Europe 1952 – InDesign Template

Europe 1952 Cover

I thought I would make a template of this project available for you to download. I’m using Dropbox and I’m relatively new to it so I hope it works as desired. If you’ve not used an Adobe InDesign template before it is very easy. Just open the template as you would any document and then you can add pages and drag the desired master page for chapter headings and newspaper articles. You can customize it anyway you would like. If you want to edit the original template than you should make sure you open the original file. Think of the template as a starting place. This template is sized for a large landscape book on To publish your finished book on blurb, download the pdf presets and export. Then upload the pdf to blurb and order you finished book. The cover template is for an image wrap book with 440 pages. So if your book is shorter you will need to make adjustments.

To download the files, click on the links below. One the page loads up it will look like gibberish, but don’t worry. Right click on the page and select “save page as” and save to your computer. Then you will be able to open the document in Adobe InDesign. (Sorry it has taken me all week to get this figured out)

Pages Template

Cover Template

This post concludes my Europe 1952 project. If you have questions that I haven’t covered let me know and I’ll do what I can to answer them, possible with an extra post. It has been a fun journey over the last few months.


Europe 1952 – Adding Memorabilia

One of the great things about doing this project was all the stuff that I had to work with. One of the challenging things about this project was all the stuff I had to work with. My mom is a saver and I think she saved everything she got on this trip. I have no idea how she got it all home. She didn’t have that much luggage. Even though sometimes it was a pain to figure out how to include most of the documents, brochures etc. that she saved, it adds to the flavor and the interest of the book. Some of the things I had to work with were:

How I dealt with the above items I covered in earlier posts. Follow the links above.

  • Documents

Some where scanned and others were transcribed and reformatted to fit the page.

  • Brochures
  • Maps
  • Menus
  • Letters
  • Business Cards
  • Receipts

I scanned these and cropped them to size before placing them in the document.

  • Postcards
  • Ticket Stubs

Some of the postcards and tickets stubs had interesting edges that I didn’t want to crop off. So after scanning I opened them in Adobe Photoshop, deleted the background so that it was transparent. Then when placed in the document the deckled or torn edges were preserved.

  • Booklets
  • Books
  • Medallions

Since these items were thicker I wanted to keep the dimension. So I also opened these images in Adobe Photoshop and deleted the background to make it transparent. I really like how you can tell they are books and not just a single sheet of paper. It was fun to have the medallion that my mom got from visiting the Pope. This same process works great for objects of any shape.

When placing the memorabilia on the page it is usually good to gather them near each other on the page and not spread them out across the page. Overlapping another piece of memorabilia or a photo can also help. The overlapping visually connects the items together and brings some order to a layout that might otherwise get too busy.


Europe 1952 – Passport Stamps


I’ve always loved passport stamps and dreamed of having a passport full of interesting stamps. So I wanted to find a way to include all the stamps from my mother’s passport into the book about her trip. But just scanning the pages and including them that way seemed like an ugly solution. After some thought I decided to figure out a way to include just the image of the stamp on each chapter heading page.

scan of passport page

After scanning the pages of her passport I  cropped each stamp into a separate image from the rest on the page. Some of the stamps overlap which just gave me more stuff that I erased from the image. All of these work was done in Adobe Photoshop.

cropped to single passport stamp

Now I started playing around with a way to separate the inked image from the background. With a simple white background it is easy to use the magic wand tool to select and then remove the background. But as you can see passport paper isn’t plain. The tool that helped the most was the background eraser tool. I hadn’t used this before so it was good to learn about it. But I still ended up doing some clean-up by hand.

cleaned up passport stamp

The last step I did was to make the image black and white before I placed it on the chapter heading page. To give it more of the effect of being stamped on the page I changed the transparency to multiply. There is probably a better way to clean-up these images but I got it done and I was happy with the effect. I like having the passport stamps for each country on that country’s chapter heading page.

What ways have you found to include things like passport stamps in your projects?


Europe 1952: Maps

Among the many items that my mom saved from her trip to Europe in 1952 was a large map. I decided I wanted to use it at the beginning of each chapter. The map was challenging to scan because it was so big. So I scanned sections of it and then used Adobe Photoshop‘s photomerge to stitch together the section of the map for each country. If you’ve never used photomerge it is a very handy tool for doing things like panorama shots.

photomerged map

After I had a map section for each country I added a brown route line to mark the roads they traveled in that country. I did this also in Photoshop using the brush tool. To bring more focus to the country I added a grey mask that partially block out the neighboring countries, by adjusting the transparency of this layer.

map with route

map with surrounding countries grayed out

Once I brought the map image into Adobe InDesign, I added text boxes to label the cities they stayed in along with other relevant information and arrows to make it easier to tell the location of the city on the map. Arrows are easy to make in InDesign, just go to the stroke palette and select the style of arrow point you would like for the beginning or end of the line you made with the pen tool.

map with labels

I think the maps were effective in communicating a lot of the information at the beginning of each chapter in a visual way. How have you used maps in your projects?

