“ Personalised photo gifts - Create your own photo canvas. „
There is a proliferation of online digital photo processing labs, offering a whole variety of services. These services have diversified greatly from the basic photo printing. You can get monster poster printing (teenage or college bedrooms anyone?), canvas prints, novel presents such mouse mats, mugs, plates, key-rings, pillow-cases etc. You can even have customised wallpaper or other forms of wall decor made, obviously requiring deep pockets. Other popular services include creating albums in a variety of designs and sizes. These are meant to rescue your digital photos from the purgatory of a computer hard drive or even cloud storage to the table-top, always physically accessible and palpable for anybody who happens to be in your home or, indeed, your office where it can be an effective promotional tool.
This is relatively new and, inevitably, some of these providers will fall by the wayside in due course as they may not measure-up. One of the outfits likely to survive is Printerpix. They have a whole variety of items on offer, the service is quick and crucially, the quality of their photo products is top-notch. I have used them on a variety of stuff and they are really as good as anyone out there. The only product where I have seen them bettered is with photo canvas. Printerpix's aren't bad at all but on this particular product they are trumped by 'You-Frame'. In fairness, this is a specialist outfit for canvas. However, to effectively compete, Printerpix may very well wish to up their game.
Another area which is a kink is with their software for creating photo album. Whilst in theory this is quite versatile (more so than Photobox or Photo.com), it doesn't work nearly as smoothly as these competitors. It can freeze for no apparent reason and, in some instances, just crashes and this can happen several times on the same project. When this happens after you have spent several hours creating your masterpiece, it can be gut-wrenching. This may be because the engine is Shockwave Flash, not known for stability. If Printerpix can iron these niggles out, they can't help but succeed.
Please heed the advice of others who have reviewed this company and do not use Printerpix for ANYTHING.
I bought 2 vouchers for photo albums so that I could make gifts for our mothers after our wedding. The first problem was when I bought the "VOUCHERS" they didnt email me the codes.
After first emailing them and getting no response and then calling them and holding for over 20 minutes I got through to someone who said - oh yeah I have seen you email I havent had a chance to reply yet - he did however email me the codes.
So I set about uploading the photos to their website, using the methods described in their help section. Well after 3 hours solidly trying to upload photos and each time it failing I emailed them again asking for help. This was over 2 weeks ago, since then have emailed them numerous times, I have phoned them only to be kept on hold and no one answers the phone (I have called their 0844 number 8-10 times now sat on hold from anything from 15-45 minutes). I have contacted trading standard who have said all I can do is speak to them directly or take them to the small claims court. Both of these options will cost me more money.
Please please please advise anyone you know not to use this company. You'll be out of pocket, disappointed and driven mad because you'll never get what you asked for or your money back.
Like many review site members I'm prone to giving into temptation when I'm offered a bargain. Not surprisingly therefore, I'm a member of a couple of 'daily deals' websites - GroupOn and Livingsocial. Last December GroupOn sent me a voucher for £7 which I could use against a handful of special offers, one of which was for a photo canvas from a company called PrinterPix. Two sizes were available and even though I wasn't particularly interested in having such a canvas, I was seduced by the claim that the value was £70 but the price to me would be just £20 and with my discount, the grand sum of just £13. I had never heard of PrinterPix, didn't know if they were any good, but it seemed so cheap that it would have almost been rude not to buy one. How often do we tell ourselves such things?
Two sizes were available - a smaller format canvas which was 12 inches by 16 inches for £12 (or just a fiver after my discount) or the larger format of 20 inches by 30 inches which cost £20. When it comes to anything that goes on my walls, I'm of the 'bigger is better' school of thought and 20 inches by 30 inches was more appealing.With most of GroupOn's deals I'm always a bit suspicious that the value has been inflated in order to make things look like bigger bargains than they really are, but when I checked today what similar products would cost on SnapFish (who I usually use for photobooks), I was surprised to see that even the full prices on PrinterPix were significantly cheaper than on Snapfish.
~Apathy Rules - if you can bothered~
After buying the voucher I pretty much lost interest - that's what sometimes happens when you weren't particularly committed to something you've bought. About 6 weeks ago GroupOn sent me a reminder that the voucher was due to expire 'soon' and again my apathy kicked in and I didn't do anything until my husband commented that he thought we should get some photos blown up to put in what he calls our 'shed'. It's actually a rather nice log cabin and whilst hubby loves the shed so much that he buys it presents when we're on holiday, we didn't want to put anything very valuable on the walls as it's not the most secure of constructions. I remembered the Printerpix voucher and decided to see if was still valid.
