Photographer Dan Milnor explores why setting creative limits is no bad thing, and why the Digest format is a great place to start.
Sometimes what we need to be successful book-makers is a good set of limits. Yes, you heard me, limits. We’ve been taught to believe that “no limits,” is always the best way, regardless of your pursuit, but I’m here to tell you otherwise. Setting limits, for some of us, is the only way we will ever see book-making success. Let me explain.
MagCloud, as I’ve written in the past, is a remarkable self-publishing platform. It really is. But MagCloud also offers a near-endless set of options. Magazine, 8×8 Square, Digest, Tabloid, Poster, Flyer, etc. Where do we begin? Why not make all of these things? Right now, like today? Well, that is one approach. But I find that many people get stymied by too many options and this is where our beloved limits come to life.
Make a Digest
I’m going to set a limit you for today. Digest. You are ONLY going to make a Digest. But why Digest? Well, for one, it’s my favorite of all the MagCloud offerings. And secondly, it’s also the only small landscape format option you have, and my guess is that many of you shoot mostly in landscape format. Now, you do have the option of creating a portrait version with either saddle stitch or perfect bind, but these are the only options I’m leaving up to you.
The Digest is a 5.25×8.25 in. publication that’s perfect for a portfolio, a mailer, a giveaway, or in my case, a business card. Yes, I use a MagCloud Digest as my business card. I created a fifty-page Digest that showcases the range of photography I create as well as some of the writing I do. When I meet someone I want to work with, I hand it over. The return has been remarkable because the Digest shows I can encapsulate an idea, that I can edit and sequence my work, and that I have an understanding of basic design principles.
So, the next time you’re feeling stuck because you just can’t make up your book-making mind then think about setting a few limits. One format, twenty-pages, softcover, etc. This can be the spark that lights your creative fire and finally allows you to see your work in print.