Europe 1952 – Chapter Headings

In the early stages of putting together this book, I decided to break it up into chapters for each country. (Germany ended up with two chapters because they re-entered Germany a second time.) So I put together another master page in InDesign to make it easy to have a consistent look for the beginning of each chapter.

master page for Chapter headings

The beginning of each chapter was a natural place to put the itinerary for each country along with a map showing the route that they traveled. On the map I included the mail stops where they could pick up letters from family and friends back home. I also had information about the money of each country and the exchange rates in 1952. My mom’s passport had lots of entry and exit stamps from her trip so I added those to the beginning of the chapter. I’ll go over how I put the route on the map and how I handled the passport stamps in an upcoming post.

Europe 1952 – Newspaper Articles



example of newspaper article

One of the wonderful resources I had for putting together this book for my mom was bunch of newspaper articles written by one of her fellow travelers on the trip. I wanted to include them because they had good information on what the trip was like, plus another perspective on Europe in 1952. But scanning in the articles and including them that way was problematic. First they were visually messy. They were different sizes and shapes and cut out from the paper in different way. Also some of them I just had a bad copy of the article and not the original. The next problem with going the scanned route was making them big enough on the page to be readable. After some thought I decided to try to replicated the look of the newspaper but to redo them so they fit into the book in a seamless way. The drawback was getting the text from the articles into my computer. I’ve never figured out how to do OCR so I had to type them in. It took awhile but I think it was worth it.

master page for newspaper articles

After I got the articles typed the next step was to create a master page for the newspaper articles. My basic master page has a dark brown background but that doesn’t look like a newspaper. So I changed the background to a nice cream color (I used the same color as the large text titles on each page). I changed the text to black and I went from three columns of text to five so that it would have the narrow column look of a newspaper. I added a header to duplicate the look of a newspaper and a large headline style for the title of each article.

Then we I came to the spot in the book where each newspaper article belonged it was a fairly simple task to change the master page and paste into the page the title and text. Then there were just a few little tweaks for the article and it was ready to go. I was very happy with the solution and I will keep it in mind for use in future projects.


Europe 1952 – Master Page and Using a Grid

When figuring out the way you want to layout the pages of a book I like to use a grid as the structure for the design. Before & After‘s has a two-part video that talks about using a grid in your design. If you want to learn more about grids in your designs it is well worth the 10 minutes or so it will take to watch them. I especially like part 2.

Because of the large size of the pages of this book (about 13″x11″) I wanted to have the text in columns. If a line of text gets too long in relation to the size of the letters it gets harder to read because it is so easy to lose your place on the line. Having columns of text solves this problem. I decided on three columns so I put guides on my master page for three columns. I also put guides horizontally to divide the page in three sections with in the margins. Instead of a small header or footer I chose to put a large title on each page. Part of the reason for this was that my mom, who the book is for, has macular degeneration plus cataracts so she couldn’t see well. Before I finished the project she had cataract surgery which helped her vision a lot. I thought that she would at least be able to read the title on each page and see something of the largest photos even if she couldn’t read all the text. It is important to keep in mind who you expect to read your stories and make decisions that will help them to be drawn into your book.

Basic Master page

If you haven’t used master pages you are missing a great time saver. In InDesign it is a simple as clicking on the master page in the pages pallet. By default there is a blank master page there called A-Master. Also by default this master page is applied to you whole document. When you add anything or edit anything on this page it is added to your entire document. Don’t worry, you can override this by dragging the [None] page in the pages pallet to any pages you don’t want to have the A-Master applied. I created two other master pages, one for the beginning of chapters and another for newspaper articles. I’ll talk about those in more detail in another post.

The advantage that having the three by three grid gave me was that it helped to make it simpler to figure out the layout for each page of the book. I had lots of photos and most of those photos are either one, two or three columns wide. Some are full bleed and a few go across to the facing page. But I still used those grid lines to help me to decide how large those photos were. Here are some examples pages.

