I was recently contacted by Saal Digital with an offer of a sample photobook as a part of their product review campaign. I have now received the book, and thought I’d give my 2 pence, regarding the product itself, software usability and general experience dealing with the company.
Software – Saal Digital’s desktop design program is the easiest in-house software I’ve used from a photobook company (and I have used many). It’s snappy, intuitive to use, and scratches those spots where other companies’ software failed. Their layout template are reasonably varied, with each one being pretty well suited for purpose. Things like auto align/snap to other objects on page, decent selection of fonts are a great help when you want to design an album quickly without specifying the exact x and y axis positions, etc (yawn). Another nifty feature I found was that, prior to ordering, the software tells you the estimated arrival date of your product based on the product and your location, which is pretty handy, when you are working to tight deadline, for example. It shows that Saal Digital took their time in researching other available programs on the market, and decisively went onto do one better, and succeeded, in my opinion. 9/10
Product quality – against my usual preference, I opted for glossy pages, which was probably a mistake on my part, as I’ve never really been a gloss print fan.
Personal preference aside, this is an excellent product for the price. I ordered 28 x 19cm (A4) in landscape. Colour rendition is spot on from my calibrated monitor. Nice deep rich black, with plenty details and tonal range. Padded front and back page gives the book a soft, yet weighty touch; much nicer to handle than standard hard backed books. Each page is also a card, rather than paper. Ok, it’s no mounted pages of more expensive books, but for casual photobook, it certainly feels great. It also features lay flat pages, which is always a bonus. I designed my book to fully utilise this.
Speed of delivery – I placed the order on Wednesday, and received it following Wednesday. 1 week for production and delivery is pretty good, certainly above average. I could also track the status of the order and delivery, which is always good in this day and age.
Overall, I would recommend other photographers consider Saal Digital a go. And if anyone wants to have a look and a feel of the book, just pop down to the studio.