Friday, May 2, 2014

Printed Digital Scrapbook Pages

Just in time for {Inter}National Scrapbook Day 2014 !

I finally did it, I had a few (40 to be exact!) 12x12 digital scrapbook pages printed. I had several more I could have done, but some I decided not to print out at all while others were created with a different digital scrapbook program and could not be submitted for printing through MDS/SU!.

Stampin' Up! had a free shipping offer this past week, so I took advantage. I've never had pages printed through their My Digital Studio print services, or any other for that matter. The box just arrived via UPS this afternoon; I placed my order one week ago.

Here are my impressions of the print quality. In no way is this supposed to be bashing the print service or company. These are merely my observations on my print order, the one and only I have ever had done through them. I have never seen printed products or read any reviews about the print services offered through the My Digital Studio software and print services. I will be calling customer service on Monday to see if the issues I noticed are common place.

First things first: placing your order. I found this to be totally exasperating at first as many of my pages could not be submitted for printing due to errors. If the errors were not resolved, the pages / order could not be submitted. The errors consisted of fonts not found on the newer laptop computer I was using to submit the order (the pages were created on the older desktop computer with the original version of MDS). I even changed the fonts in the text boxes in the projects on the newer computer and still continued to receive the same error messages.  I called the service line at Stampin' Up! about this and it was confirmed, the order will not be accepted with errors on it and there is no way to submit older projects through the newer software (some sort of coding or whatever makes them incompatible). Well that just stinks!  After running back and forth between two computers (the pages there were issues with were created on my older desktop computer and using the first version of MDS), installing the original MDS on the desktop and adding the extras needed, etc and so on........... it was a VERY time consuming , headache causing process believe me. In hindsight I probably should have just saved the files as a large jpeg image and looked elsewhere online for a print service that could do 12 x 12  prints (there are none locally). I didn't mention the reason for the juggling of computers: I have to use wifi internet somewhere else since we live in a rural "hole" that does not have it, so I had to be able to use my laptop to upload.

I would like to note that I tried what I thought might be a work around. I tried saving the completed pages as jpgs (export and save to jpg feature on the software) then try to insert those saved jpgs as a single large photo on a blank 12x12 page................ it would not work either because of the errors, the page could not be saved/exported. Argh ! Sure sounded like it would work, but those dratted font/text box errors!

After many hours spent off and on all week long , I was finally successful in submitting the order just in time to take advantage of the free shipping offer that expired that night ! Whew !

One week later, UPS dropped off this box.

I will say that I was impressed with the packaging. Sure, from an environmental impact point of view it was overkill, but it did protect the 40 pages perfectly. I will save the bubble wrap for future use (NOTE: if you receive lots of packing materials that are not recyclable, check with local shipping stores as they may take it).
The heavyweight chipboard backing piece will be reused for some crafty project in the future I'm sure and the box itself is worth keeping since it can hold 12x12 projects - as if I do a lot of scrapbooking and need it ! It could also be used to package a framed piece or scrapbook in to give as a gift one day, so I'll stick it in the attic and hope I remember I have it should the need for it arise ;)

I chose the standard paper weight, NOT the thicker more expensive weight paper, when I placed my order. I figured they would be back to back in protective sleeves and if needed, an extra piece of card stock could be stuck between the two (yes, I will be doing this for sure!). The paper really is lightweight and will wrinkle easily, so handle with care especially when inserting into page protectors. Here are a couple of photos with the printed pages compared to Whisper White card stock:

This is meant to show how flexible the page is 
due to it being the standard weight printed page option.
Whisper White and the printed digital page are 
hung over the edge of a box at the same length.
The printed page bends easily.

I couldn't get a really good photo to show the difference
in the thickness of the papers. 
There is a statement on the web site, I recall seeing it somewhere,
that the standard printed scrapbook pages are thinner than
Whisper White card stock so I knew to expect that. 

The logo is printed on the back of every page.

 You CAN use other digital scrapbook supplies
in the My Digital Studio software and it will print !!!!
A couple of my projects used kits that I created projects with
as part of my creative team commitments for digital design artists.
Those that I created with MDS I was able to have printed,
just like the Stampin' Up! only pages. There was no difference in
submitting the projects or anything and they printed just fine !

I did not see this stray piece of stitching on this page....oops!

Now here are the issues with the printed digital pages I received.
All of my printed pages have these noticeable lighter
areas, sort of smeared looking. 
Some pages they are not as noticeable on since the
backgrounds were white or the crazy jumbled up
mess of embellishments camouflaged the marks a bit.
However most of them look like the image above,
very noticeable marks across the entire length of the page.
They are all in the same area of the printed pages, too. 
Some sort of malfunction with the machinery ?
I'm confident a call to the customer service line
will help in some way. 
Or at the very least, confirm what I suspect:
these issues are possible and to be expected with
printing large items and such a large order.

Then there is this discolored spot on the corner of
 one of the pages. The page packaged just above it
has a corresponding blue mark on the back of it. 

Other than those issues, 
they look great . The "depth" of the digital embellishments 
 and textured paper detail is wonderful on most !

I really need to create more digital scrapbook pages
and play around with the programs more.
I love the ability to change things easily (for the most part)
without wasting real supplies and not taking up so much space
when working on them compared to traditional supplies.
They will also take up less space when printed
(and not cause damage to photos from dimensional embellishments
butting up next to each other as in traditional scrapbook pages).
Then again, I love the real textures and dimension
on traditional paper scrapbook pages....... 
Either way, I really should make more time to create
more pages.  But where would I store them all ?!????

Thanks for looking =) 

MAY 5th, 2014 EDITED TO ADD :
THANK YOU STAMPIN' UP! PRINT SERVICES !!! After verifying there was not a problem with the files I submitted , they are going to reprint and send the pages that did not print properly !

I received the reprints today and there are no issues with the print quality, wahoo! The packaging was slightly different though and this did cause a little problem, but nothing to be terribly upset about.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I am sorry you had such a rough experience with this! I haven't had anything printed in a while but didn't have too much issue. There were a few pages I had a little trouble getting on the order but they were my goofs. I am with you on the thinner paper, but I don't know if it is different at other places or not. As for the discoloring, that would tick me off. I do know that they are making some changes to the printing portion of SU so maybe it is an issue with the printing company. At any rate, I hope they took good care of you!


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