Product: Collage Wall
Price: $50 and up
We tested six different services for our New York Times piece on ways to show off digital images. Yesterday we showed our results from Canvas Pop, and today we look at what you can do with Collage Wall. The service helps you create a mounted, you guessed it, collage out of your own digital photos.
Rather than looking for individual frames for each of your photos and then painstakingly figuring out how to hang your pieces so they look both random and well balanced, this service does almost everything for you. Plus, it makes it easy to implement one of the keys to a great splattering of hanging photos: various sized images.
Upload the photos you want included in your collection and then either use one of the templates CollageWall provides or make your own. Drag and drop each image onto where you want it placed on the wall and then double click it to choose what size and shape you'd like it to be. Since CollageWall doesn't use standard image sizes, it can take some time to figure out how to crop your images, but the service makes it easy to go back as many times as you'd like to tweak how each image is sized and cut.
Images are printed onto Fuji Archival Paper using a silver halide process and coated with a lustre finish. Each has a 2mm thick black Styrene mounting board, which features a grid of thick paper sockets that grip onto metal pegs you've pressed into the wall according to directions. Image quality is supposed to stay intact for at least 26 years, after which you may notice fading or color balance changes. Since the collage is a modular system, in which individual images can be taken off the wall and replaced, if something happens to one of your images you can easily swap it out.
One of the important things to remember when using a digital image-to-print service like CollageWall is that you're not limited to the photos you've snapped in the 21st century with your digital camera. If you have access to a scanner, you can do as we did and convert old family heirlooms into digital images. Better yet, you can scan them at a resolution that allows you to enlarge them.
Most of the images we scanned were no larger than 6-inches, but we were able to display them at 11- and 17-inches. That's my mom, above, getting a talking to by my grandmother. Typical.
Since the New York Times' piece was published, CollageWall has added a design service, in which, for $25 you upload your images and one of their designers will design three custom collages for you that you can then pick from. That's a pretty sweet deal for those who may be overwhelmed with the limitless options the service provides.
Pros: Easy to use service that takes the guesswork out of creating a haphazard collage on your wall. Also a great way to blow up those old school photos.
Cons: A limitation on cropping sizes makes the process take a bit longer and may limit your vision.
Images: Sonia Zjawinski
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.