Season’s Greetings Printed by MagCloud

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‘Tis the season holiday cards and newsletters, and MagCloud is here to help! As we’ve discussed before, MagCloud’s print-on-demand capabilities offer a great way to produce personalized holiday communications on an affordable budget. With the premium 80# cover stock we use on all sizes of our Flyer and Pamphlet products, combined with the commercial quality of our full-color digital printing, you can rest assured that your message will look professional and polished whether you are keeping in touch with business clients or corresponding with family and friends.

Holiday Newsletters and Cards for Your Business

BizNewsWe have a number of businesses and organizations that use MagCloud for their newsletters year-round, and the holidays are no exception. As we near the end of the year, it’s a great time to connect with clients and members to update them on the prior year and get them thinking about the year to come. If you own a photography business, for example, you can use this as an opportunity to highlight some of your best work from the past year and remind previous customers about the other services you offer. Or if you are in charge of member communications for a nonprofit organization, now is a great time to highlight the work you’ve done in 2012, and encourage member participation in the new year.

No matter what business you are in, MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet product is the perfect format for your holiday newsletter with four pages for full color images and text, a clean half-fold binding, and a professional-weight paper stock, all for as low as $0.60 per piece when you order 20 or more. Simply create your PDF in the software of your choice, upload it to MagCloud, and order as few or as many copies as you’d like. We can even take care of the distribution of your newsletter for you, and drop-ship copies of your newsletter to an address list at no additional cost.

Business CardsIf you don’t feel like a long-form newsletter is the right fit for your business, you could also create and send a custom greeting card instead. MagCloud’s 5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet format fits perfectly into A9 envelopes, which can be found at any paper or office supply store, and the 80# cover stock that these products are printed on gives them a great professional feel. For only $0.48 per piece when you order 20 or more, this Pamphlet format offers an affordable way to incorporate your products, employees, or the work that you’ve done into your holiday greetings, along with your own branding and a more personalized message, rather than sending a generic card to your clients or organization members.

Holiday Newsletters and Cards for Your Family

NewslettersOf course, businesses aren’t the only ones that send cards and newsletters during the holiday season. Holiday newsletters from families have become the norm in recent years as a way to update friends and relatives on the family’s activities over the prior year. Combining these updates with family photos into a single printed piece is a great way to streamline your holiday communications, either as a double-sided Flyer or using one of MagCloud’s four-page Pamphlet products for additional space.

Cards FamilyIf a newsletter isn’t your style, how about a custom greeting card. MagCloud’s 5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet product makes great half-fold cards while the 5.5″ x 8.25″ or 8.25″ x 5.25″ Flyer works well as an oversized postcard. Both fit perfectly into A9 envelopes, and at only $0.24 per piece for 20 or more of the Flyers, or $0.48 per piece for 20 or more of the Pamphlets, both offer a blank slate to create affordable holiday greetings that are unique to you and your family. Whether you create a collage of family photos or scan some of your children’s artwork for the cover of your card, you can be sure that it will be met with a smile upon arriving at its destination.

Templates

TemplatesTo help you design your holiday newsletter or greeting card for printing through MagCloud, below are links to templates in a variety of formats and software programs. Each link below will take you to a preview of a publication created with that template on the MagCloud site, where you’ll find links in the description to download the corresponding template for a variety of software programs. You can also find a number of letter-sized newsletter templates in programs like Apple Pages, or online at office.microsoft.com for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher. These work well with MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet and Flyer products. After you’ve designed your file, be sure to follow the instructions on our Getting Started page to export your PDF.

4-page Business Newsletter (8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet)

4-page Holiday Newsletter (8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet): Adobe InDesign (CS4 or newer) | Microsoft Word | Apple Pages

2-page Holiday Newsletter (8.25″ x 10.75″ Flyer): Red Design | Blue Design

Left-Folded Holiday Card with One Image (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Left-Folded Holiday Card with Three Images (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Top-Folded* Holiday Card with One Image (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Top-Folded* Holiday Card with Three Images (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Portrait Flat Holiday Card (5.25″ x 8.25″ Flyer)

Landscape Flat Holiday Card (8.25″ x 5.25″ Flyer)

*Keep in mind that if you are using the 5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet for your greeting card and want a top-fold, you will need to upload a PDF with the design rotated, in the same way you would if you were creating a calendar.

