5

I am trying to create an illustrated book with Latex. What makes my goal perhaps a bit non-standard, I think, is that I would like the images to have "bleed". Bleed, as you may already have heard, is a term from printing to indicate that the image flows outside of the crop marks. When such a page is cropped during the binding process of the book, the resulting final image seems to flow off the page. This is a technique used for "immersive reading", often employed in comics and certainly in picture books. See e.g. this link.

I suspect that WYSIWYG programs like Adobe InDesign allow you to place images in such a way, when combined with text. But if a user prefers a typesetting solution like Latex, a bit more research seems needed.

I have been trying to accomplish this in Latex, but without much success so far. I have researched this for many times, even on this forum, but I fail to create a minimal working example in Latex. So, what I can still do here is describe a bit better what the intended effect is, so that you can help me decide if this is even possible in Latex :-)

I have created the following image to better explain the effect that I am seeking to achieve. I would like to clarify this a bit in words as well, see after the image.

Text with images, and indication of reading flow

Here are some clarifications I would like to make:

  • The book is essentially a text book, with most pages being pure text. Here Latex really shines, letting the text flow beautifully from one page onto the next.
  • To break up the pure text, however, I would like to sporadically introduce some immersive background images, that "flow off" the page, as you see in the above schematics. To ensure the images are truly immersive, and do not have a white margin around them, a bleed has to be created.
  • I would like to avoid that text is printed on top of (or behind) the denser areas of these images. Text and image are ideally non-overlapping in this design intent, because reading text on top of an image is more difficult (at least for me), and I would like to avoid fiddling with font colors to improve legibility.
  • That said, I do think that the images can be designed to have a part that is pure white, say at the top or the bottom, and that the text is simply restricted from covering the entire vertical length of the image, so that the text stays in the pure white part of the image. This trick could be done both for the situation where text is only at the top of the page, or where text is only at the bottom of the page.

My intuition is that this design intention is best accomplished with a kind of background image, and by subsequently restricting the geometry of the text on the pages where images occur. But I appreciate to hear your opinion about this.

What I have tried so far:

  • I have used the pdfpages package, to insert an image as a single full-page image. However, this solution does not allow the text to continue flowing onto the same page as the image. So the result is just a pure image page, and not a page that has both text and images.
  • I have been experimenting with packages like eso-pic that allow images to be inserted into the foreground or the background of a page. But here the text still flows unrestricted onto the page, overlapping with the image along the entire vertical length of the page, which I want to avoid.
  • My general feeling of a solution is that whenever a background image is inserted, the geometry of the text area has to be restricted or modified at the same time (on the same page). Maybe the latex concept of page hooks can be used, to execute geometry commands at the same time as a background-image-command, but here my Latex knowledge is not really sufficient to assess if this idea would ever work, and how to accomplish it.

To conclude, my main question can be summarized as:

  • Do you think this design intention is possible with Latex?

Many thanks for reading this question!

1

My instinct for this is that (assuming you don't already have a lot of floats) is that you want to block off the space for the bleeding images with floats. The floats can also be responsible for outputting the bled image.

Something like (code outline)

\newcommand{\topimage}[1]{% 
  \begin{figure}{t}
     SAVE \includegraphics[width=\paperwidth] IN A BOX
     BASED ON WHETHER IT'S AN EVEN OR ODD PAGE, DETERMINE HOW MUCH TO MOVE THE BOX LEFT TO GET TO LEFT MARGIN
     MOVE THE BOX LEFT AND UP TO BLEED (YOU MIGHT WANT TO ACTUALLY OVERSHOOT) AND PRINT IT
     LEAVE VERTICAL SPACE FOR THE IMAGE IN THE FIGURE
  \end{figure}
}

You'll need to do some fiddling to make sure that the images appear on the correct pages and not above any legitimate floats. You may also need to increase \topfraction (but probably not—its default is 0.7) and \bottomfraction (almost certainly—its default is 0.3) to get the desired results.

0

A solution that seems to me quite simple (too simple!). Position floating images in the page considered with either the [t] (top) or [b] (bottom) parameter and let Latex take care of the text flow.

\documentclass[11pt]{article} % use larger type; default would be 10pt

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % set input encoding (not needed with XeLaTeX)

%%% PAGE DIMENSIONS
\usepackage{geometry} % to change the page dimensions
\geometry{a4paper} % or letterpaper (US) or a5paper or....
\usepackage{tikz}
\usepackage{graphicx} % support the \includegraphics command and options

\usepackage{lipsum}


\begin{document}

\section{Full page}

\lipsum[1-8]

\section{bottom image}

\begin{figure}[b]
\tikz\node[fill=green, minimum width=\textwidth, minimum height=5cm]{};
\end{figure}

\lipsum[1-10]


\section{top image}

\begin{figure}[t]
\tikz\node[fill=blue, minimum width=\textwidth, minimum height=5cm]{};
\end{figure}

\lipsum[1-9]

\end{document}

enter image description here

0

The flowfram package may have what you need to position your text in the way you desire.

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