Testing Wall Decor from Saal-digital – #saaldigital_dk

“Get 50 Euro and go test our products!”. To good to be true, was my first thought, when I read an Add on Facebook for an Online Print Shop. But I decided to test it, and one week later, I received a nice Wall Decor for less than 3 Euro (or 3 Dollars). But there is no such thing as a free lunch, so I am committed to write a review – an honest review. So here it comes:

The Online Store and App

The Add linked to a form, and after filling in basic info, I submitted a request to get the discount. Shortly after I received a confirmation mail, and the next business day I got a mail with a coupon code valid in 14 days.

The company has its print facilities in Germany, but it has localized webshops in most European countries and an international version:

In addition to the online-shop, the sites offers a downloadable editor running on Adobe Air. The application offers to work on your print projects offline and upload the final work product to the webshop.

The Saal Design Program

I decided to go for a single quality product in stead of quantity. I selected a wall decor with print on a thin double aluminium plate, called Alu-Dibond in 30×45 cm (2:3-format). Here is the website description

 

Alu-Dibond

Alu-Dibond

  • Thickness: 3 mm aluminium composite panel (matte)
  • Features: stable, high resolution, weather resistant
  • Sizes: 10 x 15 cm to 110 x 240 cm, custom size available
  • Wall mount: different options available

In addition to the image, I ordered wall mountings

Standard mounting
Standard mounting

The standard mounting can be easily attached to the back of the wall decorations.

  • not visible from the front
  • standard mounting including spacers

The total price for, the wall decor, the mountings and postage was 17 Danish kroner due the coupon code discount. Seventeen Danish kroner is less than three Euro or three US Dollars(!). Without discount, the total sum would be 394 DKK (appr 53 Euro).

After the order was submitted, the money was withdrawn from my account immediately. That is a bit unusual for a webshop, but applies to their conditions and terms, stating that photos are special orders, hence normal terms do not comply. It may be true in Germany, but not in Denmark.

I received a confirmation within an hour. And the next business days, I received a shipment notifiction with a tracking id.

Unpacking

A week later, I received the package with mail.  I found the the Wall Decor wrapped in plastic with a thin plastic foam on the image side against a cardboard. The envelope itself was in also thick cardboard, so the risk of a bend image is minimal. Mountings and spaces was wrapped in separate plastic foam, so no risc of scratches during transportation. All in all a good quality package.

Image quality

Most importantly is not the packaging, but the quality of the image itself. The print on the alu-plate is solid, and the resolution is good. Colors are authentic, contrast good and rendering of transitions are good due to the semi-gloss print. The colors are not as vivid as on the screen, but that is to be expected, since prints (also on paper) are a bit dimmer.

I had calibrated the monitor with Datacolor Spyder two days before editing the image, and in comparison I find the print a bit dark in the shadow tones, so some of the details in my image are more subtle than the image in Lightroom. Checking the ‘Soft Proof’ in Lightroom reveals that some of it is due to my post process skills, but the image is also darker in the ‘in-range’ areas.

Soft Proofing in Lightroom – warnings in shadows

My only complaint is, that despite the plastic wrapping and packaging, the aluminium back-plate has a small bow on the lower edge.

Damaged back-plate

This must have happened during production or in the package process. Since I only paid 3 Euros, I would never mind complaining, but for a full price product, this would not be ok.

In comparison to printing images and mount them on passepartout or laminate them with plastic coating, I find the alu-dibond wall decor a great way to showcase my image.

Print examples on my shelves

Conclusion

I promised Saal Digital to give my honest opinion, and here it is: Despite the minor production error, I find their product to be a high end product. I would definitely consider them next time, I want a wall decor.

Pros:

  • The Saal design app is easy to use
  • Fast production flow
  • Quality package
  • The Wall Decor is a quality product

Cons:

  • Design app is running on Adobe Air – this requires a two-step installation.
  • Shadow tones are a bit to the dark side
  • My Wall Decor had a minor bow on the back side. Fair for a 3€-product, but not if I paid full price.

 

Image comparison

And finally, I think I owe Saal Digital a “Thank you!” for the discount. Most of the times I get disappointed when it comes to Adds, but this time I was a happy customer.

Gordon

As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I spend most of my spare time finding the next photo opportunity. I favor landscape photography and portraiture, and challenge myself with street.

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