Saal Digital is a photographic print company based in Germany who create a variety of photographic products from books, decors, posters and photo gifts and were looking for photographers to do reviews on their photographic books.
Making the book:
The software is simple, easy to use and anyone could use it without any training required but this is somewhat to basic for my liking. As someone who is used to using Adobe InDesign and Photoshop on a daily basis, I found going back to a simple program very restrictive with limited font and typographic options. What I would prefer is to have an option to use InDesign for my own layout and more advanced controls and upload into the program to use the shop and payment features.
However if you are not a regular user of a complex program like InDesign then the software offers loads of template options to help build your perfect book with enough font options to give you the look and feel to cover a wide spectrum of needs.
The software includes a text tool, photo layout options from 1-10 photos per page and all you have to do is drag and drop from the view window on the left into your desired location on the page. It's that simple and very difficult to get wrong, the UI of the software is very easy to understand and things are where you'd expect them to be.
For my book I opted for an A4 landscape - 28x19cm Panorama Pro, A4 is actually 29.7 x 21 cm so to not sound pedantic but where has 2cm gone to my A4 prints?
The delivery was very quick but the packaging could had been better, as one of the corners was scuffed which is a real shame as when I first picked up the book I was stunned at the quality and general feel of the book. Considering this was only £30, which is cheap in the grand scheme of photo books and to get such a good quality finish.
The finish I selected was a Matte finish to the covers and inside leaves. In selecting this option a warning popped up, warning me of blacks and darker tones would be produced darker and may lose quality. However there is generally nothing to worry in this. I selected several monochrome photos in my book and all came out rich and perfect!
In showing the book to a few friends and family members they were stunned by the quality and it's the first thing you notice when you pick up the book. If the cover feels good in theory the inside should be great and it certainly is. The lay flat and print quality is superb and I can't fault it, even colour balance is perfect, nothing odd going on or mystery colours coming out from banding - Perfect, as it should be. I was impressed with the monochrome/selenium filter effects I had applied to some photos, which gives a hazy blue tint to the grey is captured. In the past I've experienced this effect has been lost in the print quality.
Now for the important question being would I recommend Saal Digital's photographic books? Yes, they are a good alternative if you want something to show to friends or family. Sharing photos from trips or a small portfolio, this suits being a coffee book to flick through for something light and interesting.
Those who have seen the book have commented on the quality and general feel of the cover. How stunning the prints have come out. So the book as a whole certainly got the gosh and wow factor.
I will likely use them again in the future for books like this for portfolio presenters and something different to the traditional large format prints I do, specially at the brilliant price they are and other options available if required. I would just ask for them to package it a little better to ensure no damage came about in the shipping.
Minus this small problem, its a delightful book which I am very happy to share around.
Thank you for reading.
As a welcome anyone who uses them can get £15 voucher to redeem, this is a one per customer offer - http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/photobooks/
To see more, please visit - www.mihphoto.co.uk