Sunday, June 06, 2010

Blurb Review! And Going Away..

My Blurb book is here! We are so happy to receive it!! Ryan called me at work to tell me it arrived, he knew I've been looking out for it, so sweet of him! To hold it in full 114 pages and in 12x12 size to see the entire trip in one album is just fantastic!!
 As promised, I will review it for you. (Dh is quite amused at how excited I am to do this :) ! ) I've roped him in for his opinions too, to give you as objective views as possible, and since I've only ever printed with Shutterfly, any comparison with be against our books printed with Shutterfly.

Overall, we are pleased with the quality of the book. The pictures and colors are crisp and sharp, paper is thick and not filmsy at all, (I chose the premium matte paper at Blurb) and dh especially is very pleased with the clarity of all details and thinks there is no difference in quality in terms of the printing against Shutterfly!
Here is a close up of an enlarged photo (that took up the whole of the left page) for you to see (a bit of light reflecting) it was perfect in my dh's view
I however felt that the colors of the layouts printed in Blurb appeared somewhat deeper/darker then they did with Shutterfly. Shutterfly colors seem brighter? But this is based on my impression only, since I did not print the same page so can't compare objectively. Here you see a page from my US album (shutterfly) above, and a page from my Japan album (Blurb) below, can't really tell the difference actually..

There are a few areas where Blurb did not fare as well as Shutterfly:
- The spine on the cover cannot be customed with our own background paper using BookSmart (I believe it can be done if you use PDF to Book option, which I did not try). I chose to use white for the spine, thinking it matches the white frames on my photos on the cover
- The corners on the inside front and back covers (as shown below, right is Blurb, left is shutterfly) was not well done, and stuck out somewhat
- The pages appear to be 'wavy' as if the paper did not dry properly after printing? This is not obvious and could be due to the thickness of my book?
- Shutterfly's cover is laminated, but Blurb's is not. There is high risk of my Blurb cover getting dirtied! Do also read Sarah G's review (further down) about Blurb's cover.

There are also other differences, though not necessarily good or bad
- My Blurb book does not open up as flat as my Shutterfly book (I am comparing my 114 page blurb book versus my 101 page shutterfly book). As such, my usual 3/8 inch adjustment for the middle of the double page layout did not work as well as they did with Shutterfly. Of course if I print with Blurb in future I can make a greater adjustment, maybe 5/8 inch, so this is a matter of adjusting.

 - For the same reason, it seems the Blurb book will not have as high a chance of a page falling out. (1 page in my shutterfly soft cover fell out) Only time will tell though :)
- I keep thinking shutterfly pages had more sheen than Blurb's, but dh thinks I'm imagining things! Lol!

To summarise, in view of the price (Blurb is about 30% savings compared to Shutterfly I believe) I would say Blurb is really value for money, good enough, and other than the cover, has indiscernable differences where the printing quality is concerned.  I would however, print with Shutterfly if my book is less than 101 pages in future, mainly because I already got the adjustment for the middle of the double page figured out, and I do much prefer the laminated cover. Just got to take advantage of those discounts! :)

Sarah G had this helpful review of her Blurb book in comments to my last post, I would like you to read her views too: (thanks Sarah!)

I have used Shutterfly exclusively, but last year I had a 115-page annual album (due to my Project 365) and I tried Blurb b/c of the 101-page limit in Shutterfly.

I am not happy with it, after having it on my shelf for a few months. The cover is not a laminate like Shutterfly, it's a heavy piece of cardboard that is printed on. As a result, the cover image will be darker than you'd expect. (My title page and cover are the same, so I could compare.) It looks like the cover absorbs too much ink.

You do a completely custom front and back, but they don't let you upload your image for the spine. I went into Photoshop and grabbed the predominant color in my cover with the color picker, found the hex# and entered that for my spine in Blurb.

It was considerably cheaper than Shutterfly, and my only option in a 12X12 100+ page book.

I am displeased enough with the overall quality that I won't use them again---I will either trim books down to <100 pages, or break projects into pieces.

I hope that you receive a better product! I am, overall, grateful to have the book printed---I should make that clear! It is a great blessing to have all my layouts in a book. But I've been spoiled by Shutterfly. :)

Hope our reviews was helpful!

I have completed 3 layouts of my Hokkaido trip!! Tada!!

