Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Printing Your Pages

From time to time I get questions about printing here on my blog, so I thought I'd dedicate a post just to this subject. As you might already know, I print most of my layouts individually and then put them in 8x8 "page protector albums. But from time to time I like to make photo books for things like trip albums or my everyday life yearly albums. So I've broken it down into those two categories. But before I go on, let me direct you to these way more in-depth and informative posts on the subject at The Daily Digi:
Printing Photo Books
Printing Layouts

And now... here are my 2 cents:

Printing Layouts

As far as printing my layouts, I have tried a few different things with varying results. My two biggest complaints are 1) that sometimes the colors I see on my computer screen are not quite the colors I see in my prints, and 2) sometimes there is a little bit of cropping near the edges. In the past I have gone to my local brick and mortar copy store: Staples, Office Max, even Costco, to have my layouts printed. My experience varied, but overall I was pretty happy with how my pages turned out. I have even printed on both photo paper and cardstock, and although I like them both I lean a little more towards photo paper, which is pretty much the norm for printing scrapbook pages. It just has a nice quality to it. My personal preference is to use matte or lustre photo paper as opposed to glossy.

But most recently I have tried a couple of online places. First was Scrapping Simply. I really like their prices (even cheaper than any copy store) and they offer pick up at a location in the town my Mom lives in (in Utah County, FYI if you live there), so I just had her pick them up for me and I didn't have to pay any shipping. I was pretty happy with the quality of the prints; no cropping, but the colors weren't quite what I had hoped for. Next I tried Persnickety Prints, mainly because I had a coupon code. Their prices both for prints and shipping is comparable to to Simply Scrapping. I think I liked them best just because the colors were a little more accurate to what I see on my screen (still not perfect though) and the quality was great. Also, I found both these companies to be great when it came to cropping the edges. However, I would recommend trying out a few different printers until you find the one that matches your screen the closest. There are a lot of other places to consider as well - I recommend checking out The Daily Digi post I linked up above for a very complete list of printers. Also, both Simply Scrapping and Persnickety have some great freebies available. {Simply Scrapping Freebies}
{Persnickety Prints Freebies}
I've also added buttons for both these sites on my sidebar if you want to check them out.

Photo Books

Again, I haven't tried a whole lot of different companies when it comes to photo books. I have probably used Winkflash the most, just because the often run really good deals. And I am kind of cheap! I have never ordered a custom cover, I've just gone with the fabric cover. They do a good job, but sometimes there is a little bit of cropping near the edge, and maybe a little bit of a white border added to the top or bottom of the page.

Another company I recently tried is Heritage Makers. I have a friend who is a consultant for them, so I thought I'd give it a try. So far I have made these two books using their site:

The smaller one, a 5x5" book, is my Project 30 album. The larger, my 8x8" album, is my Ordinary Life book for 2009. They are really great quality, I really like the hard cover. And I love how you can customize the cover, spine, and back of these books.

Here's a look inside them:

As you might be able to tell, there is a little bit of white on the top and bottom of the pages. Although I created my layouts at exactly 8x8 and 5x5, for some reason they still didn't fit exactly in their template, which was kind of annoying. But in the end I find it doesn't really bother me when looking at my albums. Of course, this wouldn't be an issue if you just use their premade templates, but I like to create my own layouts. They are definitely more pricey than my Winkflash photo books, but much better quality. Another thing I loved is that the colors looked great.

Currently I am working on making photo books for my boys of their first year of life. They love to look at their baby pictures in our family scrapbooks, but I never made baby books for them so I am working on them now - hopefully I'll get them done before baby #3 arrives! I haven't decided for sure, but I think I will try Shutterfly for them. Again, a little more pricey than some sites, but I have heard nothing but good things.

I hope this has been somewhat helpful! Did I miss anything? If you have any other tips, or places you love to print, I'd love to hear them.


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