Sweet Shoppe Designs

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Old 03-08-2021, 09:29 AM
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Default Help for the Clueless: Bound Books - Tips/Tricks

So, my goal is to create bound books. I have a wedding album book, grandkids, and my family. Bookwise I've only created yearbooks for our home school group. That is NOT what I want for me, personally. I want better quality. Previously I printed my pages 8x8 and put into scrapbook albums. I really don't want to do that this time. Also price is a consideration. I don't have endless funds

I see stuff from Shutterfly, but have never held a book of theirs in my hands. I know there are others out there. So those of you that have printed books, tell me the deets of which one you like best, why, and any tips and tricks I would need to do now while I'm creating my pages that will make it easier for printing into a bound book later on.

I appreciate any help you can give me.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:11 AM
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I've printed several 12x12 and 8x8 books from Shutterfly and I've been happy with them. They periodically have sales that include unlimited pages. I've maxed out several books for my kids and was happy with those as well as the 'normal' sized books. If you plan to take advantage of that, my tip would be to upload your pages periodically and start building your books so it's not a scramble to do it when the sale happens. I choose the page format with each page as a single photo and then you just drag and drop your pages onto the book pages. Hope that helps!
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:11 PM
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I've printed books at Mixbooks and Shutterfly - typically go with Shutterfly because of the unlimited page deal is the cheapest (111pg book and comes in around $25 (8x8 hard cover)... I've done a lot of books...

Do note they do not make it easy for digi scrappers. My biggest tip for using Shutterfly - when you get to your workspace (doesn't matter which style you choose to get there), go to the style up on top - there you can find the Digiscrap "style." Then back at the workspace, add all the number of pages you are going to use... next, select full photo page in the layout option, then Page>>Apply to all Pages>>Layout. Then the full photo will be on all pages. It's a huge time saver.
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Old 03-08-2021, 02:03 PM
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I have a been a longtime fan of Shutterfly. I love my books from them.

BUT last year I discovered Photobook America (from someone here), and let me tell you, the quality is better than Shutterfly and the cost was too!!!

I have two books with pages that are very similar, one from Shutterfly and one from Photobook America.... The shutterfly pages are darker and not as bright as the Photobook America pages. Maybe I will do a video or something showing the differences.
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Old 03-08-2021, 02:16 PM
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I like shutterfly, although their 8x8 is short of a print size, the outcome is really nice. I also order 8x10 photobooks at blurb, but I prefer shutterflt when it comes to the crispness and color accuracy. Most of the time I wait for their unlimited pages, saves a lot of money.
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:59 PM
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I've done Shutterfly 8x8 books primarily. I have found that I try to have nothing important close to the edge my layouts for printing. I usually resize everything but the background paper on my layouts just a smidge so I don't lose anything to the binding and page stays centered.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:33 PM
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I've printed with Shutterfly & Photobook Philippines (same company as Photobook America) and been happy with the results. My favorite company to print photobooks with is Printique, formerly AdoramaPix. They are pricey, but I've never printed at anything less than 40% off, and it's often cheaper than Shutterfly.

Regardless of where you print, I highly recommend printing layflat style books. They look so much better, in my opinion.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:41 PM
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I use Shutterfly exclusively. I print my personal albums at 10x10. My first book I printed through Persnickety way back when at 12x12 and found that was too big for my liking.

I use layflat pages and like someone mentioned, I apply full page photos throughout the book first so I don't waste time.

I print 8x8 through Shutterfly for grandparents and gifts for friends.

I also wait for the unlimited pages sale and usually print 100 page books.
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:15 PM
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Great advice here... I'm so bad at printing! Gotta get going on that <3
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bienejen View Post
I've printed several 12x12 and 8x8 books from Shutterfly and I've been happy with them. They periodically have sales that include unlimited pages. I've maxed out several books for my kids and was happy with those as well as the 'normal' sized books. If you plan to take advantage of that, my tip would be to upload your pages periodically and start building your books so it's not a scramble to do it when the sale happens. I choose the page format with each page as a single photo and then you just drag and drop your pages onto the book pages. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the tip! I was thinking that uploading every few weeks would be a key point...and if I have them uploaded then making the books will be a lot easier if that step is already done.
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MamaBee View Post
I've printed books at Mixbooks and Shutterfly - typically go with Shutterfly because of the unlimited page deal is the cheapest (111pg book and comes in around $25 (8x8 hard cover)... I've done a lot of books...

