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Align's 2023 Holiday Deadlines


'Tis the season for all things cozy, yuletide cheer ... and the mad dash to get everything done before HOLIDAY DEADLINES! Aren't you happy you're a photographer right about now? :) 
Your clients know that albums make amazing Christmas gifts, but do they know how long the album creation process takes? We want to help YOU help THEM have their albums in hand by the holidays, so here's a refresher on our design turnaround times and an announcement of our holiday print deadlines: 

Turnaround times for DESIGNS:  
Due to the back-and-forth nature of the design and revision process, there is no one-size-fits-all estimate for how long the design process will take from start to finish. Please allow yourself and your client ample design time (multiple weeks) by placing your design order AS SOON as possible. 
Initial designs - Within 4 business days of receiving your order form, deposit, and images  
Revision requests - 2 business days after we've received the comments and any additional images or clarifications needed 
Final file delivery - 1 business day after the album has been approved AND the final balance has been paid (**see note at bottom of this page) 
Our business days for designing are Monday through Friday except for the following holidays: 
Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24, 2023 
Christmas - Monday, December 25 and Tuesday, December 26, 2023 

Deadlines for PRINTING: 
If you'll also be printing through Align Legacy Books and wish to receive your album in the mail by December 21, 2023, you must send your album to print (i.e. fill out the custom Print Confirmation order form we email you after the design service is paid for) by the following dates: 
Friday, November 17** for standard production turnaround times 
Tuesday, November 28** for rush production turnaround times (extra $100 per album) 
Orders placed before 11:59pm November 17 will ship within 15 business days of the order date 
Orders placed between November 18 - November 28 with a RUSH FEE will ship by December 19 
Orders placed after November 28 will ship within 15 business days of the order date (starting the first week of January) 

**Important Advice Due to the back-and-forth nature of invoicing, please plan for about 48 hours in between when your design is approved and when you will receive your final files (if you are printing elsewhere) or the link to your custom Print Confirmation order form (if you're printing with us). To skip the invoicing steps and speed up the process, you can:
-Authorize us to automatically charge your saved credit card (find this setting at the bottom your Edit Profile page). 
-Or pre-purchase Align Credit (in any amount) on your Account Balance page which will be automatically applied to your balance.
PHEW! That is A LOT of detail! We're SO excited to help you serve your clients well this holiday season!
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

New Service: Cover Finalization!


You spoke and we listened! 
Here's how! 
On our order form, select that you want to print your album through Align (Check out our Align Legacy Books here for more info!):

On the same order form, select our "Hands-off Service": 

And make sure to select "yes" for #5 -- Cover Finalization  
With this combo you get: 
With our NEW Cover Finalization Service (only available for clients who print through us AND use the Hands-off Service), during the proofing stage, the first spread of your design will initially include cover material and font options like this (will appear larger and more readable on the proof):

And we will email your clients instructions to make their selections through the comments. Once selections are communicated, your designer will replace that spread with a mock-up of the cover for client approval. Something like this:

Upon design approval, you will be sent the final mock-up and selections to enter on your print confirmation form. 
With this full-service combo, the only steps you will be responsible for in the entire album workflow are: 
1. Filling out the initial order form (2 minutes) 
2. Filling out the "Print Confirmation Form". We require this step so you can sign-off on the design before it goes to print, enter the cover specs that will be provided by your designer and submit payment for the printed album. (5 minutes) 
Here are your total costs if you go this route: 
Design fee: 
Hands-off service - $25 
Cover finalization - $10 
Printing fee: 
Use the pricing calculator at the bottom of this page to enter your specs and find your printing price. 
Shipping- $25 
To get started and experience the highest level of customized album service available, fill out our order form!
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

Prices Increasing May 15th


We are giving ourselves a pre-emptive two thumbs down for this one.  
It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing that we are having to increase our pricing for the first time in our history. I launched Align in the spring of 2012 and we have charged a flat fee of $8 per spread ever since. We started offering our gorgeous Align Legacy Books in 2017 and have not increased our pricing for those in six years.  
Inflation, supply costs, and our dedication to keeping our quality and service consistently high is forcing us to increase our pricing on May 15th. We want to give you a heads up so that you can plan accordingly. We know this will impact your business and will likely require adjustments on your end and we want you to know how highly we value your business and how blessed we feel to get to be a part of your team. 
Our new pricing will not be on our website until May 15th, but I want to post it here so that you can use it to calculate your costs on upcoming albums. 
Design pricing will increase from $8/spread to $9/spread. Deposits will still be $75 and three rounds of revisions will still be included in every design. 
Hands-off Service pricing will increase from $20 to $25 per order. 
Align Legacy Book print pricing will be going up by approximately 15% and is as follows:

Cameo Windows on Align Legacy Books will be $50. Up to two lines of text will be $50. 
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. As always, we are here to serve you. We are so grateful to so many of you who have trusted us with a piece of your workflow for so many years. We are blessed to work with the best of the best photographers. Eternally grateful for each of you and your business!
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