The left hand page shows a “three column” photo and the right page is a full bleed.

This page has a bleed on three sides with a small “one column” photo overlapping on the left, while the right had page has two “two column” photos.

Here I have a “four column” full bleed and a couple of “one column” plus. When I was overlapping photos like here I was willing to allow photos to be wider than their column.

So how did I decide what size to make each photo? The first criteria was appeal of the image including the quality of the exposure. Because I wanted the photos to be the focus, if the image justified it I would make it as big as I could. Next I had to take into account how many photos or other memorabilia and the amount of text. Sometimes it is very tricky to get it to all coordinate together. But having the grid makes this easier and unifies the look of the book.

If you have any questions about how to do any of this please let me know. Next week I’ll cover how I handled the many newspaper articles I had for the book.

Europe 1952 – Cover

I hope that you have enjoyed this journey through Europe. I think I will miss these daily posts about my mother travels 60 years ago. For the next few weeks I’ll post on Tuesdays some of the “how to” of putting this book together. Today I’ll start with the cover.

Europe 1952 Front Cover

I wanted this cover to look like a small suitcase that I remember growing up, that my mom used on this trip. It was brown with an alligator texture and it had stickers from different places in Europe all over it. I originally thought I’d take a picture of the suitcase. But getting access to it wasn’t very convenient and when I found that my mom had extra stickers from her trip I decided that replicating it would probably get better results.

Crocodile Texture

The first step was to find an image of an alligator texture. I ended up with a crocodile texture instead that I found at Lee Dyeing Company. It was perfect. They had an alligator texture too but the crocodile was more like the original suitcase.

original scan on left – converted to png on right

The next step was to scan in all the stickers. Then I erased the background and converted them to png files so that the background was transparent. I did this in Photoshop.

Now with the parts and pieces I needed gathered together it was time to make the cover. I used blurb’s template for Adobe InDesign to get the size right for my book. They now have a handy plug-in for InDesign instead of template. It takes into account not only the size of the book and the number of pages but also the type of paper it is printed on. When making the cover it is just one page that includes the front, spine and back cover along with the bleeds for wrapping the cover. The template shows you were these things are on the page. I love the image wrapped cover the blurb offers. I’ve tried the paper back and it looks good but it just isn’t very durable. They also offer a dust jacket option but I’ve never been tempted to try it.

cover with crocodile texture

I placed the crocodile texture first. It was large image but not long enough for this cover so I copied and flipped the image horizontally. Then placed another copy next to that to give me enough image to cover the page horizontally. I copied all three of those and flipped them vertically to finish covering the page. Otherwise I’d risk too low of  resolution and ending up with a poor quality image.

crocodile texture with brown overlay

Now I had my texture but not the desired color. So on another layer I made a box large enough to cover the entire cover and filled it with brown. I used Pantone 7519 PC. Then I changed the transparency in the effects pallet to multiply. That made it so the crocodile texture came through. I was getting rather excited at this stage because how much it was looking like my mother’s suitcase.

cover with stickers added

Next I was ready to place the stickers. This took some trial and error to get a good balance in color and shape. I also kept in mind where I would be putting the text on the front, spine and back. As you can see I used some of the stickers more than once. But since they are on the front and the back I doubt that anyone has noticed on the finished book.

small drop shadow added to the stickers

To add just a bit of depth to the stickers the next step was a drop shadow. I’m not sure that you can see it here. Instead of the default 7 pt. drop shadow these are just 1 pt. in offset on both the x and y axis.

cover with text

The next step was to add the text. The cream color and font (Warnick Pro) are consistent with what I used for the inside of the book. At this point I realized that the cover was too busy. The drop shadow on the text helped make it more readable but it wasn’t enough. So I added a box around the title text on the front and changed the main title to red. I also put a stroke on the box, inspired by several of the stickers. Along with a larger drop shadow.

cover with box around title

This was a big improvement and I thought I was done. But when it came back to it later I decided it was still too busy. How could I fix it? I was not willing to give up on the concept of replicating my mother’s suitcase but I was not happy with all between the stickers and the title both front and back. So I decided to tone down the stickers. I took a black box large enough to fill the cover. I placed it under the text but over the stickers. Then after experimenting the transparencies I figured out that at 36% and using the darken effect I got the stickers toned down so they didn’t compete with the title. Yeah! The design now worked.

finished cover

Next week I’ll go over how I designed the layout for the inside of the book and using master pages in InDesign. What fun covers have you seen or designed yourself? I’d love to hear about them.