Do note they do not make it easy for digi scrappers. My biggest tip for using Shutterfly - when you get to your workspace (doesn't matter which style you choose to get there), go to the style up on top - there you can find the Digiscrap "style." Then back at the workspace, add all the number of pages you are going to use... next, select full photo page in the layout option, then Page>>Apply to all Pages>>Layout. Then the full photo will be on all pages. It's a huge time saver.
Oh that's a huge tip!! Thanks! I'm writing that down in my notebook of things to remember!
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by StacyLynn View Post
I have a been a longtime fan of Shutterfly. I love my books from them.

BUT last year I discovered Photobook America (from someone here), and let me tell you, the quality is better than Shutterfly and the cost was too!!!

I have two books with pages that are very similar, one from Shutterfly and one from Photobook America.... The shutterfly pages are darker and not as bright as the Photobook America pages. Maybe I will do a video or something showing the differences.
I would love to see a video of the comparison. I have had some pages print a lot darker sometimes and it's not a look I like. That's something I'm concerned about with the wedding album book...the quality of the printing. I've never heard of Photobook America. I'm going to check them out.
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:33 PM
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Thanks everyone for the help. I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:34 PM
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I normally print 12x12 prints from Persnickety Prints and put them in CM albums. But I have printed some Shutterfly books as well. First ones I did 7 or 8 years ago were 8x8 and they were fine but as I get older I find that it is harder to read the journaling.

I've done 3 unlimited page books as presents for 2 different cousins this past year. For those I chose to do the 10x10 size and I like that much better. I also figured those would fit on any bookshelves they might have!

I have also set up a "test" book in the digiscrap style then for each new book I start with it and save it under a new name immediately. I also have gone so far as to start a book putting the layouts in and just saving it until I get more to finish the book. I can see how it flows by doing that because for me things have to flow... like 2 page layouts have to be next to each other! If I find they don't I can figure out how to rearrange or even do a new layout to make it happen.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyLynn View Post
I have a been a longtime fan of Shutterfly. I love my books from them.

BUT last year I discovered Photobook America (from someone here), and let me tell you, the quality is better than Shutterfly and the cost was too!!!

I have two books with pages that are very similar, one from Shutterfly and one from Photobook America.... The shutterfly pages are darker and not as bright as the Photobook America pages. Maybe I will do a video or something showing the differences.
I would love to see the comparison, Stacy!!
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Old 03-09-2021, 04:26 PM
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Love all this advice! I definitely need to do better with printing... but I have so many non-chronological pages of my boys that I am kind of stuck!
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Old 03-09-2021, 04:54 PM
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In SF I shrink the gray photo box to better fit the page. SF's preset size leaves about half an inch cut off, so this helps with bleed and when making your pages because you're better able to know what your the printed page will look like.
Turn Advanced Editing on.
1. Choose the page you want to edit. (I just choose the page my book is open to because we're going to apply this to all pages so it doesn't matter which one you actually "edit.")
2. Click and drag the gray photo box so that the bounding box can be seen.
3. Resize similarly to how you do in PS. I resize to 11.5, which allows a tiny bit of white around the edges of the page, but I find that's preferable to losing some of my LO.
4. Center the photo box.
5. Go to PAGE > Apply to other pages. Choose Layout and click APPLY. All of your pages will have both this full-size photo sizing applied to it.
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:33 PM
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Love all this advice! I definitely need to do better with printing... but I have so many non-chronological pages of my boys that I am kind of stuck!

