Thursday, January 21, 2010

DST Feature: ScrapHD: A new venture in web-based scrapbooking

Editor's Note: The following article was published in the January 2010 issue of DST Insider, a publication of DigiShopTalk.com.

By Kaylea Hutson
With the launch of ScrapHD.com, siblings Ross and Katy Petersen hope digital and hybrid scrapbookers alike will find an Internet home to not only expand their craft on the Web, but also expose them to a variety of “brick and mortar” retailers through an on-site printing option.

ScrapHD, set to launch this month, includes an on-line layout builder – with an interface similar to Photoshop - along with a collection of more than 10,000 digital papers, elements and editable pre-designed pages from a variety of paper and digital artists.

Some of the items within the pre-loaded gallery include items from retired product lines, while others will be completely new offerings.

Paper companies represented on the site includes: 7gypsies, Mrs Grossmans, American Crafts, Piggy Tales, SEI, imaginisce, Art Gone Wild, Teresa Collins, My Minds Eye, Three Bugs In A Rug, Karen Foster Designs, Kaiser Craft, We Are Memory Keepers and Jenni Bowlin Studio.

Digital artists joining the ScrapHD design team includes: Danielle Young (A Cherry On Top, Oscraps), Amy Teets (A Cherry On Top, Scrap Wow), Laura Burger (Digital Scrapbook Pages, A Cherry On Top, Gotta Pixel), Kelly Shults (A Cherry On Top) and Donna Salazar.

“Ninety percent of our partner companies have never done anything digitally,” Ross said. “We hope this becomes really big.”

Adds Katy, “our vision is to promote and enhance the scrapbooking industry by being the most intuitive and technology advanced digital/hybrid scrapbooking site on the web"

It’s a Family Affair
ScrapHD grew out of a paper crafting distribution company owned by the Petersen family. For approximately 12 years, the family-run company has served as a distributor for more than 90 manufacturers.

After observing an increase in digital scrapbooking, the Petersens developed ScrapHD as a way to provide a “bridge” between digital and traditional scrapbooking retailers.

The site will have a large emphasis on hybrid scrapbooking – which combines the tools and techniques of traditional paper scrapbooking with the technology of digital scrapbooking.

“We are very happy in the traditional scrapbooking world, but it makes sense to embrace [digital scrapbooking],” Ross said.

The Petersens hope ScrapHD will allow people unfamiliar with the digital process a way to expand their hobby into a new area.

Ross serves as the president of ScrapHD, while his sister, Katy, is the vice president.

How it works
Scrapbookers have two options when joining ScrapHD: a free membership or a paid club membership.

Both memberships allow users to use photos straight from their hard drives or from web services such as Flickr or Facebook. Free members can upload one photo at a time, while club members can upload up to six at a time.

Once a user imports photos to the site, he or she can then use the layout builder to create a variety of layouts. All users will then have the ability to print individual pages or completed books through ScrapHD’s professional partners. Global shipping will allow users outside of the continental United States to use the professional printing services.

Both memberships include options to allow users the ability to share their creations through a variety of online sources through direct links or embedding codes.

Based entirely on the web, ScrapHD users will not need to download any software in order to use the layout builder. The Petersens hope the free membership will allow users to become comfortable enough to expand into the club memberships.

All members will also have access to the community section, which will encourage interaction among users. The Petersens hope to offer a variety of contests, which will allow users to vote on their favorite layouts in order to encourage site participation and to develop scrapper-driven themes.

Free vs. Club Members
The free membership allows users to access to a many of the pre-loaded items to create and store a limited number of pages.

With a club membership, users can access the entire gallery of pre-loaded papers and elements, as well as create and store “virtually” an unlimited number of completed pages. Members can also upload and use files from their digital stash, including items purchased from digital stores.

Additionally, club members can upload previously created layouts, as jpgs, in order to take advantage of the professional printing service.

One aspect unique to ScrapHD, is that club members can also access high resolution jpgs of their pages via e-mail. This, explained Ross, would allow hybrid artists to print their layouts to allow the “hands on” addition of embellishments.

A unique feature
Because ScrapHD is an online service, the Petersens are inviting traditional scrapbooking stores to become involved through the establishment of store-based printing kiosks.

They have identified four different printers, which retailers can use, with a limited setup cost, which will allow stores the ability, along with a computer, to entice users into their stores to print out layouts instantly.

Ross said this method would be helpful for hybrid scrappers, because they would have their completed page with them at the store, which will allow them to find embellishments to their newly printed pages.

The Petersens are also offering a version of ScrapHD that independent retailers can use directly on their websites, allowing users to develop a direct relationship with a traditional store.

The Costs
Club memberships are available at $9.99 per month or $99 per year. The club membership includes unlimited access to all papers, embellishments and pre-designed pages, as well as the ability to print from home.

ScrapHD will offer prints in a variety of sizes including the standard 12x12 or 8x8 layouts. Other sizes include 5x7 soft sided flip books, greeting cards or announcements, as well as pre-bound books hard or soft cover books in 8x8 or 12x12 inch sizes.

Initially, books will come standard with a minimum of 10 single-sided or 20 double-sided sheets, along with the option to add additional pages.

The printed pages use a thicker than normal stock, which is designed to provide additional durability and higher quality prints. The Petersens hope this will help prevent damage to the layouts when hybrid artists add physical embellishments to the page.

ScrapHD’s Estimated Prices

12x12 – leather bound book: $54.95
8x8 – leather bound book: $34.95
12X12 – hard bound, custom cover book: $49.95
8x8 – hard bound custom cover book: $29.95
12x12 – soft bound, custom cover book: $24.95
8x8 – soft bound, custom cover book: $15.95

12x12 – five individual pages: $10 (each additional sheet, $2)
8x8 – five individual pages - $8 (each additional sheet, $1.60)
5x7 – Custom Cover Flip book: $10.95
5x7 – folded card with envelope: $1.49
5x7 – flat card with envelope: $.99

Editor's note:
ScrapHD.com is set to be live, no later than mid-January - in time for the Craft and Hobby Association winter trade show. For more information, visit www.scraphd.com.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I am sometimes provided with products to review. However, no products were exchanged for this story - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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