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Art Book Printing: Self-Publish a Gallery-Quality Book

Taylor Helfrich
Taylor Helfrich

As an artist, every detail of every project will be under high-scrutiny. When planning your Soft-Cover Art Book, there are countless factors to consider to ensure your project can hold up to critique. At PrintingCenterUSA, we provide everything you might need to create a gallery-quality Art Book that will not only professionally represent your art, but sell! From layout design and Print-Ready PDF tips to the flawless Perfect Binding, we have your back. Below you will find tips for the entire process of creating your Art Book!

Art Book Printing

Layout Tips 

Your art book should be…about your art! These questions and tips should help guide you through the layout process.

Are my images vivid and crisp? 

The #1 make-or-break for an art book is the execution of the art documentation and subsequent print representation. To make sure the latter goes off without a hitch, you must start with a high-resolution image or scan of your work. Do not take your fine-art photos with your cell phone. Utilize light equipment and a camera that produces a higher-resolution. If you don’t have lighting equipment, take your art outside on an overcast day and the lighting should be perfect!

Once you have the image, clean them up and color correct (if necessary) in a design software like Photoshop. Pro-Tip: don’t over edit! Then save your image at 300 DPI or higher so your images don’t appear pixelated when printing.

Is my layout distracting from my art?

While layout design is an art in and of itself, be wary of over-designing. Fine art books tend to be very clean with the art displayed in the middle of a white page and a small (8-10 pt) caption at the bottom. If you decide to add graphics or big bold text, make sure that it complements the image of your art. 

Clear space is also something your art needs. Try to avoid crowding the image with any extraneous information so the art can breathe and the viewer can absorb the image without any distractions.

Art Book Layout Design

Do I have an easy-to-navigate structure to my book? 

Most art books are centered around a certain theme. For your body of work to resonate with your viewer, you have to delicately guide them to your point. One way to help with this is to start with a table of contents. Show the viewer the structure right off the bat. You then reinforce the table of contents with small navigation details at the bottom and/or bottom of each page, similarly to how a book displays the chapter at the top and the page numbers at the bottom. For example, if your fine art book is showcasing sequential art works from a series, name the pages that you talk about that work with the title at the top. This way the viewer knows where they’re at all times, even if the section is multiple pages.


Print-Ready PDF

Print-Ready PDF Design

Once your design is all finished, I would bet you want the printed product to look exactly the way you designed it. Right? To do so, it is important that you follow our Print-Ready PDF guidelines.

  • Make sure bleed is set up in your design files and that all bleeding art work extends beyond the edge of the page to the bleed line.
  • Download & Install the PrintingCenterUSA color profile and PDF Preset for your design program. This will ensure that your colors won’t shift and other details like bleed will be just the way we need them!

  • Save each facing page of your document (cover and all) individually and in sequential order. We do not accept spreads.

Page Count For more information on Print-Ready PDFs, click here.

If you’re utilizing the online design tool as your design program, be sure to utilize the in-program tips that pop up! These will guide you to a print-ready design.


Recommended Pricing Tool Selections

If you’re looking for a gallery-quality book, then here are our suggestions on what to select on the Pricing Tool when placing your order:


For an art book, we highly recommend the Soft-Cover Perfect Bound binding option. This will give you a sharp, square spine that adds that extra level of professionalism you’re looking for. You can even print on the spine! Not only will the book appear more professional than with other binding types, but our soft-cover perfect bound books are created with the highest-quality and strength PUR glue ensuring your book will last. These Soft-Cover books are much more affordable and provide more customizability than a hard cover book. 

Perfect Bound Art Book Printing

Black Ink

For the ink choices, you should absolutely select Full Color for both the inside pages and the color. Unless your art is comprised of solid-black vector shapes (Like the image to your right), full color is the way to go. 


Cover Paper

We recommend 100# Gloss Cover for the soft-cover of your art book. The gloss will make any colors pop and the 100# weight will be strong, professional, and durable. This cover paper will provide flexibility and more customizability than a hard cover book. PrintingCenterUSA does not print hard cover books. 

Inside Paper

We recommend 100# Gloss Text for the inside pages of your art book. Similarly to the cover paper, the gloss will make the images of your book stand out. The 100# text weight will be strong and crisp, adding even more value to your product.

UV High Gloss Finish


To make your book extra durable and vibrant, we recommend the UV High Gloss finish for your cover. This gloss will help protect against scratching and scuffing caused by frequent handling.

Now that you know how to address all of the small considerations involved with creating and printing a fine art book, you’re ready to get started on your project! You will surely come out with a stunning book worth selling for $30 or more, as many of our customers do. Click here to learn more about Reed Schick, a photographer that produced a book with us and has more than returned his investment by selling his perfect bound art book for $30 a piece. For as little as $1.68 per book, what’s stopping you?