Blurb.com, a Review

Blurb.com is, in my opinion, the best match between the love for books and the love for photography.

I would like to start this post by answering the question most people might have concerning Blurb.com:

Is this Blurb.com any good?

Yes, it’s very good. And to prove that i would like you to consider this: I printed out my bachelor thesis in photography with this company and I was very pleased with the results and, as it seems, so were professors that gave me the maximum mark. A friend of mine also did the same for his textual only thesis and it was great: Professors actually stole his books!

Give a look at the photos from the “Il Mito di Roma” series, now for sale at RedBubble.com

Colosseo, a photo from my photography thesis printed at Blurb.com
Il Mito di Roma – Colosseo

It is up to you to choose which paper to use. Unfortunately there is no possibility of having a sample for each type delivered at your home (like Moo.com offers) but in can give you advice based on my experience: Matte Finish Paper is the jolly that suits all of your needs. Standard paper is too “light” and feels cheep in your hands, Lustre Finish Paper instead reflects too much light and can be distracting or undesirable in the end product. I have never tried the new Proline Papers, but they seem to expensive at the moment and i am not so sure it is worth the expense.

About prices: I do believe they are high. Still, going to a local printer/binder will cost you more than what you will pay here, at least in Rome. The expense goes up the bigger the book gets and the more “optionals” you add to your product. Creating a “Standard Landscape Book” (7.99 x 10.00 in – 20.28 x 25.40 cm) with Matte Paper will take the price of your book to €34,44 for a 40 paper book in hardcover, excluding shipping and VAT if you are European. That’s quite a lot.

Now, on a personal note: I think that once in a while printing out a book with your own photos and your own design is worth the expense. And you are given the possibility to sale your book too, which is nice.

Look at “Il Mito di Roma” Book available for sale at Blurb.com

Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro, a photo from my photography thesis printed at Blurb.com
Il Mito di Roma – Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro

Let’s face it: the big problem in digital photography is having your photos hidden in you PC or available on internet and all the pleasure of holding the end product of your work in you hands is gone.

Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. With the possibility of taking an endless number of shots it can happen that some shots are not really your best of your repertoire but still you have that feel of guilt when you are about to press delete on your computer.

Sometimes though, you feel that your work deserves some sort of “nobility”. Or a special event has occured and you want to make a nice printed album. This is when Blurb.com comes in. They want to print your book and they want to print it well.

This company leaves you a lot of liberty of choice: want to make a quick album without to much thinking? Upload your photos (or import them from i.e. Flickr), insert a title, choose your color, insert some text if you will, and magic is done. A book ready in just five minutes!

Feeling more artistic but do not know how to use designer’s programs? Download Blurb.com’s editing program and discover the artist in you!

Got inDesign skills? Create your design in your favorite program using Blurb.com’s standards, export and upload!

Bottom Line

I like Blurb.com, and i advice it.

Interested in printing like a Pro? Here are some trips from my job

The Pantheon's "Oculus", a photo from my photography thesis printed at Blurb.com
The Pantheon’s “Oculus”, a photo from my photography thesis
Giulio Menna
Lover of: all things digital, humanities, and medieval manuscripts. I created Sexy Codicology and the DMMmaps Project and run them both with passion and love in my free time. I am an MA graduate in Book and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University. Still happily living in the Netherlands.
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