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Jul 16 2013

Printed Photo Books Review: Artisan State and Printerpix

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I am in the process of gearing up for a show for the Kansas City First Friday Artist’s Event at The Cashew in the Crossroads District.  Anyone who has every prepped for a show knows it is a lot of work and very costly!  Between 6 prints (4-11×14 & 2-12×18), 6 Frames, 3 Photo Books, a few easels, new business cards, and decorations I have spent well over $700.  I must add that about 20% of that cost has been spent on experimental display products, prints, and photo books.

In order to alleviate some future headaches for you, I want to give you my thoughts on 2 photo books I have recently purchased.  Whether you are looking for a photo book for an upcoming show or just to have as a coffee table book, it is important to look for deals wherever you can as photo books can be pretty expensive!

Printerpix

The first company I went with for printing my photo book was Printerpix.  I saw this company flash through my email in an Amazon Local Deal, I was able to snag a 20 page 8.5 x 11 book for $25 with free shipping, normally $55.99, $62.99 with shipping.  I jumped on the deal knowing it would come in handy for the show.  Here are a couple of thoughts I have on the process and product offered by Printerpix.

Printerpix-front-of-book

  • Building the book (5/5):
    Building the book on their website was a very pleasant experience.  I was able to upload my pictures very fast, throw a few backgrounds behind each picture, and submit the book for printing within an hour!
  • Quality of the Prints in the Book (4/5):
    I was pretty pleased with the quality of the pictures in the book.  The photos were very accurately rendered from the images I uploaded.  I can’t complain, but I have seen better.Printerpix-Book-Examples
  • Quality of the Book Binding (3/5):
    The book is bound in leather or what appears to be leather.  Regardless of whether or not it really is leather, it has a nice tactile feel to it.  The book is bound with thread and glue and seems to be pretty solid.  It feels pretty sturdy as of right now, however, I have only looked through it 3 or 4 times.  I will have to see how well it holds up to hundreds of hands touching it.  I couldn’t give Printerpix a 4 or 5 for binding because the protective paper on the inside cover was not glued all the way to the edge.  It started peeling up immediately upon opening.  This is a huge craftsmanship issue for me, especially for the price.Printerpix-Book-Binding
  • Final Thoughts (2/5):
    I would have been very willing to recommend Printerpix’ photo books to a friend until I reached the last page of the book.  Printed on it is an awful company logo with the order number and some bar codes.  I was never informed throughout the process that this logo would appear in my book.  I checked the fine print on the site, the fine print on the Local Deal, and even tried scouring their page for a disclaimer.  Not one notification.The is very frustrating given the price tag on the book and immediately makes it appear like a low rate photo book designed for soccer Mom’s not artists looking for a professional book.  Had Printerpix left that out I would have given it at least a 4 with my recommendation to future customers.  They have a great product that is tainted by an awful bunch of jargon at the end.  Unfortunately, I will have to figure out a way to cover it up for the show and for that reason I would not recommend printing with Printerpix for professional photo books.Printerpix-horrible-logo-at-end

Printerpix overall score 3.5 out of 5

 

Artisan State

The second company I used to print a book was Artisan State.  They have this clever little photo book, Little Black Book, at only $15 for 20 pages!  Mind you it is just a 5×7, but it is such a conveniently sized book that you could easily stuff it in your camera bag to wow those who may not know you or your work when you meet them for the first time.  Here are my thoughts on Artisan State’s Little Black Books.

Front-Book-Example-Artisan-State-Little-Black-Book

  • Building the book (4/5):
    Building the book on their site was pretty painless.  I uploaded the photo’s relatively quickly and was creating a photo book in no time.  I found the ability to move the pages to be difficult and after about 5 minutes of trying to organize the book I gave up.  Your best bet is to organize them on the front side by naming them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
  • Quality of the Prints in the Book (5/5):

    The quality of the prints inside the book are absolutely stunning and very professional looking.  They have a texture to them, similar to playing cards, that keeps the pages from sticking together.  The pages are thick, sturdy and well crafted.

  • Book-Example-Artisan-State-Little-Black-BookQuality of the Book Binding (5/5):
    The book appears to be very well built.  I have thumbed through it several times, every time I glance at it I pick it up to look at it.  So far I have not seen any issues with the binding nor does anything strike me for future concerns.

    Book-Binding-Example-Artisan-State-Little-Black-Book

  • Final Thoughts (5/5):
    They provide a beautifully crafted lay flat hard stock photo book for a great value.  Unlike Printerpix, Artisan State does make you aware that their cheaper black book will cost less due to a website printed on the back.  It simply reads “My Little Black Book http://mylbbook.com” .  I knew that going into the purchase and shrugged my shoulders at the minor setback.  It is printed on the very back of the book and is not distracting in anyway.Artisan State overall score 4.75 out of 5

Warning!