Holiday Newsletter Templates

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Whether it’s for your business or your family, the holidays are a great time to send an update to friends, family, and colleagues. Here at MagCloud we think the best way to do that is with a beautifully designed print piece, so we’ve created a few holiday newsletter templates to help you get started. Once you’ve personalized your template of choice by adding your own photos and text in Adobe InDesign, Apple Pages, or Microsoft Word, follow our instructions to export a MagCloud-ready PDF file and then upload it to the MagCloud website to place your print order. We can even help you ship a copy of your newsletter to everyone on your address list with our Ship to Group feature. You can also opt to make your newsletter available as a digital version to share virtually if you don’t have someone’s shipping address.

Click the links below to download one of these new templates, or visit the MagCloud website to find more downloadable templates. Just be sure to check out our holiday shipping schedule to make sure you place your order in time. If you are using one of the templates below, you will also need to download the following free fonts:

Bebas Neue Regular
Langdon
Ostrich Sans
Linden Hill
Marcelle Script
Nexa Light

note: all templates will download as .zip files and will need to be unzipped before they can be opened in Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Word or Apple Pages

Holiday Newsletter for Your Business

Business NewslettersSend your customers an overview of what you did in 2013 and let them know what they can look forward to in 2014 with our holiday business newsletter template. This two-page template was designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Flyer, a double-sided single-sheet product with optional UV coating, and you’ll be able to print this newsletter for as little as $0.30 per piece when you purchase 20 or more copies. When you download this template you’ll be able to choose from three layout options: no logo, a rectangular logo, or a circular/square logo. When you are ready to export your file, be sure to follow the PDF export instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page.

Download this template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer): No Logo | Rectangle Logo | Square or Circle Logo

Download this template for Apple Pages: No Logo | Rectangle Logo | Square or Circle Logo

Download this template for Microsoft Word: No Logo | Rectangle Logo | Square or Circle Logo

Holiday Flyer Newsletter for Your Family

Flyer NewsletterLet your family and friends know what you’ve been up to the past year with our holiday flyer newsletter template. This short and sweet two-page template is available in three color combinations and was designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Flyer, a double-sided single-sheet product with optional UV coating, and you’ll be able to print this newsletter for as little as $0.30 per piece when you purchase 20 or more copies. After you’ve personalized the template with your family’s photos and text content, export your MagCloud-ready PDF using the instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page.

Download this template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer): Silver | Red | Gold

Download this template for Apple Pages: Silver | Red | Gold

Download this template for Microsoft Word: Silver | Red | Gold

Holiday Pamphlet Newsletters for Your Family

Pamphlet NewsletterIf you’re looking for a little more space in your holiday newsletter, check out our pamphlet templates. These four-page templates were designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ and 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet products, which have a half-fold binding and can be printed for as little as $0.60 per piece when you purchase 20 or more copies. The 8″ x 8″ version is available in the same three color combinations as the Flyer template. After you’ve personalized the template with your family’s photos and text content, export your MagCloud-ready PDF using the instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page. Be sure to select your chosen pamphlet size from the top of the page (8″ x 8″ or 8.25″ x 10.75″) before downloading the Instruction Package.

Click here to download the 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer)
Download the 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer): Silver | Red | Gold

Click here to download the 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet template for Apple Pages
Download the 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet template for Apple Pages: Silver | Red | Gold

Click here to download the 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet template for Microsoft Word
Download the 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet template for Microsoft Word: Silver | Red | Gold

Holiday Photobook Newsletter for Your Family

PhotobookIf you want to send even more photos to your family and friends this holiday season, we’ve created a longer photobook newsletter template. This template was designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 5.25″ Digest product, and includes 16 pages to place your photo and text content. If you want to fill up all 16 pages, a print copy of this photobook will cost you just $2.56. You can also choose to delete pages in the template for a shorter 12 or 8 page booklet, or duplicate pages to make an even longer photobook and take advantage of our perfect binding option. When you are ready to export your file, be sure to follow the PDF export instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page.

Click here to download this template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer)

Click here to download this template for Apple Pages

Click here to download this template for Microsoft Word

MagCloud Pet Love

MagCloud Team PetsHere at MagCloud, we love pets, so it’s no surprise that some of our team members have published “Puppy’s First Year” photo books, created wall calendars or even made custom placemats for their furry friends.

Whether you have a goldfish, a Peterbald cat, a purebred Great Dane or a rescued mutt, there’s bound to be a product that will help you pay tribute to your furry (and sometimes fur-less) companions.

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Create a Photobook

Using cool action shots, fun Instagram photos or ‘selfies’ of you and your pet, you can create beautiful square photobooks to commemorate your pet’s first year, or as a gift for your favorite animal-lover.

