ZNO [ARTISAN STATE] Lay Flat Photo Book – Review

About the company:
It’s hard to tell where the company is based. They claim USA, however, my photo book was shipped from China. They used to be called Artisan State, but in March 2016 they changed their name to ZNO, and they offer a wider range of products and serve a more global market. They specialise in flush mount books (The little black book) but they also sell various other photo products like canvases, photo books, t-shirts, calendars and other stationary/wall art. The company offers a free trial, which is fantastic. So you can have your first photo book completely free, you only need to pay for postage. Read here my review of the Little Black Book by ZNO. 
UPDATE: 2017 July, as of now they don’t offer a free lay flat photo book trial, however you can get a free Little Black Book, which is the same quality. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
My Book Other Options
Cover Hardcover, Matte Padded, Paper, Hardcover, Linen, Bling, Leather, Leatherette
Paper Lustre n/a
Pages/Max Pages 20 100
Binding Lay Flat n/a
Printing Photo Lab n/a
Size 8×8 8×8, 6×6, 10×10, 12×12, 8×6, 11×8, 14×11
Presentation Box no Yes
  1. Cover: It’s a sturdy hardcover with a very interesting, highly textured finish.  I would say it’s matte, but with a dense stone/marble like texture. It’s a photo hardcover without a dust jacket. There is no barcode or logo anywhere on the book, which is great, as most other companies charge for it to be removed. ZNO offers several finishes, such as leather, fabric, photo window etc…. So plenty of options. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. Binding: In one word, it’s HEAVEN! The book is attached to the cover by a beautiful black, thick double spread sheet. Lay flat pages are printed as spreads and are stuck together. There is a nice fabric on the inside of the spine. It looks neat and tight! It feels luxurious and I’m sure it will last very long. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  3. Pages/Paper: For the lay flat books you only have one option, which looks like a lovely lustre paper to me. For flush mount books there are more options like lustre, metallic, art paper… and three thickness options. In the lay flat books pages are rigid enough, 0.5mm, and they don’t bend. Max number of pages is 100. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  4. Printing: They use Photo Lab printers, which I am not entirely sure are equal to silver-halide, but are certainly better than the standard digital. Colours and tones are fabulous. I only noticed some fine horizontal lines through the print, but it’s very hard to see. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
5. Software:
It’s an online software that gives you limited options for creativity. If you want to create very intricate/creative layouts, do them in a third party software, and import the JPEGs into the ZNO software. It seems like their main focus was on photo albums when developing the software. It works perfectly for full page size photos, which is what you need for a portfolio or a wedding album, but for a travel book or a year book which needs a lot more editing, the software becomes very limited. But having said that, the website seems to focus more on photo albums than “books” which is understandable given the quality and binding of the books. There are plenty of layouts and they are easily customisable within limits.screen-shot-2016-12-10-at-01-22-12

I created the book Sunday night and it was in my hands Thursday morning. This is super fast, and the fact that it came from China makes it even more amazing.

Deals: There is no better deal than a first free book, but besides this they regularly offer 20-40% off too on selected products. Go to my deals section for the latest vouchers.

What it is for:
Great for weddings, portfolios, babies, family and high profile travel.
What it is not for:

I think these books are just too precious for recipes, Instagram or Facebook pictures. Also, since it has limited editing functions, you couldn’t do books with stories, and scrapbook style albums. Of course, this is just my opinion, feel free to use the books for any pictures that you desire.


  • superb binding
  • great print quality
  • fast delivery
  • many cover options
  • limited editing in software
  • only one paper option

Website: http://www.zno.com

One thought on “ZNO [ARTISAN STATE] Lay Flat Photo Book – Review

  1. […] About the company: ZNO is an American company specialising in flush mount books of supreme quality at great prices. They deliver worldwide. Their photo books are more on the photo album side since the editing options are fairly limited. They offer a wide selection of covers, papers and books. One of their iconic products is the Little Black Book. As of today (9/12/2017) you can get your first Little Black Book for FREE (only works in the smartphone app), you only have to pay a small postage fee. Grab it while it’s hot, the promotion might end soon. To read my other review of their lay flat books, click here. […]


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