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Albums Part 3 – Zookbinder vs Black River

Recently I went back to Black River product listing and saw that they have changed since the last time I printed with them.  Their flag ship flushmount album, the Tuscany has changed to have more options and even a cover printing similar to that of Zookbinder.  However for my comparison I will only be dealing with the basic details that the clients will see once you have delivered the album, the mere first glance perspective.

  1. Album Cover – By far the best product and the most wow factor is the album cover.  The image quality may not be as good but having a cover really makes a difference in the result.
  2. Plastic core for each page.  The heft of the weight makes it feel really like a solid album that would last forever.
  3. The center cut, I’ve only so far encountered one album that has no center cut and superior printing quality, but I currently am researching to how to print with that company.  However for now Black River has the edge on the center line as it is only 1/32″ of an inch and barely noticeable, while Zookbinder says it’s only 1/16″ but it feels very much like 1/8 and the HUGE gap is quite discerning and takes away from the beauty of the album.
  4. The album box.  Zookbinder says the album comes in a pillow case and a solid black box.  My opinion, the box is big and ugly.  Black River gives you a more custom fit box with a custom fit pillow case.  Black River does not offer the album slip case but are you missing anything?  I would say no, the slip case doesn’t do much to increase the value of the album only makes the album more expensive.  If the slip case would allow for other designs or something more elegant than I would suggest otherwise.
  5. Overall quality and value?  I personaly feel that Black River has the value but not much of the quality that of Zookbinder.  If Black river would make their plastic core thicker and heavier and the printing quality to be consistent, I would be willing to switch back.  For now I’ll bare the extra expense and feel more confident about my final product to my client and be assured that they will receive the best quality wedding album out there.

Any suggestions or questions?  Would anyone be interested in know anymore about album design, what choices to make?  Please feel free to ask.

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