Not long ago I had the need to create a catalog for a recently mounted exhibition at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. A catalog is a book that outlines, explains, and elaborates on the artwork in an exhibition. It's also a great way to preserve the memory of an exhibition, especially if one can't actually attend.
I had planned on using Pages (the Apple version of Word) to lay out the book, and later upload it to one of the online print-on-demand (POD) printers. While toiling in frustration with the lack of flexibility in Pages, I stumbled upon Blurb's plug-in software for InDesign, Adobe's flagship graphic design software. Not being a graphic designer myself, I was a bit hesitant to learn yet another set of software, especially since I probably wouldn't use it all that often. But since I already own InDesign, I figured I should give it a try nonetheless.
Installing the plug-in was easy, and once I opened it up, I began working with Blurb's plug-in almost immediately. My subscription to Lynda.com proved invaluable in bringing me up to speed, and in short order, I was able to create a catalog that I was proud of. There are several sizes available to choose from, and of course hard or soft covers. Different end-paper colors allow for minor customization, and several different types of paper allow one to maximize the appearance of your images, especially if it's primarily a photo book.
To get a feel for Blurb's quality, I went ahead and ordered a copy of the 7x7 soft cover edition. The last time I used them was in 2009, and I'm told they've come a long way since then. If you'd like to take a peek at the layout for yourself, or to order a copy, head on over to Blurb and take a look.