The Art of Creating Lay Flat Photo Books: Gluing Adhesive, Hard Cover Binding, and Paper Selection

by Photo Book Expert on March 31, 2023

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a beautifully crafted lay flat photo book can tell an entire story. Lay flat photo books provide an exceptional viewing experience by allowing photographs to be displayed across the entire spread, without the distracting gutter found in traditional binding. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the intricate process of creating lay flat photo books, delving into gluing adhesive, hard cover binding, and paper selection.

Gluing Adhesive: The Backbone of Lay Flat Photo Books

Gluing adhesive plays a vital role in ensuring that your lay flat photo book is both durable and aesthetically pleasing. The adhesive is carefully applied to each page, enabling them to lay completely flat when opened. There are various types of gluing adhesive to consider for your project:

  1. PVA (Polyvinyl) glue: This is a common and popular adhesive used in lay flat photo books. PVA works well with uncoated papers but doesn’t work for coated or photo paper.
  2. EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) adhesive: EVA is widely used in lay flat book production. EVA is a hot melt type adhesive and offers a strong bond. Photobook Press uses a pressure sensitive EVA for its’ books.

Hard Cover Binding: Protecting and Enhancing Your Memories

The hard cover binding is essential in giving your lay flat photo book a professional and polished appearance. Typically, a lay flat photo book cover consists of two main components:

  1. Bookboard: This rigid, heavy-duty cardboard provides the structural support for your photo book. The bookboard's thickness varies depending on the desired quality and durability.
  2. Cover Material: A variety of cover materials can be used to wrap the bookboard, from fabric to leather to printed paper. This outer layer not only adds a touch of personalization but also protects the contents within.

During the binding process, the glued pages are attached to the cover using a process called case binding or edition binding. The casing-in process creates a seamless connection between the pages and the cover, ensuring your photo book remains intact and easy to browse through.

Paper Selection: Choosing the Perfect Canvas for Your Images

The type of paper you choose for your lay flat photo book can significantly impact the overall appearance and feel. When selecting the right paper, consider the following factors:

  1. Weight: Heavier paper often translates to higher quality and durability. However, it can also make the book bulkier. Common paper weights for lay flat photo books range from 100 to 250 GSM (grams per square meter).
  2. Finish: The finish of the paper affects the texture and appearance of your photographs. Options include glossy, matte, and lustre. Glossy paper offers a shiny, vibrant look but may be prone to fingerprints. Matte provides a more subtle, non-reflective appearance, while a photo lustre strikes a great balance between the two.
  3. Color: While most photo books use white paper, off-white, cream, or even colored papers can be used to create a unique look and feel.


Creating a lay flat photo book is an intricate process that involves careful consideration of gluing adhesive, hard cover binding, and paper selection. By understanding the different options and techniques involved, you can create a stunning, high-quality photo book that showcases your cherished memories in the best possible way. Whether you're creating a wedding album, family keepsake, or a professional portfolio, a lay flat photo book provides an unparalleled viewing experience that will impress and captivate your audience for years to come. With the right adhesive, binding, and paper selection, your lay flat photo book will not only look and feel luxurious but also stand the test of time, preserving your precious moments for future generations to appreciate. Photobook Press has taken the guess work out of creating your Lay Flat book. Choose your template and add your photos and we will make you a great-looking book.