Blank templates to get you started with MagCloud’s square product are available in the Getting Started section of the site. Or if you want a little more help with design, you can use our partner Poyomi. Poyomi is a web service that lets you take your desktop or online photos and easily lay them out as a calendar or photo book of many sizes and have them printed and shipped on-demand via MagCloud.

MagCloud_flyer_paws_stackMagCloud’s Flyer Product to Promote your Pet Cause

If you’re involved with a pet service, cause, or adoption agency, MagCloud’s glossy flyer product is perfect for pet adoption flyers or event promotions. We personally love a good ‘yappy hour,’ or ASPCA fundraiser. You can spread the word for your cause or event for as little as $0.24 a copy when you order 20 or more digest-sized flyers.

Posters Turned into Personalized Placemats

montyplacematMonty, MagCloud’s unofficial mascot and Canine Consultant even has his very own personalized placemat for a water bowl in his office. Using the poster product in a landscape format we created a custom graphic that looks like a sketch of a place setting on chalkboard. While the poster isn’t 100% waterproof, it does hold up well, and at $2 for a new one, it can be changed out seasonally, or swapped for holiday and sports-themed versions.

You can download this image to create your own–just place it in any MagCloud 18 x 12″ poster template in your favorite software and add your pet’s name in white text.

Enjoy Pet Photos Year-Round with a Custom Calendar

SATO Fundraiser CalendarCalendars aren’t only for a new year, you can still create a custom photo calendar to enjoy through the end of 2014. We’ve modified our 2013 calendar templates to go from July 2013 to December 2014 in our Standard (8.25″ x 10.75″) and Small Square (8″ x 8″) formats for InDesign CS4 and newer, and Apple Pages. Just download the template for the size of calendar you want to create in your software of choice, add your photos and use the included instructions to export a PDF for uploading to the MagCloud website.

InDesign CS4 and newer: Standard template  |  Small Square template

Apple Pages: Standard template  |  Small Square template

If creating your own calendar file in InDesign or Pages isn’t for you, then this could also be a great time to check out our partner Poyomi. In addition to photo books, Poyomi lets you create a calendar just by uploading your photos from your computer, SmugMug, Picasa, or Facebook, and then you can have it uploaded automatically to your MagCloud account.

Discover and Enjoy other Pet-Centric Publications

If that’s not enough pet-mania for you, Monty has picked out some of his favorite publications available in the Pets Category of the MagCloud Shop.


Pup Culture May / June 2013Pup Culture

Everything Pet in the Northwest–We cover pet health, welfare, events, and just about everything else for our readers in the upper-left-hand-corner of the map.

Spot MagazineSpot Magazine

Everything Pet in the Northwest–We cover pet health, welfare, events, and just about everything else for our readers in the upper-left-hand-corner of the map.

Animals VoiceAnimals Voice

Features articles about the history and plight of pit bulls. Also: Wild Horses, Factory Farming, Whales and Dolphins, Endangered Wildlife, Horse Slaughter, and other news and information regarding the rights of animals


Pony PalsPony Pals

July’s issue is full of great pony stories, summer tales, art, horse themed crafting projects, and a great tale about Equitarian Initiative in Haiti.


Shelter Pet MagazineShelter Pet Magazine

Everything Pet in the Northwest–We cover pet health, welfare, events, and just about everything else for our readers in the upper-left-hand-corner of the map.

InstagramAnimal lovers: be sure to stay tuned for a MagCloud Instagram pet contest coming your way soon!

Tour de France: Ride along with Niche Publications

Yesterday marked the finale for the 100th Tour de France. Chris Froome raced by throngs of cheering fans along the Champs-Elysees to finish first. The race has gained a lot of attention and fans in its 100 year tenure, and every year it continues to gain more advocates. While the Tour drives dialogue and content on cycling in the media during the 23-day span, but what about the rest of the year?

With the advent of self-publishing services, niche publications have continued to grow as people discover publications that focus on their specialized interests. Self-publishing with MagCloud has made it easier for creators to kick it up a few gears and distribute in-depth content easily, and for readers to read it on any device, at any time. Specialized publications allow readers to access their favorite topics without having to filter through other content while also connecting with a community of like-minded enthusiasts.

Are you spinning for more cycling publications? Take a look at these magazines published with MagCloud.

