What is a dry mount photo album?
Dry mount photo albums have PLAIN CARD PAGES. No pockets, no adhesive backing, just plain card onto which photos are mounted using adhesive PHOTO MOUNTING PRODUCTS such as photo tabs, corners or glue.
WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT DRY-MOUNT PHOTO ALBUMS?
Dry-mount albums are a traditional style still popular today because of the FLEXIBILITY they offer, holding different photograph sizes and other items such as maps, tickets, mementos and memorabilia.
They also offer FREEDOM OF LAYOUT as they don't have pre-configured pockets or set memo spaces, allowing photos to be laid out as desired, and as much note-writing as required beside the photos.
Completed dry mount photo albums can deliver HIGH PRESENTATION VALUES, looking fantastic and telling their story in a very appealing way. Bring a photo album out when family and friends come over and they will gather around, eager to share in the nostalgia.
Dry mount photo albums can be an ECONOMICAL photo presentation option, especially for larger quantities of photographs, when compared to self-adhesive, magnetic or matted-page photo albums. Slip-in albums may be cheaper for per-photo storage, but have more restrictive layout and capacity options.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DRY MOUNT PHOTO ALBUM?
There are many factors in choosing the right album. Primary considerations include size, capacity, and page colour. These depend on the individual situation and personal preferences. Please contact us if you'd like help in choosing an appropriate album for your requirements.
Other less-obvious considerations include interleaving, binding style and longevity, and maybe we can lend some experience regarding these. Please read on ...
WHAT IS INTERLEAVING, AND IS IT IMPORTANT?
Interleaving is a light paper between the pages of a photo album. It is often glassine, tracing paper or light parchment.
Interleaving plays an important role in PREVENTING CHAFING AND STICKING of photographs on facing pages of the album. This can be especially important in humid parts of the world.
Interleaving is beneficial, but it's not vital. Because it is a light-weight paper, it tends to show wear-and-tear if not handled carefully. Some people also consider that it inhibits easy viewing of the photos. If a dry-mount album does not have interleaving, The Photo Album Shop suggests mounting photos on one side of the page only, to reduce the risk of photos chafing, scratching or sticking.
WHICH BINDING STYLE IS BEST?
Dry-mount albums are commonly either book-bound or post-bound. There are considerations which might make one type of album more suitable for your requirements than another. These terms are explained below.
BOOK-BOUND PHOTO ALBUMS have a one-piece cover, and pages are typically stitch-bound or glue-bound into the spine. This means that book-bound albums are usually NOT REFILLABLE, and it's not possible to add, remove or change the order of the pages.
The benefit of a book-bound album is that you have a complete album with a bound spine, delivering HIGH PRESENTATION VALUE. The spine of the album is covered, which makes for a very neat presentation like a hard-cover book. Good quality book-bound albums handle well, with no or minimal shearing, and are likely to last well into the future.
Book-bound albums tend to be either mass-produced albums (usually with machine-made glued page-blocks) or premium custom-made albums (usually with hand-finished stitched page blocks).
POST-BOUND PHOTO ALBUMS have pages that are held into the cover by a post-and-screw system. Sometimes this system is visible on the spine of the albums, and sometimes it is concealed within the spine.
Post-bound albums may have exposed page-ends at the spine of the album, or they may have a spine cover between the front and back covers which serves to conceal the page-ends and improve the appearance of the spine. If there is a spine cover, ideally it should expand to accommodate the extra thickness when refills are added to the album.
The advantage of post-bound albums is that they are typically REFILLABLE. Refills can be added to extend the albums and increase the capacity, usually with the provision of extension posts to make the post-and-screw systems longer.
Adding refills is usually ECONOMICAL as it extends the existing album, delaying the need to buy another.
It's also CONVENIENT to build an album up to fit all the relevant photos by adding just as many pages as required, for instance to fit one holiday, one wedding or one event into one album.
Post-bound albums are also ideal for ongoing collections such as family histories, when PAGES NEED TO BE RE-ORDERED to maintain a chronological sequence as new material becomes available, or for an album which may need to be extended in the future.
WHAT IS THE BEST DRY MOUNT PHOTO ALBUM?
Here's a link to the BEST dry mount photo album ... we wish! Sadly there is no one best photo album for everybody. Different features suit different requirements, and we welcome you to contact us to discuss these. But there are a few points which in our experience make for a better photo album:
Firstly, ensure the photo album has ACID-FREE PAGES. There are many factors which will affect how long photos last, including the quality and type of printing, and the paper and chemicals used, which are out of most people's control. However, using an acid-free album gives your photos the best chance of lasting into the future.
Find an album with a reasonable PAGE THICKNESS. Pages don't need to be stiff or super chunky, but they do need to be thick enough to support the weight of the photos so they don't collapse on themselves when they are loaded with photos.
Another important feature is to have SPACING between the album pages, which will accommodate the extra thickness once photographs have been mounted, thereby avoiding the risk of flaring. Beware of an empty photo album which sits flat, as it probably doesn't have spacing, and will not work properly once filled with photos.
Better-quality post-bound albums will also have HINGED OR SCORED PAGES to allow the pages to turn easily and lie flat when the album is open.
The album shown in Image 1 below does not have hinged or scored pages, so the pages bend organically with gravity. This can be compensated for by creasing the page manually to lay more flat. The lack of spacing in the spine is of greater concern, as the album will flare wider away from the spine when filled with photos.
The album shown in Image 2 below has appropriate hinging and spacing, so the pages lay flat, and the album will not flare when filled with photos. It has no interleaving, so photos have been mounted on one side only.
Photo albums aren't meant to be consumable items which fall apart after two years. They are meant to last. To protect their photos. And to become treasured heirlooms. This doesn't mean they have to be expensive, either. We've got a great selection of dry mount photo albums which are reasonably priced and meet all the requirements of a good photo album.
The right dry mount photo album will allow you to tell a beautiful story beautifully, and bring joy to you and your friends and family for years and years to come. And that should be good enough.
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