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Photobook – Review of Saal Digital

About 3 weeks ago I replied to an Instagram post by Saal Digital that offered £25 voucher off printing if you did a product review for them so long as you wrote a review of the product once received. So here it is.

I only had about a week or so to put together a book (the voucher only valid for 14 days), and being on holiday I relied on all the images I wanted to use all being in my Flickr account. As ever I decided (not for the first time) to create a book of black and white images, and titled it “Monochrome One”. Not to be confused with “Mono One” that is available through Blurb.

The Software

Images selected and downloaded onto the Mac I then downloaded the book building software. I previously used Blurbs equivalent software and there are similarities but I have to say that I found Saal’s software very easy to pick up and start putting together the book. Images auto-aligned nicely, resized to similar dimensions as nearby photos on the same or opposite pages. I put the whole thing together relatively quickly, in part because I only had 32 pages and I was generally keeping to 1 image per page. I’d chosen to make the book a landscape format (28 x 19 cm) on matt finish paper, and on at least one page, laid a single image across both as a centerfold (of a beach, nothing more existing than that I’m afraid).

My only criticism was the choice of fonts which was broad but far too many nasty, comedy fonts and not early enough choice of sensible, grown up fonts like Georgia, Gill Sans, Perpetua, Helvetica and so on.

Anyway, job done I clicked a few buttons and off it went to get printed (in Germany I think) plus a few extra quid for some additional pages (and postage costs).

The Product

And yesterday it arrived (barely a week after I’d placed the order so extra stars for a fast turn around). I have to say that I was very impressed, the book just felt like quality before I’d even opened it – a good weight, nice feel to it, and the cover that I’d designed to be black, with white (and pale blue) lettering and a photo on the right edge, looked good. Really good.

Opening up things just got better. The paper was really heavy, practically card, but most importantly, the images look superb. The contrast was deep – blacks were black, whites, white – matt finish worked well for this. Of the tinted and split tone images the colour was accurate.

The resolution was very good too – fine details as good as I’ve seen in any print.

My only wish was that there was a way to sell this online in the way that Blurb have a digital version you can have as a shop front. I have one copy of Monochrome One and if anyone wants one they’ll have to email and I’ll order it again and send it on and get payment by cheque or something. This isn’t what this service is for – this is a way to produce a high quality book for your own enjoyment, for showcasing, portfolio, or whatever. Given the quality I was say Saal Digital provide pretty good value for money too.


So will I use Saal for Monochrome Two? Yes I would expect so (I’ll have to start saving up now).

For more info see and get a £15 welcome voucher…
http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/photobooks

@SaalDigitaluk #saaldigitaluk

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