbnail" of the layer named "Click to Edit".
  2. This will open the Smart Object file which is where you artwork goes.
How to Use a Loktah Template

Smart Object Contents

The Smart Object will contain the following:

  1. ^^ PLACE ARTWORK ABOVE THIS LAYER ^^ - When you're layout is complete your images and text should be above this layer. No other information should be above it.
  2. Guides - This layer contains the text guides, text safe area guides, page center guide and bleed guides. You can use this layer to help you correctly layout your images and view bleed or page area. This layer MUST be below all other layers before you save this file, otherwise it will be printed.
  3. Background - The locked background layer can be used to align elements. It will also determine the base color printed on your spread, feel free to edit it if you want; but do not move it.
Smart Object Contents

Adding Images

You can add images above the ^^ARTWORK^^ layer or below the "Guides" Layer depending on whether or not you want to use the guides to assist you in layout.

In our example we'll add our content below the guides layer.

Adding Images

Guide Layer Settings

To make working on the actual layout a little easier we hide the

  1. ^^ARTWORK^^ Layer and the
  2. Textual Guides
Guide Layer Settings

Creating a Layout.

The following spread has an example of two page layouts.

FULL BLEED LAYOUT

  1. In this layout an image covers the entire left page, as well as the bleed area. You will notice that it does not go past the center line.
  2. Everything in the image that is currently covered in red will be trimmed during production, but should not be removed in the export.

FLOATING IMAGE

  1. This image does not cover the entire page, but rather floats in the center of the page.
  2. You will notice it is horizontally centered within the Text Safe Area.
  3. Do not center to the middle of the page and the edge of the document - the image will not be centered once the bleed is trimmed if you do this.

TEXT

  1. You can add text anywhere on the page, but make sure, as in this example, that the text is within the Safe Text Area, or it could be trimmed.
  2. If you are using ornamental text that is meant to be trimmed it is obviously safe to ignore the "Safe Text Area".
Creating a Layout.

Reactivate the Guide Layers

Once you've completed your spread's layout re-activate all the guide layers as in this example.

Reactivate the Guide Layers

Promote Artwork Layers

  1. Now, select all your artwork and move everything above the ^^ ARTWORK ^^ layer.
  2. There should be no artwork below the ^^ ARTWORK ^^ layer; as it will either be deleted or orphaned in your final file.
  3. Save this file (the smart object, or .psb file) and close the window.
Promote Artwork Layers

Getting ready to export

You should now see the original template file with the updated "Click to Edit" layer. So far so good.

Getting ready to export

Running the Export Action

Before running any actions you will need to import the actions included in the template download to Photoshop. You can do this by double clicking the file.

  1. Open your actions pallette
  2. Select the "Export Flush Albums & Books - Prepare Spreads" action and hit the play button.
  3. This action should now prepare your artwork for export.*

*If you want to save Photoshop backups of your layouts you might want to "Save as..." the PSD before running any actions.

Running the Export Action

Ready to Save

As soon as the action has completed you should see a dialogue instructing you on the next couple of steps.

  1. Your file should now be ready to export to JPEG
  2. Save your file at 100% or Quality level 12.
  3. Remember to number your spreads consecutively, ex. spread_01.jpg, spread_02.jpg, spread_03.jpg
  4. Once you've saved the spread you are ready to start all over again with the next spread.
Ready to Save

Quick Restart

There is no need to close the file. You can easily view the history palette and select the first step, which should be the template name. This will reload the blank template.

Repeat these steps until all of your spreads have been exported. Be careful not to overwrite the previously saved spreads.

Quick Restart

2 - Uploading and Ordering your Album

Visit the Flush Mount Albums page, or Flush Mount Press Books page and select the album of your choice.

2 - Uploading and Ordering your Album

Select your Album Options

Depending on your album type you will have different options available. Select your options and hit "Continue".

Select your Album Options

Creating your Album Upload

  1. Title Your Project. This helps us find your album if you have a larger order and ensures a streamlined production environment.
  2. Select your Service Level. In our case we'll select "I am uploading my own artwork and do not require any design services" since we've just created our own album.
  3. New Options. Once you've made your selection new options should appear.
Creating your Album Upload

Confirming required information

If you use the correct template some of this information will be correct by default - These are marked with a ★

  1. Page Quantity - Let us know just how many spreads you will be uploading for this album. This includes spreads that will be uploaded later. (This is a quality control check)
  2. Artwork Dimensions - Remember to correctly size your artwork. Yes, we do sometimes get files that have not been correctly formatted :( ★
  3. File Numbers - Do not forget to number your spreads, otherwise they might be printed in the wrong order.
  4. Artwork Format - Confirm that you are uploading "Spreads" if you are uploading Flush Mount Books and Flush Mount Albums. ★
  5. No Guide Layers - Confirm that your guide layers have been deleted. ★
  6. Color Accuracy - Color Calibration is very important and can save everybody a huge headache. Please make sure your monitor is calibrated.
  7. Color Profile - It is very important that you use the correct color profile in your file. ★
  8. Terms of Print: Please select the option that is applicable to you. By submitting to print you agree that your artwork is correct and that you cannot hold Loktah liable for any errors in your artwork.
Confirming required information

Uploading your Artwork

The next step is to upload your artwork. The following must be noted to make sure that this function works for you.

  1. Adobe Flash - You must have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed for this to function.
  2. Upload Speed - Depending on your connection speed this can be a lengthy process.

Sample Upload Speeds

  1. Internet Connection - Please be aware that upload speeds are determined by your internet connection.
  2. Server Speed - Our server has a 100Mbit incoming connection and can handle large capacities.
  3. PSD - Sample, layered PSD file = 90MB
  4. PSD on DSL - Up to 24 minutes for a 90MB file @ 512Mbps
  5. PSD on Cable - Up to 8 minutes for a 90MB file @ 1.5Mbps
  6. PSD Album on DSL - 10 Spreads at 900MB will take 4 1/2 hours at 512 Mbps
  7. JPG Files - We encourage our customers to save all their uploads at 100% or 12(High) JPEG Quality. Our JPG sample weights in at 8MB.
  8. JPG on DSL - up to 2 minutes @ 512Mbps
  9. JPG on DSL - up to 40sec @1.5Mbps
Uploading your Artwork

Select your files and click "Open"

Select your files and click "Open"

Uploading

Once you've select your items they should upload, and provide an indication of the progress - using the progress bar.

Uploading

Wait until the Upload is Completed

Clicking "Add to Cart" or navigating to another page before your upload is complete will interrupt your upload and you'll have to start all over.

Don't be that guy. ;)

Wait until the Upload is Completed

Add to Cart.

  • Once your upload is complete you can hit "Add to cart"
  • You can now order a Logo Add-on for this project
  • Add another product
  • Or checkout as per usual
Add to Cart.