'Tis the season...for stocking up

Black Friday deal from Align Album Design

We couldn't love the holiday season more here at Align, and this year we are ushering in the most wonderful time of the year with a HUGE DEAL for our beloved clients!  
At this point of the year, you are likely finished with your weddings (and portrait photographers are still going strong clear through till Christmas!) but you also have a good sense of how many weddings and shoots you will likely have in 2023. Why not put your business dollars to work by pre-purchasing Align Credit for use toward your future designs at a DEEP discount?  
From Black Friday through December 2nd, log in to your Align account to receive $300 in free Align Credit for every $1,000 you purchase! 
If you purchase $1,000 in Align Credit (good for 7 average-sized* designs), you get $300 free (that's TWO free designs!!) 
If you purchase $2,000 in Align Credit (good for 14 average-sized* designs), you get $600 free (FOUR free designs!!) 
If you purchase $3,000 in Align Credit (good for 21 average-sized* designs), you get $900 free (SIX free designs!!) 
And I'm thinking you get the idea... feel free to purchase as much credit as you need for the coming season. Stock up -- the more you do, the more you save! 
Align Credit never expires, so you can stock up and use it whenever you need it! All deposits and balances due will be automatically deducted from your Align Credit, so that also saves you from having multiple charges on your credit card and from dealing with extra emails throughout each design process. 
To redeem your free bonus credit, follow these steps: 
1 -- Log in to your Align account here (or if you're new to Align, set up a free account) 
2 -- Navigate to your "Account Balance" page. 
3 -- In the "Pay custom amount" field, enter the amount of Align Credit you'd like to purchase in $1,000 increments. 
4 -- Follow the steps to check out. 
5 -- Complete your transaction by the end of the day on Friday, December 2, 2022, and you will receive an additional $300 of credit per $1,000 purchased. 
NOTE: Your free bonus credit will not be instantly appearing in your account after the transaction, but it will be added by Saturday the 3rd at the latest. 
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Align!

*Based on an average album design size of 18 spreads. To determine how long the Align Credit will last YOU, divide the Align Credit dollar amount by 8, and then divide that amount by the number of spreads you typically include in an album. That's approximately how many album designs you will get out of that credit amount.
Blog post written by: Melissa Jill

Learn About Our Hands-Off Service

Imagine this. You outsource your album design to an expert who knows exactly what you like and truly wants to make your life easier. You have a designer who is self-sufficient and rarely bugs you for anything beyond confirming your order. Your client gets step-by-step instructions from your designer walking them through the revision process, all the while thinking they are working with your in-house designer and never seeing anyone else's logo but your own. You don't have to deal with any of your client's pickiness and remain blissfully uninvolved during any lengthy revision process that ensues. You are simply notified when your client pushes the "approve" button and the design is finalized and ready to send off to your printing and binding company. 
Ahhh, yes. That's the dream.  
And today that dream comes true. 
Even if you've found a way to quickly whip up album designs (perhaps it already involves outsourcing to your speedy Align designer!), it's likely you still feel daunted by all the communication, revisions, and project management that goes along WITH the album design process. Unfortunately not every client is going to approve the beautiful initial design on the spot! The little tasks can add up -- sharing the proof with your client, sending reminder emails, grabbing revision images that are needed to make their changes, figuring out what-in-the-world your client wants, being the middleman between your client and your designer, notifying your client that the revisions have been made, remembering what point you're at in the process.... and repeat! 
That's why we're pumped to announce a service that takes outsourcing album design to a whole new level that means even LESS for you to do! With our newly upgraded Hands-Off Service, your designer will be communicating directly with your client AND grabbing revision images from the full gallery of images. You only have to be involved when you want to be! Here's how it works: 
1 -- When placing an order using Align's order form, select the Hands-Off Service and fill in the corresponding fields with your client's name & email address, your AlbumExposure login information, and who you'd like the first draft sent to. 

2 -- Pay a nominal $25 fee to cover the cost of the Hands-off Service for each order. 
3 -- Sit back and drink a margarita. Or you know, do all the other gazillion things you do to grow your business and serve your clients.  
Once you give us the go-ahead to involve your client, we'll log into your AlbumExposure account and take care of the rest! We'll send your client the link to the initial design and welcome them to the process using this message (you're welcome to request customizations to it!). And because we're sending the message through your AlbumExposure account instead of using our Align email address, your client will probably just assume we're your in-house designer sitting in the desk next to yours! 
Throughout the revision process, your client and your designer will communicate directly with each other. If your client has mind-boggling revision requests, you can just sit back and smile knowing that your designer will be on top of it! We'll grab any images needed throughout the revision process from your full image gallery hosted on Pixieset, Cloudspot, PASS, or any other image-hosting software you have chosen no use and will even periodically follow up with your client if they need an extra nudge to revise or approve their design!  
You'll be CC'ed on most messages, but no need to join the party unless you feel like it!  
We hope you're as excited as we are about this upgraded custom-level service! We look forward to taking even more off your plate so that you can focus on what you do best!
Blog post written by: Denise
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