Update!  I did not have any of the problems listed in the comments when ordering through Artisan State.  However, that does not mean problems could not arise!  Take it from the list of comments below.  This review was written based on my experience.  Looks like one of those Order at your own risk situations.

 

Do you have a favorite place to get photo books printed?  

I would love to hear your thoughts on either of these companies or any companies that come highly recommended!  Thanks!

About the author

Blake Rudis

Blake is a husband, father, and avid photographer whose passion for HDR led him to create EverydayHDR.com.
You can also find him on: Google+

74 comments

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  1. Kerryn

    We have currently got an order placed with Artisan for an 11×14 photo book, leather box, 3 DVDs and covers and a little black book. It is for a wedding we photographed and we paid for the priority delivery (5-7 business days from order to delivery) which suited us perfectly to get the product to the client. It has now been 10 business days and the 11×14 book has not even been made yet and we don’t know when it will be dispatched!!! Our client is now asking for their wedding photos. We are really frustrated and disappointed as the quality from their website and the sample book we purchased, looked great. Not happy at all!

    1. Blake Rudis

      Wow. I am sorry to hear that. It did take about two weeks to receive my book. However, that seems normal just about anywhere for a high quality book.

      1. Gabriel Espinosa

        I ordered a wedding image book for a client and it took about two weeks but the wait was well worth it. They decided to order two “parent” books for their respective parents. A couple of weeks later the books arrived…DHL from mainland China! And they were NOT done right! there was a 3/4″ gray stripe along the back of the book on both! I contacted them through the website since no one ever picks up the darned phone and they investigated and came back with a “problem with the software” and that I’d have to wait another 2 weeks for the reprints. Well, going on FOUR weeks now and nothing. I complained and “Joe” wrote back that he would look into it. That was TWO days ago and repeated email inquiries have gone unanswered. Frankly, I don’t care how excellent their product is, their service is the worst I’ve ever experienced in my 25 years as a professional photographer. NEVER AGAIN even if they give it to me for FREE!

        1. Scott Sjostrom

          Gabriel….if only I had read this before I place my order with Artisan. I am in a real bind now because of this company.

          1. Angie

            Same here, same here. Just stinks

          2. Alisha

            Yep, me too… :( I spent over $400 on custom sample books for a wedding expo this weekend… I placed the order 3 weeks ago and also did the 5-7 day rush. They have just shipped from China today- except for the 11×14 Crystal Cover Album (which was the one I REALLY wanted)- that one is on “BackLOG” REALLY???? And yes, NO ONE Ever picks up the phone, I got an answer after calling over and over yesterday and the lady answering the phone acted like I was bothering her for calling. I am so beyond frustrated right now. I had no idea the books would be coming out of China… the website gives a completely different story, what a joke.

    2. Brandon

      I had the same problem with the company. They have terrible customer service. Books finally shipped in 3 weeks late and not in time for Christmas. Quality issues with over saturated pages and the spines of the books. I would never use this company. I learned the hard way that cheaper is not better. I ended up paying more in the long run because I used Artisan State. They have the worst customer service I have ever done business with!

      1. Brandon V

        I just had a great experience with Artisan. I designed my own book using their online software, just received the finished product today in time to give as a Valentine’s gift. I also had to talk with customer service because I had a slight issue with my credit card. They were great! I am very happy with the quality of service and product.

        1. Drew

          I will say I ordered the “little black book.” It came in perfect condition in less than 2 weeks to New York. I was very pleased and would order again.

  2. Jennifer

    Same here, Kerryn. Bummed.

  3. Scott Sjostrom

    WOW I agree with Gariel….I am experiencing the same exact problem with Artisan. I book that was suppose to arrive this monday has yet to be shipped (Tuesday). I need this book by Friday or I will be wearing egg on my face in front of a client all day long. What a mistake to go with Artisan. Now I am scrambling to get this book printed elsewhere and having to pay rush charges. I will never work with Artisan again. NEVER NEVER NEVER. I just lost $100 by trusting this horrid company.

    1. dann

      So did you end up getting the book in time?

    2. Doe

      Mmm… eggs… scrambled…

    3. Brandon V

      How did you lose $100?

  4. Angie

    I am experiencing the same issue as the rest just a bit different. Customer service is horrible. You call they don’t call back, you email urgent and I get we are looking into it. I have been ordering small orders 10×10 albums from them since Feb. Never much issue until now. I use the crystal covered albums for weddings. I was due to get a big order, an 8×8 album, case and 2 parent books by the 24th of September. It is now October first and I have no albums. BUT an order I sent through on the 21st-9 days later, I have received already. I have a bride and groom waiting on them and NO response from artisan state. I am so mad and will be looking else where for my albums now also.

  5. Billy K

    Artisan State has terrible customer service. They never answer or return calls and could never help me order my first book. They don’t care to get future business.

    1. Brandon V

      I had a great experience with customer service.

