I was fortunate enough to be asked to review a photobook from Vistaprint.
I’ve made photobooks before as wedding gifts for friends, but never made one for myself. As S’s first birthday has just passed, I thought it might be nice to make a book of her first year.
The site itself is fairly easy to use. You can choose from several different shapes and sizes of book, and how you design your book.
I downloaded the photobook editor, which is a program you can keep on your desktop, and use to create your photobook stage by stage. So if you’re like me, and you have a year’s worth of photos to wade through, re-size, position, caption, fiddle about with, etc – you can save it and go to bed, then come back the next day and carry on.
I have to say, I’ve never used an editor before that had so many options. You can set backgrounds, set sizes, add captions…
Basically, it’s like having a scrap book, some photos, glue, scissors and a marker pen, except the end result is a lot more professional. You can add more pages, move the pages around within the book, and design the front and back cover however you see fit. You can even write on the spine!
When you’ve finally finished with your design, you can decide on things like the paper quality and binding. I chose to have my book lay flat at the spine so that the pages lay flat when opened:
Of course, all these little bits and bobs cost more – my book would have been somewhere around the region of £95 in the end – but I do think it’s value for money. My book has over 100 pages of beautiful, glossy pages. The print quality is excellent and the book will last a long time.
Once you’ve finalised your order, the software takes you back to the website to place the order and make payment. Of course, if you weren’t creating such a mammoth task as me, you could have done the entire project online!
My only problem with this entire process is that once you come to payment, they try to sell you lots of other things. Vistaprint specialises in printing business cards and other paraphernalia for businesses; so when you’re trying to pay for your photobook, they’re saying to you “look, you can have your business logo printed on a keyring!” This goes on for about 3 pages, but it is easy to just opt out of it all.
When I placed my order carriage was very reasonable considering the size of the book I’d just ordered. The site said to allow 14 days for delivery, but the finished product turned up a week later.
I was out when the postie tried to deliver my book, so I went to the sorting office the next day to collect it on my lunch break. When I got back to work I couldn’t wait to get it out an inspect it – and obviously, because S is so gorgeous, everyone at work wanted to see a million photos of her too. General consensus was that it’s a very well-produced book. A couple of people even said they’re thinking they might use the site to make a book for themselves.
Disclaimer: I received my photobook free in return for this post, but that was not dependent on a good review. The views in this post are my own.
Other products I have reviewed lately:
Aggie MacKenzie Cleaning Products
i-Pic Photo Frame