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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …