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.

 



February 29th, 2016

New Easter Templates for Cards and Mugs

It goes something like this: you finish ringing in the New Year, blink your eyes twice and bam! Easter arrives. I believe Einstein theorized that it has something to do with the space/time continuum…or maybe we’re just getting old. Well, the Easter Bunny may be able to quietly ambush you and I, but he can’t sneak past the London Drugs Photolab—whose new website is already spring-loaded (horrible pun, sorry, couldn’t be helped) with a veritable Easter basket full of brand new templates for cards and photo mugs.

Here on the ol’ Photoblog we’ve already covered how simple it is to create stunning and completely original personalized greeting cards using the in-store kiosks as well as the new website, yet they also allow you to make a mug into a masterpiece. And the process is just as simple & convenient, if not more so. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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November 5th, 2015

Photo Gift Ideas for the Proactive

If you wait, before your know it Dec 24th will be here and you’ll have missed your chance to get Aunt Rita this customized photo pet bowl for her Shih-Tzus.

If you wait, before your know it Dec 24th will be here and you’ll have missed your chance to get Aunt Rita this customized photo pet bowl for her Shih-Tzus.

So…who’s up for being proactive this holiday season? Hmmm. Okay, I don’t see very many hands… What’s the matter? Oh, I understand: being proactive can be a hassle, which is probably why so many people don’t bother with it. Being proactive requires thinking ahead, and who has time for that? Speaking of time, that’s another big reason people aren’t more proactive with their holiday shopping: we’re too busy being proactive with other things to be proactive shopping for a holiday that’s still so many months/weeks/hours away.

Fortunately, as a lover of all things photography-related, you’re in luck; the Photolab has great gift solutions for pretty much everyone. Keep in mind, these are personalized gifts you create especially for the recipient, from your own computer or mobile device. Again, to recap: personalized gifts that are convenient, require very little of your time and involve photography—your photography, in particular—which is something you enjoy. See that? The Photolab has just removed all of your barriers to proactivity.

On top of all that, the Photolab has made it easy to customize the type of gift based on the recipient’s known preferences/lifestyle/etc. In fact, the selection of items you can put an image on via the Photolab just keeps on growing. Here are just a few of the many gift ideas you’ll find:

Mugs—Sure, we’ve covered these before and you already knew photo mugs have been around forever. My personal favourite is the latte mug. Not only can it display a larger image, but it also holds more coffee. I like lots of coffee.

Coin bank—Help the recipient save by printing a picture of their savings goal right on the coin bank itself. That’s motivation, right there! Or, buy one for yourself and put a picture of someone for whom you’re saving up to buy a more expensive gift. Either way, everybody wins. Available for square or panoramic images

Water bottle—Say you know someone who wants to get back in shape, and they’re doing it ‘for the kids’, or ‘the kids deserve a fitter, healthier parent’ or something to that effect. So give them a water bottle with a picture of their kids on it, so their motivation is always right there, in a cupholder on the Stairmaster. Available with 4×4 or 8×4 image.

Heart-shaped puzzle—This isn’t just for couples who aren’t too cool for heart-shaped things. I bet the grandparents would love a heart-shaped puzzle of the grandkids. I bet the kids would love a heart-shaped puzzle of the family pet. Think outside the box, dear readers. Start thinking more heart-shaped.

Photo pet bowl—It’s a good thing dogs can’t see two-dimensional images. Otherwise, they might think a food bowl with their picture on it is kinda vain. Fortunately they care more about what’s inside the bowl. Your cat can see photos, however, and cats feel entitled to such glorification. Available in small and large sizes.

So there you have it. The Photoblog has just provided you with the inspiration for probably half your shopping list. And this is only a partial list of the Photolab’s gift ideas. Do yourself a favour and check them all out; you never know what may jump out at you. While you’re at it, give yourself a gift, too—give yourself the time to be proactive.



February 6th, 2015

Valentine’s Day Photo Gifts

It’s that special quasi-holiday that inspires feelings of love and romance. Or dread. Or both. Well, at least when it comes to buying gifts, the Photolab makes it simple to give a gift that says any of the following:

  • I think about you
  • I have a special fondness for you
  • I value the time we spend together
  • I like doing nice things for you

That’s a Valentine’s Day Grand Slam, right there. The key, of course, is personalization. Photos are excerpts from life; memories we can see and feel. When you give a photo gift, you are actually giving someone a tangible, physical incarnation of a memory (whoa, how’s that for a romantic thought? Feel free to wheel that one out yourself for extra Valentine’s points—no extra charge!)

As for the type of photo gift you should choose, it will probably depend on two things:

  • Your relationship to the recipient
  • The significance that he/she places on Valentine’s Day.  You don’t want to misjudge this one.  Luckily, it’s not usually difficult to figure out.

From there, you’re sure to find the perfect gift somewhere on the spectrum of the Photolab’s awesome personalized gifts:

Keep an eye out for this flyer for some great deals. Consider it a message from Cupid.

