MYPUBLISHER GUEST BOOK GIVEAWAY! (ENDED)
Enter by 9/11/12 at 11:59PM CST
MyPublisher is sponsoring an amazing giveaway! SIX (6) very lucky Photobookgirl.com readers will be randomly drawn to win a $75.00 gift certificate! (no country restrictions) A total of $450.00 in prizes!
Find out what my “dream guest book photo book” would be if I were to remake mine today and enter for a chance to make your own!
I get a number of e-mails from brides and grooms who are interested in my opinions on using photo books as guest books. For my wedding about three years ago, we used our engagement photos to make a photo book for our guests to sign. So, of course my opinion is go for it! I made my wedding guest book with MyPublisher, but back then there was only one paper offered in the Classic size and one paper for the Deluxe size. Also, the lay flat option was not available as it is now.
Earlier this year, MyPublisher also increased the weight of the standard paper used in their Classic photo books (11.25 x 8.75) from 115 lbs. to 120 lbs. while the weight of their Deluxe size books (15 x 11.5) went down from 182 lbs. to 170 lbs. More recently, paper options expanded to allow for a choice for matte or satin papers in two different weights (120 lb. Superior and 170 lb. Deluxe) and the extremely reflective super gloss paper. So, no wonder why folks had lots of questions after seeing all the options.
Up until recently, I couldn’t give specifics on the exact paper I would choose and why. I would have to have ordered several books to make the comparisons. I contacted MyPublisher and asked them to send me samples of the new papers so that I could review them. I locked myself in the photo book laboratory and conducted my experiments and now here’s the results.
Classic Size versus Deluxe Size
All of MyPublisher’s books are landscape in orientation. No squares or portrait type books are offered. The two main sizes I would recommend for your guest book is the Classic size at 11.25 x 8.75 inches or the Deluxe size (not to be confused with Deluxe paper) at 15 x 11.5 inches – both are hardcover. Either size will work just fine. In terms of the larger size, it is an impressive, eye-catching book. Perhaps if you have a lot of guests and anticipate needing more space for signatures and messages, then go for the Deluxe size. If you like a more manageable sized book, then the Classic will work just fine. You can also add more pages to your Classic size book if you need more writing space. Mine was a Classic size with 38 pages (19 double-sided pages) and we had about 175 guests. We had plenty of space for folks to sign with messages, well wishes etc. Keep in mind though that many couples will sign together rather than separately, and not everyone will get to signing the book. Your numbers will increase if you have a guest book attendant to encourage and let everyone know to sign the book. If you can’t spare someone to be your guest book attendant, then have a nice sign saying “please sign our photo book guest book” or “please write a message for the bride and groom.”
You have the option of linen, leather, photo finish or book jacket. Personally, I prefer the photo finish cover – where the image is printed directly onto the book surface.
To Lay Flat or Not to Lay Flat
I would recommend upgrading to the lay flat option. Since your guests will be signing the book, if the pages don’t have to be held down, it will make it easier to sign.
Which Pen To Use
(UPDATE: March 2014 – I updated my pen recommendation for guest books so be sure to check out the link.)
Naturally, you want to know what kind of pen works best if you plan to have folks use your photo book as a guest book. I recommend Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers. Other brands of permanent markers may work fine too, but I’ve only personally used Sharpies for signing photo books (and photo canvases for that matter). A permanent marker is important as you don’t want it to smudge. They dry so fast that smudging is very unlikely. For my guest book, I used black backgrounds, so I couldn’t use a black marker. I used silver, but at the time I couldn’t find that color in the ultra fine point, so I had to go with the Sharpie fine point, which in retrospect was a little too large of a nib. It made the writing look a bit messy, but lucky for you, you get the benefit of my hindsight.
Although I said this is not a permanent marker review blog, I did test out a number of different pens with the various the paper samples. When I was putting pen to paper, I was looking for two things: smudging and bleed through. Smudging is self-explanatory. Here’s the summary:
1) Sharpie Fine Point
I don’t recommend using this. There were no issues with smudging as it dried super fast (I rubbed my finger over the writing right after) but the tip is too thick which makes the writing look a little “blobby”. Also, because it’s so bold, you will see it show through on the reverse which could potentially interfere with the image on the other side. By the way when I say “bleed through” I don’t mean the ink seeped through to the other side, which would instantly eliminate the pen from consideration, but just that it shows through the page when held up to the light.
2) Sharpie Ultra Fine Point (THE WINNER)
This is the one I recommend. Like it’s thicker tipped cousin, there were no issues with smudging, but it was much more readable and no bleed through. As mentioned it comes in lots of colors too if you don’t want to use black. Black is always a classic “go to” color, but Sharpies come in a myriad of colors. So you can choose your wedding colors or whatever color you want.
3) Uni-Ball Deluxe Stick Roller Ball Pen, Black Ink, Micro Fine
I don’t recommend using this. It didn’t dry fast enough (it smudged) and it didn’t write as well on the satin finish paper. I just decided to give it a try for comparison purposes.
4) Sharpie Extra Fine Point Oil-Based Opaque Paint Marker
The tip was perfect, readability was very good and no issues with bleed through because the tip was extra fine, but this is a paint pen so it smudged. So, I wouldn’t recommend it since it doesn’t dry fast enough.
Here’s a shot of all four on the Deluxe Matte 170 lb. paper. There isn’t much difference as to how the signatures looked on the various papers.
As you can see the fine point Sharpie on the far right is the most bold, but as mentioned the tip is too thick and can make writing look a bit messy and hard to read.
Here’s a close-up. I still like the bottom one best (the ultra fine point Sharpie).