Two new templates are in the store and template 204  is now available as a set in the store HERE

And in one day's time we leave for Shanghai, China! I know, we are really blessed, my cousin lives in Shanghai, and invited us for a visit in time to catch the World Expo. The kids are very excited, we have been browsing webpages like this and this to read about it, and of course, Shanghai itself is truly magnificent!! It is our (the boys and I) first trip to China and we will come back with lots of photos and more fodder for layouts!


  1. Thank U for your template--always a treat and for the "review" too--helpful.

  2. AnonymousJune 10, 2010

    Thanks a lot for a new great template from you

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  4. Hi Yin!

    Thank you so much for the template! Your book looks really great! :) I love your templates! I used one of them recently. Here's the link in case you want to see!


  5. Thanks so much for the review! It always helps to have a customer's opinion.

    Have a great trip to China! What an awesome opportunity..for you and me! Now I get to see fabulous pictures / layouts of another country..all through the eyes of Yin! :D

    Praying for safe travels and a blessed visit. Hugs!

  6. Thanks for the fabulous template and for the review! It is always nice to get an informative review!

  7. Thanks for the reviews. I've been happy with Shutterfly so will probalby stick with them. But might try them if I get a freebie. And thsnks so much for another great template. I'm finally scrapping again after feeling no inspiration for a almost a year. Love your templates!

    And have fun in Shanghai! We hope to go to China next year, this year we are driving cross country here in the US with the girls and Mom. Should be quite an adventure! 4 generations of women in one van, great bonding time, from here near Washington DC to the Grand Canyon, the California Coast, San Francisco, Yosemite and home through New Orleans and Florida to take my Mom home! whew, worn out just thinking about it! :) I'll be needing all your templates to scrap those photos!

  8. I absolutely love your templates and scrapbooking style. Minimal on the embellishments and maximizing the photos. All your templates keep this in mind. And you journal. Thanks so much for your free templates. Here is a page I completed recently with one of your templates:

  9. Thanks for the new freebie, Yin! I love that huge photo spot. :) Have a wonderful trip!!

  10. P.S. Thanks so much for the Blurb review, too! :)

  11. Yin thank you very much for your great templates. The first one has already been used, if you want to look at.
    Beautiful is your photoalbum! :)

  12. Thank you for your review of Blurb. I am getting ready to do my FIRST print project and very much appreciate you reviewing the differences. The inside cover of the book is enough to make me go with Shutterfly for my print job. It bothers me! YOUR vacations are so beautifully chronicled. I am very
    impressed with how you detail your photos. I also LOVE YOUR TEMPLATES! Thank you so much for sharing your life, family, vacations and templates with me.
    Hugs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

  13. Your book looks great - those 2-pagers are awesome printed out! Thanks for sharing all the inspiration and your templates!

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your templates! Your work is greatly appreciated! Blessings!

  15. Thanks so much for the lovely template! :)

  16. I am so happy to have found your blog and store - thank you so much for the template - I can hardly wait to scrap with it!

  17. I cannot say thank you enough for your beautiful templates. And I really appreciate the review! I am happy with Shutterfly but of course am always looking for a better deal. For now I'll stick with SF.

  18. Beautiful book, I'm so glad you got it printed! I'm flattered you included my review---it sounds like you came to the same general conclusions. I am glad to have the book printed, and Blurb was the only place to have it done for a reasonable cost.

    Thank you so much for the template! It looks perfect for a LO I've been struggling with.

  19. wow great book and thanks for the template. You must try ARTSCOW's phtobook. they are stitch bind and not glue bind.

  20. Man, all these photobook reviews are making me rethink my printing process. I usually print them individually and then put them in an album. Maybe for 2010 I could try one. Thanks for the review and the freebie!

  21. Thank you for the review on Blurb vs. Shutterfly. I will remember when I am ready to print a book.

    And that you for the wonderful template!

  22. thanks for this fantastic template !

  23. I just LOVE your style of scrapbooking. And these books are fantastic!

  24. fantastic template! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  25. Thanks so much. I have just discovered your blog, and you're designs are so inspiring!

  26. You make mazing album ! I love your templates, love your pages...
    Thanks a lot for sharing your templates !

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  28. Another huge thank you! I love your templates. I featured your store today at
    MyPicTales I am so excited to be on my way to making a photo book!!



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