  6. Mip

    Be warned: PROFESSIONALS STAY AWAY FROM ARTISAN!! If you are into cheap and quick, but poor quality, then go with them.

    Their print quality is okay, but their craft skills are very very poor! Talking about precision on bleeds and margins that are so different from my screen proof preview to the real products.

    I backed some of the complaints here. Very poor customer service! Doesn’t matter if they put all the nice words on their website.

    I’m a non-US client. At first, I bought their Little Black Book just to test, my order came pretty quick and somewhat satisfy me with their overall quality (again not great build/craft, poor precision, but okay print).

    Then decided to have a 2nd order for a larger hardcover album with a presentation box. They came pretty quick, about 2 weeks. My nightmare was about to begin… the presentation box looked nothing like their picture on the website (good job photographers for fooling clients away). The box I received has a very very…poor quality and clumsy craft! Both inner sides are not fully covered! Very much, looks like an unfinished product! Cloth strap doesn’t hold the lid open, like what they put/said on website. Hand stitching?? No way! The box looks like a lower-end-mass-produced product from a China factory.

    I’m so disappointed, I emailed them about this issue, but never heard back from them. All I get is an automated email reply.

    So they are promising a ‘budget’ but stylish albums, to me that translates as: “If you have problems with our products, do not bother to call us back…because we have been paid so cheaply that we cannot afford to attend to your problems!”

    ‘Nuff said! Stay away from them!

    1. Demetri

      I recommend Graphistudio.com. Yes their prices are on the expensive side, but they are the originators of the photobook and their quality is 2nd to none! Only thing to remember is to let your clients know that it will take about a month to receive their book. The wait is definitely worth it though – impeccable craftsmanship and more options for book design than anyone else I’ve ever dealt with

  7. isaias

    Well i had a feeling i wasn’t the only one. I found this company through a Facebook add, I decided to check them out and give them a try by oredring the little black book, it arrived around 2 weeks later. the build was good and the prints were accurate to my photos I couldn’t complain. I decided to order a DVD case, when it arrived the colors were so off, the image looked so dark (and it was uploaded right) I contacted them and they were brief at replying and said they would send another one, so they did. when it arrived it was the same shit. I left it alone I didn’t care anymore. But then i thought I would give a try the albums. I ordered an 8×11 hardcover for a wedding i did, I order a regular book and a sample the same day. Well they took about 3 weeks to make and one to deliver. The first book arrived it was the sample book, i was satisfied, then the second week came and the other book arrived FINALLY to my surprise it was another SAMPLE BOOK with the ugly lettering on the back!! They charged me the regular price and sent me a sample book thats worth half on their website! SO not only I waited over a month to get the damn book but it came as a sample and they charged me for a regular book. I have sent emails and called them and no replies. Artisan State doesn’t care about costumer support, they will go out of business if they don’t keep up. I am now going to try Bayphoto they have a good background.

  8. Michelle Page

    I haven’t tried Artisan, but it sounds like I won’t now. I used Lulu.com years ago and was satisfied with the finished product, but on re-ordering, they had changed the finish to matte, and the spine was not well-aligned. I had ordered 10 to take advantage of a sale. When I called them and sent them photos of the defective spines, they cheerfully said that they would fix me right up and sent another. The exact same problem occurred and they did give me a refund, but I was left with 20 inferior books, as they did not want me to send them back to them. The inside pages were fine, but people do judge a book by its cover.
    I have had friends that were happy with MagCloud for their artist portfolios.

    1. Lyn

      I wouldn’t throw Artisan out the window entirely….their work is BEAUTIFUL… Perfect as a small sample book..easy to carry, brilliant colours…strong pages…I LOVE THEM. BUT…if there is a shipping issue..just make sure you either don’t use them on rush jobs…or plan ahead. I’ve pretty much tried them all…and I’ll stick with this company and till something major happens!.

      1. Blake Rudis

        I could not agree more! Don’t expect it fast but expect a good quality book when it arrives.

        1. Karen Gaiter

          maybe it’s best for samples only…… thanks for having all the reviews.

      2. Brandon V

        I agree. Although I chose rush delivery on mine and got it before the estimated delivery window. So…I’d say they ship on time.

  9. Amanda

    Interesting. Glad I happened across this post and the comments before trying out ArtisanState. I’ve used Blurb before and was very happy all around. They do tend to be a bit pricey (at least for me), but the control over layout up front was worth it to me. I’ve tried a variety of their products (hard bound, soft bound, matte, glossy, etc.) and been pleased with each one. They seem to represent their products pretty accurately.

  10. Doug

    I lost my customer because of their horrible customer service. Of course, if i lost my business, Artisan State will not have business from me. My mistake when I picked them for an important event.

    1. Blake Rudis

      That is unfortunate. I did not have issues with them. My review was based on a good experience. However, I am seeing a lot of people did not have a good experience with them. That is good to know!

