Digital Album (or flush mount album), is an album composed of fully printed photo pages.

The name originates from the graphic process performed on the album pages before printing.

During this process, the desired photos are combined into the album pages using graphic software.

Each album page can contain any number of pictures, and additional text, backgrounds and effects can be added.

A variety of album design software is available for this purpose.

The classic use of digital albums is to keep memories of events such as weddings and other important events. 

 

Digital albums are suitable for this purpose since they contain a large number of pictures designed in a more interesting way than in a standard pockets album.

The album is preserved and not worn out over time.

Digital albums are printed on high quality photo paper using chemical development process.  This process produces a clean picture, of better quality than laser or inkjet printing.

Digital albums are manufactured in many sizes, even up to 20/23 inch when closed (40/23 inch open). However, the most common size is 12/16 inch.

In weddings, in addition to the digital album for the bride and groom, it is customary to produce another pair of smaller digital albums for the couple’s parents, called “Parents albums”. 

 

In addition to digital albums used for events such as weddings, the amateur albums area has developed a lot recently.

Today there are many websites that can be used to design digital albums with easy to use album design software.

However, there are several significant differences between digital event albums and digital amateur albums:

Event albums are usually designed by a professional graphic designer. The designer adjusts the pictures and usually gets a better final result than obtained by the amateur designer.

Amateur albums are usually printed using laser printers. The image quality does not compare to the quality of chemicals developing.

Event album pages can be UV coated. The UV coating protects the pages and applies natural wear and moisture durability.

Event album pages are thicker than the pages of amateur album, applying the album a more prestigious look.

Most Amateur albums are built like books, every page is designed separately. Event albums are built in a different way allowing full 180 degrees opening of each double sided page (every 2 pages are combined into 1 sheet).

Amateur albums are usually smaller than event albums.

Amateur album covers are simple and usually soft. Event albums offer a variety of high quality covers, usually made of leather or leather-like materials. 

In addition, effects of thickness, embossing and metallic sublimation embedded image can be combined into the event album cover.

A very popular select for event albums is the custom made canvas printed cover.

With better understanding of what digital albums are and the main differences between events albums and amateur albums, it is time to outline the highlights of the digital event album production process.

The process consists of 4 key steps: 

Designing the album pages using album design software. The pictures are combined into the album pages. Effects, backgrounds, text and other elements are added to make the album pages interesting and rich. 

Printing the album pages using chemicals Minilab machine for a rich, high quality picture.

Album block assembly using hot glue sheets between the album pages. Unique adjustment of the glue sheets and the album pages, allows a full 180 degrees opening of the album.

Album binding. Album covers are available in a wide range of different materials and different colors. Additional effects of thickness, embossing and metallic sublimation can be combined into the cover.

The physical assembly of the album (steps 3 and 4) is usually done using a designated machine that allows creasing of the album pages to form the album axis, arrangement of the album pages and glue sheets, gluing the album block in a hot press, fixing the album block in a cold press and alignment of 3 album sides in a guillotine.

 

So what are the important points to examine when selecting a digital album?

As described, there are different types of digital albums that differ in many parameters. When selecting a digital event album, the following highlights should be taken into account:

Album design – everyone has a different style. If the album is to be designed by a graphic designer, it is recommended to see previous designs to make sure the style is right. In that case, it is important to approve the final result before printing.

The album pages – event albums are printed on high quality photo paper using Minilab machine. There is no reason to compromise on a different type of printing. The recommended printing resolution is 300dpi and higher.  Anyway, not below 150dpi. 

Minilab machines are not always calibrated so it is important to check that the color shades are correct and the pages are arranged in order. 

It is recommended to ask for UV coating on of the album pages.

Album block – the cutting of the album block should be clean and straight on all sides. It is important to make sure the album axis is straight and that the album pages are perfectly aligned to it. 

Most people prefer rounded album edges. 

To ensure full opening of the album at 180 degrees, the edges of the glue sheets between the album pages should be aligned by a margin of about 2 mm to the end of the album pages. 

it is important to open the album and make sure the opening is full and uniform in every page.

Album cover - the cover is the visible part of the album when it is closed. There is no reason to accept the default album cover as fait accompli.

Remember that there are countless types of covers with different add-ons. 

Wedding albums are typically offered with a metallic sublimation piece on the cover.

In Conclusion, the digital albums area is expanding and digital albums market shares are increasing as a memory product for every occasion in our lives.

As consumers, it is important to understand this field, know the different products and options available, in order to choose the best solution for our specific needs.

 

The objective of this article is to provide an initial acquaintance with the field and to characterize a number of basic points, which should be considered prior to the design and purchase of an event digital album or an amateur album.

As in every field, the competition exists and it is important to make sure we get the right product for the right price.

Digital album?