Viovio photobook

Originally uploaded by mikefranklin.

My search for the perfect book continues.

I found Viovio when I was searching for something else. The prices looked quite reasonable ($5 per softcover + $0.25 per page), and while there was some online book arrangement app, I could also upload a PDF for them to print.

This meant I could generate a PDF from Apple Aperture, and have it printed for less than what Apple charges, and even in different sizes, since Viovio scales the PDF pages (assuming the proportions are the same, of course).

The process was easy: find the book in Aperture, print to PDF, upload to Viovio. I used the 1st page in the PDF as the cover image, and the second as the back cover image (blank), and the rest of the pages fell properly into place. I decided to make a 9 x 7″ (23 x 18cm)book from an 11 x 8.5″ (about A4).

The book arrived in about a week, and I have mixed feelings about it. the pages were all scaled properly, which was good. And the good photos came out quite well — on par with Apple’s books.

Unfortunately, the darker photos came out very dark and muddy without much detail in the darkest regions. Worse, the blacks were not smooth – it looked like there was pocket lint strewn about.

See the flickr set; see the apple book on flickr

So, it still looks like Aperture wins on flexibility (within an 11 x 8.5 book) and printing quality, but has the highest prices and least number of cover/size options.

The search continues…

update: viovio reprinted the book with a better colorspace conversion, and it looked much better. I submitted another book, and they’ve apparently be running a number of conversions to see how best to get it to look as good as possible. Impressive!

This entry was posted in aperture, apple, photobook, review, viovio. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Viovio photobook

  1. Samtherocker says:

    Well, I guess its all about the tradeoff in quality for the lower price now… Although, maybe the print quality of the Apple books is so damn good because Apple have made sure that all of the color settings and conversion processes done in Aperture are fully optimized for their printing hardware?

    Maybe you could get similar quality with other services, but it would be a bit of trial and error… something that you shouldn’t even have to think about when paying for a service like this.

    Just to add my two cents… muddy darks sounds like gamma alterations to me.

  2. Frederic says:

    When talking about online printing, it seems that every customer have a different experience. I think that the major issue is the printer’s profile. My screen is calibrated but I never found company that share its printers’ profile.
    On apple forums, someone posted the Average Mccoy Gloss profile. It seems that it is used by Kodak (apple is using Kodak for printing).
    With this profile installed, I could use the “onscreen proofing” option of Aperture and made small adjustments.
    I will probably buy a book from apple this week. Cannot wait to see it.

  3. senhwei says:

    I have also tried printing a 9×7 book using the standard Apple Aperture photobook template and I found that Viovio did a good job of scaling it down. Have you tried printing any of the squarebook formats (8.5×8.5) using an Aperture photobook template ? I can’t find a way in Aperture to set the dimensions of the photobook. Any tips ?

    thanks !


  4. I have yet to try Viovio, but tempted to. I usually go with Shutterfly, but the versatility of Viovio (PDF uploading) is miraculous indeed. Thanks for the review.

  5. bjhb44 says:

    I am trying to use viovio to print a photobook created in aperture.

    When I save as a pdf it chops off the edges on 3 sides making it useless.

    Can anyone give an explanation and solution?

    Many thanks.

  6. Denise says:

    Update on Blurb and VioVio

    Just received viovio photobook-softcover-20 pages. The cover is glossy and beautiful. BUT 2 small white spots and obvious posterization on one of the faces. Interior pages are not impressive. Lots of posterization making the faces look kind of dirty. Also some yellowish tinge on the faces on a page with a pale yellow background. Ugh. Side by side comparison with the MyPublisher book (same images) and the color is much better with MyPublisher.

    Blurb is raising their prices tomorrow. This is the new rate table

    Looks like you get what you pay for. (not considering iPhoto–I’m on a pc) I guess I’m sticking with Creative Memories for quality and ease since they are priced similarly to all the well known companies.

    Hope this helps someone!

  7. wags374 says:

    If you email support at Viovio they will give you the info on the profile for the printer they use.

  8. BobC says:

    I used Photoworks for a travel book last year for a family gift (more critical that everything’s right if it’s family!). I was very pleased, except at that time it didn’t work with Mac, so I had to keep moving my photos from Photoshop on the Mac to the PC for layout and captioning with Photoworks. But, the end product was worth the effort.

  9. Pingback: BlogTelling » Blog Archive » A Little Blog Research on Photo Books - Which Photo Book Website to use?

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