ZNO Photo Album Review

12×12″ Flush Mount ZNO Album with Fuji camera for scale

Hello everyone, I’ve been using ZNO for some recent books (as the Fujifilm books from Costco are no longer available), and I would have to say I really like the quality.  I got some photos printed on the plastic substrate a few years back and really liked them so I figured the full books would be just as nice.

As an aside, there are so many different printing services out there, all with varying prices and options.  Printing is definitely a rarity these days.  As I’ve written many times before, no matter the type of company or process, always print your photos to make sure we don’t lose memories.  Can’t have our moments lost in the cloud or at the mercy of changing technology and formats.


Here’s an example of a ZNO Flush Mount 12×12.” Flush Mounts are better, higher tier than Layflats.  A flush mount is technically a layflat, but a layflat can’t be a flush mount, if that makes any sense.  When you browse other book making sites you have to really read the description, as some will try to even pass off a press printed regular paper book as a layflat.

This is the first or second most expensive option from ZNO, with the other being the fine art book that uses ink jet prints and archival paper.  Both can get pricey due to the options like cover type, different paper choices, and extra text features like gold foil and embossing.

I like how this company doesn’t put any of their own branding/logo or even barcode anywhere on the book.  It’s crazy how some companies charge you extra to remove their logo from your photo project.  It’s also crazy how a company as large as Sam’s Club won’t let you delete your own photos from the online ordering system.  Truly bizarre, I know. 

Back to the ZNO books:

12×12″ Flush Mount ZNO Album binding example

Another example of a 12×12″ flush mount album:


This one is a bit lower cost Lay Flat, but it is still of the high print quality of the above books.  The pages are still on photo paper.  Only difference is the pages aren’t as rigid and straight but they do not flex as much as my older books.  The binding is different too and the weight is less due to not having as much thick substrate.

Again, judging the quality of photo books by looking at them online on your phone probably is a bit fruitless, but in my opinion they are top notch.  Anything is better than press books that all companies offer as a book option, which is basically the quality of a laser jet printer.

This lay flat is similar to above in that the first and last pages is always default blank.  (You can put a logo or text though for an extra fee)


Below is an example of an 8×8″ Flush Mount with Fuji camera for scale.  I’m starting to really like this size.  It is somewhat cost effective, but once again can get pricey due to the cover, paper and text options.  From a resolution standpoint I think it fits best to the printer output.  This size is a lot easier to carry around too.

8×8″ ZNO Flush Mount Album with Linen Cover, UV spine text and Gold Foil Text


8×6″ on Matte Velvet Paper might be my new favorite size and paper stock.  It is a bit lower contrast (by design), but the lack of sheen makes it viewable from any angle and lighting.  The texture is very soft and the colors and sharpness is equal to the default option lustre paper.  The size is almost identical to an iPad mini so the aspect ratio fits in the hands nicely.  I think about the only disadvantage with this size is that you can’t stuff it with too many pages.  While it might look like a paperback book, the pages are pretty thick and sturdy and won’t technically “lay flat” on a table unlike the larger 12×12″s because the sheer mass/weight of that option.  There’s always plusses and minuses for every book size.

8×6″ ZNO Flush Mount Album, Hardcover

8×6″ ZNO Flush Mount Album, Matte Velvet Paper

8×6″ ZNO Flush Mount Album, Matte Velvet Paper

8×6″ ZNO Flush Mount Album, with Sony camera for scale

8×6″ ZNO Flush Mount Album


ZNO also offers Layflat Booklets.  Think of these as the pages from the layflat books, minus the cover.  Only on the front and back page is pressed on to the substrate.  The inside pages are just double sided printed photos.  These are fancy studio coffee table magazines and look nice stacked up, but for the price you wouldn’t want to be giving them away, unless of course the book is to sell a home or something of that level.  You can’t just order one though, it’s a minimum of 5, which can get out of hand in terms of pricing if you needed a lot.  I don’t know if I will be ordering more of this product due to the binding (there really is none except for light glue) and the price. 

But for some other projects, like say a really boutique 8×11″ vertical model portfolio that you could mail out to folks this would work, but by the time you spend all that money, you might as well opt for a real book or dare I say it, simple press books that you can print here or at Office Depot/Walgreens/etc.

In closing, printing anything has never been cheap.  But what puts things into perspective is printing things by yourself at home.  Now that’s when things really get out of hand.  After adding up the cost of the printer and 6 (or 8!) inkjet cartridges and double sided photo paper, and the time and effort it takes to bind and glue, well then these many book printing services are down right bargains.  For the occasional print at home, inkjets are still the best quality though. 😉

ZNO 8×8″ Layflat Booklet

Posted in Design, Gear and Resources, Photography, Wedding Photography.