Here’s How To Make a Great Photobook This Season

posted: 11/30/15
by: Katie Morton
family with photo album

Custom photobooks make personalized, one-of-a-kind gifts for anyone on your "nice" list-- especially newlyweds, parents, grandparents, or recent travelers.

We looked at ease of creation, design options, available text (or not), paper selections, and binding quality to help you to select which photobook website to use to create holiday gift.

Here are our recommended options to help you archive your memories in stunning albums, sure to be treasured for years to come.

Shutterfly: Choices Galore!

Shutterfly tops our list for sheer variety. Select a custom option or simple option for your photo layout, then chose from different book sizes, paper varieties, and cover looks. While the cornucopia of choices can be overwhelming, Shutterfly's tutorials offer inspiration.

In case you hit a design snag, Shutterfly boasts top-notch customer service, with reps on live chat, phone, or email. They also offer photos printed on stockings, candles, or ornaments in case you want to take the photo gift one step further.

Mixbook: Social Media Friendly

Mixbook is the choice for the social media maven. Just upload photos from a variety of social media or photo storage platforms--Facebook, Picasa, Instagram, Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, Flicker, or SmugMug--to create your own pro-looking album.

Mixbook allows collaboration from family and friends, so they can add their own photos and edit. Their new Montage book claims to be even faster and easier, with "auto-magic book design. Your photos are auto-magically placed into the best layout. It's like hiring a professional."

Mosaic: Simple, Sleek, Fast

Mosaic, made by Mixbook, is our top pick for the overwhelmed among us--and this time of year, who isn't? Mosaic automates the photo book process even further to make it super simple with very few options.

You can create a 7-inch square book from your Apple or Android phone or tablet using their app. The Mosaic album offers a curated look of just 20 photos, printed one per page. The process is fast and cheap, with a book cost of $25, including shipping. Mosaics print within 48 hours and arrive in 4 days--perfect for those last minute gifts!

Blurb: Archival Memory Books

Blurb is the choice for the detail-oriented memory book designer, with carte blanche for design and large blocks of text. Luxury paper and binding create a couture, designer product. Photos can be accessed from your computer, Instagram, Facebook, Flicker, PhotoBucket, Picasa, 500px, and SmugMug

Pint Size Productions: Custom Kids' Creations

Any parent will attest that babies are fascinated by photos of other babies. How cool that Pint Size Productions allows you to create kid-proof cardboard photo books using your baby's pics? There's even an option to insert your own child's name and photo to create a one-of-a-kind "Are You A Cow?" board book authored by the renowned Sandra Boynton.

Use your creative side and take a walk down memory lane; create your custom photo books for those special people on your holiday list!