60 Years Ago Today (and more)

4 to 12 September 1952:

And so to America. One day, in a boat, kind of ran into another. We couldn’t seem to find too much in common with the characters on the boat. Perhaps it was our fault, not theirs. But they seemed to spend the majority of their time smoking, drinking and playing cards. I did have a few interesting conversations and enjoyed the lectures I attended and symphony music in the nursery and the plays and the picture shows. About the fourth day out, the vibrations or jiggles as we called it found some reason for stopping. It was a most welcome relief. The galloping I could put up with but the jiggles interfered with everything and were fast ruining my last vestiges of sight. We had a Dutch waiter who talked and looked like he is from Brooklyn.

Saturday, 13 September:

Finally after almost ten days the boat docked on solid ground. It felt so good to be back in the good old US. What an amazing trip! I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to see so many things.

Impressions of Scandinavian Countries Given in Final Report on European Tour

Editor’s Note:
The following are Mrs. George H. Hansen’s impressions of Denmark and Sweden, the last countries on their tour of Europe. Mrs. Hansen and other members of the party arrived home Monday morning. This is the 20th and final installment of Mrs. Hansen’s interesting and highly descriptive reports from abroad.

“Three kingdoms are welded together in unity and cooperation to form the charm of Scandinavia,” so said our guide book. But I heard a Dane say, “Oh those stupid Swedes.” And I heard a Swede say, “Oh, those stubborn Danes.” So even in the world’s most homogeneous group, there is likely a healthy competition and rivalry.

All three countries, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, boast of a democratic monarchy, cooperative enterprises and even distribution of the good things in life and social laws which are fair in conception and administration.

Because of a time limit, we had a taste of the hospitable friendliness of only Denmark and Sweden, where the sand and sea seem to be their only natural resources. The Folk Schools play a great part in the development and maturity of the people.

Seeing the cleanliness and orderliness of city and country, of shape and homes, we almost felt that the people live to be clean. With their passion for cleanliness comes also a deep spirituality and a pride in their Royal family.

Freed of Royalty
In Copenhagen, before going to the opening performance of their opera season, our hotel manager pridefully said to us, “You don’t have a King and Queen in America.” Aside from seeing and hearing Carmen sung in Danish we had the pleasure of seeing a King and Queen for the first time. The audience rose to their feet as King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid came to view in the Royal box, on the top of which was a huge gold colored crown. With a gentle smile and a bow they seated themselves and the performance began.

The king and queen are young and have three young daughter, which may necessitate the changing of laws, in order that one of them may someday rule, in leu of no prince in the Royal family.

Castles and estates in Scandinavia have a hominess and rustic beauty, most appropriate to the country. With white-washed walls and red tile roofs they are cosily nestled near lakes or surrounded by moats which reflect their color and charm.

Peaceful Country
At Svendborg Castle in Sweden, walking leisurely beside the clear water, over a wooden foot bridge, along a winding path, we heard the singing of birds in the trees, and saw a tiny frog leaping through the grass. It rested near a healthy patch of red clover, from which grew a proverbial spot of good luck, a four-leaf clover. Amid such peaceful beauty in such a lovely country, what better luck could I have than just being there, I pondered, as I put the leaf in my book.

The next day, alone on my way home, to the hotel, from Sunday School, I decided to go into a certain milk bar to eat lunch. Just inside, to my great surprise was Attache and Mrs. Oliver Peterson (Mrs. Ester Eggertson Peterson). They had come about 400 miles from Stockholm to be in that milk bar in Malmo when I walked in. Malmo is about the size of Salt Lake City. It was just one of those super magic situations which thrilled all three of us. It must have been the luck of that four-leaf clover. Of course the main reason for them being there was for Attache Peterson to talk at a meeting of the Swedish American Society. Would that I could have accepted their generous invitation to go home with them and partake further of their Swedish hospitality which is so enticing.

Quiet Moment
Going early to church one summer evening in the far north country offered another opportunity of quiet restfulness, on the green along the shore of the Baltic Sea. Sitting to watch a young boy toss sticks for his dog to catch, as the crimson sun slid slowly through the clouds, behind the ships which were so noiselessly sailing to and fro over the receding reflections in the water, what a most happy moment at the end of a long summer’s journey. The scene was worthy of the miles traveled.

The next day began a 19 hour journey over sea and rail to reach Rotterdam, and from there to America.