I print pages from Persnickety Prints and put them in a 3 ring album. I do books for trips but my regular pages I do so randomly that I print separately. Now, I am very, very behind. If you catch them on digital scrapbook day and other various sale times you can buy print credits on sale and they are good for ages. Then you can print 50 pages at a time and put in your book when you are ready. I have print credits sitting that I bought 5 yrs ago. I need to print a lot of pages. I am very, very behind. I get my albums at hobby lobby and buy the archival page protectors for them. My kids like flipping through the pages. So I don't have to wait till I have a year done to print.
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:55 PM
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I used Shutterfly from 2006-2008, but I switched to prestophoto.com in 2009 and have printed probably 40 books with them.

I had issues with shutterfly, the lamination of my older books has starting to become loose, I'd have covers that would be off, so the bleed wouldn't be right, I'd have white edges even though it didn't show that way in the software. I'd printed probably 20 books with them. I started wtih 12x12 and then did 8x8.

I prefer their 8.5x8.5 size to shutterfly's 8x8 size, they're more affordable. You can get more layouts to an album. They have templates you can download to make sure you're in the cropping guides. I started adding a .25 border to my pages just to be sure because I was loosing some stuff in the gutters of the book.

They also have lay flat books.

For a while I added just a white border and that was fine, but I'm transitioning out of that.

Here's one of the last books I printed with their .25 inch border.
https://www.prestophoto.com/bookstor...0Leaf-Page%201

Another one I did a couple years ago with a smaller white border that cut off in the printing process.
https://www.prestophoto.com/bookstor...0Leaf-Page%201
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Old 03-10-2021, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tree City View Post
In SF I shrink the gray photo box to better fit the page. SF's preset size leaves about half an inch cut off, so this helps with bleed and when making your pages because you're better able to know what your the printed page will look like.
Turn Advanced Editing on.
1. Choose the page you want to edit. (I just choose the page my book is open to because we're going to apply this to all pages so it doesn't matter which one you actually "edit.")
2. Click and drag the gray photo box so that the bounding box can be seen.
3. Resize similarly to how you do in PS. I resize to 11.5, which allows a tiny bit of white around the edges of the page, but I find that's preferable to losing some of my LO.
4. Center the photo box.
5. Go to PAGE > Apply to other pages. Choose Layout and click APPLY. All of your pages will have both this full-size photo sizing applied to it.
I've never had the issue of having edges cut off like you are describing. But I do not put anything of importance close to the edge of the layout anyways. I learned to do that even before I started using SF. They do have guides you can use when doing your layout that shows their print area. I use those when doing the covers and spine before uploading.

I did have one book that was reprinted for free by SF because of how they cut the pages before assembling the book. About 1/16" of one page would be on the top of another one. That was their problem though not mine. The reprinted book was fine and I made no changes to the file before they did the reprinting.
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:06 PM
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I did have one book that was reprinted for free by SF because of how they cut the pages before assembling the book. About 1/16" of one page would be on the top of another one. That was their problem though not mine. The reprinted book was fine and I made no changes to the file before they did the reprinting.
I had something similar from SF. They also reprinted free of charge, but it was still a hassle. It's one of the reasons I decided to resize all of my full-size photos to 11.5in: the book is technically "12x12," but the pages are slightly smaller. This way, if the cutting process is off again, I just see a tiny bit extra white at the bottom.

I will admit I've thought about forgoing background papers altogether and having a simple white background. Then it wouldn't matter if my page was slightly off: everything will look "finished," even if I place a page away from the gutter etc.
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:22 PM
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I had something similar from SF. They also reprinted free of charge, but it was still a hassle. It's one of the reasons I decided to resize all of my full-size photos to 11.5in: the book is technically "12x12," but the pages are slightly smaller. This way, if the cutting process is off again, I just see a tiny bit extra white at the bottom.

