November 29th, 2016

Giving Gifts They’ll Actually Love

Hint: It’s not the thought, it’s the personalization that counts!

We all know that one person who seems to always give the perfect, thoughtful and most unique Christmas gifts. How do they do it? Our Photolab Experts have the secret, and it’s easier than you think. It’s all about personalization. Adding a personal touch, like a photo or custom text, will give your gifts a unique quality that your loved ones will cherish. Our Photolab has virtually endless possibilities to customize your gifts for friends, family, colleagues and anyone else on your holiday shopping list.


Greeting Cards – Whether it’s your family’s annual Christmas card, or individual cards to give out to family, friends and colleagues, spreading the holiday cheer starts here.  Rather than picking out a set of generic cards to send, why not create unique holiday cards with personal photos? Our Photolab can now customize Greeting Cards using a wide variety of themed templates on 6 new premium card stocks: linen, natural white, matte soft white, shimmer silver and shimmer soft gold. We are the only local Photolab to use these premium card stocks, so your greeting cards are guaranteed to be entirely unique.



Photographic Albums – Give a truly thoughtful and personal gift by curating a collection of special photos and creating a personalized photographic album for loved ones. The book’s photos are printed on thick photographic paper that will brilliantly display cherished memories in a high quality format. Share photos of a recent trip together, a collection of photos taken over the past year, or even old childhood and family photos.



Personalized Large Fleece Blankets – Brand new to the London Drugs Photolab, this is the ultimate cozy Christmas gift. Got a hockey player in the family? Customize a fleece blanket with a photo of their team, and parents can use it to show support and to keep warm at their next game. Grandparents would love a personalized blanket with a photo of their grandchildren, and a dog lover would be over the moon to see their prized pup immortalized on a super-soft fleece.



Photo Crystals – Choose a meaningful photo to share with your loved ones and gift it to them in the form of a crystal. Our new expanded selection of shapes includes heart, teardrop, moon, wave and rectangle-shaped crystal blocks, which can transform your photo into a unique, eye-catching Christmas gift. This would make a great personalized hostess gift for any of your upcoming holiday parties.



Express Books – Need to whip together a quick and easy Christmas gift, and need it right away? The 8×8 photographic Express Books can be made within 24 hours at any London Drugs location. Just choose your photos, and we’ll create a sleek photographic book complete with black leatherette cover. So if you forgot one last person on your list, or if you received an unexpected gift from your neighbour or colleague, don’t fret: we can take care of that.



Instagram Books – This small personalized Instagram Book makes the perfect stocking stuffer gift! Simply select your favourite square Instagram photos from your feed, and our Photolab will turn them into a beautiful square photo book you can easily pop into someone’s stocking. This is a great gift for hard to buy for tweens and teens and for hobby photographers who showcase their work on Instagram.



Photo Calendars – Have a few people on your shopping list that you’re just not sure what to get them? Our photo calendars are easily customized, which make them the perfect gift for almost anyone this Christmas. For family, feature images of your kids growing up, or for co-workers, perhaps feature some of your favourite landscape photos. It is useful all year round.



Personalized Mugs – Whether they’re a coffee person or a tea person, you can’t go wrong with gifting a personalized photo mug. Pick a colour, design, and then choose your photo: it’s as simple as that. You can even choose our Magic Mug that reveals your hidden photo when hot liquid is added. These personalized mugs make great stocking stuffer gifts, as well as gifts for colleagues or your kids’ teachers.


Order any of these gifts at our new Photolab website or by visiting any London Drugs location.


Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Saturday, December 24 including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery:

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greeting Cards: Wednesday, December 14

Creative Products: Wednesday, December 14

Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Bobbleheads: Monday, November 14

Yes Video: Friday, November 25

Click here for information about order deadlines.


November 30th, 2015

Holiday cards, made personal in minutes

cardsSo…if you’re a regular reader of the Photoblog, and you read my post a while back about being proactive when it comes to getting your personalized holiday cards done, but you still haven’t done it, I have great news: you still have time! Not only that, but you still may even be able to qualify as ‘proactive.’

Also, if you’re a regular Photoblog reader, you’re probably aware that we’ve covered holiday cards extensively here on the Photoblog. And if you’ve ever made and sent even one, you’re already familiar with all of their benefits and their infinite superiority over plain ol’ standard off-the-rack cards.

