Album Resizing for Smaller Clones or Parents Books

What you need to know about resizing.

(You may first want to review definitions of safety edge, bleed, margin, etc.)

You may have wondered if you should resize your album spreads to make a smaller clone or let the album company do it. The complete answer depends on a few things. The short answer is if you are using a comfortable Safety Edge(.6 in or more) and Margin then let the album company do it. Issues arising from scaling down album spreads won't be so noticeable or even nonexistent.

In fact, if your album company uses a larger Safety Edge and Bleed in their main album specs, and then scales back those numbers as the clone gets smaller, you'll get a great result. Graphi Studio and Kiss Wedding Books serve as examples of companies that set up the albums this way so they can then back off the trimming as the album size decreases. This gives some breathing room to the outer page margins and matches them to the inner page margins.

Let's look at a few graphics to see what goes on when we scale down album spreads. I'm gong to use a dramatized version of an album spread that has a small area for photos. Each album is scaled down 40%. This is like going from a 10x10 album to a 6x6. You'll notice several things:

Resized album

Album A has a roomy margin. When resized the the relative space for the trim decreases...See Clone A.

Album B has a narrow margin. What's interesting is the difference between inner and outer margins for Clone A and Clone B is the same. However, the percentage difference changes because the margins are different in Album A and Album B.

As you can see it makes sense to plan in advance if you will be making clones. You can then consider how to set up your main album.

The nice thing about InDesign is that you can quickly resize your spreads, reset your margins, and center pages for a clone and submit two sets of files - one for the album and one for the clone. That way you are in more control over the outcome. And, you can keep those narrow margins if that's the look you prefer.

Again, your album companies methods in dealing with scaling can make all the difference. Consult with them on their process and follow their specifications.

Furthermore, many times you will have spreads with no inner page margins. You'll only be concerned about the outer page margin or spread margin as seen below:


Determine Your Album Margin

Use the calculator below to help you choose your album margin based on your clone margin preference.

The margin calculated below will be your spread margin or outer page margin. We'll first calculate the Minimum Margin for your clone as recommended by your album company based on their specs for bleed and trim.

  Enter main album values:

Album safety edge:

Album bleed or trim:

  Enter values for smaller clone:

Clone safety edge:

Clone bleed or trim:




  Minimum clone margin:

Choose a margin for your clone

that is greater than or equal to:

and enter it as your

desired margin below.

  Enter clone values:

Desired clone margin:

Clone spread width:

  Enter main album value:

Album spread width:




Base on the above specs you should set you album margin as:

Check: Is the margin greater than or equal to the minimum margin suggested by your album company = ?

If yes, use it for your album.
If no, use your company's minimum suggested margin.

Reminder: Add the margin and bleed together to determine your safety edge.

Test different album margins to see the effect on clone margins.

Enter the following values:

  Enter clone values:

Clone Spread Width:

Clone Bleed:

  Enter album values:

Album Spread Width:

Album Bleed:

  Try different album margins:

Album Margin:



Clone values based on album margin:


Spread or outer page margin:

Inner page margin:


Difference between the spread and inner page margin is:

Outer page margin is % of the width of the inner page margin.


The page values are off center by:

Note: Pay attention to the outer margin value. Wether the clone margin feels cramped or spacious enough to let the spread breathe depends on this number. And, it's the percentage difference between the inner and outer page margins that balance and centering of the page depend on.