Design - Frequently Asked Questions

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About Color

What type of printing press is used at AsukaBook?
We use a digital on-demand printing process. AsukaBook products are printed on a HP Indigo digital 6-color press with electronic inks, halftone dot, and 175 dpi.

What is the print quality of a digital on demand press?
Digital on-demand printing produces color and texture like an offset press. Our quality is similar to a high-quality coffee table photography book you would find at a large bookstore such as Barnes & Noble.

Do you have a printer profile available?
Yes. Go to the Color Management - Soft Proofing page to download the profile.

How and why should I use 'Perceptual' as the rendering intent when soft proofing my design?
To access 'Perceptual' in Photoshop go to File - Print with Preview > More Options > Color Management > Rendering Intent. Selecting 'Perceptual' will give you a "natural" view of how colors should look. This setting must be selected to obtain correct/desired color in your layouts.

How can I be sure that the color AsukaBook prints matches what I see on my monitor?
To ensure that the colors you see on your monitor will closely match your printed book it is essential to have a properly calibrated monitor, and to soft proof your images with the AsukaBook printer profile.

Does the color shift during production?
Color consistency and accuracy is our first priority. Our 6-color printing press is calibrated every 100 printed pages. This type of control is very rare in the printing industry. Slight shifts in color can occur from batch to batch, but it is very minimal. Keep in mind that we are printing with a CMYK color space, which requires a conversion process from your RGB files. Slight shifts may occur consequently, which is normal for any CMYK print process. Again, it is highly recommended to view your images and design with the AsukaBook printer profile and proper monitor calibration so you may adjust any possible color shifting before placing your order.

What about discoloration and color fading?
We use special inks that outlast the life of widely used press inks. A surface varnish coating or laminate is also applied, increasing durability and quality. Expect your book to last at least as long as any standard high-quality printed book.

About Design

Do you provide free design software?
Yes. We recommend using our free AsukaBook Maker design software, AsukaBook Photoshop Tool, or AsukaBook InDesign Tool.

Can I use other programs such as Smart Albums or Fundy to create my album layout?
Yes. You may use other design programs to lay out a product design. Note that additional steps will be required to ensure proper file setup.

Do you provide color correction and retouching services?
We do not offer this service and do not retouch or color 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 use a properly calibrated monitor and soft proof your design files. We print exactly what is submitted.

What is the proper image size for the layouts?
Our design tools create templates for the case, cover and inside page spreads that have a pre-set resolution and dimensions relative to each product. Adjustments to these settings will result in errors when uploading the files.

Why is it necessary to transfer designs to AsukaBook templates when designing in applications other than AsukaBook Maker or the Photoshop and Indesign Tools?
Transferring designs to our provided templates guarantees correct resolution, dimensions, and color space required for the production of our products.

Why are the templates blank?
The blank templates allow creative freedom when designing so you can add as many images, texts, and other graphic elements to the layout. If you would prefer to use pre-set image placement layout templates, we recommend using AsukaBook Maker which provides hundreds of them.

What do the Photoshop guidelines on the blank templates represent?
To turn the guides on, go to: View > Show > Guides.

  • The outer guidelines represent the area where the cover will be folded over board material.
  • The center guidelines represent the spine and divot.
  • 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 trim lines to avoid any undesired 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 center line to ensure nothing will be unintentionally lost in the gutter.

How many images can I include in my design?
There is not limit to the number of images, text, or any other graphic element you can include in your design.

Can I print on the vellum sheet?
You can add an image, text, or any other graphic element on the white vellum sheet of the Crystal album only.

Can I add text as part of the design?
You may add text anywhere on the design. We recommend not placing text on the divot area or close to trim lines and gutters as any text and image information placed there may be lost.

Do I have to place an image on the cover?
You have complete creative freedom! You can add any number of images, text, or any other graphic element in your design. The template may also be left blank or filled with a solid color!

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 layout from one product size or style to another?
AsukaBook Maker: Go to Tools > Change Book Type.
Photoshop: Use the AsukaBook Photoshop Tool's Convert Book feature.
InDesign: Use the AsukaBook InDesign Tool's Convert Book feature.

Once converted to a new size and/or style, be sure to review your entire design to ensure everything looks correct.

When saving images in JPEG format, 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?
We do not offer proof sheets, but a single side or spread test print can be produced for a fee. Contact Customer Care to order a test print.

Do you print Sample, the AsukaBook logo, or any similar text if I use a studio sample discount on an order?
No. We will not modify your designs in any way or add anything to them.

Are there any restrictions on what can be printed?
AsukaBook requires that you have copyright permission for all images included in your order. In addition, 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.