March 1st, 2016

It’s Time To Build a New Photobook

The holiday season has past. For me at least, it feels like forever ago. New Years, Family Day, Valentine’s Day, all gone. In fact the entire ‘15-16 winter season will have passed before you know it. No question, we’re in a bit of a lull around this time of year.

Which makes it the ideal time for a new photobook.

Makes perfect sense if you think about it: Before long Spring Break will be upon us, then Easter…leading into the May long weekend and then BAM! Summer is here. This little reprieve at winter’s end is one of the few opportunities we have to reflect and look back through the reams of photos we’ve shot and uploaded, and single out the gems that will be even more amazing once turned into a beautiful photobook and shared.

As I describe in a previous post, creating a personalized photobook is easier than ever since the Photolab launched its all-new website and in-store kiosks. If you haven’t checked it out yet, let me say again—this is the perfect time to make a new photobook.

It seems we’ve looked at the new Photolab site on a laptop, a smartphone, and via the new Photolab kiosks; so far, the only device we haven’t covered is a tablet…until now. So, finally, here is what creating a photobook looks like using an iPad:

photobook-1

As you can see, the site design adjusts to any screen size—meaning you can chill out on the couch and create your photobook.

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October 6th, 2015

It’s October and Photobooks are in season

Photobooks are fun to create, but you’ve probably got thousands upon thousands of photos you could use. The selection process could take a while, so get started now!

Photobooks are fun to create, but you’ve probably got thousands upon thousands of photos you could use. The selection process could take a while, so get started now!

It’s October. You don’t need to tell me, I am aware. In fact, I just finished round one of Thanksgiving grocery shopping, in which I calmly purchase all the trimmings (round two is where I run around madly trying to find the turkey I should have ordered weeks ago). So why, then, am I writing a post encouraging you to get started on holiday Photobooks?

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October 5th, 2015

So…how about those holiday cards?

photolab-home-software

Leisurely creating your holiday cards using Photolab Home Edition Software is a great post-Thanksgiving dinner activity.

October is upon us. The air has turned crisp, the leaves they are a-changing, and pumpkins are appearing on doorsteps all over the neighbourhood. It can all mean only one thing:

It’s time to start thinking about your holiday cards.

Seriously. Holiday cards are the kind of thing that can totally sneak up on you, so that the day of the December postal deadline you’re scrambling to get them printed. Sure, the Photolab can have the cards ready within one hour, but do you really want to add to your impending holiday stress by leaving it so late?

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August 3rd, 2015

Square Photobooks and Photolab software

photobook1Moments Custom Hardcover Coffeetable Photobooks let you print and share your square photos in a square format. The best thing about them is the fact that they are completely customizable, including the cover. In fact, you may find them so appealing that you’ll want to include some of your rectangular photos, but you don’t to disrupt the neat square aesthetic you’ve got going on. Well, here’s the good news: Using London Drugs Photolab Home Edition Software, you can adjust the framing of your rectangular photos to square—without distorting the actual image.

8”x8” Moments Custom Hardcover Coffeetable Photobooks can be pretty much anything you want, because you create them yourself using the Photolab Home Edition software. They’re a great way to display your square photos.

8”x8” Moments Custom Hardcover Coffeetable Photobooks can be pretty much anything you want, because you create them yourself using the Photolab Home Edition software. They’re a great way to display your square photos.

If you’re not at all familiar with the Home Edition software, please refer to this complete step-by-step overview, or check out the online user guide. There are two ways you can adjust your framing, but I’ll start with what I believe is the most foolproof option:

Frame-first:

From the file menu select Insert>New Picture>Portrait (or Landscape) Picture Frame. A blue box—the ‘picture frame’—will appear on the active page.

Click and hold the corner or the midline mark of the dark blue border. You will see gridlines appear. Using these gridlines as a guide, adjust the frame dimension until it’s square. You can adjust the square frame to almost full-page size.

This toucan shot is actually rectangular, but you can easily crop it into a square with the Photolab software.

This toucan shot is actually rectangular, but you can easily crop it into a square with the Photolab software.

Once your frame is square, drag and drop your selected image from the image browser into the square frame. You will notice the rectangular image now sits neatly inside it.

If you move your mouse to the centre of the image, then click and hold, you can move the image around while the frame stays locked in place. This way, you control the area of the image that will be visible.

Image-first:

If you choose to select a photo as your background, the software automatically crops it to square for you. (See that warning icon in the turtle photo? That’s the software telling me the image isn’t large enough and may not print well as a result. Just more user-friendliness from the Photolab software!)

If you choose to select a photo as your background, the software automatically crops it to square for you. (See that warning icon in the turtle photo? That’s the software telling me the image isn’t large enough and may not print well as a result. Just more user-friendliness from the Photolab software!)

The other method, for those of you who fancy yourselves to be freewheelin’ drag-n-drop experts, is to drag the image onto the page in its original rectangular dimensions, then go about adjusting the frame to square as described above in step two. Easier if you’re good at drag-n-drop, or if you happen to be using one of those stylus-tablet contraptions instead of a mouse. Otherwise, I find it tends to be the more imprecise method.

Or, if you want the image to go right to the edges of the page with no border at all (a.k.a. ’full-bleed’ in graphic design jargon), simply drag your image from the image browser onto the page, and when the ‘How to Drop?’ menu appears, select Single Page Background. Note, however, that this method doesn’t allow you to move the image around.

The Photolab Software is designed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Of course, if you’d nonetheless prefer to have an actual human being help you build the square book of your dreams, stop by your local Photolab where a technician will be happy to show you the ropes.



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.

Cookbooks

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!

Scrapbooks

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.

Clipboards

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.

Bookmarks

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.

Puzzles

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.

Calendars

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 photolab.londondrugs.com.



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.



January 6th, 2015

Photo Publishing: An Easy Resolution to Keep!

Maybe you’ve taken plenty of awesome photos and can’t choose a favourite to print. Or you’d prefer to capture the memory of the whole holiday rather than one single day or event. The Photolab has your solution, with a wide selection of engaging Photobooks, or even a calendar. You can create any kind of Photobook you like; you may want something light, fun and portable, or perhaps you’d prefer a leather-bound coffee table book with a bit more gravitas. Check out this post to learn more about Photobooks.

In addition to the cover, you can also select from a variety of design templates for the actual pages—or you can opt for a clean, white page.

In addition to the cover, you can also select from a variety of design templates for the actual pages—or you can opt for a clean, white page.

Similarly, you have a wide range of calendars to choose from, as I’ve described in this post.

The best thing about Photobooks and calendars is how completely customizable they are. You can download the Photolab Home Edition software for free and use it to create exactly the kind of layout and page effects you want. You can build it, make changes and send it to the Photolab for printing without ever having to exit the software. For a full how-to or more information check out this post. (Oh… and before I forget, you can also use the software to create original greeting cards, which are a great way to send out personalized post-holiday thank you’s).

 



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