    2. Brandon

      Agreed. Worst customer service ever! I called them 10 times a day for 7 straight days. I left a voice message every time I called (about 10 a day). I also sent out emails to them 5-6 times a day. Never one reply from customer service.

      After 15 days of my books and product not being shipped I had my bank issue a dispute on the charges. This finally got the company to wake up and ship the items to me but there were major quality issues. Books were over-saturated in printing. The text on the spine on some books was centered in my design but when it arrived it was way off center and the cover was wrapped wrong. (If I can attach video and pictures I would).

      The company does not list their physical address on their website or anywhere online. NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH A COMPANY THAT DOES THAT HAVE A PHYSICAL ADDRESS. It appears they are a china based company with a facade that US photographers and designers founded the company and run. Don’t let that fool you. It is all run out of China. The Chinese culture is known for not holding up to committed dates and not caring about good customer service.

      I did some research and found some of their company email address outside of the one listed on the website. When you have problems contacting the company be persistent and send emails to all these addresses.

      mail1@artisanstate.com (Noticed that my DHL Tracking info for my first order came from this email address) When the company would not reply to me I decided to try mail2, mail 3, mail 4 and so on. Emails successfully went through to mail1 – mail4.

      mail2@artisanstate.com
      mail3@artisanstate.com
      mail4@artisanstate.com

      My last order will be just that. I ordered a total of $2,200 for clients to give as Christmas gifts. The charge to my card was from Hong Kong. My bank gave me the number that the company lists with the transaction. It was an international 852 area code number. I tried calling and it was a non existent number.

      Tried filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They have no record of this company existing in the U.S.

      Beware of this company!

      1. Blake Rudis

        Very good intel here. Thanks.

  11. Nicole Curran

    I just received my book from Artisan State and I was extremely impressed. I ordered them on the 4th of November and just got them in the mail today. Just remember fellow people that they have only been around for a year or so and every new business has glitches. I always go on my instinct and I love them. Hope this helps everyone….sometimes in our field of service it is hard to please everyone. Good Luck and happy printing!!

    1. Brandon V

      Agreed. I had a great experience with them as well. I also know that, as you said with new companies having glitches, those are the things that usually get noted in the comments. The negative. I’m trying to do my part here in spreading good comments as well. I had a great experience with ordering a great quality product from Artisan State.

      1. Donna

        I ordered from them last fall and although it did take longer than I thought it would the product was well worth the wait! I just called there yesterday and left a message and received a call back within the next hour or two and the woman who answered was very helpful and not rushed at all. I would recommend. She did say she’s the only one who answers phones.

  12. Alexandra

    I didn’t have a horrid experience with Artisan, but I don’t think the quality is that great. You definitely get what you pay for, and I don’t believe these are professional quality albums.

    Both the sample album I ordered and another I ordered for my grandmother was noisy when opened. I know that sounds weird, but the binding makes noises when the book is opened and closed. Unattractive. The paper is ok, but not the best. The dreaded blue and pink lines are clearly visible and there’s a lack of sharpness. I also think their b&w spreads look really purple. The pages do not lie flat. They certainly lie flatter than a regular book, but you have to pry them down and hold them there for it to actually lay flat. Not so great for panoramas. I think it’s good enough for a gift for grandma, but not for someone’s wedding.

  13. Rachel Wood

    I am here to add to the list of unhappy people. Artisan screwed up two out of five albums that I ordered. They are trying to blame one of them on me even though it cut off half of a layout and printed two other layouts that are cut off on the back two pages. On the other one, a wedding album, they didn’t capitalize the first letter of the last name in the foil stamp. Obviously, this looks ridiculous. Instead of reprinting the albums like any other quality lab would do they offered me a very generous 10% coupon. What a joke. This is not a professional album company by any means.

  14. Lisa Meyer

    I wished I had read these reviews before using Artisan State. I ended up getting the album about 2-3 weeks later than the tracking information said it should arrive. We emailed and left voicemails multiple times with the company. We received a couple automated replies, but never actually got responses to our questions. THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NON-EXISTENT!! I had asked for a credit of the shipping charge and a discount on the book, due to the delay in getting the finished product, but of course never received a reply. I don’t know how this company stays in busy with this kind of customer service.

    Also, the crystal cover was much thicker than I had anticipated. It’s 1/4 – 3/8″ thick….which looks like a piece of glass was just slapped on top of a cover.

  15. Tracy

    I agree with the article, great quality and shipping of the personal photo book I just received from Artisan State. I was alarmed and concerned by comments on this website but it looks better than what I order with blurb since it’s more of a photo print not magazine print. I tracked the shipment easily online from purchase through processing and shipment. It’s a great value for personal photo books.

