Friday, February 26, 2010

Print Compare

I had been printing my layouts at Scrapbook Pictures for two or three years now. They have regular sales and the prices during the sales are really reasonable, and I've been extremely happy with the prints. Whether I printed 12x12 or 8x8, nothing was ever cut-off.

A couple of weeks ago, Scrapping Simply was having a print sale. I had heard other people in the digital scrapbooking community rave about Scrapping Simply's prints, so I thought I'd give it a try. Why not? The sale was pretty good.

When I got my prints back from Scrapping Simply, I was not happy. Six out of my 26 pages had things cut off the right side of the page. Upon further inspection, Scrapping Simply cuts off the right side of the pages more than the left side. So if you had some kind of border design that goes all the way around the edges, your print would look quite uneven.  Fortunately, the same week that I got the prints back from Scrapping Simply, I found out from my friend Tracey that Scrapbook Pictures was having their sale.  So I got those six layouts, plus a few newer layouts printed at Scrapbook Pictures.

Let's take a look at the six layouts and compare them.

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This one I had a word border that went all the way around.  The bottom one is Scrapping Simply and the word border got cut off on the right side.  The top is the Scrapbook Pictures print.  The border looks even all the way around.

A closer look at the Scrapping Simply print.
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The Scrapbook Pictures print.
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I think the prints speak for themselves.

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For this layout, I had a border and mat that was equal-distance from the left and right sides.  The top print is from Scrapping Simply and it totally cut off the sides and even part of the border/mat.  The bottom print is Scrapbook Pictures and the border/mat was not cut off.

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For this layout, I had a red stitch border all the way around. The top print is Scrapping Simply and the stitching on the right side is cut off, and some on top too.  The bottom is Scrapbook Pictures, where the stitched border looks intact and is equal-distant from the edges.

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For this layout, the top print is Scrapping Simply and the "S" at the end of "CHRISTMAS" is cut off the page.  The bottom one is Scrapbook Pictures and the "S" is intact.  Plus, I noticed the color difference on this one and I prefer the brighter Scrapbook Pictures one.

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For this layout, the bottom print is Scrapping Simply and the end of my date stamp, the "9" is cut off, as is the journaling block and journaling. The top print is Scrapbook Pictures.

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This photo isn't very clear, but the top print is Scrapping Simply and the journaling on the right side is cut off. The bottom is Scrapbook Pictures and the journaling is not cut off.

Now to be fair, Scrapping Simply guarantees their prints 100%, so if you're unhappy with your prints for any reason, they will reprint it for you or give you a refund. So I'll be sending these six prints back, unless it costs me more to send them back than to get the refund. They also included a slip of paper with my order that said the following:

"Oops! One or more of your files was designed very close to the edge! We try our hardest to make your pages look just how you design them! It is difficult for us to do this when small edges, borders, or important text are near the edge. This is an issue because a 1/16th trim on one edge and a 1/32 trim on another (caused by paper feed or print head alignment) make these borders look uneven. This can easily be fixed just by adjusting your border size. If you have larger 1/4" borders we can then adjust the print position (a small 1/16" edge is still trimmed), no visible cut is noticed. At ScrappingSimply.com, we pride ourselves in providing the best print on the market. We use the most archival paper and have the highest quality printer which we specifically optimize for scrapbook pages. If for any reason you are not happy with this order, please contact us at info@scrappingsimply.com for a reprint."

I think this information should have been included somewhere prominently at their website. If I had seen this, I would not have ordered my prints from them.

Yes, they do guarantee their prints 100%, but so does Scrapbook Pictures. And I can scrap however I want design-wise and have my prints turn out fine with Scrapbook Pictures without having to adjust for the cutoffs. And with no real price difference during sales, why would I go with Scrapping Simply? If all places cropped some edges off, then I might think twice about the design of my scrapbook pages to avoid the edges. But I've never had any problems with the edges cut off at Scrapbook Pictures. They make me feel free to create my pages as I please, putting borders and journaling on the edges. So I will go with them from now on and not stray.

13 comments:

  1. Oh thanks so much for sharing this, Christine! I'd been wondering about Scrapping Simply since I kept hearing people rave about them too but I've been so happy with Scrapbook Pictures that I didn't see a point in switching. Now I'm glad I didn't because the uneven borders would drive me crazy!

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  2. I agree with you--you shouldn't have to force your designs just to meet a printers specifications.

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  3. Great product review!

    I have to put in a plug for Scrapbook Pictures customer service. I had ordered over 30 pages and the next morning, realized that I had uploaded the wrong sized picture. I quickly sent an email to SP asking if they could hold my order until I fixed the problem. Doug from Scrapbook Pictures contacted me (within the hour) with directions on how to fix my issues and also to inform me of another print that needed attention.

    All 34 prints arrived in PERFECT shape! Love this company!!

    Happy weekend! Are you running today?

    btw, groovy layouts...love them! (especially the burger one :D )

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  4. Well, I order my prints in bound books from cheapy Artscow, but I just love seeing your LOs in print. Reminds me how gorgeous they are!

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  5. Thank you for telling us about the sale! I have a lot of pages to print! I'm going to send an order in!

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  6. Hi All,

    Thank you for all the kind words and recognition of the care we try to impart with our customers. We identified this border problem several years ago and made some equipment and software changes to solve it. It is easier and cheaper to have the customer make the adjustments, but that did not seem right to us. Glad to see a visual comparison of what we have explained at scrapbooking shows and to our good customers on the phone and in emails.

    Cheers,

    Doug
    ScrapbookPictures.com

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  7. Wow! That is such a big difference! Thanks for sharing with us. I have been wanting to have my pages printed and it's nice to see a comparison. I have seen Scrapping Simply but I wasn't too sure. I definitely will go with Scrapbook Pictures now.

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  8. Great info. Thanks for sharing this info. It's great to actually see the pictures of the product. I will have to try Scrapbook Pictures. I've only used Shutterfly so far.

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  9. Wow! Thanks for sharing :)

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  10. Came across your post when I was searching for a print company..I have been printing at costco for 6 months and my layouts are always cut off, so I had to leave space around the edges...Placed an order with Scrapbbok pictures, can't wait to see the results! Thanks for the great info!

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  11. This is so interesting to read. In Sweden I haven't seen any "scrapbook" printing company, so I use an ordinary printing company that actually has 20x20 cm (8x8) prints. Not all companies offer quadratic prints!

    I have made an action in PS that adds a white border to all LOs I'm about to print. I agree with you that this is not a perfect solution, it adds a little bit of work and once I have trimmed the visible white edge from my prints they are a little smaller than the 20x20 I paid for.

    The reason I stay with this company are their fabulous prints quality wise. The colors are always perfect and the LOs are sharp and clear. For anyone living in Sweden I can really recommend ProPrint.

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  12. Thanks for your post! I'm getting ready to do some printing and have been trying to figure out where to get stuff printed. This really helps me decide :)

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  13. wow..great comparison....definitely good information. I haven't yet ordered from scrapping simply, but the do have a sale going on, and was going to. Honestly, I don't think I scrap that close to the edge, but I still wouldn't want my layouts cut off, especially more on one side than the other.

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