parabo press

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I have written about Parabo Press products in the past. I have tried out two different companies to have Instagram prints done, and this one has a lovely product. I received a message about a free set of prints (I paid for the shipping), and placed an order. I received the following email alerting me to my Parabo Press shipment.

The content of this email is good – I love the reference to the obsessive tracking that some of us definitely do while waiting for online orders. Where it goes wrong for me is significant though, because this is a shipping confirmation email. For other shipping related services, people can check out

The tracking link is under “Square Prints” in a larger, bold font. It isn’t immediately obvious that this is the link to my tracking information. I would MUCH prefer that this link said something different, even a “click here to track your order” would be fine. In addition, there needs to be some spacing between the listing of the item I bought and the link for my shipping.

Another strange addition is “if you are not going to be present leave a note with your signature so we can leave your order.” I don’t remember ever getting this kind of messaging from any other company, and while I appreciate the warning that I might have a FedEx door sticker in my future, it is in no way clear or helpful.

Here’s how I would change this email:

Once I clicked the link in this email, I was taken to the Parabo Press Aftership page. Aftership is another company that e-commerce companies can use to better present their shipping information to customers. I do not know if my problems with the shipping page is specific to Aftership, or if my issue is with how Parabo Press is customizing the Aftership page.

Let’s look at the page I see when I click the shipping link:

It’s a very simple page, as you can see. I have more issues here:

  • The tracking number is not a link to the tracking information available via I understand that part of the point of using Aftership as a service is to translate tracking into a single page that better aligns with your brand, but I don’t see an issue with having this link open a new tab.
  • The “view tracking history” is a link to expand the page, but it isn’t very clear! It isn’t underlined, it doesn’t feature an arrow or another symbol that would indicate clearly and prominently that all of the information from FedEx is being translated into this Aftership page.

Here’s how I would update this page.

Why have such a service in place if you aren’t going to utilize it in a way that is clear and easy to use?

I would love to know more about the decisions made by companies with regard to things like this. Is “good enough” really good enough? It just isn’t impressive or surprising, and Parabo Press makes a lovely product. To me, it is disappointing that a company would have good focus on their product quality, but don’t necessarily have the same commitment to a quality experience throughout the purchase process.






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Parabo Press | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on June 6, 2016

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I have lots of photos on Instagram. In the last 5 years, I have shared over 2,800 images! You can imagine that I am thrilled at the advent of printing companies that are catering specifically to Instagram users. I wrote a post previously about Artifact Uprising, who had offered a free set of prints. I received an ad in my Instagram feed with a similar offer from Parabo Press, and decided to take advantage, ordering a new set of Instagram prints.

I won’t talk about the process of ordering – their app design is simple and easy to use, and I didn’t have any issues with the process.

Let’s get to the product.

This custom cardboard sleeve was inside an outer plastic shipping bag.

I am a total sucker for good messaging, and it starts before these prints are all the way out of their box!

The thank you message in full. Excitement about the product, a hashtag for sharing, and info on reaching customer service. Clear and concise.

The back of the card. I really love the inclusionary nature of this statement – yes, this is quality that is great for the professionals, but also for anyone with plain good taste. Thumbs up!

The prints come in a plastic pouch for protection, on a card of a larger size to keep them from bending.

Here’s a mildly blurry photo of my prints. You can see here how Parabo Press handles the different sizes of images that you can now post on Instagram – landscape, portrait, and the classic square.

Here’s a look at the prints, side by side. Artifact Uprising is a larger print, and the paper is not as heavy as Parabo Press, but has a bit more of a linen texture. Parabo Press is a heavy stock that is very smooth.

I ordered the Artifact Uprising prints in September, and the Parabo Press prints in February. Parabo had multiple size options before, but at this time, both companies only offer one size of square prints. Parabo Press now offers 5.5″ prints, and Artifact Uprising offers 5×5″ prints.

A look from the side, there really isn’t a way to see the texture in the paper, but the bottom line is that both prints are really lovely.

Parabo Press also offers some other products that I am really interested in trying out. They have glass prints, newsprints, engineer prints, and a few other options.

Let me know in the comments if you have a preferred print company!

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