I will admit I've thought about forgoing background papers altogether and having a simple white background. Then it wouldn't matter if my page was slightly off: everything will look "finished," even if I place a page away from the gutter etc.
Glad it works for you! I don't print 12x12 from SF so resizing a 10x10 to 9.5x9.5 would defeat my purpose of not having the print large enough for me to read. 8x8 is too small for that reason LOL I guess in a way I do something similar since I just make sure everything important is 1/4 to 1/2 away from the edge. If part of a cluster of flowers gets cut off, it is no problem since most people would just think it was designed that way.
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Old 03-10-2021, 03:11 PM
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I have mostly printed through Shutterfly, they are constantly running some kind of special, and if you have multiple e-mails (or you create different ones, or use your kids school and personal e-mails) when you print something, you can add e-mails to send your choice of a free album to those e-mails. We keep doing this in our house and even though I haven't had the shipping funds to take advantage of all of them.

I am willing to try others. I used Winkflash a long time ago, but I don't know if they are even around. I used I believe Snapfish once or twice, but again neither of them really advertise or I am not on their e-mail lists, so I never know about sales or specials.

I just need to scrap enough to finish another album so I can print more or figure out a way to scrap random year books, even if they aren't fully complete.
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Old 03-10-2021, 04:27 PM
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Here's a video of one of my books from several months ago with one of those white borders I added to try and remove some of the issues with the gutter of the books that I'd started having, because I was getting lazy.

https://youtu.be/0trW84S_awI
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by nesser1981 View Post
Here's a video of one of my books from several months ago with one of those white borders I added to try and remove some of the issues with the gutter of the books that I'd started having, because I was getting lazy.

https://youtu.be/0trW84S_awI
Thank you!! I love watching your videos about your books. Really helps me to see things a bit more clearly. Have you ever done the lay-flat pages? If you did, would you still have the same gutter issues do you think? I've only done the regular bound with the yearbooks I've created and have always been really careful of the gutter with those BUT my pages are more creative and I really want that to not be an issue when I print mine, LOL.

Oh and I love how you matched pages by using the same kit. Made me think more about how I want the overall look of my family books.
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Old 03-11-2021, 12:23 PM
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Layflat pages eliminate the gutter issue. Worth the cost IMO.

I also love to have matching pages although that doesn't always happen. Like I said above I do try to plan out my books so that a 2 page layout is next to each other in the final book.
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by just_jo View Post
Thank you!! I love watching your videos about your books. Really helps me to see things a bit more clearly. Have you ever done the lay-flat pages? If you did, would you still have the same gutter issues do you think? I've only done the regular bound with the yearbooks I've created and have always been really careful of the gutter with those BUT my pages are more creative and I really want that to not be an issue when I print mine, LOL.
Just wanted to say that I love layflat. They're easier for my kids to handle/read, and like HavaDrPepper said, the gutter issue is basically solved.

I do a series of books that I call "Remember This": they're random years/events all next to each other, so I don't (can't?) coordinate pages for them. The kids love seeing all these events in non-chrono order. Anyway, I'll try to make a few photos to share of the layflat 12x12 SF books.
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:24 PM
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I have not done lay flat, but I totally would switch if they offered the size I print in now.

They do offer the lay flat in an 8x8 and a 12x12 at presto photo and other places do as well. It would eliminate those gutter issues for sure.

Glad the video helped you visualize things a little more. Iím very passionate about people printing their layouts no matter how they choose to. I started with loose pages back in 2006, now Iíve done over 50 books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by just_jo View Post
Thank you!! I love watching your videos about your books. Really helps me to see things a bit more clearly. Have you ever done the lay-flat pages? If you did, would you still have the same gutter issues do you think? I've only done the regular bound with the yearbooks I've created and have always been really careful of the gutter with those BUT my pages are more creative and I really want that to not be an issue when I print mine, LOL.

Oh and I love how you matched pages by using the same kit. Made me think more about how I want the overall look of my family books.
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by nesser1981 View Post
Here's a video of one of my books from several months ago with one of those white borders I added to try and remove some of the issues with the gutter of the books that I'd started having, because I was getting lazy.

https://youtu.be/0trW84S_awI
I love to see people's books! Nice job!!!!!
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Old 03-13-2021, 03:17 PM
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I would love to see the comparison, Stacy!!
Okay! I did a quick (not too quick apparently I babble and ramble.....) video showing the two books and differences.

