October 25th, 2017

Get a Jumpstart on the Holidays with Personalized Greeting Cards

The Holidays may seem like a ways away still, but every year the same thing happens: you blink, November is almost over, and you’re suddenly scrambling to get all your holiday to-do’s done. Why not make this the year you get a jumpstart, and save yourself the stress in December?

If there’s one item you may want to get working on sooner rather than later, it’s holiday greeting cards – especially if you’re planning to send them off by mail to friends and family. Rather than picking out a generic set of cards to share, our Photolab can help you create unique holiday cards that are completely personalized.

Finding the Right Photo

Lots of people share a photo or two of their family when they send out their annual holiday cards. It’s a chance to show your loved ones how your family has grown over the past year. You can choose a favourite photo you have from this year, or plan a fun photo shoot with your family to snap a special ‘holiday card’ photo. Get creative and have a theme, like everyone wearing red, or have some fun holiday props on-hand, like pre-wrapped gifts. If you get an early snowfall this year, why not take advantage and run outside for a wintery group photo?

You can also turn your old Christmas photographs into digital copies that can be featured on your greeting cards. We can digitize those photos for you with our Photo Scanning Box service. Just pick up a box from your local London Drugs Photolab, fill it with all your print photos, and bring it back the Photolab where our technicians will digitize the photos at high resolution. Your print photos will then be returned to you, along with a USB flash drive storing all your special photos. Then you can simply upload them to our Photolab website or one of our in-store Photolab kiosks to get started with customizing your holiday greeting cards.

Pick a Card Style

Our Photolab’s user-friendly website and in-store kiosks give you every opportunity to customize, which means you have lots of options when it comes to the style of your cards. First, choose between either flat or folded cards. Flat cards have an extensive list of options, including single-sided, double-sided, and postcards. You can even pick a postcard template that is ready to stamp and drop in the mail. If you’d prefer a traditional folded card, we have both regular and premium folded cards in both 5×7 and 7×5.

We are the only local Photolab to use premium card stocks, so your greeting cards are guaranteed to be entirely unique. To make your holiday greeting cards truly stand out, our Photolab also offers 6 specialty papers in addition to our card stock: linen natural white, linen white, matte soft white, matte white, shimmer silver, and shimmer soft gold.

Once you’ve picked your greeting card style, you’ll then be able to choose a template. We have a wide variety of themes available, including Christmas card templates and Hanukkah card templates. Or if you’re feeling extra creative, feel free to go complete-DIY with a blank card.

Write a Personalized Message

To make your cards as personal as possible, add text to any of our greeting cards. You can choose your preferred font and colour, and customize where it will appear. Type a simple season’s greetings that you can easily send out to all of your family and friends, or customize each card with a unique and personal message. Our LDExperts recommend signing the cards by hand after it’s printed, for an extra special touch.

 

Ready to get a jumpstart on your holiday greeting cards? You can save 10% on your order of greeting cards, calendars and photo books if you order between October 27th and November 1st, 2017. Click here to get started!

If you need some help creating your holiday greeting cards, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



July 19th, 2017

Guide to Wedding Season Photos

Wedding season is upon us. If you’re looking at your calendar and realizing that your weekends are packed with bridal showers and weddings, you’re not the only one. Or, maybe it’s your own wedding that’s just around the corner. From unique gifts to customized cards, here are some creative ways to celebrate and preserve those wedding memories.

Wedding Cards

Especially if you’re gifting the couple something off their registry or giving cash, the wedding card is your chance to get personal. Rather than choosing a generic one from the card aisle, you can customize a blank or wedding templated card with photos and a heartfelt message to the soon-to-be bride and groom. Better yet, if you happen to have some photos of the couple from back when they first met, add those photos to the front of the card. They’re sure to appreciate the flashback!