I had missed the deadline that was printed on my voucher but the PrinterPix website still had a button marked 'GroupOn vouchers' and I decided to see if by any chance my voucher would still work. Since there was no way that I'd pay £70 for a picture, I didn't want to spend too long choosing a photo in case I went through the whole process only to get the voucher code rejected at the final step. Consequently I browsed my photos from a recent trip and picked a couple that would 'do' and which I thought would look good in the shed.
Ordering was ridiculously and surprisingly easy. If you're one of those people who's nervous about ordering from photo sites, then don't worry - this really is a piece of cake. First choose whether you want your picture to be in portrait or landscape format and then choose the size. Options vary from the smallest size of 16" by 10" (or 41 by 25cm) for £29 up to 30" by 40" (102cm by 76 cm) for £100. These are of course the list prices and my guess is that most users will be using discount vouchers.
The next step is to upload your photo. Depending on the size of canvas you've chosen, the system may warn you if the resolution of your picture isn't high enough to give a good result and this was the case with the first picture I tried so I swapped it for a higher resolution image. Photo upload time will depend on the size of your photo file and of course on the speed of your internet connection but it's not a long process. Once the photo is loaded you'll see your image on the screen with a shaded area around the edge which represents how much of the picture won't be visible due to being folded over the wooden frame. The smaller the frame, the more you'll lose to cropping around the edges of the picture. Also keep in mind that the ratio of height to width is not constant for all the different frame sizes so you may need to fiddle about a bit to get things perfect. I uploaded a photo I'd taken of some flowers at a National Trust house a few weeks ago. It's not a spectacular picture but I had a feeling it might look quite arty once it was blown up.
The choices keep coming from then on. Do you want the standard weight canvas or the thicker, heavier type for an extra few pounds? I was still expecting to get rejected at check out so I wasn't going for any extras. However, I can imagine that if you wanted a giant canvas of a special photo - for example from a wedding - you might want to go for the better quality. Next you confirm the canvas size again and the shaded area changes according to the dimensions and you can move it around slightly or stretch it to optimise the picture layout. Generally the bigger the canvas you choose, the less of the photo you'll lose to the edging. There's also a rather cute mock up of a sofa standing against the wall with your new canvas hanging above it - lovely!
The opportunities to upgrade continue. You can have your canvas varnished for an extra few pounds and they claim it will protect the picture and keep it looking more vibrant for longer.
In the checkout screen I entered my GroupOn voucher code, crossed my fingers and clicked to submit it. Much to my amazement it worked and my £70 canvas was reduced to just the price of postage. Next I registered as a new customer, gave my name and address and then paid £5.95 on my credit card for the postage and packaging. Almost immediately I received a confirmation that the order had been received and three days later I got another mail to say it had been dispatched. I don't know exactly how long it took to arrive as I was away from home when it was delivered but I ordered on a Sunday, got the dispatch confirmation on Wednesday and the parcel was in the hallway waiting for me on the Friday. I really hadn't expected to get such fast service.
The parcel was well packed in sturdy cardboard and it was no great torture to get into the package without breaking any nails or swearing. I didn't have high expectations of what the canvas might be like but it was much better than I'd dared to hope it would be. The quality of the mounting was excellent, the colours were vibrant and I was actually rather proud of my lovely picture. The colours were an excellent match for the original photo and I liked the picture so much I started to think about buying some more and will be watching out for them again on GroupOn.
Since I had paid less than £20 including postage, I was really impressed and started thinking about which other photos I should get done.
As well as canvas prints, PrinterPix also offer a wide range of other printing options including photo books and calendars. The range of books is comparable to what you can find on SnapFish although the calendar options are quite restricted but I can't rule out that's because we're currently in June and they're not a big selling item at this time of year. I usually make photo books and calendars for family and friends at Christmas and I will definitely be checking back at PrinterPix to compare prices this year before placing my orders.
I loved my canvas, was very impressed with the speed of service and the ease of ordering and I certainly recommend them especially if you can get a special offer.