Saturday, January 14, 2012

Viovio Part II: The End Result

See part I for a description of the design process. 


Exactly two weeks after I ordered my photobook, I got my book in the mail!  I was so excited to open it up!  The book was well packaged and when I pulled it out... I was immediately disappointed.  Not with the quality of the book, because it was apparent that it was really good quality... but because of the cropping of every single one of my pages. The cover included.  The cover was designed to look like this:


Since I wasn't aware of the cropping guides until I got it in the mail and logged onto viovio as mentioned in part I, my entire book was sadly disappointing. Given all the tremendous time I spent on designing every single page, I was really really excited for this book and the end result fell short.  On other websites, this is not a problem because it's layouts are preset and designed so that it is not cropped improperly.  My other experience with websites that allow custom inserts such as viovio also did a much better job by clearly showing the crop guides in the design editor while designing each page, as opposed to a separate feature inadequately labeled which I would have to know to turn on.  I also noticed that the crop guides it did show online did not match what actually got cropped.  It cropped far less than what was pictured but still managed to make my pages look cramped and unprofessional.



But, what's done is done.  Next time I use viovio, I will never make the same mistake.  I wanted to spend some time on the quality of the actual book.  The premium photo printing really showed.  My pages are thick and the colors turned out fantastic.  I am very pleased with the quality of the pages and the vibrance of the colors.  The binding also looks really strong and I think it will last a very long time.




In summary:

The ideal consumer for viovio's services is one who has the graphic design skills to create their own pages. This would be wonderful for a digital scrapbooker!  They even have a 12x12 size photo book! Since you'd already have all your pages designed, you could just upload them all and print out the book!  (Just make sure you watch out for the cropping!) This is not an ideal service for someone who just wants to drag and drop their pictures into an album.

Pros
- Great quality photobook
- Excellent binding
- Great pricing structure
- REALLY affordable shipping
- Huge range of printing options

Cons
- Clunky design editor
- Very difficult to use for drag and drop photobooks
- Additional costs for using different layouts
- Cluttered website makes it difficult to get the information you need

Now that I have gotten some experience with viovio, I feel like I understand how I can maximize its services!  Although it was a painful learning experience, I know that next time the process will go much swifter and the end result will be much more satisfying. Hopefully, viovio will also make some design changes to their website and design editor to make the experience smoother but the quality of the book plus the affordable pricing will have me brave the clunkiness to make another book for sure!

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