Save The Dates

Save the Dates have become more elaborate in recent years, with couples staging fun and creative photoshoots to capture the excitement of their wedding announcement. If you have photos from an engagement or Save the Date photoshoot, you can turn those photos into personalized Save the Dates that can be printed on thick postcards using your choice of 6 specialty papers. Make sure to include important information on the card, including who’s invited, your wedding website URL (if you have one), and “Invitation to Follow” if you’ll be sending a wedding invitation at a later date.

For a clever twist on Save the Dates, put it on a magnet! They’re unique, versatile and most importantly they’re hard to lose once they’re on the fridge, so you can be sure your guests won’t forget the special date.

Unique Wedding Favours

Being able to celebrate your wedding with all of your friends and family members present is something truly special. All the more reason to share a token of this special day with them. A crystal or ornament can be customized with a photo and the wedding date for each guest to take home. They also make a great centrepiece on the tables during the wedding reception. Personalized playing cards are a handy wedding favour your guests will likely use again and again; take a wedding logo you’ve designed, or a photo of the two of you, to have printed on the cards.

Wedding Gifts

Rather than the traditional stand mixer or crystal ware, consider surprising the newlyweds with something unique and personalized. The best gifts say something about the happy life you wish the couple will lead.

A fine art print will set your wedding gift apart from all the others. Feature a photo of the happy couple or a photo of their favourite place to travel, on a Canvas Gallery Wrap. Not only is it sentimental, but will help to brighten up the walls of their home together.

Any couple is also sure to appreciate a gift they can use together. A set of customized Mr. and Mrs. aprons plus personalized placemats would be a sweet gesture if they share a love for cooking. Or help the couple start off their new lives together with some of your all-time favourite recipes, curated into a soft cover book.

Photo books are also a thoughtful way to show the couple you wish them the best. Collect photos of the two from their dating years through to their wedding day, and create a beautiful Coffeetable Photo Book for them to look back on years from now.

Thank You Cards

There is a lot to thank your guests for. It could be the incredible shiny new gift they gave you both, or the fact that they flew across the country to be there on your wedding day – whatever the reason, a good thank you card will help to convey your appreciation. Just like Save the Dates, Thank You cards can be printed on 6 different specialty papers. Double-sided or folded cards both make a good choice, and come with envelopes included.

Wedding Photo Book

Once the wedding is over, and the thank-you cards are sent, it’s finally time to sort through your wedding photos. Compile your favourites into your choice of photo book to display the memories of your special day. Especially if you invested in having a professional photographer at your wedding, it’s worth it to have those photos printed in a high quality format Photographic AlbumExpress books are also a great option; they’re quick and easy to make, and perfect for handing out to family and friends.

 

If you need some help getting started, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



March 24th, 2017

Photobook, photo album, what’s the difference?

If you’ve browsed the Photolab website, you may have noticed that both are described as ‘books’. However, some products are actually photo albums, while others are books comprised of (your) photography. True, in many ways they are similar; but there are also some key differences between them.

Let’s begin with their similarities: You can customize both using the Photolab website and in-store kiosks, and both are printed at the highest quality possible by Photolab technicians. As for their differences, the biggest is the type of paper used in each. All photo albums are printed on high quality photo paper (usually pearl finish, but glossy is available for certain albums.) True photobooks meanwhile, are printed on archival bond paper, which lends them a contemporary and realistic book feel. You can curl the pages of a photobook, while the photo paper in albums is more stiff. However, because of the way they’re bound you can flat-lay the photo albums; photobooks, not so much.

Of course, I could just make it easy for you and list which is which:

Albums

 

Photobooks

 

You’ll notice that albums offer a wider range of products. Express books and Instagram books are great options to keep in a purse or in an office drawer; something you can pull out for quick and easy viewing. Photographic albums, meanwhile, can have some real heft to them and are perfectly suited as a wedding album or for documenting years of family history (as photo albums have traditionally done). Photobooks, meanwhile, are lightweight and lend themselves well to creative expression. They’re a great choice for when photos are only part of the story you want to tell, or if you’d like to be able to design the cover. If you’d really like to know which type of book is the best choice for any given situation, the best thing to do is discuss your options with the Photolab technican at your neighbourhood London Drugs. And if you’d like to know just how easy and convenient they are to create and customize, well, there are Photoblog posts that cover that—just check out a few of these.



