Once I lived in a world without digital photography. I had to use a disposable camera or a camera with 35mm film and the only way to see the photos I took was by printing them. Living in this digital world, less and less photos are being printed. People relive and share their memories by blogging about them, uploading them to their personal website, or posting them on their social media pages. I love blogging and sharing but I also love printed photos. When my brother and sister-in-law got married, I started looking for a website to design an album of their big day for my mother and grandmother. I found tons of websites in all price ranges providing user-friendly ways to create photo albums. However, the one I liked best was Artifact Uprising.
The products Artifact Uprising produce are elegant, crisp, clean, classic, and refined. They also use recycled and reclaimed materials. The company was founded in 2012 by two sisters, both photographers, and along with their photographic eye, they obviously have an eye for design because they created an incredibly beautiful website as well as constructed and designed equally beautiful products. Their slogan, “Inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible.”
LAYFLAT PHOTO BOOK
In addition to the two wedding albums, I ended up making four other albums. I created six 8.5 x 8.5 layflat photo books, three of my brother’s wedding (for my mother, my grandmother, and his mother-in-law) and three of my wedding (for my mother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law). It had been three years and I still had never ordered or made wedding albums of my wedding. Mohawk proPhoto Paper in lustre finish and Mohawk Superfine paper in Eggshell finish are the page stock options. Stamping (cover & spine) choices are gold, copper, white or black foil. For the wedding albums I chose lustre finish paper and gold foil. Four of the albums were in the color “orchidee,” one was in “smoke,” and one was in “midnight blue.”
Seven years later, instead of making myself a wedding album, I made albums of our trip to Japan and China. I chose the eggshell finish paper, the “smoke” colored cover, and gold stamping. The spine and cover have a few predetermined layouts you can chose from and I chose to place the title “Nihon [Japan] & Zhongguo [China],” in the top center with MMXVII  on the bottom portion of the spine. The layflat photo book is filled with the more professional looking photos (landscapes, monuments, temples, buildings). For this book, I did not use a lot of their predetermined layouts, rather I created my own.
One thing that bothers me is that they center the title from the seam of the spine to the edge of the book rather than measuring from edge to edge. This probably does not bother normal people. Also, keep in mind that these books will not be perfect. You may have a little bend in your book’s binding or a little crease but nothing that again, a normal person would notice.
I made a 8.25 x 11 softcover album for our more casual photos. Photos of city streets, people, and food as well as photos we took of ourselves in front of buildings and pretty landscapes. I like the look of this album. I much prefer this softcover album to a regular photo album of individual pictures inside little sleeves. I used a lot of their predetermined layouts which made creating the album less time consuming as compared to the layflat album.
I love this album but it was kind of expensive for what I ended up with. The cover is Mohawk Superfine Eggshell, which I like just fine. But the page stock is Mohawk Options 100% PC White (100% recycled with matte finish) and though I like that they use recycled paper, I realized that I do not like the look of recycled paper because the pages have little marks on them (some of them dark). I would have no problem with these little marks if the album had been a little less expensive.
TIPS AND INFORMATION
- Your photos will print darker than you may think. So you may want to use the brightness editing tool inside the editor.
- You may think your photos are in focus, but they may not be. Open your photos on your computer screen and zoom in to make sure.
- You need high resolution photos. If you are making an instagram book, then those prints will not be that large and you will probably be fine. However, pay attention to the red exclamation point that may pop up on your photos in the editor. This is an alert that your photo’s resolution is too low to print that large or zoom into that much. Read more about file sizing here.
- Gather all the photos you think you want to use and place them in another folder on your computer or online storage (wherever you chose to upload your photos from) and upload as you go. You will easily become overwhelmed if you upload all your photos and try to sort through them inside the online editor.
- This is important: you cannot change your book size once you start your project in the editor. If you want to change your book size, you will have to go back to the layflat album page, re-select your options and begin another project.