Here it is if anyone is interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwX70HYTww&t=7s
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Old 03-13-2021, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tree City View Post
In SF I shrink the gray photo box to better fit the page. SF's preset size leaves about half an inch cut off, so this helps with bleed and when making your pages because you're better able to know what your the printed page will look like.
Turn Advanced Editing on.
1. Choose the page you want to edit. (I just choose the page my book is open to because we're going to apply this to all pages so it doesn't matter which one you actually "edit.")
2. Click and drag the gray photo box so that the bounding box can be seen.
3. Resize similarly to how you do in PS. I resize to 11.5, which allows a tiny bit of white around the edges of the page, but I find that's preferable to losing some of my LO.
4. Center the photo box.
5. Go to PAGE > Apply to other pages. Choose Layout and click APPLY. All of your pages will have both this full-size photo sizing applied to it.
Thank you for the tips, Sara! I might give Shutterfly another chance using your tips. I've been using Shutterfly since around 2006 or 2007. I've only printed 8x8 books with no more than 24 pages. The quality is just not that good anymore, in my experience. The pages are fairly dark and very uneven. By that, I mean that what is printed is not even. If I had a page with a 1/2-inch border all the way around, the border in the gutter would be totally not seen - it would be hidden by the binding. You would see 1/8-inch on the bottom and 3/8-inch on the top. Just horrible! This was last summer. The customer service was great, but when they redid the book it was the same and a few pages were worse. I tried Mixbook, and that was a disaster for me, as I thought I was following the bleed lines, but I guess not. Some pages I saw a white border, other pages were cut off.

I may also try some of the other companies mentioned. I would prefer putting them in 8x8 3-ring binders to avoid all the border/gutter issues, but those are to find. Persnickety Prints does a fabulous job printing. I've got oodles of print credits.

To those of you who videotaped your books, what awesome books!

Edited to add that I have never scrapped chronologically. When I've made books, they are by theme: Cousins, School Days (even before my son was out of high school), water fun, Christmas, scouts, Firsts (and not just baby's firsts), etc. The layouts within each book are in chrono order. I even did a book with my layouts from SSD's 13th and 14th birthdays! Those layouts are in the order that I created them.
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Old 03-16-2021, 04:12 PM
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Sorry for the large pics, but thought it would be easier to see. I made an image in PSE that I uploaded to Shutterfly to see how it would actually print. The way I saved it was as a 12x12 full size flattened jpg. This first picture I have black was the background for 12x12, the pink was set 11.95 inches(I know it says 7.95 inches ...that is for me to see since I print 8x8 books), dark blue is 7.75 inches (11.75 in.) and light blue is 7.50 inches (11.50 in.). In this zoomed photo, I can see the whole image. I set the page for 7.75 inches in shutterfly.




The second photo shows if you choose their full size page layout. You will noticed that the page will get cut off. They have their boundaries set for 7.95 inches for 8x8.




Hoped this helped some of you with visually seeing what would get cut off on your layout at what size. Also, they do have templates for photoshop/pse users to download their template to help as well. https://www.shutterfly.com/digitalsc...sign-specs.jsp
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Old 03-16-2021, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyLynn View Post
Okay! I did a quick (not too quick apparently I babble and ramble.....) video showing the two books and differences.

Here it is if anyone is interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwX70HYTww&t=7s
Thank you so much for your video, Stacy! I loved the comparison.
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Old 03-16-2021, 05:01 PM
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Thank you for the link to the shutterfly templates - super helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsashbaugh View Post
Sorry for the large pics, but thought it would be easier to see. I made an image in PSE that I uploaded to Shutterfly to see how it would actually print. The way I saved it was as a 12x12 full size flattened jpg. This first picture I have black was the background for 12x12, the pink was set 11.95 inches(I know it says 7.95 inches ...that is for me to see since I print 8x8 books), dark blue is 7.75 inches (11.75 in.) and light blue is 7.50 inches (11.50 in.). In this zoomed photo, I can see the whole image. I set the page for 7.75 inches in shutterfly.




