Everything you need to know about Lay-flat Photo Books

Bob Books
19th January 2020

Does the term lay-flat sound foreign to you? If you are you interested in making a lay-flat photo book but are not sure what it is and how to start, don’t panic, we got you covered. Discover the main features of a lay flat book, how they differ from other books and when you should use this format in your next photo book project.

Does Bob Books offer Lay-flat Books?

Yes we do! Our layflat books are available in several book sizes and can be printed with three different premium photographic papers.

How is a Lay-flat books different from other photo books?

Layflat photo books have a different book binding technique that allows open pages to remain completely flat, without damaging the spine or the binding. This means that there is no crease in the centre of the pages, so your photos will be printed seamlessly from left to right. 

Lay flat papers are also much thicker than regular photo books papers. This is because pages are glued back to back to ensure that the pages are completely flat when the book is opened. Perfect-bound books pages are glued to the spine with a strong and flexible adhesive, which prevents the pages from laying flat when the book is opened.

What type of binding is used for the lay-flat album? 

We use a lay flat binding technique for our books. Pages are glued together back to back to make the papers extra thick. The first and last insert pages are then placed in the inside cover, which is then adhered to the outer side of the end sheets.

Are there different paper types available for lay-flat albums?

Yes, we have 3 different types of photographic paper available. All three papers are 300 gsm (GSM refers to the weight of the paper) and will be quite thick.

Gloss Photographic

Gloss photographic paper has a smooth high-shine finish. This enhances vibrant colours and detail, which makes it a good choice of paper for animal and nature photographs or macro photography where you want every detail to be crisp and sharp.

If you prefer your images and photos to have a glossy, shiny look, the finish of this paper will be perfect for your book.

Lustre Photographic Paper

Lustre photographic paper is kind of like the best of both worlds. It has a semi-gloss finish and produces vivid colours with sharp detail, but without the levels of shine you’d get when using gloss photographic paper. It allows the photos to be viewed under a variety of lighting conditions without too much glare, and is a good option for travel books, wedding books, and family albums.

Matte Photographic

Matte photographic paper has a soft matte finish, which doesn’t reflect light and produces a very artistic effect. Because a matte finish tends to mute colours, it’s the ideal choice for black-and-white photographs, portrait photography and professional portfolios, where you don’t want overly vibrant colours distracting from your subjects or composition.

Are all book sizes available in the lay-flat option?

All our books except the Large Portrait are available in the lay flat option.

How many pages can I have in a lay-flat book?

Our minimum amount of pages starts at 26. You can increase the amount of pages in increments on 4. The maximum amount of pages for a lay flat book varies per size:

  • Small Landscape : 74 Pages
  • Landscape: 98 Pages
  • Large Landscape: 114 Pages
  • Portrait: 114 Pages
  • Square: 98 Pages
  • Large Square: 114 Pages

What type of paper do I need to select when creating a lay-flat book?

You can to select any of the “Photographic” paper options. All other options with be printed in a perfect bound book.

What type of book can I make?

We think our layflat photo books look great with every type of photo and any type of book, but there are certain images that are certain to stand out:

Travel or Landscapes

If you’ve taken some amazing breathtaking photos during a holiday, print it across two pages to show off all the stunning details and colours it contains.

For landscape photography, display your most stunning panoramic photos as they stretch across two full pages.


A full spread gives you the creative freedom to place text next to horizontal images, display multiple shots and create striking layouts that tell the whole story behind your best work.Size and paper type make a difference, therefore you can choose from landscape, portrait or square sizes


Make unique moments stand out and showcase fantastic wide-angle ceremony  group shots.

Personalised wedding books can be designed with our wedding theme layouts or why not make your very own template

Make sure to customise your photo book with captions and texts , choosing from various fonts and designs

Make a perfect gift for newlyweds or anyone in the wedding party, our software gives you the perfect design options

You can find more about our paper types and highlights on our blog and in our Help and Information section!