I use the Paper app all the time because I like its drawing tools and its simplicity. It was only a matter of time before Paper creator 53 evolved their successful app to a new level, especially now that it has been downloaded millions of times. Instead of adding new tools or changing the layout, Paper now has a book feature which allows you to order a printed copy from Moleskine.
A few years ago on April 1st Google announced Google Paper, which promised the ability to print out all of your emails for free. Perhaps they were making fun of people who insist on printing emails instead of embracing the digital culture, but that was the first thing I thought of when I saw the announcement of 53’s partnership with Moleskine. Let’s look at this new feature a little closer.
The 53 Book feature is aimed at a sophisticated design audience. Moleskine is known for it’s quality workmanship and this is no exception. It includes 15 pages in a foldout format with no expandability. The final product ships within two weeks but there are no rush order options. The book costs $40. All of these features are clearly not aimed at the average user.
How does this compare to other print book offers? iPhoto books are $10 cheaper with 20 pages and can be expanded to more pages. Shutterfly has a lot of similar options too. Why would you use 53’s Paper then? One reason is because you are buying a work of art rather than a basic book. If you use Paper and want to have a physical copy as a portfolio then this is a very simple way to do it. The printed book matches the screen aspect ratio so that your drawings transfer exactly and Moleskine is very careful to match the colors you used.
I am probably not going to print any of my Paper projects because I’m not a gifted artist and I believe that $40 is a bit steep for my level of drawing. On the other hand I have ordered several books using iPhoto because I have a much better eye when it comes to photography. However, there is very little question about the quality of this new product.