Photography Book Printing Review – Artisan State


I remember when there were one or two choices to print your own photography book. These days photography book printing is extremely simple to find and for the most part easy to use. I’ve been creating photography books from various sources for years and I am going to review some old favorites as well as some of the newer players, like Artisan State. The key feature that attracted me to try Artisan State for my new photography book was their flush mount technique that would allow me to print wide as well as provide a very nice experience to readers (lookers?) of the book. Artisan State’s Description of Flush Mount Book Printing
Flush mount photography books originated as high-end wedding albums that were custom made by boutique binderies. These ranged in price from several hundred dollars to thousands.
 
Flush mount books differed from regular photo books by being hand mounted on thick inner board with real silver halide photo paper, thus giving the book many desirable characteristics listed below on this pages.
 
Regular press photo books are low-end photo books that are mass produced using inkjet printers and stock papers. You can find them by Googling “photo books”.
 
Some have a bigger brand, some no brand, but they are the same type of books. By trade they are known as the “press printed books” because they use the same type of ink, paper, and press print method as magazines and catalogs.
 

Photo Book Creation Process

The process to create your photography book with Artisan State is similar to most: you select the size, orientation, quality and creation method and away you go. You have the choice of using their online template(s) or using your own publishing software like Adobe InDesign. I chose to use their online service mostly because that is the easiest and I assume the way most people will use their service.

Photo Book Printing Choices

You can choose various sizes and either portrait, landscape or square orientation.
Artisan State Photography Book Printing Sizes

Photo Book Sizes

You have 2 choices of paper. I used the metallic and it’s awesome.
Artisan State Photography Book Paper Quality Selection

Paper Quality Choices

Lustre Prints (E-Surface) E-Surface is a real silver halide photo paper from FUJI that comes with a lustre finish. Its excellent skin tone reproduction captures the diversity of skin tones faithfully. Metallic Prints (Fuji Pearl) Fuji Pearl is a real silver halide photo paper from FUJI that comes with a glossy pearlescent metallic finish. For extra cost you can experience the higher contrast stylized look of metallic paper that’s used by many professional commercial photographers. Next you choose the number of pages that you are going to want for your photography book. This can be changed during the creation process, but put in your best guess now and you’ll get an idea of how much your masterpiece will cost to create.

Pages in Book Printing

Artisan State Review

I found the overall process relatively easy. I have done several books and so I was familiar with printing concepts and some of the technical terms that are used during the process. They do a very good job of making the process easy to use and it tells you if you have made any mistakes along the way. As a further check it gives you an additional warning at the purchase/print screen so that you can fix any issues that you may have overlooked. I think that even if this your first book, you will quickly understand how to put your book together. The layout templates are self explanatory and you can customize them to your own preferences with easy drag and drop changes. Here is a screen shot of the layout screen.

Book Editing Screen Shot

One of the things that I was very curious about was how the images that I used across both ages would look when actually printed. One of the attractions of this lay flat book design is the ability to print one image across 2 pages. This way you get to print a really big image without paying for a really big book. I was pleased with the results even when I (intentionally) centered an image on the seam. I ordered this particular book to be used as advertising for my winter wildlife photography workshop. The heavy pages are perfect for the many (hopefully) hands that will turn the pages. The double size images are also impressive and memorable all good things for this promo piece. I give Artisan State a 4.5 out of 5 rating. I docked them half a point because the book is not available to be printed at home. My book was 20 pages and I only used 18 pictures because I really wanted the impact of the big images. My final bill was $70 plus shipping and it took about a week or so for it to arrive. If you just look at the cost per image this is seems expensive, but I have to say it is very impressive and I will use them again for projects such as this. This is what my finished Artisan State Photography Book looked like.  
Signed copies of the book are available for $100 including shipping. Click here to email me to buy yours. If you attend the winter wildlife photography workshop in 2015, I will deduct the price of the book from your tuition! 🙂 For more details or to order your own photo books from Artisan State head on over to their website.

UPDATE – New Artisan State Book

I’ve made my second wildlife photography book. You can see how that one turned out…HERE.

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