Product reviews come in all shapes and sizes, but normally I am blogged about those rather than products or services. I do love photos and anything vaguely creative though, so agreed to try out the service offered by Papershaker.com.
The site is part of the Photobox family and offers customers the chance to personalise flat postcard style cards to celebrate 'special moments'. In the promo blurb it didn't make it clear what those special moments were, so I had to go onto the site to investigate. PaperShaker's website is easy to navigate, and currently has drop-down menus for wedding and new baby and party invitations for adult and children. The wedding and new baby sections contain most things you would need, from birth announcements and save the date cards to thank you cards, so the choice is pretty comprehensive, and the template pages provide a choice of layouts for your photo's, along with backgrounds, graphics, and general designs, which range from simple colour blocks, and cute graphics, to retro fonts.
I was given the opportunity try out the service and order a pack of 10 cards, but at first, I wasn't sure what to do, as I wanted to make the most of the opportunity, but obviously didn't have a wedding or party to design cards for. So my first bit of feedback would be, don't be put off by the occasion headings. You can remove a lot of the graphics, and pick others from the menu which may not be occasion-specific. You can also customise colours, and add text boxes with your own messages or greeting. You may even find the options to make your card slim, square or panoramic, with the templates providing a starting point for you to play from.
I ended up making some cards with my very cute nephew on them to use as keepsakes, and easily customised the back and front of the flat postcard style cards with his name, some cute animals, and a border, and background for the flipside. Then I hit send, entered my details, and waited for my cards to arrive.
As PaperShaker is under the Photobox umbrella, this must give them the infrastructure and facilities to respond to orders quickly, and I only had to wait a couple of days for my cards to arrive. In fact, they arrived quicker than the computer system could send me an email to say they were on their way! Very impressed with the speed, and happy with my card order as well. They arrived in a hardback envelope and were then packaged in a nice little folder which was an addition I didn't expect. The cards themselves were glossy and printed on good quality cardstock, and I was pleased with how my chosen photos looked in the finished product.
It's a service that is suited to ordering in bulk, with sets starting at 10 cards, then going up in increments of 10 up to 250. Prices vary depending on the design, but they can work out as low as 65p per card, with savings if you order higher quantities. Although there are a lot of photo printing services out there, the advantage with PaperShaker is you get a hardwearing, quality product, and when you are marking a special moment, it's more of a keepsake, rather than a throwaway invitation or announcement, and for that it's worth the money. For me personally, I wouldn't order large quantities of items like this, as I'd want the money for other things, but I was very happy with my small number of cards and would be interested to see how their site develops.