March 20th, 2017

Make springtime the photobook making season

Photobooks let you re-live that luau all year long.

Maybe it’s me, but it seems there are a lot of people going away on sunny tropical vacations this spring break. Well, for the rest of us who aren’t quite so lucky, we may not be taking a ton of exciting new photos this spring, but we can do something to preserve all the great photos we’ve already taken—in a format that’s much more fun (not to mention more real) to browse through. I refer, of course, to photobooks.

Trust me…make at least one or two now, in the spring, before you get busy again. If you’re already up to your elbows in spring cleaning, you may as well grab all those ancient pre-digital photo albums and prints you have slowly decaying in boxes and bins (and yes, that’s actually what they’re doing), and organize them into a scan box for the Photolab technicians to turn into high-quality digital scans. Then, get creative and make a photobook or two that will truly do justice to those priceless photos of days gone by. It’s the best way to ensure they never get buried in storage again. You’ll be able to display them prominently on your coffee table, and share them with the friends and family who had undoubtedly forgotten they exist.

Or, if you’re a winter lover who is too busy lamenting the inevitable end of a memorable winter to start your spring cleaning, why not turn your favourite memories from this past winter into a photobook? Keep it on the coffee table all year as a reminder how awesome this winter was. It will set a high bar for you and your family to beat next winter. It will be a fun and convenient way to look back on over Easter or a rainy spring (for our west coast readers).

You can create and personalize one in a few minutes using your local Photolab’s in-store kiosk (I’ve posted a number of how-to’s here on the Photoblog this past year.) If you have your digital photos organized and earmarked it takes even less time; it also depends on the amount of editing you want to do, and of course, the more experience you gain as a photobook-maker, the quicker and easier it gets. And if you happen to be one of those lucky ones taking a spring vacation, remember you can use the Photolab website to create a photobook from your poolside lounger.



February 8th, 2017

Photo blankets are a real thing

The London Drugs Photolab continues to expand its impressive line of photo gifts. This is very good news for people like me who are always struggling to find fresh and interesting gift ideas for occasions like Valentine’s Day.  You can only give the same person a photo mug or a fine art print so many times, after all. Regardless of the quality of the print or the perfection of the chosen photo, after a while the recipient is going to wonder why you never bother to think of something new. It’s ok. They don’t need to know that the Photolab is happy to do this kind of thinking for you.

For example, the Photolab now boasts a robust selection of textile print gift items including t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, pillowcases and blankets. Textile gifts are perfect for a range of occasions including bachelor(ette) parties and company picnics, but to me at least they seem especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Giving jewelry or a vacation is a little overkill and candy/roses/dinner is lame and cliché, but giving a personalized photo blanket ticks all the boxes: sentimental, thoughtful, affordable, original and uncommon. Most importantly, if you choose something like a beautiful vacation photo of the two of you, it’s also very romantic.

And, as always, creating a textile gift is as easy as ordering prints. Here is a short walkthrough of some of the steps for ordering a photo blanket at the Photolab in-store kiosk:

From the main screen, select Creative Orders and accept the terms.

 

Choose the source of your photos to upload, for example Wireless Transfer or Facebook.

 

Once you’ve gone through the steps to select your chosen picture for your blanket, you can choose the upload size. Blankets have a large surface area, so you should choose ‘Large’.

 

Once the upload is complete, you’ll see the Photolab homepage and from here you should select ‘Textiles’ followed by ‘Blankets’.

 

Choose either than landscape or portrait orientation…

 

Finally, whether you want it to be a full rectangular image or if you want to go Valentine’s Day to the Max and choose a heart print!

 

Nearly there! You can name your project and then get to work choosing and placing your image.
There’s a Toolbar along the bottom which you can use to edit your photo and add text.

