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A stocking stuffer in March…

March 26, 2009

If you’re like me it’s hard to find the perfect gift for your parents.  Seriously!  What could my mother want that she doesn’t already have or could go out and get?  The answer for me, and I’ll assume many of the photographers/creative folks in the audience, is found in my childhood.  I make something.  No, I’m not talking about setting my hands in plaster or yet another clay ashtray/paperweight/blob, but something that she’ll treasure.  Yesterday, FedEx dropped it off at my door!

Yeah, I know it’s kind of late to be talking about Christmas (or whatever your late-in-the-year holiday festival is called) gifts, but I didn’t want to rush this one.  Plus… I simply forgot.  Anyway, I received a hardbound book from Apple created using Aperture with the pictures I took of my family throughout the year.  I think she’ll love it.

There are many places online and brick-and-mortar stores that will print a book for you.  I’m looking at some of these services as I evaluate books and related products to sell to my clients.  What brought me to Apple is my work flow with Aperture.  Yeah, you all know my love-fest with the Aperture product, but it’s not unfounded.  But let’s focus on the actual book.

Like many services, Apple allows you to choose from a variety of products from small, soft-cover books, to large coffee-table tomes with beautiful dust jackets and embossed type.  Layout of the pages was as simple as drag-and-drop from various photo projects.  Aperture provides standard layouts which you can modify to your creative tastes or you can develop a layout from scratch.  When complete, a PDF file is created of the finished product.  This is the standard format used by most book-printing services allowing you to take the book to whatever service suits you best.  I decided to send it to Apple.

Upon arrival I was impressed with the product packaging.  There was a large solid box in front of my door that could have stood up to the impending rain storm (I didn’t test my theory!).  Inside was another Apple-branded box suitable as a gift box containing the printed book.

Package

The book I ordered was a 26-page, hardbound book with a dustcover.  The book was nicely packaged inside a plastic bag with adhesive at the top.  It felt very “hardbound” without any flexing or other “cheap” feel.  This was a nice product.

Inside

Book

Taking off the dust jacket revealed the hard-cover with a silver-embossed title.  Very cool!

Book Cover

Inside, the printing was exceptional.  All the pictures had fantastic color and brightness and the paper was a good quality – not cheap and flimsy.

Overall, I think this is an exception product.  My 26-page hardcover book cost $46.56 including tax and shipping and it took a little over a week to receive.  For clients requiring a nice product without the expense of the higher-end photo albums, this looks perfect.  I’m adding it to the selection of products for my clients.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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