  1. XXC Magazine has been publishing on MagCloud since 2009. The mountain biking magazine features race coverage, dynamic pictures and key interviews. Since MagCloud doesn’t have minimum print runs, XXC is able to publish content on their schedule and provide readers with print copies on demand.
  2. Ryan Hosler published his book, “Bay Area Bike Rides,” in 1990. Since then, Hosler has created some great biking content with MagCloud. One of his touring magazines, Mount Hamilton by Bike, provides a road history, memorable trails and other great content for tourists looking to cycle in the San Jose area.  He has also published calendars of photos from his rides and a collection of short stories for children.
  3. Last June, Photo Synthesis came out with a special edition of their magazine about the Metropolis, IL Superman Bicycle ride. The edition highlights some participants and activities associated with the ride through pictures.

The Tour de France is a great opportunity to watch a community celebrate a shared passion. Whatever your niche may be, hit the road to success by tapping into your target market and providing high-quality material. Great content will increase your brand recognition and grow your business, while allowing you to share what you love with others who love it too!

Now that you’re geared up to share your unique content, here are some suggestions to get you started on publishing for your niche:

DIY Wedding Ideas using MagCloud

Maybe its a side effect of Pinterest, and all of the beautiful weddings we keep seeing pop up, but with June being one of the busiest months of wedding season, we couldn’t help but get into the spirit and explore some DIY wedding ideas using MagCloud products.

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Custom Party Invites

It all started last month when I created some fun custom bachelorette invitations for a getaway weekend for my friend who is a bride-to-be. Using MagCloud’s digest pamphlet product I designed a fun little invitation that fit into the top 5.25″ of the template. When the prints arrived (each cost just $0.64) I took a quick snip with my scissors and popped them into coordinating 5.75″ x 5.75″ square envelopes that I found at Paper Source.

Then the idea of creating custom stationary using our digest product got me thinking:

How else could you use MagCloud products for wedding DIYs?

programs

Wedding Programs

Whether you have 12 bridesmaids or 2, having a nice wedding program helps keep guests informed of the order of the ceremony, and who you’ve cast in the important roles for you big day. The four-page digest pamphlet–or if you have a lot going on and want to include songs, readings and hymns–a digest-sized 8-page booklet are classically styled and beautiful printed. We also tried using the square pamphlet for a more modern feel. Depending on the form factor you choose, and the quantity you need, a 4-page digest or square pamphlet could cost somewhere between $0.48 and $0.80 a piece, perfect for the bride on a budget.

Like our modern design? You can download the template for Adobe InDesign below:

Wedding Menus

menus

Using our flyer product to create a sleek menu was really simple too. By dividing the page lengthwise (basically creating a 0.5″ gutter right down the middle of the page) we were able to print two menus per flyer and simply cut them in half with a paper cutter when they arrive.

Because our flyers cost just $0.40 print (or buy at least 20 and the price drops to $0.30/print), printing two per page makes them$0.15-0.20 per menu. That means you could print 200 menus for just $30.00 + shipping.

*Note: Flyer publication orders are subject to an 8 quantity minimum in multiples of 4.

Wedding Poster

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The wedding poster seems to have surpassed traditional guestbooks in recent years as the popular way to commemorate one’s wedding day. Rather than being stuffed into a box and never looked at again, the wedding poster allows newly-wed couples to enjoy the love notes and encouragement given to them by family and friends for years to come.

MagCloud’s 12″ x 18″ poster costs just $2, leaving you plenty to spare for a fancy frame. We recommend having your loved ones sign a mat (like this one available from Amazon) rather than directly onto the poster (UV coating which protects the poster, also makes some inks smudge). But if you really want to let folks sign right onto your print, we found that you can do so with Sharpie Metallic Fine Point Permanent Markers.

Get started creating your own! For more design guidelines for our poster product, visit our Getting Started page.

Banners and Pennants

With the “Rustic Chic” style of weddings still ever-popular– pennant or flag signs have become a wedding or shower must-have. We’ve seen every variation from “she said yes” to the classic “Bride” and “Groom” signs on the backs of chairs, and found that the MagCloud standard pamphlet is a great tool for creating your own. With two letters per pamphlet we were able to create this sign for just $6.40. Using fishing line, twine or a narrow strip of ribbon and a glue stick, we simply cut out the pennants, lined the ribbon up in the fold of the paper, and glued the two sides together around it. The 100# cover stock used in our pamphlet product helped the banner hold up in a nice afternoon breeze.

banner

pennant-guideTo create your own banner, each pair of letters will need to be designed as it’s own 4-page pamphlet. We used the standard size, 8.25 x 10.75 publication so that we could get 4″ x 8″ pennants. In order to be sure the pennants look great from all sides, we set the full inside “spread” of the document to be a matching color to the outsides (this hides trimming/gluing errors) and to add a little bit of fun, we added a pattern, like stripes or polka dots, to the back sides for when the banner is blowing in a breeze. For the space between words, we used a heart symbol, so the banner would read “FROM❤MS.❤TO❤MRS.” or “SHE♥SAID♥YES.”

