Persnickety Prints vs. Project Life: Mail-Order Printing Review

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

February 6, 2015

The Project Life App was recently updated to include print ordering. When I heard this news – and that professional lab White House Custom Color was behind the service – I wanted to give it a try.

I also decided to order the exact same images from Persnickety Prints, a service I love for their fierce attention to quality and customer service. Truth be told, I really wanted to see if anyone could deliver photos as fast and as awesomely as Persnickety.

My printing need at the time of this test was 6×8 images. I had one digital layout, two DSLR photos, and one iPhone 6 photo to print for my 2015 album. Just one week after ordering, I’m excited to share the results.

Which service has the better prints? Click to find out.

Persnickety Prints and Project Life Comparison

Ordering

Persnickety: As of the writing of this post, you cannot order 6×8 prints from Persnickety’s app. I used their website to upload, crop, and order my prints. Their LifePics-based tool is not the sexiest, but I did not have any problems. I had access to the full suite of finish options.

Project Life: I had to do some awkward steps to add more photos my order, but just like the app itself, print ordering with Project Life is pretty slick. The interface is minimal and there are (literally) no options besides size to make ordering complicated. Cropping was easy and flexible.

Pricing

Persnickety: At the time of my order, I paid $1.29 for each 6×8 print. As of this writing, however, the price has been reduced to $0.99.

Project Life: The price for 6×8 prints is the same as 8×8, $0.99.

Shipping

Persnickety: My prints were ordered on Friday, January 30 and received on Thursday, February 5. Persnickety shipped in a flat mailer via USPS First Class Mail.

Project Life: My prints were ordered on Friday, January 30 and received on Thursday, February 5. Project Life shipped in a flat mailer via UPS Mail Innovations, which transfers packages from UPS to USPS for delivery.

Paper Quality

Persnickety: The photos are printed on Fujifilm’s Crystal Archive paper. I chose the Premium Matte finish. The prints themselves are very flat.

Project Life: The photos are printed on Kodak’s Professional Endura paper. These have a lustre finish, which is slightly more glossy than Persnickety’s matte (but very similar). The prints themselves are curled slightly (see below).

In this photo of my prints, the image from Persnickety Prints is on the left and the image from Project Life is on the right. Click to enlarge.

Persnickety Prints (left) vs. Project Life (right)

Trim & Bleed

Persnickety: My digital layout was perfectly centered with minimal trimming from print expansion.

Project Life: My digital layout was perfectly centered with minimal trimming from print expansion.

Color

Persnickety: Images are very true to color, in both hue and saturation.

Project Life: Images have very nice color, but have a slight golden undertone and are more saturated that originals.

Here are the original photos that you see below:

Original Photo #1
Original Photo #2
Original Photo #3

In this photo of my prints, the images from Persnickety Prints are on the top row and from Project Life on the bottom row. Click to enlarge.

20150206_1617

The whites are whiter with Persnickety, but the warmth of Project Life makes the highlights a little brighter, in my opinion. You can see the same with my photo from the digital layout. Persnickety is closer to the original and Project Life is warmer.

Photo from digital layout

Persnickety Prints (left) vs. Project Life (right)

Image Quality

Persnickety: The images are very nice. Edges are crisp and smooth.

Project Life: The images have a very subtle quality issue with some pixelated edges. It is almost as if they were sharpened or lost some quality in the app-based upload process. The latter seems more likely.

It’s almost impossible to see a difference in this photograph of my photographs, but I checked with a magnifying glass. (Again, Persnickety on the left and Project Life on the right.) It’s there, but is subtle.

Persnickety Prints (left) vs. Project Life (right)

Final Thoughts

This is a tough review to write because I respect both businesses so highly. Both services offer excellent true photographic prints. Both are speedy and easy to use.

If you’re a regular user of the Project Life app and value efficiency, then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend printing via the app.

However, due to the small differences in both paper and image quality, I will personally continue to print with Persnickety. I am fussy about the details and they get that. It’s silly, but I also appreciate that there’s always a washi-taped thank you note in my order.

20150206_1623

Disclosure: I’ve known Chari, owner of Persnickety Prints, since she was working at another photo lab. While Persnickety Prints has provided sponsorship to Simple Scrapper in the past, I personally purchased the prints for this experiment. Additionally, this prior relationship did not impact the opinions shared.

Which service has the better prints? Click to find out.

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24 Comments

  1. Kim Smith

    Love that you did this review and how my favorite printer is still the winner!

    Reply
  2. Courtney

    Wow! Those edges on the PL prints are really curled.

    Reply
  3. Laurel

    Thanks for this review! I had been wondering about the prints from the PL app. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Lorie

    Great information! I am partial to Persnickety Prints, too.

    Reply
  5. Renee T.

    Thank you for the review! I have always been impressed with Persnickety’s quality and customer service, and had actually been hoping they would be the printer for the PL app. Occasionally, I put together a “fun” LO in the PL app, and I can appreciate in those instances the convenience of being able to print directly from the app…but for those LOs that I really care about, and really want to preserve, I will stick with PP.

    Reply
    • Chari Pack

      Thanks Renee! xo

      Reply
  6. Stacie D

    Thanks for your post! I was super curious and I, too, adore Persnickety!

    Reply
  7. Amanda

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been curious. I can see the slight differences you are referring to. I think I’ll stick with Persnickety as well. I do really like them and have been nothing but pleased with them as long as I’ve used them.

    Reply
  8. Terri

    Loved this thorough review. Thank you! I’ve ordered from both and was happy with both sets of prints.

    Reply
  9. Sue Williams

    I’ve always been so satisfied with the quality and service from Persnickety…and the fact that they ship, quicky, to Canada. Thanks for your thorough and unbiased review!

    Reply
    • Joyce

      Hi Sue – Did you have to pay any additional customs/duties on top of the shipping cost for your order to Canada? Thanks in advance!

      Reply
  10. Susan Rowland

    Did either one of them print information on the back. I used to have Creative Memories print my photos. The quality was excellent and any title and the date were printed on the back. I miss that!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      The only information of value on the back was the year.

      Reply
  11. Jeanne W

    I just received three 12×12 pages printed from the project Life app this week. They looked wonderful and the edges weren’t curled at all. Just thought I’d add my input. Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Jody

    what was the shipping cost for each?

    Reply
  13. Lisa Howells

    Questions still for me:
    – shipping costs
    – ease of uploading from app
    – print tracking (would it note already printed)
    – date taken or what info able to print on back
    Thank for sharing your learning.

    Reply
  14. Adriana

    Can you describe how you added more images to your order, even if they weren’t created in the app? I can’t make that happen.

    Reply
  15. Kris

    i love being able to talk to a real person. And the personal note that is included. I’ve learned a lot from them.

    Reply
  16. Claudia B

    I also adore both companies but for me it will come down to the cost of printing 12×12 pages. If PL app has a sale then I will probably be purchasing that route. Same thing with PP. Thanks for the review! Very well done!

    Reply
  17. Tiffany

    Thank you for your review. I have wondered about the prints from PL app. You did a great job in comparing each of the prints with the photos and your detailed explanation. Very well done!

    Reply
  18. Carolina

    Thanks so much for doing this!
    I have used both, but not for the same products. For the PL 12×12 the way they were shipped makes them super flat. Absolutely no curling. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  19. Kim

    From what you posted other than the curling, I like the project life prints better. Thanks for sharing. I’m new to the project life app.

    Reply

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