  16. Fred

    I was also alarmed by some of the reviews here, but had already put my order through. Received my books yesterday and could not be happier. The prints were in fact insane quality and the price was crazy cheap. Would easily pay hundreds of dollars in Aus for the same thing. Shipment took 2 days from China once reviewed and printed, the entire process took under a week.

    Cannot be happier with their service and the quality of the product, will definitely be purchasing more books from these guys. Just a shame they only do photo books.

    1. Karen Gaiter

      Fred have you ordered any more books from them? Just so few people have good things to say that are consistent with more orders, that I thought I’d ask.

      Thanks.
      Karen

  17. Mike

    I am beyond frustrated!! I ordered an album last week priority which should be here tomorrow or friday and their site still says in production!! How will it ship from China, clear customs and be in Houston in 2 days?? I need this asap!!! Ive called 3 times to get an automated vmail.. E-mailed 2x, no reply.. Am I over-aggerating?

  18. Shelly

    I could not agree more with Fred (above). I was skeptical about ordering after reading the comments here, but had a fabulous experience. My order was submitted on 11/19/13 and arrived on 11/27/13. The order came before the quoted arrival estimate of 11/28-12/4. The book did have a noticeable smell to it at first (most photo-books do, from processing inks) but the quality was amazing. The color was dead on, the lay flat pages made for great center folds, and the quality was superb. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Thank you Artisan State!

  19. Alex

    Impressing quality work and even the shipping is fine – at least, they send you a tracking number to follow it up on your own. However, I believe they need to work on their “NON-existent” customer service. I called and left them a voice mail a couple of times – ‘haven’t heard back from them’ and left them a note on their web site, ‘haven’t heard back from them thru this either. Please Please try to invest, heavily – if that is what it takes, on your customer service. Other than that, I am so happy with the product and will definitely use you guys again [-dropping out from the old company that I have been using for the past 5 years, that has a very good customer service but crappy and user-'un'friendly software.]

  20. Twanet

    I have just placed my 4th order. The first three were perfect. Great reproduction. Sturdy. Very portable and reasonably priced. They arrived in a timely fashion. So I have no complaints. Of course now I’m terrified that the 4th order will be a disaster! I can’t tell from the comments if the orders that have been so problematic are because they are “big” orders; mine have been the little black books and only two for each order.

  21. Shannon

    I have ordered several (9 albums from Artistan State) The first 4 I was pleased with, but the last 5 came back VERY orange. A bright, spray tan look to all the skin tones. They agreed to reprint them and the reprints came back worse. Their customer service is HORRIBLE. It takes days to get a reply, if you get one. I have asked for them to stop production on all reprints and refund all money. They have refused claiming I have had too many reprints. These were not my fault or my customers fault. I would strongly suggest paying a little more and getting better service. I had a sample book made for one of my customers and she was showing it to potential client and the laminate peeled up. You get what you pay for. They are basically a glorified Snapfish. They do not look at the product while or after it is printed. Every machine prints differently and as a print broker you have to make sure that files are printing correctly. There is no photographer out there that can match profiles to every device.

    If you want quality customer care than actually cares about your final product check out Vision Art.

    If I would have known what I know now, I would have NEVER used their company.

    1. naomi

      Shannon,
      i got my boo back and the skin tones are completely orange so disturbing….of course they didn’t take my call but online they agreed to reprint…they sent me the exact same book again…so i emailed i wanted a refund and they explained it was a new printer so they reprinted for a third time and sent me the same damn book again…i am so disappointed…i think the quality of the book are stunning…they are made well and i did not have issues with ship time…but i am a professional photographer and really wanted this company to work…i read a bunch of reviews and happy to hear its not just me…i am tempted to try one more time because i thought the overall quality was superb.

  22. Shannon L

    I order 4 parent books, an Crystal cover album and a leather case. The parent books came in. Nothing else. The order is marked shipped. I have called customer service twice a day for 4 days and emails them 3 times a day. No replies. My bride is not happy as this was a Christmas Gift. I am now out over $400 and have to take a couple of hours to redesign the album and reprint with a REAL company. Such a shame. I LOVED this company for the last 3 orders I placed. In this business we don’t get second chances and neither do the people I work with.

  23. Keith Moyer

    I wish I had read these comments before ordering books for Christmas presents…

    I ordered a “little Black Book” a few weeks back and received it on time and was impressed with the quality.

    Based on that, I ordered a large book and two copies of the smaller book I previously purchased. I paid for “Priority” shipping in order to ensure a pre-Christmas delivery…

    Well, they were supposed to be in today, but they are still showing that they have not shipped! To add insult to injury, they will not respond to repeated emails and phone calls.

