Friday, March 27, 2009

Artscow Photobook Review

Last month I made a post about They offer all kinds of free items when you sign-up, one of which is a free 20 page photo book. My husband recently celebrated the big 30, so I decided to make him a book full of memories and pictures of his first 30 years. I've put together the pros and cons of my experience with compared with other sites I've used.Pros:
  • Price - A 20 page book is only $9.99 which is significantly less than most sites. Shutterfly charges $29.99 for a 20 page book. Each additional page is $.50 where most sites charge $1 more per additional page.
  • Promotions - Artscow is always having a promotion, so you can usually get prices less than retail price.
  • Shippping Time - I've made several books and usually I get them within a couple of days of ordering them. I gave myself a week buffer for my husband's book but it came two weeks after his birthday! I joked it must be on the slow boat from China and I laughed when it came because it really was mailed from Hong Kong.
  • Additional Pages - If you want to add additional pages be aware they come in chunks. For example if you want to make a 20 page book you can do that but the book comes with 23 pages, so if you don't buy three additional pages you will have plain blank pages at the end of your book. I wanted 25 pages, but after the first 23 pages, the pages come in chunks of eight. So, I ended up making a 31 page book because I didn't want to have blank pages in the book. It ended up taking a bit more time because I wasn't planning on making that many pages.
  • User Friendly - I don't think this site is quite as user friendly as other sites, but it wasn't horrible. I definitely prefer Shutterfly or Snapfish's sites over this one.
  • Quality - I would say the quality is good, but not as excellent as Shutterfly. Shutterfly really binds the books together well and these don't feel quite as solid.
Overall, if you aren't in a time crunch and are aware of how the site adds additional pages, I think Artscow is a great way to save a little money when making your photobooks.


  1. Hi Erika--

    I am still trying to wrap my brain around the whole digital scrapbook thing. I have been looking into programs but I had a question for you. If you use a site, such as Shutterfly, do you still need a program?

  2. I haven't been able to take the time to do a book with artscow, so I"m glad to hear your pro's and con's. I agree that they aren't as user friendly......I did however get 100 free prints last week (paid shipping)....and I am still waiting for them to ship. :)

  3. Allyson,

    Sites such as Shutterfly do have backgrounds you can choose from, but you can't customize a page like you can in a design program. You have a lot more control with designing yourself. For my husband's book shown here, I designed the pages in my design program and then saved the pages as jpg images. I then selected a template in Artscow that was one big picture and inserted my saved page I created. So, if you just want a basic page, yes, you could technically use Shutterfly to make your scrapbook. I'll be posting a book next week that I just used templates and not a design program. That will give you an idea of the differences. Hope that helps!

  4. I totally agree with your review. I made Logan an ABC book. Some of the coloring of the pictures was way off, but since it was free I'm not really complaining. Plus it was just for Logan & Kelsie...and they aren't super picky.

  5. I'm glad you posted this, I still haven't printed with Artscow, just because I didn't know if the quality and everything would stack up to what I'm used to. Good info!