For one thing, they are completely customizable, and therefore 100% original. You can tailor them to the preferences of the recipient(s): You can make them tasteful and elegant, modern and stylish, or completely over-the-top cheesy. Not only that, but you’ll find that doing so is surprisingly simple thanks to the intuitive Photolab home software—which, in case you were not aware, is completely 100% free to download and install. Once you’ve experienced the thrill of creation, simply click a button to send them for printing at the Photolab. You can send copies of the same card to countless recipients, or you can personalize each individual card.

Of course, if you’re really out of time or just don’t feel like doing any customizing, simply bring your image to the Photolab, where they will add a holiday template of your choice onto the left side. Available in 4×8” and 5×7” sizes and priced at $9.48 for 12 cards, complete with envelopes; additional copies are just 69 cents. Featuring same-day pickup and virtually zero effort on your part—but hey, they’re still a better option than off-the-rack in my opinion.

Of course, off-the-rack cards aren’t going away anytime soon. However, if you truly are a photography lover (and if you’re reading this blog, I suspect that’s the case), then I would urge you to show it! Search your archives for the perfect image, or even better, grab your camera and shoot one just for your greeting cards. It’s the perfect way to combine the joy of photography with the joy of the holidays.

June 3rd, 2015

Top 10 End of the School Year Gift Ideas

With the final days of school coming to an end for the summer, it may be time to start thinking about how you would like to document your school memories. For parents or students who are looking to thank their teachers or coaches with a year-end gift, photo gifts are a great way to document those memories. The London Drugs photolab has come up with some ideas to capture end of the school year moments for teacher mementos, sports teams, or even school fundraisers.


cookboook For those students who learned to cook and create their own recipes in home economics class, a class cookbook is a creative way to document your favourite class dishes. A year-end cookbook can be designed from a compilation of each student’s favourite recipe. Gift your teacher with a custom made cookbook, or create one for each student to take home. Don’t forget to create a customized place mat to go along with your favourite cookbook recipes!


scrapbooksFor students who may be transitioning from elementary school to high school or from high school to post secondary, memories of your past schooling can easily be documented in a scrapbook. These mini albums are perfect for sharing and will keep your memories safe for years to come.

Mouse pads

mouse padMouse pads are the perfect gift for teachers or coaches that love all things tech. Whether they are enjoying some down time on the computer, or researching the next topic to speak about in class, your teachers and coaches will be reminded of the great school memories through a personalized photograph printed on their office mouse pad.


clipboardPersonalized clipboards are the perfect gift for active coaches, teachers, instructors, and group leaders. Print a photo on one side and add a personal message near the top or bottom of the board. Or, add a diagram of a soccer pitch, football field, baseball diamond, or hockey rink, which is perfect for coaches who illustrate plays and strategies with dry-erase markers.

Trading cards

cardsDo you have team spirit? Show off your team’s skills by creating personalized trading cards for your teammates. Construct a 16 pack of trading cards to document your teammates stats, or create a 52 set of playing cards dedicated to each member of the team.


Wrap up the end of the school season with a personalized bookmark to capture your favourite memories. Collages of photos are a creative way to document the best moments from that year. For book club lovers, create a personalized bookmark for your favourite book buddy. Or, for an easier way to keep tabs on material in textbooks, think about gifting your teacher with a bookmark.


puzzlePhoto puzzles are fun gifts ideas that are perfect for a variety of occasions. Give your teacher or coach something entertaining to do this summer by gifting them with a customized puzzle. Constructing the puzzle pieces will keep them occupied on summer vacations or rainy days at the cabin while also reminiscing over the memories of the school year.

Jewellery Box

jewellry boxFor students that loved their ceramics class, why not give your teacher a personalized jewellery box to store all of their ceramics treasures? The interior of the jewellery box is lined with soft, white, felt and is perfect for safely storing rings, necklaces, and other treasured items. Choose a photograph to mount on top of the jewellery case – perhaps a picture of you and your teacher.


calendarIf keeping on track is a challenge for you, a calendar to keep tabs of school classes or school events might be a necessity. The photolab has a variety of calendar designs and sizes so you can easily fit your agenda in your purse or bag while on the go. You can even customize each month of the calendar with class photos and give it as a gift to your teacher at year end!