    After reading these comments, I hope I didn’t just waste a lot of money…

  24. Miranda

    I was a HUGE Artisan fan until I received my most recent Little Black Book this week. My book is hideous oompa loompa orange and dark. It’s terrible!! I think artisan grew a little too big a little too fast. They are not able to keep up with the demand and the quality is suffering and their customer service is HORRID!!! They just don’t reply and if they think you may leave a negative comment on their facebook page, they’ll block you. I never commented on their page but found out I am blocked from doing so. I can’t even see page comments and from what everyone else says, it’s only full of good comments…no bad ones at all. I am devastated because I was truly impressed with them and building the book was a breeze. Whatever they’re going through, I hope they fix it because I really loved the product they used to provide.

  25. Lea

    I’ve experienced similar difficulties with Artisan State. Called/emailed before placing an order to inquire whether receiving it by Christmas was possible, and I was assured that production time/shipping time is very quick, and should not be a problem to receive by Christmas. I even paid extra for “priority shipping” which states that from order time to at your door delivery is 5-7 days.
    Order was placed December 11th, delivery expected per their tracking information Dec 18-20th. It’s now the 23rd and still says not shipped.
    Customer service is horrible, emailed on the 18th with my concerns it had not been shipped and was assured it was almost finished and ready to go.
    Numerous calls and emails since, and no response.
    Sorry family- looks like my $400 in Christmas gifts just won’t make it in time.
    Very disappointed.

  26. Rose

    After reading reviews, I was extremely tentative about placing an order but decided to at least give them one shot. I placed my order on Dec 17th for a 10X10 hardcover, custom photobook sample and received my book ( shipped from Shanghai) on December 23d! The book looks amazing and I’m extremely happy with it and plan to order more in the future!

  27. Ellie

    I was so excited to use Artisian state just as so many were.

    I got my first crystal cover album and it is a nightmare. The colors are AWFUL and not true to my real image AT ALL! I even emailed them the image cover and original picture so that they could see the striking difference.

    I hope they get back to me and reply asap. I have a big bridal show in 2 weeks! I am panicking and devastated.

    I am kicking myself for not researching them before using their company. I should have known it was too good to be true bc they are so cheap. I would not recommend them and I agree that their customer service is crappy. Lesson learned!

  28. Jimmy

    Looks like their first order with most customers are good orders. A second or repeat order is not so much in our favors. I just placed an order with them, will update on how it goes.. In either case, I only “wasted” $35 so I’m not too concerned. :P

  29. Lorraine

    I have been very happy with Mixbook. I have tried MyPictureBook.ca and Photobooks Canada. I was happy with MyPictureBook for price and fair quality, but the company has changed their pricing and business model, so haven’t tried them again yet. With a subsequent project, I tried a more expensive company and the first book I ordered from Photobooks Canada was indeed excellent. Much better quality and more options. The extra copy I ordered as a sample to show customers, I decided to try a different paper – same price – but the prints were very dark. They also have gone through changes to their business – upgrading they call it. They do not have an actual address, or phone number unlike Mypicturebook who are fairly easy to contact. I have not yet received my own copy of Mixbook, but the copies made for clients were superb and fairly cost comparative, even with the additional international shipping. They often offer 40% discounts, so have been worthwhile.
    I too, was excited to try Artisan State, as my husband, who is the photographer, was keen for me to make up a project. Have to say I am a bit reluctant now. Will see how it goes.

  30. Bec

    Hi all. I have used ArtisanState many times ans have always had a great product. I advise my clients to allow the ordering and delivery separate from their images as I know books do take longer but I plan and advise this. I have had other books and not been happy but love Artisan books :)

  31. HelenOster

    I enjoyed reading the reviews – it’s always very helpful to see what other companies are doing well, as it gives us ideas to improve and better meet our customers’ needs!

    If anyone is interested in trying AdoramaPix for a comparison, currently you can get 25% off any photo book using coupon code pxevrd25. It Expires at the end of January!

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
    Helen@adorama.com

  32. Johanne Brunet

    I have ordered a 20-page Little Black Book from Artisan State in a 6×8 format, and I would definitely order from them again. In fact, I am presently building another book.

    It was super easy to build, using the choice of customizable templates available, and the price is very reasonable.

    I placed my order on December 16, it was shipped within three days on the 19th, and the first attempt at the provided delivery address (a business address to make sure someone would be there) was made on the 20th, at 5:58 pm. Only 4 days after ordering, including customs clearance and all!

    However, it was shipped thru DHL who deliver between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm and this was a problem for me, because the business where it was supposed to be delivered closed at 5:00 pm and they tried twice past that time. I contacted Artisan who immediately replied that they had notified DHL about our closing time and that they would deliver accordingly. Which was done, but on December 24, and again, the business was closed for Christmas.

    They finally delivered on the 27th, the next business day. So even with all the trouble caused by DHL’s delivery schedule and NOT Artisan, I received my order less than 2 weeks after ordering at one of the most busy times of the year.

    Artisan got it in touch with me a second time on the 27th to make sure that everything was fine.

    So I have absolutely no complaint on the product which was really above my expectations for the price, and I received great service from Artisan!

