Friday, February 12, 2016

[Review] Photobook Worldwide

My super memorable Japan Trip has ended way long ago. A lot of photos has been sorted out and edited. So one last thing to do is PRINT it. Whenever I go somewhere for holiday, I always compiled all of the photos, go to the printing office, and insert it into an album. But this time, suddenly things have changed for good when my friend introduced me to this online printing service called Photobook Worldwide.

Photobook Worldwide is an online photo-printing service with extensive area coverage. This company's service is available for 95 countries in the world. Actually, their products are not limited to photobooks only, but almost everything that could be designed personally using photos such as stationaries, home decorations, calendar, and so many more! When you open the website, please change your country region first. The link that I used is Indonesian-based but it will work for all when you have changed your country on that website :)

At the first glance, their price tag is really expensive and I’m almost given up using this service. But if you looked through carefully, they often (or should I say: ALWAYS) have a promotion offers starting from 40% to 80% OFF! A little bit tips from me: go subscribe newsletter from them so you don’t miss it whenever they had a promotion.

Current Promotion Banner *wink*

Last September in 2015, they had a 10th Anniversary Sale and send me an email about it. I’m really excited because one of the deals is just suited to my need: 70% OFF voucher for 8.5”x11” Softcover Photobook. The voucher could be used until March 2016 just as their motto in promotion deals “Buy Now, Create Later”. I just need to pay IDR 100.000 + shipping fee (IDR 40.000 for my address) instead of paying IDR 325.000 + shipping fee. Without further ado, I immediately asked my Dad’s permission and bought it using his credit card :3

There are three options when you want to create an album. You could use the readybook template or start from zero, either by doing it ONLINE or OFFLINE by using the software provided from Photobook Worldwide called Photobook Designer. You could find and download both of them on the website. I have looked through all of the readybook template but none of them suited my taste. I really want to make this album very personalized in my style, so I decided to download the software and spend most of my free time in December to design a photo album filled with photos from my summer trip to Japan.

*sneakpeek of my project design*

The software is very easy to use. There are so many choices of background and scrap item so it’s really like making an online scrapbook. All you have to do is just click and drag instead of holding a ruler + scissors, cutting here and there if you create a conventional scrapbook. You also could crop and rotate the pictures, but not for the brightness and color quality. So I suggest you to edit the photos first with photo editing program such as Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, etc.

No matter how good your photos are, I suggest you to increase the brightness and drop the contrast level when you edit the photos. You will know why at the end of this post.

Finally after spending about 17 days of my very long holiday, finally I finished my design on January 4. Well actually I could finish it faster but I’m really a lazy bum. I could only edit 2-3 pages a day, with sometimes 5 pages in maximum. Whenever my design idea is off, I will stop designing and lazying around my bed untill I found some inspiration. I must admit it, I do really love designing and doing things like handicraft since primary school but my bad personality is that I also love postponing things. Guess I’m not suitable to be a professional designer LOL.

Okay, back to the main story. So after I finished it, I checked and looked through my project carefully from the cover until the end. Making sure that I haven't made any flaws since it could not be changed after the project file being uploaded. I opened the website, placed my order, filling my information details, last but also the most important step: insert my DISCOUNT voucher code before checking out. After that you will be directed and given notifications that you have to upload your project file if you use offline software like me. It's very easy and now all I'm left to do is waiting :)

Well, actually I was not waiting in a calm and silent disposition. I felt restless and excited, wondered when will my package arrived. For heaven's sake it's just 1 hour actually after I uploaded the project LOL. So 2 days later, I've got an email from Photobook Worlwide, saying that my album is done and on the way to my home. My package number was also attached on it. Of course, I immediately tracked my order. The first time I opened it, the updated numbers were only until no. 4 which is "ARRIVED AT Sort Facility SUBANG ......"

After that, every 2 or 3 hours I kept stalking my order like crazy fan girl LOL. It just made me more and more excited knowing that my package was going closer to me. Finally, the overall tracking results are as the pictures below :)

Finally the day I'm waiting for!
Yeayy, it just took 4 days from Malaysia to arrived here in Indonesia.

Neat and clean packaging

I'm quite surprised to find another layer of protection for my photobook.
Definitely satisfied with their protection and shipment care!

Protection Envelope

So pretty!

Well, overall I'm quite satisfied with the product. The only thing that left me a bit down was .... the fact that most photos inside tend to be darker and has more contrast than what I've seen in my laptop. To most of photos, it's still tolerated. But there is this one page consists of two photos which from the original quality had already been dark because of the rainy and cloudy weather in Japan, it's really become too dark T_T ... Although I had been trying to retouch it until it looks okay in Photoshop, but when it was printed ...

What I see in my Laptop after lots of retouch *expectation*

What I see in my hands *reality*

Please do note that the very original picture is a loooot worse than the printing results but I have been retouched it just like the first picture above. But I can't really blame the Photobook for this cause. To be honest, I'm already prepared for this since my friend who used Photobook had mentioned about this before. That's why I have took precaution in adding extra brightness and lower contrast in all of my photos which actually had been edited for blogs. But still only that one page above which couldn't survive the trickster. The website's FAQ Section actually also posted about this matter.

But I didn't bother much for calibrating my monitors or whatever mentioned there. I was afraid to break my laptop in process LOL. Well, for the next time I guess I just need to really take pictures in a very good condition with a good camera (#moneyproblem) so the printing will turns out good haha.

PROs :
  • Lots of promotion offers, so it's affordable and money-saving
  • Nice paper quality
  • Product packaging is clean and neat
  • Extra protection with the album envelope
  • The design software is easy to use. Plus lots of cute background and scrap items options are available
  • Pictures tend to be darker than what you've seen in your laptop  
  • Expensive shipping fee and even if you buy 2 products, it's still counted as double shipping fee :( 

Overall Ratings: 4/5

Repurchase?   YES! (when there is another cheap deals :P)

Thank you for reading this post!
Please let me know if you also use Photobook Worldwide service and whether you also experience that "tend-to-be-darker" results :')  If not, well I guess I need to graduate really soon, work my ass off, and buy a good laptop + camera #wishlist


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