I've been making digital scrapbooking pages since 2007 and always have them printed at 12 x 12 and then insert them into page protectors. I've often thought of making them into books instead but I like the consistency of being able to keep them in the same albums that I have my traditional pages in. I have a few themed books that I created with other people but I still like my traditional albums.
I still get a lot of questions about my printing process and it's so incredibly simple so I thought I'd outline it here.
First, I highly recommend Persnickety Prints for photo and layout prints. I've blogged about them before because I love them so much. I've printed my layouts with them almost exclusively for three years and their quality is outstanding. They have big sales a couple of times a year and I always buy print credits during the sales and then print layouts at my leisure throughout the year. (And no, I am not an affiliate nor do I get anything for saying this. I really just love their quality, price, and customer service.)
So after I finish a layout, I save it as a .psd file. Then I flatten it and save it again as a separate .jpg file at 12" x 12" at 300dpi. There's no need to change the borders or move any text in from the edges. Persnickety Prints prints layouts at full bleed and they will print EXACTLY as they appear on your screen. I promise!
And that's all there is to it! Flatten, save it at the appropriate size, and upload. End of process. :)
*If you choose not to print out at 12 x 12, you can print the same layout in different square sizes - 10 x 10, 8 x 8, etc...but you don't need to upload it at a different size. And if you choose to have your layouts made into a book, you'll have to carefully read the instructions for whatever printing service you use. If you have any photos or text within 3/4" from the edge, you'll likely have to move it.
I printed out a few pages last week and I'm so thrilled with the way they turned out. I have both 2014 and 2015 albums now officially started. :)
Any shadows or grain that you see is not there in real life. It's a result of the dark, dreary winter days we have around here. LOL!