PROS / Mixbook has the largest selection of attractive pre-designed books, which can save a lot of time.
CONS / The selection of paper types is limited.
VERDICT / Mixbook offers a vast selection of design elements and makes everything really easy to find so you can create the perfect book in minutes.
Mixbook is a leader in customizing and printing all kinds of keepsakes, including custom photo books. This publishing service offers a wide variety of photo book options and templates to help you create a book for any occasion. We were able to create pretty good quality books with most of the services in our photo book reviews, but Mixbook stands out for making the entire process very easy. Its features, usability and quality earn it our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
Quality & Services
The project we made with Mixbook arrived the fastest of any we ordered, and the book itself was of very good quality. The cover was thick and sturdy, poised to protect the photos inside for years to come. Photo reproduction was nearly perfect, though we did spot some graininess.
What makes Mixbook one of the best photo book sites is its wide selection of features. The online photo book editor offers attractive, fully assembled layouts from which you can choose. The AutoMix tool automatically arranges all of your pictures in the book. This option is perfect if you want to shuffle pictures around or insert them quickly.
You can choose from hundreds of templates for your photo book. Many of them are themed, so you can create a book to commemorate a special occasion or trip. There are also generic templates you can use as backgrounds if you don’t want your photo book to have a specific theme.
The online editor gives you access to editing tools and eliminates the need to use photo editing software. Like mobile or online photo editors, you can manipulate the images by adjusting the brightness, contrast or saturation with the dial controls. You can add effects to the pictures using the dropdown menu. For example, you can change the shadow, hue, blur, distance, angle or opacity of an image.
The online photo book editor works well for designers of any experience level. If you are a beginner, the AutoMix tool is helpful. If you are more experienced with design, you can place templates, layouts and photos yourself. Regardless of which route you take, you can edit the images using the provided tools to make each page look exactly the way you want.
This is one of the only online photo book services to allow collaboration on projects. If you want several people to contribute to one project, you can simply add them as contributors. All contributors have access to add photos, decorate pages and edit the project without needing your password. You also can share your photo book projects on Facebook or publish them on a blog or website.
Mixbook guarantees high quality in all of its products. The company offers a money-back guarantee on its custom photo books. The books are sturdy and look professional with sharp, clear images on every page. Mixbook uploads your photos in their original resolution and warns you if the quality is not good enough for print. You can either replace the photos or shrink them so that every page is filled with vivid images. The processing time before shipping averages around one to three days, so it's important to plan if you need your book by a certain date.
Mixbook offers seven different sizing options for custom photo books, ranging from a small 8 x 6-inch pocket photo book to a large coffee table photo book measuring 11 x 14 inches. There are three different square book sizes – 8.5x8.5, 10x10 and 12x12.
The publisher provides five different cover options, including genuine leather, hardcover and softcover. You can also use a photo to make a dust jacket or to wrap around a hardcover. The cover options are sparse, as most online photo book publishers offer other cover options such as linen or silk.
The one real drawback is the lack of paper choices. There is just the one style of paper, and it is good quality, but having a choice for something thicker and more formal would be nice.
Mixbook has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate whether you are computer savvy or not. When you start the service, a guided tour shows you how to use Mixbook by highlighting the important features and tools you need to know about. While you use the photo book editor, you are shown where to drag photos and insert text on each of the pages. There is also a help button embedded in the editor so that you can seek help at any time during the creation process or get more information about a specific feature. The buttons are labeled clearly so even the most inexperienced designer can make a polished photo book.
Shipping & Support
The company’s website also offers technical support. There is a live chat feature and an email address to contact support representatives, as well as a FAQs section and user forum. Mixbook does not provide a telephone number for support over the phone.
You can select expedited shipping, but you probably won't need it, depending on where you live. We got our book back very quickly. It printed and was shipped the day after we made it online, and it arrived after just four days. Mixbook offers international shipping.
The online photo book editor is simple enough that anyone can use it but has enough features to appeal to advanced photo book designers as well. Likewise, the books are well built and will protect the images inside for years to come. While the paper options are limited, there is enough variety in templates and features that you can make a one-of-a-kind book for any occasion.