Try it and Save

Interested in creating your own event DIY with MagCloud?
Use promo code MCDIY when you publish and save 15%. Valid through June 30, 2013

More Wedding Reading on MagCloud

Now that you’re in the wedding mood, check out some of our favorite publications in the Brides & Weddings Section of the MagCloud Shop.

SmittenSD Wedding StyleDIY Weddings

Business Brochure and Flyer Templates

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Feel like your business collateral needs a little refresh?  Let us help out with our brochure and flyer templates.

Business Services Brochure

This four page 8.5 x 11 Pamphlet template is an easy way to create a great looking company, product or service brochure that is MagCloud-ready.

Once you’ve finished designing your brochure in InDesign or Pages using the templates below, be sure to follow our software-specific instructions to export your MagCloud-ready PDF:

Click here to download instructions for Adobe InDesign   |   Click here to download instructions for Apple Pages

To learn how to use MagCloud with a variety of software applications and print products see our Getting Started page.

brochure_blog2

Template for Adobe InDesign (CS4 or higher)

Template for Apple iWork Pages (’09 or newer)

Business Customer Case Study Flyer

Our Flyer product is great for customer case studies, data sheets, real-estate sales sheets, menus and more.  Download our case study template to showcase your latest sales wins and solutions.

Once you’ve finished designing your flyer in InDesign or Pages using the templates below, be sure to follow our software-specific instructions to export your MagCloud-ready PDF:

Click here to download instructions for Adobe InDesign   |   Click here to download instructions for Apple Pages

To learn how to use MagCloud with a variety of software applications and print products see our Getting Started page.

flyer_blog

Template for Adobe InDesign (CS4 or higher)

Template for Apple iWork Pages (’09 or newer)

Let us know what you think of our templates and how you might use them in the comments section.

How to Create a MagCloud-Ready PDF in Lightroom 4

Adobe’s recent update to Lightroom added a Book module. Currently, the module is limited to a set selection of sizes, however it does allow users to export the books they create as a PDF. Until Lightroom allows you to create books in custom sizes, books created with the Small Square and Large Square sizes can be exported as PDFs and used to create 8″ x 8″ Square, 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet, 8″ x 8″ Flyer, and the new 12″ x 12″ Square MagCloud publications. In today’s post we’ll be sharing the settings you can use to do this along with some design tips, and we’re also launching Information Packets for Lightroom 4 that can be downloaded on our Getting Started page for all of our 8″ x 8″ and 12″x 12″ products.

Creating Your Book

To get started, the first thing we suggest is that you create a collection in Lightroom of the photos you will want to include in your book. Once you’ve created your collection, select the “Book” module from the menu in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

For an 8″ x 8″ MagCloud publication, select your Book Settings to match those shown to the right. Specifically:

  • Select “PDF” next to Book
  • Select “Small Square” as the Size
  • Select “Softcover” as the Cover
  • Set the JPEG Quality to 80
  • Select “sRGB” as the Color Profile
  • Set the File Resolution to 360 ppi
  • Check the box next to Sharpening and set to “Standard”
  • Select “Glossy” as the Media Type

For a 12″ x 12″ MagCloud publication, select your settings to match those shown to the right. Specifically:

  • Select “PDF” next to Book
  • Select “Large Square” as the Size
  • Select “Hardcover Image Wrap” as the Cover
  • Set the JPEG Quality to 80
  • Select “sRGB” as the Color Profile
  • Set the File Resolution to 310 ppi
  • Check the box next to Sharpening and set to “Standard”
  • Select “Glossy” as the Media Type

Once your settings are taken care of, the next step is to lay out the pages of your book. When designing for MagCloud, you can disregard the Front and Back Covers in the Lightroom layout. Instead, treat page 1 as the cover of your publication, page 2 as the inside front cover, and so on. Keep in mind that if you are creating an 8″ x 8″ Flyer, your publication will only be 2 pages long: page 1 will be the front of your Flyer and page 2 will be the back of your Flyer. If you are creating an 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet, your publication will only be 4 pages long: page 1 will be the front of your Pamphlet, page 2 will be your left inside page, page 3 will be your right inside page, and page 4 will be the back of your Pamphlet.

