- Advanced photo adjustment options
- Theme selection and modification
- Simplified mobile browser-based editor
- Video tutorials for each function
- Support in 11 languages
- Seven-day replacement policy
- Bizarre, inconsistent size/cover categorization and display
- Fixed page quantity
- Slow production and shipping
Nowadays there are two important aspects of a good photo book company: a simple and straightforward (hopefully mobile-friendly) editor and outstanding quality. Printerpix, a Florida-based photo company that started its business in 2011, easily passes both of these tests, and even manages to up the ante with some surprises of its own. Aside from being available in an astonishing 11 languages, the company sports plenty of photo customization options and designs with which you can easily create the photo book of your dreams in a jiffy. Furthermore, you can also build your books via mobile browsers in a simplified editor, choose between various sizes and covers, and enjoy modest prices with affordable shipping. And to top it all, Printerpix makes sure every customer leaves with a smile on their face by providing temporary coupons and discounts, a week-long return policy and, of course, quality photo products with which you can preserve your most cherished memories for a very long time.
Video Tutorial for the Editor
Once you are through the initial shocks – in particular the abysmal book selection process and the need for Adobe Flash Player – you are greeted by a rather interesting photo book builder. Granted, the editor itself works pretty well, but it is a little choppy, there is no exit option, deletes untouched projects after 30 days, and it can interrupt the editing process with auto-saves that do not run in the background.
However, Printerpix provides all the necessary features that customers are looking for, while adding extras like the option to share your work, an interactive help guide and video tutorials all directly from within the editor. Pictures can be uploaded from hard drives or online storage, after which they can be auto-filled into the book or be placed into it manually. Each picture is “rated” by the editor: if it deems a photo to be of low quality, it warns you and gives you tips on how to make the culprit printable. As for other adjustments, photos can be flipped, rotated or resized but you can also apply effects, too, by tweaking the colors, adding shadows, borders or changing the image containers. Speaking of which, by choosing either the Borders or Mask tabs on the right-hand side of the screen and downloading some extra content, you can transform your included photos even more. It’s also possible to change the layout of each page, but you can apply the modifications on two pages at once, too.
If you are not satisfied with the appearance of the book, you can still add clipart (stock images), extra photo containers or text boxes manually, and you can create working QR codes leading to any website you like. There’s also the option to change the background in various ways: by replacing the preset theme with a picture you upload, accepting those offered by the editor or by simply adjusting the ones you are using. But if you want a ‘radical’ change, you can apply a different theme to your book; in this case, however, the editor automatically arranges your pictures in a new way, meaning that some of the customizations you have worked on might be lost. To prevent losing your previous settings it is highly advised to copy the book and make changes on the new one or use the undo button and simply discard the new theme.
Quite surprisingly, Printerpix is also available from mobile browsers – but in a more primitive form. Even though the selection of book sizes, covers and themes is a bit easier to choose from, the editor requires a device with a larger screen. This is more significant than it sounds, because rotating and resizing the pictures or texts is a true nightmare, not to mention the addition of embellishments and layouts. The only true benefit of the mobile editor is that it can be used without requiring an account up until the ordering process, but aside from that you’d better be off with the full-featured desktop version.
Even though the quantity and quality of available themes is more than satisfactory, there is one major annoyance to face when picking a style: it’s only possible do so after you have selected the cover and size of your photo book design. With that said, here are the numbers that matter: the 146 styles are divided into 13 categories, out of which the biggest category is Everyday with 28 different themes. However, the total amount of Printerpix designs is a little deceiving, since many themes reoccur under several categories.
As already mentioned, you don’t have to worry if you change your mind during the design process and want to see your photo book with a different style, you can change it any time or even mix the existing one with any themes you download to the editor or pictures from your computer’s hard drive.
The selection of books types is an utter catastrophe. The problems start with the available sizes where you can choose from 6×8, 8×8, 8.5×11, 11×8.5, 11×11, and 12×12, except sometimes the books’ external attributes are given in centimeters or in the A-number format. But this is nothing compared to choosing the right cover for your book; even though the different types are somewhat distinguishable, you will still have to check out each one in turn to know which size goes with what cover. Thankfully you can cheat a bit: you just have to start creating a photo book directly from the editor or change the book’s type during editing and the full list of covers with sizes is revealed.
There are leather covers split into seven different products, three hard covers (with the Instagram book treated separately), one soft cover and a vinyl cover, which is the only one with a spiral binding. And to make things even weirder, the number of pages is also fixed to 20, 26, 40, 50, 60 or a 100 with no option to add or remove extra…
If you thought that the size/cover combination is a nightmare, then you’ll struggle even more when trying to find out the prices of Printerpix photo books. Admittedly the same cheating method can be used to reveal the prices as well, but being unable to compare prices properly is anything but customer friendly.
With that said, the cheapest product is a hard cover notebook for $16.95 – which is not even a photo book, but that’s perhaps great proof of Printerpix’s bizarre categorizing – while the photo books with the best prices ($24.99) is either the 6×8 hard cover or a soft cover book in 8×8. Like we briefly touched upon, you cannot buy extra pages for your books, so it is important to determine in advance what number – with choices from 20, 26, 40, 50, 60 or 100 page-long books – will be sufficient and pick that choice accordingly. What you can do for an added fee is upgrade to premium quality photo paper or include extra copies of your book – something that is shoved into your face every single time you want to order a book. The only thing that is more or less consistent is the shipping policy: prices range between $4.99 and $7.95 per copy, with the exception of rush delivery which is always $40 per item.
Support & Shipping
If you need help from Printerpix’ staff, contacting the company is managed via email, live chat or phone on each business day from 9am to 5pm. Aside from that, the only option to get proper help is if you check out some useful photo tips, go through the company’s FAQ or, as we mentioned before, watch the tutorial videos within the editor or directly on YouTube. Sadly, you need to forget about Printerpix’s social media as a source of support: both the Facebook and Twitter page have been dormant since March 2016.
If you have problems with your order, the service offers a couple of options: first is to terminate the order within one business day from placing it – via phone and for a $30 cancellation fee – or make use of the seven-day replacement policy upon delivery. Speaking of shipping, prepare for a rather long wait: books are produced within 6–8 business days and are delivered within 3–12 days. And if you think the rush shipping is faster, think again: even that takes 3–5 business days…
Overall Printerpix is not a bad photo book company, but there are certain things that can make its use almost unbearable. The biggest and most obvious problem is how inconsistent the size-cover pairings are, which is topped by a pricing chart that can only be revealed in its fullest if you are already editing the book. Moreover, the books are bizarrely categorized, the production and shipping time is slow while the inclusion or exclusion of extra pages is non-existent.
Still, there are plenty of pros, most of which are related to the online editor that, despite requiring Flash, is a surprisingly good, versatile tool. Not to mention there is also the option to choose from plenty of designs (even retroactively), and you can create photo books on the go through the mobile browser version. So if you can survive the above faults with Printerpix’s photo books service, then this is definitely a worthwhile choice.