Blurb Imagewrap photo book review
I previous mentioned the Blurb photo book I had ordered with the intention of updating that post with my thoughts when it arrived. Now that it’s here there’s quite a bit to say so those thoughts are now presented as this new post. There are also plenty of photo’s of the book, shared for anyone trying to decide whether to go ahead and place an order.
Delivery took seven days from placing the order, and I received an email the day before notifying me of dispatch with UPS. The book came from the Netherlands to the UK so to me this was very good since Blurb claim 5-6 business days to make the book and 1-15 to deliver dependant on your shipping choice. I had specified priority 2-4 day shipping at £10.37, in effect I got the 1-2 day £21.37 express option. To save more money in future I intend to order multiple books in one order as the shipping cost for ten books was still £10.37.
The photo book packaging was what I would call ‘functional’ rather than luxurious. While Apple use a brown cardboard box containing another fancier box with your book(s) inside, blurb use a cardboard wrap over bubble wrap and shrink wrap plastic. Not quite as impressive, but at under half the price of the Apple book it’s an economy that I’m happy to accept. Below are some photo’s of the packaging.
First impressions are good, and there was a sigh of relief that the cover text ended up mostly in the right place. With an Imagewrap cover you lose 3/8″ or 10mm from the edge of the page on three sides (not the spine edge) which is wrapped over the cover. In my design there was an extra 10mm of white page below the ‘San Francisco and Las Vegas’ text, this was ‘wrapped’ so the text is vertically central in the white box. The only thing I didn’t allow for is the flexible edge of the cover next to the spine, so in future text will be moved 10mm to the right. Here’s a straight on view of the front and back covers.
I have nothing to complain about with the covers, for a £2 premium over a regular dust jacket they look way better than the price suggests. One of the reasons for choosing Blurb was the spine print, as I wanted to be able to select a book when several are in a bookcase. Also below is a close up of the cover edge detail. I didn’t want to lose 3/8″ or 10mm from the cover photo so I left a 1/4″ or 6mm white border at the top and right edges. The photo just reaches to the inside of the cover edge, exactly the effect I wanted.
Before commenting on the contents of the book here are some images of the pages.
One effect of photographing the book is that by the time the images have been imported and edited they may not accurately capture the colour/brightness of the pages, so I have tried to make the images here as accurate as I can. All of the photo’s in the book are a little darker than they were on screen when using the Booksmart software. My monitor is calibrated using an Eye One Display unit, articles at Blurb.com have recommendations for using sRGB colour space throughout the editing process and further steps to get better colour accuracy. I intend to tweak the photo/text positions in the book for perfect layout and experiment with the colour setting on the next book.
Overall I’m very impressed with the Blurb Imagewrap photo book. Getting cover elements in the right place required a bit of reading and thought, so this is something Blurb need to address in the next release of the booksmart software. A template that shows the printed areas would simplify Imagewrap covers a lot. If you don’t feel comfortable ordering a book that doesn’t look like the finished item the dust jacket doesn’t have the same problems so may be a better option.
The colour issue isn’t anything I haven’t seen before, and the Blurb result was a lot better than an Apple photo book that arrived with massively over saturated colours. I intend to buy several books in my next order, so take that as a recommendation for the Blurb photo book service.