Keep an eye out for this flyer for some great deals. Consider it a message from Cupid.

 

  • Gallery wrap: stretched around a frame, the printed canvas provides unmatched colour reproduction and richness. (More on gallery wraps here.)
  • Metal print: printing on an aluminum surface using special inks produces vibrant, shimmering colour that won’t fade. Perfect if your special someone appreciates the non-typical. (More info)
  • Photo plaque: if the standard frame isn’t your thing but you don’t want to get too fancy, an image printed on a composite plaque might be the ideal solution.
  • Crystal heart: It’s crystal. It’s heart-shaped. Could anything say, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ more?
  • Jewel box: Perfect for keeping that giant sparkling ring she’ll expect to receive soon after (kidding).
  • Puzzles and aprons: for those who appreciate a little whimsical humour with their Valentine’s Day, and personalizing it will ensure it remains a meaningful gift.

Whichever option you choose, you can create and order it online just like regular prints from the Photolab. You can even add a special Valentine’s Day icon to your photo gift or print for free—consult a Photolab technician for details. Making things even easier, most of these gifts are ready for same-day pickup. That’s it! The only real effort you’ll need to put into Valentine’s Day this year is finding an image of your and your special someone that hasn’t been photobombed.



February 4th, 2015

Happy Personalized Valentine’s Day

Please don’t tell me your plan is to just run out and buy your special someone an off-the-shelf, run-of-the-mill Valentine’s Day greeting card. Because that would be textbook Valentine’s Day sacrilege.

After all, the only thing a typical greeting card has going for it is that it’s better than nothing. And when you get your special someone a gift that’s simply better than nothing, that’s exactly the message you’re sending—“Hi, honey. You’re better than nothing. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Choose your favourite photo to be placed onto one side of the mug.

Choose your favourite photo to be placed onto one side of the mug.

Personalized cards and mugs mean Love.

Personalized cards and mugs mean Love.

Instead, why not give a Valentine’s Day card that’s impossible to interpret as disinterest? A personalized photo greeting card from the Photolab, for example. Available in two glorious sizes, 5×7” and 8.5×12” folded, printed on glossy coated card stock with the 5×7” version also available on photo paper. And yes, they’re available as single prints so you won’t be stuck with a whole box of them.

If the object of your affections happens to enjoy both personalized gifts and warm beverages, perhaps a Valentine’s themed photo mug would be more appropriate. These can be printed not only with a high-quality image, but with customized text as well. In that sense, it’s like giving someone a Valentine’s Day card they can fill with their favourite Arabica blend. Another benefit to a personalized mug is its daily usefulness; the recipient can look at it every day, and whenever they do they’ll remember how you didn’t forget them on Valentine’s Day.

Whether you choose a card or a mug to bestow your personal Valentine’s wishes, creating either is fast and easy. You can create, customize and order your greeting cards in-store using the Home Edition kiosk; you can order a mug from the Photolab or in-store, just like ordering regular prints. Mugs are ready for same-day pickup while greeting cards are ready in just one hour. Each gift says, in its own way, “I care enough about you to NOT buy you something generic.”



February 4th, 2015

This Valentine’s Day, think outside the heart!

If you’re thinking about getting your special someone a photo gift, consider: just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to choose some lovey-dovey photo of the two of you.

I’m not saying lovey-dovey is anything to be ashamed of; I’m just saying it’s all a matter of context. After all, not everyone would feel comfortable using a photo mug at work if the photo is of a smoochy close-up. Obviously, the less embarrassing the image, the more widely the recipient will use or display the gift.

To some people, this says Love much more than a photo of a walk along the beach.

To some people, this says Love much more than a photo of a walk along the beach.

Remember, the best thing about a photo gift is the fact that you’ve taken the time to personalize it—not that you’ve used a photo of the two of you with your heads pushed together.

With that in mind, get creative! How about an action shot? Or a photo of the recipient accepting an award from work or their community, or some other proud moment? Or maybe you’ve found an amazing candid of the recipient with their children. Use a photo that reminds you of how special the recipient is to you.

However, if you want to raise the originality another notch, grab your camera and shoot some photos the recipient has never seen. They could be of the recipient’s favourite local place, or a landmark that has sentimental value for the two of you. Again, be original and creative—there’s no rule that the subject has to be a person! If you happen to think a pet photo would best bring a smile to the recipient’s face, all the better. I don’t think I’ve ever a met a pet who wasn’t game for some modelling.

Perhaps the best-case scenario of course, if you can get away with it, is to shoot some candids of the recipient without revealing their true purpose. The practice you’ll get will improve your photography skills exponentially, and the more candids you take the more likely it is you’ll capture a shot so perfect that the recipient will want to display your photo gift everywhere they go.

Then again, the recipient might really prefer that old photo of the two of you snuggled together with the sunset in the background—and that’s perfectly cool too. All you really need to do is trust your instincts and choose a photo that suits both the gift and the recipient. And as always, the technicians at the Photolab are a great resource, so feel free to consult them.



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