Tuesday 10 December 2019

Personalised Gifts from Vistaprint - Review

Vistaprint is a brand name I've known for a very long time now, in fact it was the first place I ever bought proper business cards when I went to my first blogging conference back in 2011. Their service was great then and I am pleased to say that now, having used them in 2019 too, I can honesty say it is still great.

They asked me if we'd like to try out their personalised gifts service, and yes of course we wanted to. I love photos and I love gifts that are made using my photos, they just feel so very special and are great to give to others to show you put some thought into what to buy them.

I found the photo upload and product creation process really easy with Vistaprint, their system is very intuitive and things were created in moments. It was also good that it was very obvious where I needed to allow photos to cover to ensure a good print coverage on the item.

We ordered a few different things, let me share them with you -

Personalised Mug, from £6.65
I absolutely adore this mug, the exterior could be white or black and you can choose from 6 interior and handle colours. Then you personalise with text or text and photos, and there are so many templates from you to chose from; you definitely could find something for everyone. You can go for separate images on each side, or go for a wrap around photo, the choice is immense and totally yours!

The colours I chose (white exterior) means my mug is microwave and dishwasher safe, but if I had gone for a black exterior then it would have been hand wash only. The mug capacity is 335mls and it is a good size with a very comfy handle.

The regular price is £6.65 for a white mug with white handle, or £8.64 for a white mug with coloured handle and inside, however there seems to be deals on all the time. I've looked on the site many times in the last 3 or 4 weeks as I have been creating things and every time there has been a deal to be had. At the moment it is 50% off, which is fantastic.

As you can see I went for a washing line effect and pegged photos on for my Dad of all his grand and fur babies! This mug customised in this way would normally be £10.64, but as mentioned there is 50% off right now.

Thank You Cards, from £6.66 for 10
This pack of 10 flat note cards can be personalised on both sides and are a good quality card. The size is 13.9cm x 10.7cm and they feel like a premium product. There are lots of modification options available to you if you want to jazz them up a bit, like having embossed foil on the front, linen card stock or a glossy finish. These all cost money, so I just went with the regular option and they were perfect for what I needed - some generic thank you's from us all to send after Christmas.

I was a little surprised that I needed to buy the envelopes separate for £1 for 10, but I suppose I could have just bought a cheaper big bundle from the supermarket.

Photo Notebooks, from £6.59
These are particularly great as gifts as the more you buy the cheaper the price gets. I used a photo of some flowers I'd received recently for the front cover and I think these make wonderful prayer journals. You get 80 pages of lined or plain paper and they are spiral bound, which I love. They are sized at 13.9cm x 21.6cm. I'd definitely recommend these.

Custom Cushion, from £18.65
There are three sizes of cushion you can chose from, and I went for the medium. My cushion is a square 45.7cm x 45.7cm and that is a good size for either the sofa or as a scatter cushion on the bed. This size sells for £26.38, without any discounts.

I can't fault the photo printing, it is great and my picture looks top notch. Again there are loads of templates you can choose from, and you can have images, text and either printing on one or two sides.

Whilst the cushion looks great, I don't really like the feel of the fabric, it is 100% polyester and only suitable for spot or dry cleaning, which seems a bit crazy for a pillow that comes white as standard, on one side.

The cushion and the cover were sent separately and I think I'd have preferred them to already be together, especially if they'd been being delivered as a gift. A silly thing maybe, but all the packaging felt very corporate, rather than gift orientated.

Personalised iPhone Case, £25.50
We had a bit of trouble with the first phone case we ordered, as the photo appeared to darken during the printing process and as it was a sunset, it ended up losing all definition and we weren't happy with it. I can't knock Vistaprint though as they have a Satisfaction Guarantee and if you're not happy as the customer, then they aren't either and will put the situation right.

So at first I had one of their designers contact me to lighten my image and then progress it to printing to see if it would look the right colour once the natural darkening happened as it was printed, but that didn't work, so they offered me credit to make a couple of new phone cases and this time instead of using my photos, my daughters chose some pre-designed cases from the massive library of templates that Vistaprint have and we're waiting for them to arrive but hopeful they'll look as fabulous as they do on the proofs.  We also went for a glossy finish this time, as we didn't feel the matt looked very luxurious.

I have to be honest I think the phone cases are expensive in comparison to other places that offer custom ones and they are a hard case with no shock or drop protection. It would be good if Vistaprint would offer silicon cases that have some bounce factor built in too.

There was good communication around the dispatch and delivery of my order.  Vistaprint used the Royal Mail tracked 48 hour service, even though I had opted for the free delivery option (there was a variety of options, so you can receive your order asap if you need to - for a price). My order was due with me by 3rd December but it arrived on 28th November, so I was pleased with that. I had ordered on 19th November, so it actually took 9 days from order to arrival at my door, which is a far while, but I did choose the free option.

I found the Vistaprint website easy to use and quick to upload my photos. Generally the products seem to be good quality and the photo printing is really good too. I think the prices are fair when there is a special deal going, but they are higher than other places I've used before if there is no special offer. They are also a little slow on the delivery if you don't want to pay for one of their speedy delivery options.

I would definitely buy the mug, notebooks and note cards from Vistaprint again.

Disclosure: I received the items featured in this post free of charge, for the purpose of an honest review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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