Uneven Bleed Dimensions in Photo Books

I have been trying to put together a photo book of prints from my senior art exhibition on Lulu for awhile now, but have encountered a snag (hopefully a simple one).


I would like to have my images centered on the page, but I am having difficulty understanding how bleed is set up in Lulu,com. It seems that there is a greater bleed region on the outer edge of the page than the inner edge of the page, with no specification as to what the measurement might be for either.


My goal would be to make an Illustrator Template so I can accurately place where I want my images to go rather than eyeballing it. I would like to center the pieces in this book, but am finding that to be far more diffucultl than I would have exoected.

If this info is available somewhere on Lulu, I would be most grateful for the link. I have been searching back and forth, gone onto the photo book app, tried making a template from a screenshot, and even tried picture.com based upon one suggestion.

Any help would be hugely appreciated!


Many thanks,


  • This link has all the dimensions you'll need to set up your bleed:




    You may want to off-set the center slightly, as some of the page is lost to the spine (the industry term for this is "gutter"). We generally recommend 0.3" allowance for the gutter, but the final decision about how to layout your page is up to you!

  • Paul,
    Thank you for your prompt response. I was looking over your link, and the numbers are helpful. Likewise, thank you for the info on gutter margins.

    However, neither of those seem to cover the Lulu Studio margins. Is there a third measurement I am unaware of that would affect the outer edges of pages? I set up an even margin for the images and imported them to the Lulu Studio program, but whern they enter they are automatically formatted to cut a disproportionate section off the right side (or left side on odd numbered pages). I can try and compensate with framing, but again that would be guesswork. If there is a specific measurement for this region I can add it to my formatting.

    I have included a screenshot of what an even numbered interior page looks like on Lulu Studio, as illustration of what I'm talking about.

    Best regards,

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The Lulu Studio Wizards are unlike the normal book Wizards. With the former the book compilation is done within an on-line tool, whereas with the normal Wizard the total page creation is done in something like Word on your PC and then uploaded.


    Is bleed relevant to the Studio Wizards? Are you sure it is an actual Studio Wizard you are using?

  • Kevin,
    Thank you for your response. Yes, I am sure that it is the actual Studio Photobook Wizard. It seems to be required for full bleed imagery in the book. There does not seem to be an option for a full page image with a slight margin.

    The dimensions I am prompted to provide are 9" X 11.25" for a single full page image in the 8.5" X 11" module. So I know it is using a bleed margin, but the margin is not evenly spaced for both sides. THe other side seems to be far longer for some reason.

    Best regards,

  • Hmm, that does sound odd. If you're using the Studio Wizard, the emplates should accommodate all the images and set the margins automatically.


    If you got a printed copy and it is off, it might be a printer related issue.


    You may want to create a support case so someone can look more closely at this issue for you.

  • Paul,
    Thank you for youe ewaponse. Lulu support may have to be my route. How does one open a case with them?

    I am still hopeful someone might know the issue here though. I can't imagine I'm the only one doing full page 8.5 X 11 books in the photobook wizard.

    Best regards,

  • Hey Futhark30,


    I was thinking more about this last night, so I had to go and make a photobook to look at the Wizard. I think I figured out what you're seeing now!


    The larger outer margin in the Wizard is actually the inner margin, and is larger to allow for the gutter. Our Studio Wizard displays odd pages on the left, but in the printed book, the odd pages are on the right, making the outer margin in the Wizard the inner margin in the printed book.


    So that margin is enlarged for the gutter, but that margin displays as the outside of the page while working in the Studio Wizard.

  • Paul,
    Thank you so much for looking into this. This raises a few clarifications then about what I am seeing in the wizard, but that makes a lot of sense then that the longer margin would be the gutter.


    1. We open to the title page, and it is 1 sided, meaning...

    2. The 1st page starts on the right, 2nd on the left, etc...


    3. I am assuming this means that the pages in the wizard are not actually set up as 2 page spreads then. I notice that they are set in groups of 2 in the editor, which from my experience in In Design and other page layout software would have suggested they were 2 page spreads.


    If, however, page 1 starts on the right, then you'd have to turn the page to get to page 2 and page 3 would actually be the match for page 2 in the case of 2 page imagery.



    A bit confusing, but I think I am visualizing better what things in the software look like.

    Thank you Paul!


  • * Quick additional clarification. What side of the book does the title page open on then? I was operating on the assumption that it opens on the right side, but the elongated margin in the editor seems to also be on the right side. That would put the gutter back on the outer edge of the page again, which makes no sense.

    Again, thanks for all your assistance.

  • Yup, that makes no sense what-so-ever. 

    So, you're right about the title page, and my thinking about the way the spreads were set up is wrong. I was thinking in terms of a normal print book, but our photobook wizard has the "title page", which acts as page 1. That was my mistake (and I was so thrilled because I thought I had it all figured out!).


    In my frustration, I went to our print specialists and they said the outer trim line is enlarged to help people keep their important material away from the trim edge. They too felt that the way this was set up is not optimal (part of why we have picture.com as an alternative photobook site).


    What I did learn was that our print team believe that any image you upload that is sized to the specs displayed on the preview should be centered on the page (basically, the inner trim line that you cannot see in the preview is the same as the visible one). They informed me that the print ready PDF should show the images centered, and if they appear off center, they said they could look at the file and verify whether or not the images are centering properly.


    Apologies for the wrong answer earlier, it appears we are all continually learning.

  • Paul,
    No worries. We are all learning, and I am optimistic that this can be solved. You've beena  great help so far.

    I followed the steps you mentioned. Clicked preview, and publish. Lulu generated the print ready PDF. However, it seems that the final version is just applying  the same trim borders, and thus the image is not centered. 

    I can  plug in the entire print series and generate a book pdf to send your way in case I'm just missing something. It is truly a mystery, but an important one, as this would be how I'd approach future projects as well, format-wise.


    best regards,

  • I would say the best thing would be to go ahead and finish inserting the images, then once you have a print ready file, make a support case and we'll get our print experts to weigh in on the margins issue.

  • I'll do that. Thank you for looking into this issue Paul.

    best regards,

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