On the Groote Beer we counted the rolling and pitching days until we were home. These days were full of the usual interest on a student ship. Students and professors, cooperate in a program of education and entertainment. Stage shows, musical concerts, athletic contests and discussion forums, kept us well occupied. Professors from England, Netherlands, France, Canada and the U.S. have led in discussions on politics, history, philosophy, education and language, from a world-wide point of view.

Comments were most interesting from one group of students who had spent seven days in Yugoslavia.

The student travel project, begun in Holland and participated in by students from the world over, cannot help but result in a clearer understanding of our world neighbors, and a broader point of view for everyone concerned. The chief requisite for such an experience is an open mind.
It is interesting to note that a threat of removal of this opportunity hung over the students from South Africa, because it appeared that they were discriminating against students with dark skin. The few colored students on the Groote Beer seemed to be of the highest type.

A storm at sea was a new development. In order to avoid the center of the hurricane, we were off the regular course and on the way to Newfoundland. However, we arrived safely and believe me it is an experience we will long remember.

Things Remembered:

  • The Gothic Cathedral in Rouen
  • Notre Dame
  • St. Chappelle
  • Strausborg
  • Paris and Lyon from distance
  • Frenchmen staring at our pedal pushers
  • Andre came to our aide with baggage
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • 12 Avenue radiating from Tomb of Unknown Soldier
  • Sacre Coeur’s Byzantine architecture
  • The Latin quarter of Paris
  • Sorbonne – all the universities in Europe are modeled after Sorbonne
  • Rhone Valley to Lyon, one of most beautiful drives
  • Andre complained cause we took long pretty route and many of us slept
  • The large aqueduct – Avignon pont du guard
  • Roman monuments in this particular area so well constructed that they withstood many invasions
  • Vienne Early Home of Christianity – Cathedral St. Maurice
  • Temples of Olivia and Augustine
  • Ruins of Old Roman Forum with automatic washing machine across the Street
  • Triumphal Arch
  • Roman Theatre
  • Avignon Papal Palace Cathedral


Raw (old fashioned) oatmeal
All kinds of fruit (no peel) which has been ground
Brown Sugar
Add brown sugar to yogurt. Mix everything together thoroughly.

60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 3 September 1952;

Our last day on this continent! It was a delicious, typically Dutch breakfast. We met up with Pat, Betty and Dot again for the rest of the journey. Went shopping to check on earrings, no soap. Then I ran from store to store trying to make some last minute purchases and checked American Express for mail. I used dollars to make my purchases, I suggested that the exchange was 3.25 as a joke. Ended up back to first store to get salt and pepper and mustard Sets. It rained till it was time to go and I wasn’t packed. I could’t get everything in, so I took a skirt out. I ended up with books, skirt, new purchases and Margo’s Dresden in one arm. We took a taxi to the pier.

We left Rotterdam, the city without a heart. There were lines and more lines. This I could not bear. After visiting 5 or 6 tables I learned that my room had been changed to 136. No bag in room 136. Was I in the right place? A helpful porter sorted it out for me, and everything was under control. It was a very cute room for 5, LO, Betty, Carol, Margaret and me. Much cozier and more modern and lighter than the Sibajak.

We found the dining room. It was filled and it was too late to eat. Shucks! Just because our line was longer. We scavenged a little bread and an apple. A purser gave me a clue about postman in smoking lounge. I sent an air-letter to Mom and Dean Woodruff. There was a serpentine band singing. So this was sailing on a student boat, very different than the Sibajak. Millions of students, too, in all shapes and sizes and lots of characters. It started to rain. We found out there were sandwiches and coffee for those who missed dinner. Well we got sandwiches anyway.

In the cabin I got all my trash in one place and hung up my clothes. Yeah, no packing for 9 whole days! That would be hard to take. There were people walking past our porthole. Really top stuff this trip. We went down for dinner early but they wouldn’t let us sit down. So we hung over rail for fresh air and waited. Dinner was good except for rare meat but it was not like the Sibajak. We had quite the character for our waiter. I lost my way again. Guess I’d have to get a map of the ship.

I spent time in the library reading. It was precious time. Also did lots of writing in diary. Jiggle, jiggle, we were out on the open sea now. I talked to a student from Minnesota. He said it was best to see one thing each place, instead of running all over the place. His philosophy had merit. I stuck my nose out on deck, it was blowing and cold. Back at my cabin and all the beds were filled except mine. Mine filled too. I tried to read for a while with bed lamp on. I fell asleep. In the middle of the night L.O. woke me to turn off the light. I set my watch back before going back to sleep.