Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Portfolios On Demand: The Mobile Advantage

The iPad offers a new option for illustrators and artists who want to create a hard copy portfolio book. New apps have been developed that afford the opportunity to build and publish a portfolio of work on the fly, and more are on the way.
© 2013 Don Arday.
 Although they don't offer the level of breadth and flexibility of some of the desktop on-demand internet interfaces, they are surprisingly good and extremely convenient. Having to import digital files from a PC or another source to the iPad for placement in the mobile portfolio apps is perhaps the biggest drawback for illustrators. However, this can be easily achieved though the use of a cloud or utility apps such as Tonido, Dropbox, Box, PhotoSync, and other file management, and image transfer apps. And, for those illustrators who use the iPad to display their portfolio, the images are already there, so they can be easily dropped into the mobile bookmaking apps provided the image resolution is adequate for print reproduction. These apps offer whole new possibilities from a self-marketing standpoint. And in the case of some apps, the costs per copy are so reasonable that the printed product can be used as a leave behind or as a give away.


By far the easiest bookmaking app is Mosaic. It’s a fast and spontaneous way to create a book of images through the ipad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Mosaic is not a web site, but an app that can create an image book. Each “Mosaic” is your unique collection of images presented beautifully and with great care -- from cover to cover. Mosaic has very limited single format product without any customization options, but there are ways to get around the page layout limitations such as creating layouts with text and images in Adobe, InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop. And the book is nicely designed with a mosaic of 13 portions of images from inside of the book on the cover. Mosiac has made bookmaking as easy as possible from the interface to placing an order. Delivery is very fast, and there is a single fixed price, $20 + shipping.


Viovio is dedicated to providing a quality product and extraordinary service. Producing on-demand products of exceptional quality with record speed is always in the forefront of decisions. By combining the quality of their portfolio books with a no-touch manufacturing process Viovio is able to offer customers the superior portfolio books they demand. Additionally, Viovio has a large selection of book sizes, formats and material choices for the creation of your portfolio book. The PDF, and font handling instructions that are provided to assist you in preparing your book for printing are highly detailed and elaborate for those who want to know all specifications in detail. In addition to syncing files through iTunes, their online book creation software allows you to work on and save your project 100% free of charge. You only pay when you're ready to buy your book. The Viovio bookmaking service is available on line and through a downloadable iPad app.


Although Helloalbums refers to the books it creates as albums, it's an app for creating portfolio books that's fast. The books you create are delivery straight to your door by USPS. Helloalbums lets you build, share, and print albums using your iPad as the resource. Choose from style options, then fill the portfolio with images from your iPad camera roll or your Facebook or Instagram accounts. Just drag and drop the images where you want them, adding descriptive text as you go. You can resize, rotate, and change the brightness of images within the app itself. The app is very simple and intuitive to use, and once you're done with the album, you can purchase a bound copy to be mailed to you.


Printzel is a free portfolio book platform that provides users and developers a seamless, in-app solution for the creation of professionally printed products. Printzel books are sized to dimensions that match the 4:3 ratio of your iPad screen, so your creations match look and fell of your iPad. All book interior pages are printed on 115# gloss text paper. The paper used is conservation-grade archival paper, which is an acid-free, buffered paper made from wood-based pulp. The papermaking process is both acid-free and elementally chlorine-free (ECF) with no ground wood within the production. Orders are processed immediately, printed within 3-5 business days, and shipped out with tracking status. Production features include the ability to enlarge & rotate photos, add caption text.  You can choose either a black or white page theme for the books appearance, and there is also the option to share a book online after you order.

Photo Books by Simple Prints

Another free portfolio book app, Photo Books by Simple Prints offers books using 3 easy steps; 1) select your photos, 2) layout your book, and 3) purchase. You can build your book in parts. Spend 5 minutes here and there, and you can save your work. Available in 8” x 8” inch hard cover and soft cover books created in minutes from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, books are printed within 48 hours. You can also use your images from Facebook, Instagram, or Dropbox and add captions to any image.


Groovebook, perhaps better used for leave behind samples, is a subscription service that provides you with a free app that lets you choose up to 100 photos from your camera roll to create a 4.5" x 6.5" photo book within the cost of the service. The book is mailed to you monthly, so if you wish you can create the book and simply receive monthly copies of it, adding images to it or deleting ones as you see fit. Your photos are printed on glossy photo paper and perforated for easy removal. That means you can separate the images to share, mail, etc. with a payment of $2.99 each month for shipping and processing.

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