I have wanted to get some new products printed for myself for a while; so when there was an opportunity to get a book printed by Saal Digital at a reduced rate as a test case it made sense to put an order in.
I tried several times over the last few months to sit down and design my new portfolio but have always stopped when I have downloaded an application from a company and have struggled to put the design together. It is not that I couldn't use certain software; it is more the time it would take to get to know the custom settings and put together the layouts how I wanted.
When I downloaded the software application from Saal I was impressed with the interface and how easy it was to import images into the application. There was an option to do everything automatically - I had a go with this and it did a great job. However I had a clear thought process of how I wanted the book to look so I started to do each page myself.
So I would definitely the say that the design application makes the process easy for myself and allows me to concentrate on ordering the images. There are lots of layouts, and there is the ability to place images wherever you want. In my whole book there was only one page that there was not a suitable template for the design I wanted.
There are many extra options to help customise your book. For this book I chose the premium matte paper, a black leather case and anthracite box.
The box can be seen in the image above. The box is high quality and would be an essential element for my Wedding albums to sell to my couples.
The above image shows the inside of the case - you can see the book sits flush and neatly in a strong foam. At the same time it is easy to get the book out. Straight away I was impressed with the feel of the leather and the weight of the book. I opted just to put text on the back of the book. This is printed and again has a high quality feel to it. There was options to print logos as well as text on front or back.
I opted for the premium matte as I have a tendency to prefer a matte finish as opposed to glossy, but the practical for me is my books tend to be viewed by a lot of people and I feel the matte picks up the less marks than the glossy.
As soon as I opened the book I could feel the quality in the paper and I knew I had made the correct decision.
The paper is one piece across the double spread so your images have no gaps in. I had been careful when designing the book that where an image went across two pages there was no heads split by the crease. This allows you to do dual pages spreads of images which I included a few of in my book. I also took advantage of the option to print right to the edge of the pages.
Something you are always worried about when you order any printed product is the colour reproduction. I would say my Saal book has one of the closet colour reproductions out of all printed products I have ordered on the first attempt. With any pro lab it is worth getting some test products so you can alter your own processing before ordering again.
The overall quality of this book is really high, the colours are reproduced well and the software to design the book is one of the best applications for a similar product that I have used.
The turn around was just over one week from ordering to recorded delivery by a courier. This is a fantastic turnaround for a customised product of this quality. A highly recommended company and I will be ordering some further test products in the coming weeks.