(UPDATE: March 2014 – I updated my pen recommendation for guest books so be sure to check out the link.)
What Paper to Choose
Matte versus Satin
If you ordered a MyPublisher book before the other paper options came out, then most likely you have a book with satin finish paper. In my experience matte finish paper in general will result in colors that are a little more muted than satin finish paper. With MyPublisher it’s no different. Although I want to stress that the difference is very, very slight, the satin paper gives a little more punch when it comes to color. Because satin paper has a hint of glossiness to it, it also produces a little more contrast. Black tones in particular reproduced with higher contrast. The edges will print a little softer with the matte finish so if sharpness is important, then go with satin. That doesn’t mean that the matte finish will result in blurry images, it just means that images printed on the satin will look sharper because of the higher contrast and more vibrant color. I don’t think one is better than the other, but it’s a matter of personal preference.
The matte paper does have a “classic” look to it. The satin is more “sleek”. So, if you’re having a wedding you may describe as vintage, rustic or romantic the matte may work better. I’m sure you’ve seen those soft, dreamy, warm-toned engagement photos. I think those would look fantastic on the matte paper. If you’re going modern, sleek and chic then go satin. I picture bold photographs in an urban setting with dramatic lines.
I purposely didn’t test out the super gloss. I’ve made a super gloss book before, but the pages are coated and they stick together – I don’t think that paper suits this type of project since you’re going to write on it. If you’re interested in reading more about that paper, I’ve linked to it.
Superior versus Deluxe
Superior Matte, Superior Satin, Deluxe Matte and Deluxe Satin all work well for this type of project, but if it’s in the budget, I would recommend going with the Deluxe paper since a thicker, sturdier paper can’t hurt given the amount of handling it will get on your big day. You’re not going to completely eliminate bleed through of the image from one side to the reverse, but with the thicker paper, it will bleed through less and frankly, you’re not going to hold the pages up to the light as I am for testing purposes – you’ll flip through the book normally. The deluxe paper upgrade for the Classic size is only $3.99, so it’s not cost prohibitive at all. One reader (I think it was Michael P.?) wrote me that the deluxe paper in the Classic sized book may feel a bit heavy as to overall page size, and I can understand the concern, but in this case the purpose of the book may call for the higher durability and less bleed through that the heavier paper can bring.
Guest Books Not Just for Weddings
Remember guest books can be great for any occasion and aren’t just limited to weddings. Baby showers, milestone birthdays, anniversaries and bridal showers are all big events where a commemorative guest book full of well wishes would make a welcome gift for the guest of honor to take home after the party.
What You Can Win
If you end up being a winner in Photo Book Girl’s Dream Guest Book Photo Book Giveaway, you can use your $75 gift code to splurge on upgrades:
- 35-page Classic Size (11.25 x 8.75 inches)
- + Photo Finish hardcover
- + Deluxe Matte or Satin paper
- + Lay Flat upgrade
Click here if you’re interested in seeing my MyPublisher reviews including overviews of the lay flat option, super gloss paper and photo finish cover (scroll down to “MyPublisher Reviews from the Blog”).
You have 6 possible ways to enter, but you must do the REQUIRED ENTRY for the others to count. For EACH entry, you have to COMMENT ON THIS POST below with a separate comment for EACH entry, telling me what type of entry you did.
- Comment below – IF YOU WON, WHAT KIND OF PAPER (Matte or Satin) WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR BOOK?
- Subscribe to my newsletter (look for light blue box at top right) AND tell me in the comment below that you subscribed and the name you subscribed under (first name is fine). If you already subscribe to my newsletter, tell me in your comment and give me your name. (Please remember for it to count, you must confirm the subscription. Sorry RSS or Google Reader doesn’t count);
- “Like” me on Facebook (if you are already a fan, or become a new fan, tell me your Facebook name in the comment form);
- “Like” MyPublisher on Facebook (if you are already a fan, or become a fan, tell me your Facebook name in the comment form);
- Give your review of any photo book company you’ve tried on the company’s main reviews page. Click on the link and then click on the logo of the company you want to review. You’ll see a place to add your review at the bottom of each company’s page. Let me know which company you commented on by telling me in a comment in this post below. (Limit to two (2) entries using this method.);
- Blog about this giveaway on your blog. Be sure to comment on this post with a link to your blog post (Counts as 3 entries!)
Make sure to do the REQUIRED ENTRY!
This giveaway is open to anyone 18 or older. No country restrictions (so it’s international) but void where prohibited. Void in Quebec. Entries must be received by Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at 11:59pm CDT and any entries not in accordance with the rules will be disqualified at our sole discretion and at the discretion of the sponsor. Winning entries will be chosen using Random.org. After compiling the results, I will announce the winners thereafter and will email the winners. The winners will have 48 hours to respond or I will redraw another entry. Canadian winners may be asked to answer a skill question to be eligible, to comply with Canadian laws. Winners will be issued a code for the appropriate value. The gift certificate code will not expire. Cannot be combined with other promotions. May be used towards shipping costs. Shipping varies by location – see MyPublisher site for details. Disclosure: I am an affiliate of MyPublisher. If you click on a link to MyPublisher’s site and make a purchase, I receive a referral fee from the company. Regardless of compensation my opinions are my own.
Thank you to MyPublisher for its sponsorship of this giveaway!
Also, check out this exclusive coupon code for Photo Book Girl readers! Get 25% off your order over $50.00 or 50% off your order over $100.00! (clicking on the banner and providing your email will generate a individualized coupon code good for 30 days, but this banner will only stay up for one week, so make sure to get your code now!)
Check out all the latest MyPublisher “one day deals” on my Groupon/Living Social Tracker!
Check out all the latest MyPublisher promos here!