Set up 14 years ago by a digital printing company, Yophoto now specialise in photobooks and calendars. The company are proud of their service and consider themselves market leaders.
The title page of the site is a white page on a blue background and looks clean and minimal with trendy fonts and a few lifestyle images to draw the attention of the surfer.
Looking around the Home page and you can learn more about the company or see some work by other users as well as look at the sales blurb like testimonials.
There is also a news page just in case you want to keep up to date with what is going on in the company and a handy support page for if anything goes wrong.
Choosing and ordering a photobook is started by clicking on Photobooks either in the blue tab at the top of the page or using the options down the side. The four books available will display with the prices. Clicking on More details will take you to a page that allows you to see the different fibres that the books are available in as well as a more detailed description of the of the book and a technical specification.
Once you've chosen the book you want to create, a friendly green icon with the legend Go Create! Awaits you at the bottom of the page and this leads you to an area where you must download some software. This is a little strange, I have seen sites provide the same service without downloading any software. Make sure you read through the How it works part as some of the information is important.
Downloading took me about 16 minutes to get the full 22Mb file onto the computer, but once this is done, installation takes only a few seconds.
A new window will open and ask you which book you are choosing. A little unnecessary to choose it on the website in that case, but I decided to change my mind and go for a smaller one. For the first time, you will be asked if you want the Help wizard to open and if you do, it will take you to another page and explain what the Yophoto application does.
The images will display down the left side of the window with the template of the book in the middle and any effects you may want to choose can be found on the right. The images can be simply dragged into place and manipulated in size, rotation etc.
There is no way to go back and undo mistakes that I could see, which I found annoying. On one occasion, I used the wrong image, so deleted it and it deleted the photo template too, not just the photo. Their was no way that I could see where I could reverse my previous actions.
A nice touch is that when an image is used, the file name is highlighted in blue to ensure that you don't use the same image twice. An automatic save request also pops up so you don't lose your work which is also a nice idea.
The background colours are not too strong and also work work on the drag and drop policy. The right hand pane also allows you to change the layout of the page as well as adding a frame.
After submitting the book for printing on the Thursday, it arrived printed at my door the following Wednesday. So the turnaround was three working days.
Looking throught the book and I'm impressed by the quality. The first page has a protective sheet over it and the pictures are nice and glossy with thick paper being used adding to the quality.
When scrunching the box up, a warning appears to say that not all the lettering will fit in the box, but when using a font like Freebooter Script, the lettering is quite swirly and flamboyant. As such, the tops and bottoms get missed off, but no warning is given about this happening.
This is really a user error, but the extravagance of the font causes capital letters to spread over the left edge of the text box at the beginning. This can't be rectified and no warning is given that it's going to happen which is a software error.
The book is deeply bound and any lettering that goes too close to the centre of the image will not be seen. I also printed one image over two pages and it's important not to have important features near the centre. A small green triangle is probably the marker for the cut off, but it's not obvious. Maybe a red shaded area where not to place things would be more effective.
The left of the lettering can't be included if it's not aligned. With no warnings, it's natural to assume that the text will be included on the page.
The lower case of the lettering can be included by extending the box. The font isn't overly easy to see that it's missing and no warning comes up.
A number of our site members have also used the Yophoto photobook creation. One member said: "I downloaded the 23Mb software with ease and it installed just like any other software. After installation I entered the program and chose the type of book I wanted. The number of pages and price are also displayed here.
I chose the one I wanted and the software offered me an Automatic fill or a Manual fill. I went for manual as this offers you a template which you can fill in with your pictures. Alternatively, you can choose your own layout for each page. I found flicking through my photos an awkward and slow process but soon picked up how the rest of the software worked.
I processed my order on the Tuesday night and my book arrived on the Friday. I was extremely impressed by the quality and would recommend this to anyone, but would encourage them to spend plenty of time designing the book to get the best quality."
I performed this review on a mystery shop basis so that my order wasn't treated differently.
The software is easy to download and use, the program is well stocked and thoughtfully laid out and with an advance warning, the problems I encountered can be avoided.
The program is enjoyable and the end product is good quality, just ensure that the text and pictures don't lead to the edge and don't use a fancy font that can overlap the text box.
Easy to use
Software takes ages to download
No warning if text will crop due to style
Very deep binding
EASE OF USE
Yophoto books start at £8.99 and can be created at the Yophoto website. Click here to take a look.