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PhotoBox Pantone Photo Book Review

PhotoBox has partnered with Pantone to launch a range of A4 photo books and we've designed our own to see how good this new design-focused range really is.


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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

 

Pantone Photo Book

 

PhotoBox have been designing and creating photo books for some time now but it's only recently that they've teamed up with Pantone to offer customers a new range of A4 landscape photo books they're describing as 'design-focused' and 'bold'. The new A4 Pantone Photo Books are available in 5 colours and 3 seasonal themed books will be added to the collection every three months, too. On test is an A4 Pantone Photo Book from the Spring collection featuring 26 pages which is priced at £29.99 (excluding P&P). 

 

A4 Pantone Photo Book Features

The A4 Pantone Photo Book is currently available in a choice of 8 colours, although only 5 are part of the permanent range, with a minimum of 26 pages (more can be added for an additional cost). 170g/m2 paper is used to create the pages and the photo book features a hardback cover that has a glossy finish. There are paper and cover upgrades available which give the user an option to have their images printed on premium paper (230g/m2) and have a deluxe book sleeve wrapped around their photo book. 

Key Features

  • Pantone colours 
  • Seasonal colours added every three months 
  • Variety of layouts available 
  • Paper & cover upgrades available 
  • Book size is extendable 
  • Design software is online so it doesn't take up hard drive space

 

Pantone Photo Book

 

A4 Pantone Photo Book Handling

The Photo Book was packaged securely in a strong cardboard box in which it was fastened in place with plastic wrapping so it didn't move around. The Photo Book itself is well made, has a thick hardcover and quality photo paper is used throughout, although it's not quite as thick as some of the paper used by other Photo Book manufacturers. The printing quality is good and I can imagine it would be even more impressive if images with a higher resolution were used throughout the product rather than images captured on a mobile phone and uploaded to Facebook. 

 

Pantone Photo Book

 

The pages are glued into place but the binding holds well so there's no risk of them falling out. It's not a layflat binding, though, as some other Photo Book manufacturers offer which means the pages have a slight curve to them when viewing the book, but it's not a major issue. PhotoBox do offer this option on other Photo Books in the range. 

 

Pantone Photo Book

 

A4 Pantone Photo Book Performance

The Photobox Photo Book designer is online which means it doesn't take up space on your hard drive which is a bonus. The software is very easy to use and self-explanatory but should you need assistance, there are useful tips that pop up or there's a Live Chat function should you need it. 

 

Photobox image uploader

Photos can be accessed from your computer or social networks and both methods are easy to access as well as quick to use. Images can be organised into albums should you wish to keep collections separate and they can be ordered by name or date. Once downloaded, you simply click on the images to add them to a column found on the right which tells the designer that these are the images you wish to use in this particular product. Images which have been added will be grayed out so you don't add the same image twice. There's also options for removing images should you wish and you can also re-jig the order of the images. 

 

 

Clicking 'create book' takes you to the design area which again is easy to navigate and simple to use. Images are simply dragged and dropped into the book and any changes you make appear instantly. Images can be rotated, adjusted in size or even edited to improve the tone, change the colour etc. A small face will indicate if the image you're using is of good quality with a green smile meaning the result will be good while a sad red face means you should decrease the size of the image or use a different one.

 

Photobox image uploader

 

Various layout options are available which can all be edited / adjusted or you can create your own with the 'add photo aperture' and 'add text' functions. Various background colours and photo embellishments are available for use alongside many fun illustrations you can add to pages. Text can also be added to the book's cover and spine alongside an image(s) for the front. 

 

Photobox image uploader

 

Photobox image uploader

 

If you forget to save your photo book, a little reminder pops up to tell you which is a nice touch and there's no danger of using the same image twice as the software greys out used photos and also adds a number to it to show how many times you've used it in your design. 

Once complete, you can review your design before clicking the order button where you are offered optional extras should you wish to take them. Again, the upload process doesn't take long at all and even purchasing the product is a straight-forward process, too. You can keep track of your order status in your account settings under 'my recent orders'. Here's where you'll also find any albums you've made should you wish to store the images for future use on Photobox. 

 

Value For Money

The basic cost of a Pantone Photo Book is £29.99 which is about on par with other Photo Books available of this size. Standard delivery is priced at £4.29 (UK) which is not only reasonable, but it also beats the delivery time of rival company Albelli who offer 7 days while PhotoBox quote a minimum of 5. Even without adding the extras such as better pages the book quality is impressive and definitely worth the money.

Other manufacturers creating Photo Books at a similar cost include Albelli and Vistaprint. AsukaBook is another high-quality Photo Book maker, but they make a point of being for professionals only, making PhotoBox a great choice for anyone to have a go at making a Photo Book with.

 

A4 Pantone Photo Book Verdict

The A4 Pantone Photo Book is a lovely book that would make a great gift or keepsake. It's well built and looks great, but it's a shame the layflat option isn't available on this particular product. Plus, this design is only offered in an A4 size and in a landscape orientation so if you're looking for a larger book or one with a different shape you can't have one of the Pantone covers. Apart from these couple of points, the A4 Pantone Photo Book is a good quality product, the software used to create it is easy to use and delivery times are spot on. As a result, we're happy to recommend PhotoBox as a good Photo Book manufacturer.

A4 Pantone Photo Book Pros

Good quality 
Easy to use software 
Quick to create
Range of colourful covers available 

A4 Pantone Photo Book Cons

Orientation and size limited 
No layflat option 
 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

 

The A4 Pantone Photo Book is a good quality product, that's easy to create and is available in a range of fun colours. 

 

 


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