About the company:
Shutterfly is an American company with many subsidiaries (TinyPrints, MyPublisher etc..) They specialize in photo books, home decor, stationary and other gift items. They ship worldwide and have a huge range of great quality photo books with plenty on options at great prices.
|My Book||Other Options|
|Cover||Hardcover Imagewrap||Softcover, Leather, Die-Cut, Silk Wrap|
|Binding||Lay Flat seamless
||Lay Flat hinged|
|Size||8×8||7×9, 8×11, 10×10, 12×12, 11×14|
|Presentation Box||no||yes, at extra charge|
- Binding: With the lay flat seamless binding the double spreads are stuck together, and the main book is attached to the cover by a white double spread. Feels sturdy and high quality. The other lay flat option is hinged binding, but in my opinion that is not exactly lay flat, since it’s made up of two pages, not a double spread. Make sure to upgrade for the deluxe seamless lay flat option!
- Cover: Image wrap hardcover on front and back. Glossy, but there is a matt option too. They also offer die-cut, soft, leather and silk cover as well. You’ll find a barcode on the back cover and on the last page together with the company logo. (you can remove it for an extra charge). Looks great, lovely touch and texture.
- Paper: Their standard paper is an acid-free 65lb, luster/matt looking material, for lay flat books they use double thickness paper, so I assume it’s 130lb. It looks really good, not too shiny with a lovely pearly texture. Top notch! It’s not as thick as the Mixbook pages, but strong enough for a lay flat book.
- Printing: They use digital offset printers for photo books. Colours are excellent, and the digital artifacts are minimal due to the dense texture of the paper. Didn’t notice any faults or colour problems. Silver-halide option would be nice for the quality freaks (like me!)
It’s an online software, so you need to upload all your images before starting the editing process. They have 3 paths, the simple one, just dragging things in, a custom made one, where you have more flexibility and they also offer a design service for an extra charge. You need to pay to use some of the themes even if you design the book yourself. The themes are fantastic and you can do anything you want, it’s very creative with great backgrounds, layouts, borders and elements. They offer a variety of Instagram like photo filters and the usual photo editing tools like crop etc. It’s very easy to use and so much fun. They also have an app but I haven’t tried that. One of the best range of themes I have come across so far.
Delivery was quick, within a week from the US. It costed $7 and came in a nice red box.
They have so many discounts, 30%, 40% and 50% off on all their products. Go to my deals section for the latest vouchers.
What it is for:
Almost anything really. You could even do weddings in these books, since the paper is so lovely, unless you want really rigid pages. The smaller books are great for Instagram and Facebook. The larger ones for travel, family, weddings, babies, parties and holidays.
What it is not for:
Hard to exclude any occasion, but perhaps I wouldn’t do a portfolio or a truly special event in this, not because of the quality, but merely because of the type of the book. I would choose a more expensive flush mount book.
- best themes and layouts I have come across so far
- great paper and colour reproduction
- fast service
- strong binding and nice cover material
- presentation box and memorabilia pocket
- great discounts
- you need to pay for some of the themes
- no silver halide printing