// Saal Digital – photobook review //

So recently, I received a £20 voucher from Saal Digital to use towards a photobook that they have on their site. And thinking about all the unprinted photos I have from previous holidays and trips away, I couldn’t not use it. I thought it would be a nice idea to collate a few pictures from each place me and Jake have visited whilst we’ve been together over the past three years.

To begin with you download their software to your device, and from here you can choose which product you would like to produce. You can choose anything, from photo prints, photobooks, wall decors, posters, cards, calendars and business cards. But as my voucher was towards a photobook I selected this. Within the photobook area there are even more options to pick from, the options are almost endless. I just went with the most basic choice, where I was then asked to select a size. As they currently have a promotion on the 21 x 28 cm (A4) book at £19.95, I chose this over the 15 x 21 cm (A5) book at the same price, so I grabbed a bargain.

You can actually choose different finishes for an extra cost, depending on what you pick. The set cover finish is glossy, so there is no added cost here, but you can choose to have linen, wood look and leather at £18. On top of this for £5 you can add a padded cover. The spreads are set at matte photo paper, but again for an extra £5 you can change this to glossy photo paper.

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The software itself reminds me a little bit of Adobe InDesign, and was super easy to use. Before adding in your images, you can choose a template, either an empty one, one that fits images to the fill page, you could select a design, or choose auto layout. I just went for an empty layout, so that I could place as many, and any pictures as I wanted anywhere on each page.

Choosing my images were easy, I just went back through all of my holiday pictures from each place me and Jake have visited. I then gathered them all up in one folder so that it was easy to search for my folder through the Saal software. I then began to add my pictures to each page in chronological order of each place we have visited so far. Adding the pictures was easy, it was just a case of dragging and dropping, and cropping down to the size I wanted. Within one evening I had finished filling out the 26 pages with plenty of holiday snaps. I couldn’t wait to see what the book would be like in real life.

Before ordering my photobook, I decided that I’d like some text on the front cover, I just wanted something simple, so went for mine and Jakes initials. I even went as far as rotating the same text from the front, and put that within the crease of the book. I’m a perfectionist, can you tell? I also swapped the texture of my front cover to a matte finish, along with my pages.

Payment was quick and easy, you actually do this all through the Saal software. All you have to do is enter the details you normally would when buying online. Delivery and billing address (if different) etc. etc. The price for delivery is £4.95, and they use DHL as their courier, so this is selected after you’ve entered all of your details. You can then enter any voucher codes you may have and choose a payment method. You can pay via PayPal, credit or debit card. On the very last page you are shown your shopping basket, here you can check all of your details are correct before placing your order. You can even go back to editing your photobook if needed. I submitted my order at 10am on a Friday and later that same day at 2pm, I received an email to say that it had been shipped! I couldn’t believe how quick that turn around was! At that point I just couldn’t wait for it to arrive!

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The following Tuesday it arrived in my letter box and I was able to finally see my creation in person! I opened it up out of its packaging, and I was already so satisfied that I’d chosen the matte finish for the cover. It looks and feels very luxurious, and so professional (even if I do say so myself). I flicked through the pages and was just so pleased with how they all turned out. The weight of the paper is nice and heavy, and the matte finish looks very high-end, nobody’s fingerprint marks will be left on the page thats for sure. The fact that it has a flat lay binding too, means that it doesn’t have that horrible gutter you normally have in the middle. I displayed a few panoramic’s throughout the photobook and they all look stunning.

Overall I really wouldn’t hesitate to order from their site again. I’m so pleased with how professional my photobook looks, and I think these would make a great gift for someone, either for a birthday present or even Christmas (yes I went there). They are so very versatile. I definitely would look at ordering some other bits and pieces Saal Digital have to offer too, especially with needing to get things professionally printed for my university work. Definitely check out their site when you’ve got a minute, and you can find a link to Saal Digital’s site here, where they currently have a £15 off voucher waiting for you.

xx, Alanis

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