Blurb Mag-Test

A year and a month or so ago I tried out making a Blurb magazine for the first time. The final print was given away as a gift to my parents as it was a series of photos from my daughters 4th birthday.

I made a video of the mag but never edited it together or made a post to discuss the outcome.

BLURB Mag Screeb-Grabs

BLURB Mag Screeb-Grabs

It was an interesting experience because I used the Blurb Adobe In-Design plugin on an iMac at work to build it and it was dead simple, the layout was purely full bleed photos and a few double page spreads. I’ve already bloggered about building it and I was quite impressed with the result except for the super thin paper.

BLURB Mag Screeb-Grabs

So, a year on I saw that Blurb’s magazines were now advertised as cheaper. A 20 page mag used to cost £7 but you could now get a 28 page mag for the same price; I was keen to try again.

BLURB Mag Screeb-Grabs

I pulled together a small 28 page mag within the theme of ‘Beasts’, something GreySkies are working on as recurring theme. I quickly sequenced a number of photos, mixing between colour and black & white, and placed the order quite quickly.

The tool I used this time was Blurb’s BookWright app. It wasn’t that great. I found it quite clumsy after using their BookSmart app for building books and it had some simple features missing plus it lacked decent image layout styles … oh, and it crashed (A LOT!) but this might be fixed in an update I’m downloading right now.

BLURB Mag Screeb-Grabs

BLURB Mag Screeb-Grabs

Anyway, imagine my shock when the magazine arrived. I’ve never seen colour reproduced this badly except out of a black and white printer, maybe not that bad but it was bad.

BLURB Mag Scans


I’m annoyed that I don’t have the magazine I made last year to hand to do side by side comparison print scans but luckily I did have video footage for that post I never got around to make.

BLURB Mag Scans


You can see from the scans of the magazine that the quality is exceptionally poor without really needing to see the original digital image but I’ve shown it regardless.

BLURB Mag Scans What You Lookin At?

I’ll say this though, I’m not put off. I just now know that colour images and B&W images with subtle tone will not survive in this environment, that the photos will have to be very contrasty.

BLURB Mag Scans

The Running Dog

Tomorrow, in the morning light if I have time, I’ll pull together another bloody video comparing the two publications because the difference is quite stark.

Until then …

le fin


7 thoughts on “Blurb Mag-Test

    1. It does look a bit like a print error but the cover was printed well with solid blacks … maybe there’s an option I missed at checkout.
      I’m considering making a zine so when I get around to it and get as far as a print sample and if it looks the same then I’ll chase it up but at this point I’m still in test mode.

      Thanks for your response!


  1. Very true, the printed magazine version implies an age and grit. I love the dogs on the lead shot, great work. Im unfamiliar with the term ‘blurb magazine’ but im guessing it is what it looks like.


    1. Blurb is the name of the publishing/print house, I’d printed a mag last year and the difference in quality was quite substantial to the point where it felt like a completely different product. But i like the grit and it doesn’t put me off at all; thanks for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

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