A while back, I was offered to be a tester of Saal Digital’s photo book. I’ve been wanting to make a new photo album or similar to bring to conventions where I have a booth, so I could showcase my cosplays, so this was a great opportunity!
The book arrived about a week after I ordered it, and was well-wrapped in both foam and cardboard.
I picked a size 21x28cm with 26 pages, and found I fit quite a lot more than expected in that size. I chose my 13 favourite cosplays that I made in the last years and used one double page for each. To make the photo book, you need to install Saal Digital’s software on your computer. I tried it on my Macbook and was surprised by how nice it was made. I’ve looked into photo books before and usually have given up before even starting the process of making the layout, because the webpages have been running on flash or the applications were riddled with awful ads.
With this application, it wasn’t the case. It was easy to install (which on Mac means: I just moved it into my applications folder and it was ready to use). Then I started the layout. There’s a few options here: Either you can do it completely manually, you can use the pre-made layout templates or you can make your layout in InDesign and import it. I tried first to make my own within the software, but found it a bit challenging, so I ended up using templates and just adjusting them. This was way easier, and even though they are templates, you can move around and resize elements as you want.
Once I was done with the layout, I just went straight to check-out, filled in my info and the application made sure to send the book off to Saal to be printed. I completed my order a Tuesday evening and 24 hours after, I received an e-mail that the book had been printed and shipped. A week later (Tuesday), I received the photo book (shipped from Germany to Denmark with DHL)
All in all, I’m quite satisfied. It’s a solid hardcover book, and it has a good weight. The photo on the cover is slightly blurred, which I suspect might be because it’s printed on a matte cover rather than the standard glossy. The text is very clear, and only the photos is a bit blurry. There’s a tiny barcode on the back, of which you can opt out at a cost, but I didn’t find that necessary – it’s very discreet.
The photo paper I chose for the pages was matte, but it does have some gloss to it. It shows the photos very well, those, and the colour depth is nice. The colours are as vibrant and clear as they were on screen, so no surprises there.
The book was on sale at the time of my order, so the price was 199 kr (around 27 euro) + 39 kr (around 5 euro) shipping, which I think is quite acceptable.