Thank you cards

thank you cardsFor those teachers or coaches that have made a lasting impression, send them a thank you for all their hard work. Make sure to document some of your best moments through a personalized photo on a custom-made greeting card, postcard or magnet.

To add to the Thank you card and a gift that takes no time but can be personalized as your teacher or coach wishes, consider a London Drugs gift card as thanks for all of their hard work over the year. The gift card can be used for polish and pampering in cosmetics, travel readiness in cameras and photography or work essentials in computers.

For more great gift ideas from photolab, make sure to visit the London Drugs photolab at your local London Drugs location, or online at

October 7th, 2013

Create The Perfect Card

By Angela Ford, photo blogger

Shopping for cards can be a frustrating experience. The image, the words, the look must be just right to truly communicate the sentiment. I spend a long, long time looking for the perfect card, and by the time I realize the third one was the best, I am on the seventeenth card and I can’t remember what #3 looked like.

Making your own photographic greeting card is about the same cost as a nice greeting card, but it is tailor made by you. Choose a personal photo and say exactly what you want and your card will deliver precisely the right message.

To get your creative juices flowing, I created some sample cards using Home Edition. (You can download this free software here).

Anniversary card

Greeting Image 1 Wedding

May 3rd, 2012

Dottotech – Home Edition Seminars

Steve Dotto talks to Nikki about London Drugs’ upcoming Home Edition Seminars. These seminars will show you how to turn your favourite memories into precious photobooks, calendars, greeting cards and more!

November 10th, 2011

How to Create Custom Cards with Home Edition

Follow the Cards Wizard in your Home Edition software (available as a free download) and you are guaranteed a quick, simple and gorgeous card. For those of us who are more adventurous, however, Home Edition offers a lot more. this is a neat little layout program that gives a huge range of creative possibilities.

Step 1: Open the Design Program

  • To begin, first launch the Cards Wizard. Select Greeting Cards > Create New and then press Next.
  • You will be prompted to choose your card format (portrait or landscape, postcard or folded), and your card size.

  • Now click Skip to Design. This will exit you from the Wizard and launch the freeform Design.

Step 2: Add and Position Your Pictures
At the bottom of the screen is your photo tray. Don’t be shy about adding photos – the tray is a working space for you to access images you might want to use. You can add as many photos as you like – some you will use, some not.

  • To choose your pictures, click on the + button and select from your hard drive.

The Card Design program assumes you would like one large photo on the front.

  • To place this main photo, drag and drop one of your images onto the card.
  • In the centre of your photo, you will see a circle surrounded by four arrows. Click and hold to move the image within the frame.

If you want to add more photos to the front of the card, you first must decrease the size of your first image.

  • Click and hold the image to move it.
  • Click and hold on the blue corner to reduce the size.

Now drag and drop other photos onto the card. You can rearrange them and resize them anyway you like.

Don’t like a picture? You have two options:

  • drag and drop a different image on the frame
  • highlight the image and press delete to remove the picture, frame and all.

Step 3: Add Clipart and Text
To add text, you must first create a text box.

  • Select Personalise > Insert Object > Text. A text box will appear on your card.
  • Type in your text, choose a font, size and colour, and position the box the same way you position an image.

To add clipart, take a look at the right-hand menu.

  • Select from a number of different themes, and choose your clipart.
  • Drag and drop onto your card. Position as you would position an image.

Step 4: Create your card’s inside and back
When you are happy with the front of your card, build the inside and back the same way. The top tray contains each layout view.

  • Click on Card Inside or Back, add pictures, text and clipart.

Step 5: Proof your work and send it to London Drugs
When you are happy with your card, Home Edition will analyze your card for resolution, empty text boxes, and other layout errors.

  • Select File > Preflight/Preview
  • Home Edition will generate a pdf file for you to proof (you will need Acrobat Reader).
  • Print it out and examine carefully for errors.
  • Click on Send to London Drugs Photolab. Your file will be uploaded to our server, and you will be able to choose quantities and where you would like to pick up your cards.

Once you know the basics of layout design, have fun creating your cards. Experiment with different borders, artwork, layout and photos. Here is a completely different look using the same photos.

If you ever need help, come into your nearest London Drugs Photolab with your file. Our Photolab specialists know Home Edition well, and we would be pleased to help.

Written by Angela Ford, Amateur Photographer

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