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Old 16-01-2009, 03:06 PM
DJDD
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Question photo books printing- recommendations requested

Hello,

we are looking for a company that produces good quality photo books. This is for a personal photo books and gifts, rather than commercial printing.

we have found a few online, e.g. printroom, memento, my reflections, and others.

Some of the things we are looking for is:
- quality of printed images
- allowance for a variety of photo sizes
- allowance for multiple photos on the same page
- ability to print text on the page, as well
- matt and gloss options
- hard and soft cover options
- layout templates

has anyone produced their own photo books and can recommend a company?

Thanks in advance,
DJDD
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Old 16-01-2009, 06:13 PM
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Octane (Humayun)
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DJDD,

Blurb.

Regards,
Humayun
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Old 16-01-2009, 09:05 PM
DJDD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octane View Post
DJDD,

Blurb.

Regards,
Humayun
thanks, Humayun, I will check it out.
US dollars makes it a bit expensive but if they do a good job...
might test with a small book first.
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Old 17-01-2009, 06:30 AM
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acropolite (Phil)
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A friend of mine has had several books done, he used blurb. The quality of the books was hit & miss, some were very good others poor. It seems that books are not sent to one particular the place for printing once ordered ( the machines that print these books are scattered all over the country/world) and depending on which particular location/machine they are printed on the quality varies. He also reported being charged much more for postage than quoted on the site, before ordering get a firm price for postage. I seem to remember he was charged around double the advertised rate.
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Old 17-01-2009, 07:18 AM
DJDD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolite View Post
A friend of mine has had several books done, he used blurb. The quality of the books was hit & miss, some were very good others poor. It seems that books are not sent to one particular the place for printing once ordered ( the machines that print these books are scattered all over the country/world) and depending on which particular location/machine they are printed on the quality varies. He also reported being charged much more for postage than quoted on the site, before ordering get a firm price for postage. I seem to remember he was charged around double the advertised rate.
Thanks, acropolite, for the note of caution.
When looking at the Australian websites i took noted that the printing was done by different printers.

i plan on downloading a variety of the software each company provides and go with the easiest, then do a test run or maybe two, now.

cheers,
DJDD
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Old 17-01-2009, 08:52 AM
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Octane (Humayun)
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I have to concur with Phil in that Blurb can get it wrong every now and then.

My mate used them and his photo book arrived in not 100% perfect condition. A quick email saw them send him an expedited replacement book (no questions asked) which was perfect in quality.

I think that is great customer service -- that a company is prepared to admit that it made a mistake and rectify it, at no charge to the individual.

Contrast this to Snapfish. I am currently trying to build a portfolio and have done some free portraiture work with the idea that my client would choose a few images from the day to be processed and printed in high quality. I had a bit of a problem with them in that they decided to go ahead and get the printing done themselves, and they went with Snapfish. The client, without my advice, chose to print a 3:2 ratio image on a 1:1 canvas print. I got in touch with them and let them know that the photo would not work at that scale, it was left in the 3:2 ratio as that is how it looked best. So, she agreed with me and tried getting in touch with Snapfish to change the ratio of the canvas, about 20 minutes after placing her order. They told her that it was too late, that she'd been charged and that the order could not be changed or reversed, even though it was quoted to her that it would take six days for the canvas to be printed and delivered.

That, to me, is poor form. So, essentially, what they're saying is that if a client accidentally types 10,000 copies of a particular item, but, they meant to print 1,000, that the order cannot be changed? The customer has to bear the brunt of the charge of 10,000 copies instead of the 1,000 that they wanted? Of course, the customer wears the responsibility if they decide to rectify their mistake after a reasonable amount of time has lapsed since the order. I can understand that their might be third parties involved and that orders may be sent from one place to another to be fulfilled. But, surely, in this case, Snapfish should have made an attempt to get the canvas size changed.

Regards,
Humayun
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Old 17-01-2009, 11:55 AM
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rogerg (Roger)
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Momento

We have done several books and calendars using Momento. Each major holiday we have somewhere we do a Momento book of it. Their books are fantastic quality, but you pay for it.

We usually get hard cover, with sleve and embossing. Pages range from 60 - 80 for what we've had done. Price is usually around the $150 - $180 mark.

Their printing and book making quality is excellent really feels like a real book of high quality. The image quality is great, although the saturation is slightly lower than what I sometimes expect. If you compare the pictures to a magazine they are not as saturated but are higher resolution/quality. Overall we are very happy with them.

Momento's editor is quite good, though has its share of bugs. They regularly do new versions so it's always improving. It is quite resource hungry and for a book of 80 pages and 2gig of photo's it takes some time to load, and then a little time to switch to a not recently viewed page.

One thing I wish is that we could buy from Momento a PDF copy of our finished book (without watermark) for electronic storage & sharing.

Office Works

I have had one photo book done at Office Works, I thought I'd give them a shot for an astro one. It was significantly cheaper than Momento but significantly lower in quality. It was soft cover that I got from them, and felt somewhat like printed A3 pages made in to a book. Glossy, but digitally printed as compared to Momento's which feel like a real book. The Office Works one cost me about $60.

The editor software for Office Works is very average and the main reason I don't get more cheap books done by them. My biggest problem with it is that you cannot insert a new page, only add them on the end! So if you want to put a new page at position 6/40 you would have to manually copy content from page to page after adding a new page at the end! How rediculous! That one feature might make enough of a difference that I would use them more for cheaper books.

Roger.
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Old 17-01-2009, 03:30 PM
DJDD
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hey, thanks Humayun, for the heads up on snapfish and relating the positive experience with Blurb. I suspect like most services sometimes it will be good and sometimes it will be not as good.

I think we will probably go with an Australian-based company so will try out momento. thanks, rogerg.

cheers,
DJDD
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