  33. Disappointed ArtisanState Customer

    I just thought I’d share my experience with ArtisanState.

    7th Jan, Placed order, with expedited rate, 5 – 7 days.
    Given estimated delivery of 14th to 16th Jan, fair enough.

    7th Jan, Order reviewed, and marked as “Processing”, all good so far.

    15th Jan, item has not been marked as “completed”. Worried, and checked with customer service, and was told “it’s in final inspection, it’ll go into shipping tonight, and reach you by close-of-business the next day”, so I waited, even factoring in the time difference, considering I’m in Australia and the company is in USA (even though their manufacturing is in China, which I have no problems with)

    16th Jan, 17th Jan, nothing received, item still not marked as “completed”, more emails to customer service, which takes awfully long to reply. Considering that I am flying to another country for my wedding on 22nd Jan, I requested to change my address to my destination wedding country (the album is for the wedding anyway). was told “sure, of course I can change the address”. sent them the address, no response.

    18th Jan, 19th Jan, Still no response from customer service, despite several emails. customer service phone is NEVER manned, despite calling lots of times at different times of the day. 20th Jan, without a word, the item is marked as shipped, but to my original delivery address.

    Right now, I’m getting ready to fly to another country, while my photobook is probably flying in the opposite direction. Maybe we’ll pass each other in the air.

    So i’m now heading for the wedding empty handed, destined to be chastised… With the many positive reviews here, can someone please share with me what I did wrong?

    Was I wrong to believe the promise of a 5-7 day service made by ArtisanState? by the way, when they say DHL does overnight delivery to you, DHL will in turn tell you, yes, overnight delivery means it gets to your country overnight, whatever affects it after it arrives, such as being with customs for 1 week, or left in the van of their contracted last-mile couriers, is absolutely none of their business.

    I had chosen ArtisanState because of the promise of a 5-7 day delivery, and decided to pay for it because of that promise. I had factored in 1 week of buffer, despite the promise, and yet the item is still not here. is it fair, then, that I contact Paypal for a conflict resolution on the basis that I did not get my items? Even if I get it in 3 days, the photobook would’ve missed the wedding it was made for. it has no purpose anymore. does that qualify for a refund?

  34. Faith

    I ordered a little black book which I completely customized with images and story-telling features. It came very promptly (5 days) and is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It was only 23$ so I wasn’t expecting much – I was totally blown away with how nice this turned out – and my mom was so impressed she asked me to order another one for her. Maybe they’re better at churning out smaller product? No complaints here!

  35. Becky

    Well, I just placed another order with them and hope that my success so far with them, will continue. I’ve placed two orders with them and am very pleased with the hard cover album, as well as the ‘little black book’. I like the albums and think they are certainly well worth the money.

    My first time showing it to a potential client went very well. I carry Graphi and a couple of other flush mount albums. Artisan is the inexpensive one. While there is no comparison between Graphi and this product, most of my clients don’t want to spend $1500+ for a Graphi album. When I showed it to the potential client (who signed up!), he said, ‘yeah, this looks great and I can afford it.’

    That’s the plus side. Here’s the minus side. I had no idea that they have non-existent customer service. I just placed another order with them, so I’m hoping that my next book will look as good as my last ones. I left a question with the phone number and it occurred to me only then, why would you only have 4 hours of customer service? And then got the lame response, ‘sorry I missed your phone call’.

    Apparently there is no recourse, which I hadn’t realized. However, for the quality of what I’ve received so far, I’m hoping that the quality that I have received in the first 2 will continue.

    Personally, I’m impressed with the speed of the turnaround. However, I would never tell a client, “You can have this album in 2 weeks” or “3 weeks”, especially knowing now that this company is in China and there is NO U.S. customer service. I think it would be better to say 5 or 6 weeks for delivery (which should be long enough for any shipping problems to be addressed)and if it shows up in 2 weeks, you just became a hero for no additional cost!

    How do you tell a company, “You need real customer service and you would be making a lot more money”? At this point, I realize it’s a crapshoot, but for the savings, I”m hoping for the best.

  36. Jill

    I am so glad I read these comments before ordering from Artisan. I was intrigued by their ad on Facebook but after reading all of the complaints I think I will stick with Zookbinders photobooks. Even though they are more expensive, I know their quality is amazing and consistent. I guess you get what you pay for.

    1. Tara OQuinn

      I am pretty new to ordering from Artisan State but I have ordered 3 little black books that were all perfect and now 1 10×10 leather that is equally fantastic. No order took more than 10 days to get to me, the leather cover book took 9. I have noticed that they send you an email that your book has been shipped and then you literally get it the same day or next day, so they are slow on letting you know when it actually got shipped. As for quality, so far so good.. I love them, no issues with color 4 books in, I just ordered 2 more books as samples so we will see how it goes. I never tell a client an exact time for shipping, things happen. I have ordered from other companies and had to have them remade because of broken seams and bent corners in shipping. No company is perfect. BTW the leather album was shipped so nicely!

