Over the years I have used many different companies offering photobook products. Most recently we decided to try the Photo Booklet from Saal Digital.
Photo Booklet Creation Process
The creation process is very simple. Firstly, you can download their own ‘Saal Design Software’ directly from the website (www.saal-digital.co.uk). Once this is opened the product is chosen and the template automatically begins. You can choose the number of pages and size of page from the outset, but if you need to add more pages or delete empty ones this can be done at any time.
There are a few basic page layouts to simply drop the pictures into, but it’s just as easy to drag and drop the images as you go. Once an image hits a page, the dialogue box appears giving options of crop, size, position, border, shadow and more, so by doing it manually you can really get the exact layout that you want. There’s also the option to add text anywhere on the pages, and lining images up couldn’t be easier by using either the positioning tool or the slide ruler on the top and side of the screen. You can select your images from your computer using the standard dropdown box on the left, then highlight the image you want and ‘click and drag’ to the page.
You can save your project at any time, so you’re not tied to creating the book in one sitting.
Once the project is finished, you can add it straight to the shopping cart with one click. This brings up a preview of the book first, and then continues to the payment pages.
After two days, an email was received stating that the product had been shipped. The company is based in Germany, so standard shipping is with DHL and a tracking number is provided. Once the book came into the UK, final delivery was done by Parcel Force and it was received 5 days after shipping notification.
We chose the Photo Booklet, a spiral bound 200g/m2 matte paper which is subjected to a six colour printing process. I opted for 30 pages and sized at 21×30. This would be ideal to see how the printing quality would fare.
Packaging is in a sturdy cardboard sleeve which really protects the book during transit. The booklet has a clear matte protective sheet on the front and back which protects the outer cover. As any page can be designed to suit including the option of adding text you can create your own front and back covers.
The paper is high quality matte, which stops any distracting reflections when looking at it under artificial light. Colour rendition is accurate and true and the printing is very sharp.
The design software allows you to get creative with page layouts and when the booklet is laid flat, a double page spread looks great. The software allows you to overlay additional images at any size and position.
It was interesting to see how black and white images faired during the printing process, and pleasingly, they were reproduced well with the mono balance just as accurate as the colour.
The photo booklet is bound with a high quality metal spiral. It has no nasty, sharp ends which allows the pages to be turned easily and the book to be laid out flat.
In conclusion, the photo booklet by Saal Digital is a quality product at very reasonable prices. It’s a great way to print, view and share your amazing photographs when you get home from travelling rather than scrolling through a computer screen. It gives you the chance to continue your creativity and produce something memorable and much more enjoyable to look at than the traditional photographic print. Highly recommended.
(Saal Digital can be found at www.saal-digital.co.uk, @SaalDigital #saaldigital)