Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bookmaking Review

So I have finally finished Allie's book from 2011. I am amazed I am still alive. Ha! For those of you who don't know, I make a book for Allie every year, called Allie's Adventures, and it documents all the things we did together during that year.

Last year's 6" square, 65-page, soft cover book pales in comparison to this year's 8.5" square, 200-page hard back book with close to 900 images. (Yes, I take a TON of photos, thanks to getting my first DSLR camera.) It was a ridiculous amount of work and could not be possible without this blog. Thank goodness I write down our stories throughout the year!

Anyways, last year I used Blurb to make her book, but this year I decided to try out Mixbook. Here are my findings:

1. If you want to create something from scratch and not use built-in layouts, use Blurb. It allows you to be very exact and OCD about alignments of your custom layouts.

2. If you are happy using built-in layouts and want a lot of design options (built-in themes, stickers, etc to make it all cutesy) use Mixbook.

3. Mixbook also allows you to more easily enlarge, shrink, and move images within a layout box.

4. The "Order my book" process once you've finished design is much simplier with MixBook as well.

5. Also, I found MixBook to have extremely good customer service. I had a trim issue (where the pages weren't cut properly) and they responded immediately and have mailed me an entirely new book to fix the error. Upside: now we have a copy of her book to keep at our house. :)

All said and done, I'll probably use MixBook again (unless Blurb changes their web-based book designer) and deal with small inconsistencies from spread to spread. The final product- including binding, print quality, and delivery time was really good.

So here's a glimpse into Allie's mega book. We've sent it to her in a Valentine's Day care package (you'll see that love-filled gift next week!).

The design of her book is very simple. I used a soft canvas texture (not visible in pics) as the background and a small turquoise flower motif throughout.


 Dedication page
Love, Dad

Every section begins with a story page
Flower motif
Some of Allie's most beautiful moments
and some of her funniest.
All sorts of adventures

In addition to our personal notes to Allie in the front, I included some blank pages in the back for friends to write her messages yearbook-style.
We love our Allie!

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