The second photo shows if you choose their full size page layout. You will noticed that the page will get cut off. They have their boundaries set for 7.95 inches for 8x8.




Hoped this helped some of you with visually seeing what would get cut off on your layout at what size. Also, they do have templates for photoshop/pse users to download their template to help as well. https://www.shutterfly.com/digitalsc...sign-specs.jsp
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyLynn View Post
Okay! I did a quick (not too quick apparently I babble and ramble.....) video showing the two books and differences.

Here it is if anyone is interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwX70HYTww&t=7s
Thank you! I really enjoyed seeing your books.
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lizziej View Post
Thank you for the tips, Sara! I might give Shutterfly another chance using your tips. I've been using Shutterfly since around 2006 or 2007. I've only printed 8x8 books with no more than 24 pages. The quality is just not that good anymore, in my experience. The pages are fairly dark and very uneven. By that, I mean that what is printed is not even. If I had a page with a 1/2-inch border all the way around, the border in the gutter would be totally not seen - it would be hidden by the binding. You would see 1/8-inch on the bottom and 3/8-inch on the top. Just horrible! This was last summer. The customer service was great, but when they redid the book it was the same and a few pages were worse. I tried Mixbook, and that was a disaster for me, as I thought I was following the bleed lines, but I guess not. Some pages I saw a white border, other pages were cut off.

I may also try some of the other companies mentioned. I would prefer putting them in 8x8 3-ring binders to avoid all the border/gutter issues, but those are to find. Persnickety Prints does a fabulous job printing. I've got oodles of print credits.

To those of you who videotaped your books, what awesome books!

Edited to add that I have never scrapped chronologically. When I've made books, they are by theme: Cousins, School Days (even before my son was out of high school), water fun, Christmas, scouts, Firsts (and not just baby's firsts), etc. The layouts within each book are in chrono order. I even did a book with my layouts from SSD's 13th and 14th birthdays! Those layouts are in the order that I created them.
I had exactly the same experience on my last Shutterfly book -- the page crops were all over the place. And when they redid it, it came out exactly the same. I don't know if they are using some new technology that attempts to assess and "correct" the cropping, but whatever the reason, my pages were unevenly cropped on many pages. It was very frustrating and has me looking for alternatives. I might try Photobook America.
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:24 PM
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Mary, thank you for your post! I always use the full-page layout, and I've paid attention to the boundaries. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention. One time I submitted 7.95x7.95 photos, and I think it was worse as far as how much was cut off. I'm guessing I just don't understand bleed. The thing is that the gutter side is always cut off a lot, because it is all in the binding. If I have a half-inch border all the way around, most of the gutter side is in the gutter.

I decided to measure a book. The pages are 7.75 inches high and 7.5 inches wide - the other .25 inch is the binding. The hard cover is 8 x 8, and 3/8" of the width is the binding. Therein lies one big problem - we don't get a square page.

I just measured the one softcover 8x8 book I got at Persnickety Prints. The book (and pages) are 8.125 x 8.125, with only about 1/8" gutter. The big difference is that the part that is cut off is actually the side opposite the gutter - about 1/4"!

Maybe I need to quit my job as a paralegal and open up a store that addresses all our needs. LOL
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:05 AM
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A 10x10 SF Layflat Book has page sizes of 9 3/4 H x 9 5/8 W. The cover is 10 H x 10 3/8 W.

The gutter issue is not a problem with layflat books which is why I will always pay the extra for them.

What it all boils down to for me is not putting anything close to the edge of a layout so that it doesn't get cut off no matter where I print or whether it is 12x12 single prints from PP or a book from SF. Learned that 13 years ago! So no photos or journaling within 1/2 inch of the edge of the layout. Elements are not a problem to me because most people will just figure that is how the page should look.
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