Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Clark Color Lab Photobook Review

Clark Color Labs had a great price for a 5x7 photobook. It was something like 60% off. I got a 50 page book for under $10 dollars. This included photo and text and front and back covers. The book is perfect bound.

Building the book.

Clark has a flash book designer on their website. They have multiple templates. I didn't want any text - just photos on a black background. I could find a template with just photos, so I opted for the largest photo and smallest text template I could find. I'm guessing I got 80% coverage per page. I ignored the text box on each page. Unfortunately, Clark's software does not let you re-size the photos on the page. You are stuck with the template sizes. I made every page the same single photo and text box. Images can all be uploaded at once if they are in the same folder on your computer. Clark has a chart for recommended resolutions for the different products they offer. I re sized my photos in Lightroom and exported to a single folder. By using the minimum size required, you can save some upload time.

Building the book is simple. Choose the photos you want to use and then drag them one by one to each page. The program allows you to preview the completed book.

Receiving the book.

It took about 8 days to receive my book after I purchased it. The book came in a cardboard envelope and arrived without any damage. 

The cover for the book has a glossy finish. Since my book is black, fingerprints show up easily. The inner pages on my book have a matte finish which resists fingerprints. The colors are very close to what I expected from looking at the monitor. The pages are fairly thin, but I believe they will hold up well. The edges are cut smooth. Overall, it is a professional looking job. 

Pros: Low Cost, many design templates

Cons: Can't re-size photo on page, no template without text on page

For a general purpose photobook, Clark 5x7 paper cover books are worth the money, particularly if you get a discount. They seem to offer discounts quite often.