One option for adding pages is to choose a Preset under the Auto Layout section, and click the Auto Layout button. This will automatically add pages to your book and layout all the photos from the collection you have selected based on the Preset you specified. This is a great way to get a book laid out very quickly, but all of your page layouts will be the same. If you want to change any of your page layouts after using the Auto Layout function, you can always do so by selecting the page and choosing a different layout from the Page section.

Your other option is to add pages one at a time, specifying unique layouts and picking photos as you go. To do this, pick a layout in the Page section, then click the Add Page button. Once the page has been added, you can drag images from the Filmstrip at the bottom of the window and drop them on the gray image placeholders to add them to the layout. If the layout you selected includes text, you can also click on the text box and start typing. This is convenient if you want a more custom book, but it will take longer than using the Auto Layout option.

When you have finished laying out your content, click the Export Book to PDF button in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Select a name for your PDF, and choose where you want it to be saved on your computer. After you click the Save button, you can track the progress of your PDF in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Lightroom will export two PDFs: one that is a single page and has “Cover” added to the filename and another that is a multi-page PDF. For creating a MagCloud publication, you can disregard the cover PDF, and just upload the multi-page PDF to the MagCloud website.

After your file finishes uploading, you’ll see a message that the PDF is the wrong size. This is because Lightroom exports files that are 6.875″ x 6.875″ and 11.875″ x 12″, while MagCloud uses PDFs that are 8.25″ x 8.25″ and 12.25″ x 12.25″, respectively. By clicking “Proceed with this PDF” MagCloud will automatically resize the PDF to fit our specifications, resulting in a PDF where all the images are the MagCloud-recommended resolution of 300 dpi. From there, you can continue with the rest of the MagCloud Publish process as usual, previewing your publication and setting your binding, pricing and distribution options.

Picking Layouts for MagCloud Publications

When selecting your layouts and choosing images, it’s good to keep in mind how your PDF will be trimmed by MagCloud. The Lightroom layouts all have a pretty good margin around them, so there shouldn’t be an issue with keeping content inside the MagCloud-recommended safe zone. 12″ x 12″ Square publications and 8″ x 8″ Flyers are trimmed equally on all sides by MagCloud, so the only thing you need to consider is that the outside 1/8 inch or so of any full-page images will be trimmed off. On the other hand, 8″ x 8″ Square and 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet publications are trimmed more on the outside than the inside, so layouts with centered content may appear off-center in your final MagCloud publication. In print, perfect bound publications won’t be as noticeable, because the binding will take up some of the extra space on the inside edge, but saddle stitch bound publications and Pamphlets will be more obvious. For these publications, asymmetrical layouts and layouts with full-page images will generally look better.

Cover Design Tricks in Lightroom

Since the first and last numerical pages of your publication will be the covers, rather than the Front and Back Covers specified by Lightroom, you won’t be able to use the specific cover layouts that Lightroom provides. One of the benefits of this is that you can mix and match your front and back covers, as compared with the Lightroom options where the front and back cover layouts are paired together. Many of the cover templates are also available as page templates, but one layout that is used frequently in the cover templates and is not available in the page templates is text on top of a full-page image. Even though there isn’t a specific page template for this layout, you can get the same effect by using the full page text layout, and then adding a background image to the page.

If you are searching for a layout to use on your cover that includes both text and images, don’t limit your searching just to the “Text Pages” layout menu. There are a number of layouts hidden within the photo-centric layout menus that also include text. Many of these will likely be better for creating an interesting cover, since the images are given at least equal, if not more, focus than the text. Another way to expand your options for both your cover and interior pages is to use a different program to design a layout, and then import it as an image into Lightroom and place it on a page using one of the preset layouts. For example, you could design your cover and place it in the 1 photo full-page image layout on page 1. Doing so offers you more creative freedom in designing your layout than Lightroom allows.

Overall, Lightroom is a great option if you want to create a simple, photo-centric 8″ x 8″ or 12″ x 12″ MagCloud publication. Whether you are creating a proof book, portfolio, or even a catalog, the preset layouts and easy interface help simplify the process of creating your PDF. We hope to be able to provide instructions in the future for creating our other product sizes through the Lightroom Book Module, but in the meantime, check back here on the blog over the next few weeks as we highlight other photo tools you can use to create your MagCloud product, no matter what size you want it to be.

For more general information about using Lightroom 4, please see the Adobe website.