  37. kristen

    i have never had a problem yet with artisan **crossing fingers** i have loved all my books and my clients love them… its depressing to read all this and now I’m worried! LOL i tell my client 4-6 weeks that way when it comes early they are always super happy!!!

  38. Estefania L.

    I used Artisan for the very first time like a week and a half ago and I ordered my first “little black book.” Not only was it super easy to put together, but the quality was amazing. Honestly, it was just over 20 bucks and it looks like a million bucks! I will be buying from them again. Even if it doesnt turn out well, what are you wasting? 100 bucks? compared to 500.00 for the average 12×12 album? THEY are awesome! at least I think so :)

  39. Kim Sleno

    RUN LIKE HELL FROM ARTISAN STATE. THEY ARE A COMPLETE SCAM. I had 5 decent albums from them a couple of years ago, but the last 3 are awful. After disputing 2 in December through PayPal they reprinted them, the last one is a disaster and I am out the $250.00
    They offered a $100. refund which I rejected asking PayPal to arbitrate and they did not refund the money.
    Bad Karma to both companies. So much for PayPal’s guarantee, I would have been better off paying with a credit card.

  40. Debrah Woods

    I ordered my first little black book a couple of months ago and was extremely impressed with the quality and delivery time. I then ordered a crystal cover album and was also pleased with the quality, color and speed. Everything was perfect. Then I just ordered 3 little black books (duplicates) and noticed that they were a bit washed out, skin tones lacked the beautiful saturation. I thought maybe it was at my end, so I recalibrated my monitor and viewed the images in lightroom, photoshop and acdsee and all the colors were the same, so it’s not at my end. The order came in promptly but I am concerned about the color and density being off. Anyone else recently order and have washed out colors??

    1. Blake Rudis

      My photo book came out pretty nice looking, but that was also several months ago. I have not ordered anything recently.

  41. Michael

    My wife ordered a book at Printerpix for my mother for Mother’s Day. Although the site for creating the book was very user friendly, the service at Printerpix was HORRIBLE. The book was ordered to arrive on Mother’s Day, according to the ad. Not one mention on the banner ad was that in order for it to arrive on time extra postage was would possibly be necessary. Needless to say, the book did not arrive on Mother’s Day for my 93 year old mother. Instead, it will arrive four days later.
    My wife phoned Printerpix this morning about the situation and they were extremely rude and the only thing that they offered was 20 percent off my next order. My next order won’t happen with them … will instead use Shuttlerfly which I have used many times before and have been extremely pleased.
    Would NOT recommend Printerpix.

  42. Leonardo

    Just to add to the discussion here: I’m from Brazil and just received my first album from Artisan State. It came perfect, beautiful colors, great binding and two days early. Very satisfied with their overall process. Maybe I got lucky, or maybe who has trouble is more inclined to talk. But to me, was a very good experience

    1. Blake Rudis

      It sure is a mixed bag with this company huh? My experience was Awesome! It is a shame so many have had issues.

  43. Allen

    I’ve used BLURB.com about 4 times and love the quality of their books. Fast turnaround and their software to build the books is fantastic and you can customize them in just about any way. Their cost is fairly high, and hard to make a profit by adding to this high price….but if you want a great looking book they can provide it. Also after you order at least one copy, it is added to their store and you can promote it that way. I’ll continue to use them to add to my growing list of books.

    I’ve also had wedding books printed by adoramapix.com ….they do a great job and the price is good, and they have the fastest turnaround ever! Just a few days and it’s in your hands! You can even go back and alter the book at anytime after. Their building the book software is also very good.

  44. Allen

    I’ve used Artisan State for their little black book and it looked fantastic. I got in on it at the start when it was $10. I will be trying them again for something larger.

  45. linda

    artisan state quality doesn’t measure up. once you move away from the little black book and add more pages with better options it gets pricy, for the money i could have printed locally. the color would have been better and printed with CORRECT color and the feel would have been more lux. for 200 bucks i felt ripped off and the mark up to make it worth my time just felt like i was cheating my client so i ended up selling it to them for the price i made it.

    the look on her face was “underwhelmed” by the quality, color and size, 20 pages , 40 sizes, 8×8 for almost 200 bucks it just fell short!

  46. Dream Searcher

    I have placed two separate orders with Artisan Slate – one 11×14 sample book and 3 8×8 books for a client. The client was pleased and ordered a fourth book. I see many complaints about Artisan Slate but not a lot of recommendations. I really appreciated Blake’s attempt to save us our own trial and error by sharing his experience and would appreciate more recommendations from others on books similar to Artisan Slate’s flush mounted books made with heavier stock!

    What provider are you using folks?

    1. Blake Rudis

      I had a great experience. However, others have had some serious issues it seems! This post could become some serious R&D for their customer service department!

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