CQ Blog

Page Design – Formatting Photos for Page Layouts

Posted by Martha DiMeo on September 26th, 2014 | No Comments

Rarely, if ever, do the proportions of a photograph correspond perfectly to the dimensions of the page layout or specified picture area. Faced with this problem there are three options that usually come to mind—alter the layout to accommodate the photograph, crop the photo to make it fit, or find a replacement photo. But there is an alternative solution; an option that will allow you to proceed with your desired layout and the selected photography. It is a method that is employed routinely in magazine layout design. That is, to create an image extension.

Photo Design & Composition

When additional elements are added to the photo (Figure 1), the extension becomes an intrinsic part of the photo’s composition and the page design. Or, the extension can be as simple as extending the background to add to the width or height of the image. In the example of the magazine cover (Figure 2) the image was extended on the left and right  to create a full-bleed image.

Before & After of Magazine layout design photo extension for a double-page spread
Figure 1-Magazine Layout: In this example, the graphic designer ‘s preference was to use the photo as a full-bleed, double-page spread. The solution was to create a corner in the room.


Image Extension for Magazine Cover Design
Figure 2 – Photo Extension for Magazine Cover

There Just Might Be A Solution

When a photo doesn’t quite fit the layout, the important thing to remember—before changing the layout or cropping the photo in an undesirably manner to make it fit—is that there just might be a solution. Collaborate with a skilled Digital Imaging Specialist who offers ideas, understands magazine design and page layout, and is highly skilled in Photoshop. The imaging work should be seamless allowing the page design to shine.

© Martha DiMeo 2014


More Examples

To see more examples and to read more about the photographs featured here, visit the Magazine Retouching Portfolio.

In the next post learn about image extensions as they related to prepress requirements.



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