Using the Fonts Window to Customize Text in Aperture Books
Creating books in Aperture is a great feature and can be used for a lot of different purposes. You can use the book making tool to create printed portfolios of your work, a proof book for your clients, or my personal favorite, a photo album from your travels. Whenever I get done editing the images from a trip, my favorite next step is sorting through my best and favorite images and laying them out into a book. It is a great memory to keep for yourself and will also make an amazing gift to give to your friends and travel companions.
Using the Fonts Window to Polish Off Your Book Layout
Creating books is really easy and straightforward with the book making tool in Aperture. I love that all the tools I need to make simple and great looking books are available to me right in the same application I use to edit and organize my raw images. You have access to all of the images in your aperture library with only a couple of clicks and placing images into a layout is as simple as drag and drop. Reformatting the layout and position of images and text boxes is also very simple. With all that said, one of the things that I think really adds pizazz to a book design and is hidden away in the File menu, is the ability to customize the fonts for text and titles. The built-in fonts available in the book templates are often limited and generic. By customizing the font of a title or text box, you can enhance the design and use the text to supplement the mood of the images in your photo book.
The process of changing the size, style, and color of the font is really easy. Select the text you want to change and then go to “Show Fonts” in the Edit menu (
EDIT > SHOW FONTS). To speed up the process you can also use the keyboard shortcut
Command+T. The Fonts window will appear on the screen giving you access to a number of styling options and all of the fonts available on your machine. By default, your Mac already has a variety of fonts installed, but you can also download additional fronts from the internet which may work really well for your book layout. The image above of my Cambodia book has a custom font I found online at Font Squirrel that reminded me of some of the signage I saw while traveling there.
I have used this technique multiple times and have had great results. I personally have ordered books from Apple's Print Services that have custom fonts and styling and they have all printed with no problem. When you are ordering your books please make sure to preview the book from the Buy Book order screen. This will create a PDF file similar to the one sent to the print shop for final production. Any problems seen in the preview will need to be addressed prior to finalizing your book order.
Taking it a Step Further with Master Pages
If you want to use a custom font consistently throughout your book layout, a good way to do this is by applying the styling directly to a Master Page layout template. I do want to warn you about this technique though as I have found this part of the process buggy and at times frustrating. After numerous trials and errors, I have found a few steps that can mitigate some of these frustrations and I have noted them below.
When creating Master Page Layouts with a customized font I have found it best to start with a brand new Master Page instead of modifying an older design. To create a master page, use the Book Actions drop down menu (the button with a gear icon) and select “Show Master Pages.”
Once you have the Master Pages pane open, you can add a new Master Page by clicking on the “+” button and selecting “Add New Page”. You can now add text boxes and photo boxes. When you are customizing the Master Page, the layout will be available to you in the page chooser drop down menu (as shown below).
Another option I sometimes use to create a new Master Page is by using the “
Save Page > As New Document Master” feature from the Book Actions drop down menu. This feature will take a page you edited and stylized, creating a Master Page template that matches the design. The one bug I consistently come across when using this method is the text is almost always reset to a default generic styling. To get the stylized text, you will then need to reapply the font styling to that actual Master Page.
Another bug I frequently deal with happens when I choose one of my customized master page layouts from the template chooser. Aperture will sometimes reset the font styling of the text back to a generic default. To further explain this issue I will use the following example: If I select the “Brand New Master” layout in the image above I would expect the text to be blue, italic, and a script font. When the bug happens, and from my experience, the text will be a boring generic font. After trial and error I have learned that if I switch to a blank page layout prior to setting my desired custom layout, it will maintain the stylized text as I wanted. It's an extra step and you lose any of the images you may have placed in the page but it is work around. I hope this bug will be fixed in a future update.
I hope this pushes you to give book-making a try. I have received a number of books created in Aperture which were printed through Apple and all of them have fully met my expectations in terms of print quality and finish. By incorporating fonts and styles that match the theme of your images, it really adds that extra bit of polish to your book that can set it apart and make it stand out to your clients, friends, and family. On top of that, they offer an amazing keepsake to remember your travels and experiences.