 

Then, when you’re done, proceed to the Cart page and voila! Valentine’s Day all wrapped up in a personalized blanket.

 

Come to think of it, a personalized photo blanket makes arguably the best Photolab Valentine’s Day gift—because it’s the only personalized gift that two people can snuggle in.

 



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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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 28th, 2016

Photo gifts—direct from your mobile phone!

Check-out these How to Videos

These days, something in the neighbourhood of 50% of all online retail purchases are made using mobile devices. In fact, it may even be more than that when you consider that I don’t like doing research about retail sales statistics and therefore didn’t bother looking up more recent data. But it’s absolutely plausible; more and more people are only using their computers at the office and their phones everywhere else. Whatever the actual statistics, the ever-proactive Photolab people are aware of them and have built a mobile site that’s easy to use and fast/stable enough to create and order anything from their entire catalog of photo products while you’re waiting for the barista to steam your latte.

With the holidays fast approaching, this feels like the perfect time to demonstrate exactly how easy it is to create and order a photo gift item (in this case, a holiday-themed printed beer stein) on a smartphone. How easy? Well, the video demo I created is a mere seven minutes from start to finish—which includes the time I take to (over) explain everything. As I usually do with my video demos, I pre-loaded all my photos and albums to save time, but of course that’s a very simple process as well. You can review it with this post if you need. Then, grab your smartphone and give it a try yourself, and see how simple holiday shopping can be. And once again, my sincerest apologies for sounding like a Simpsons character.

Instagram Easy Photo Books!

From your social networks to your favourite prints in a snap.

As we’ve mentioned many times here on the ol’ Photoblog, no one loves Instagram more than the Photolab. Well, the Photolab also loves Facebook and Twitter, plus any other social media that’s helped make photography such an essential part of the way we communicate and express ourselves in daily life. However, I’ve never asked but I’d bet Instagram is still the consensus favourite simply because of its emphasis on photography.

In fact, the Photolab has made it possible for people to engage via Instagram outside of the digital world with the new, specially-created Instagram photobook. It’s a simple 20-page booklet that can be either 4×4” or 6×6”—square formats that are perfect for Instagram photos. Simply choose your finish (glossy or pearl) and your binding edge (top or side), load your Instagram account into your London Drugs photo album and build your book. And as you can see from the video demonstration, it takes only a few minutes to create and order. These booklets have a very instantaneous, in-the-moment quality to them, and they exist to be shared with others—almost a kind of tactile version Instagram—yet made for actual life!

Have a quick look at the video. Then, start by taking what you consider to be the best images in your Instagram account and print your very own Instagram’s Greatest Hits photobook. And as you watch, keep this in mind—my tongue isn’t actually fused to the roof of my mouth with a wad of peanut butter. It only sounds that way.

Your phone: the instant personalized photo greeting card maker.

Perhaps you’ve never made a personalized greeting card for anyone. Perhaps it’s because you believe it’s going to take too much time, and therefore it’s easier to just buy a pre-printed set from the store. Let’s set the record straight once and for all; this is a holiday myth—and it’s a bigger downer than the myth about getting coal in your stocking. The fact is, it’s always been quick & easy to make a personalized greeting card from the Photolab. It was easy back in the days of the Photolab home software, and it became even quicker & easier with the launch of the current Photolab website.

Also, since the new site is all responsive and adapts to mobile phone web browsers, you can create a personalized card from your photo album anywhere you take your phone. Do you happen to be somewhere with a nice outdoor light display? Snap a picture and make it into a holiday card, right on the spot in a matter of minutes. This short video demonstration shows you how. Actually, it serves more as proof that you can do it, because the process is so simple that you really don’t need a tutorial.

Have a look at the video, then try making a personalized card yourself. The recipient will certainly appreciate you spent the time—however little time you actually needed to take. And I apologize for having a voice that sounds like a failed audition for the pre-recorded Skytrain announcer.



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