Review of Moleskine+MILK’s Photo Book plus

Moleskine+MILK Album Review

UPDATE: November 21st, 2016

We’re continuing to receive comments from frustrated Moleskine Milk customers. Please read the comments for additional info. Our recommendation is still to avoid Moleskine Milk albums. 


Pros and hobbyists alike, we’ve all done it before. We’ve spent countless hours taking, organizing and editing our personal photos, only to leave the final jpegs on our hard drives, collecting digital dust.

And no wonder: with the digital age, you not only have countless shots to choose from and the opportunity to edit them endlessly – you also have to make all of the design decisions that go into creating a custom album. With all that choice, it’s no wonder that the easiest thing to do is to do nothing at all.

Album design applications that offer premade templates and a limited selection of design features may make the decision-making process more manageable (and the likelihood of you finally printing your vacation photos a whole lot higher). But they are by nature limited; finding a company that offers an aesthetic that suits your tastes and a print quality that meets your standards can be tough.


While we personally had a good experience with the product we ordered from Moleskine+MILK, as you’ll see in our review, we’ve received quite a few comments from readers who had a less than stellar final result. We contacted Moleskine+MILK about this, and the founder has responded in the comment section below this article. Based on recent reader/customer feedback we do not recommend purchasing Moleskine Milk albums at this time (February 1st, 2015). Please read the comments section for further recent information.

Your Very Own Custom Moleskine

We’ve long been fans of Moleskine, the century-old Italian design company renowned for its timeless black notebooks favoured by the likes of Hemingway and Picasso. When we saw that they had teamed up with MILK to offer photo books, we were very excited. Our very own custom Moleskine at long last! So we decided to check it out, to see whether the Moleskine+MILK pairing could deliver a smooth album-building experience that produced a finished product boasting professional-quality printing and classic design.

Today, I’m taking you through my experience creating a Moleskine+MILK Photo Book plus, design through to delivery.

The Product

The Photo Book plus is the mid-range option among the three album styles offered by Moleskine+MILK (for more on the other two check out the company’s website). It’s marketed as a step up from the basic album, with extra design features, digital functionality, and a set of predesigned spreads – or “editorial themes” – that differ depending on the kind of book you’re after. In essence, the themes are meant to narrow down the choices you need to make when creating an album, while still giving you enough flexibility to choose the elements you want to include – from photo and text spreads, fonts and colour schemes.

Sitting on a stack of travel and food photos I’d taken from a trip to Italy in 2012, I opted for the “multipurpose” theme, to gain access to a wide range of spreads, including text-intensive cookbook-style layouts and more standard photo-friendly spreads.


All in all, the album construction looks solid (not to mention sleek – just like a classic, hard-sided Moleskine notebook). The cover is sturdy with smooth edges and the pages are well-aligned. It looks and feels like a quality Moleskine product, which means it should stand up to the test of time.


Moleskine+MILK have added a couple of cool features to make the final product feel less like a notebook and more like an album: a nifty hard-sided linen case and printed labels, attached to both the book and the case, showing the title you’ve chosen for your album. Nice touches!



Holding with the Moleskine aesthetic, the album comes standard with matte, ivory paper. The ivory isn’t so far from white as to be distracting, and the finish is smooth and elegant, not the plasticky finish you sometimes find in photo books. The weight feels great in your fingers. Thin enough that it’s easy to flip through pages, but not so thin that you feel like you’re going to rip your work.

That being said, the paper isn’t thick enough to prevent the silhouettes of photos on other pages from peaking through. Fortunately, this only occurs on whitespace – you never see a photo coming through another photo. Not a huge deal, in my opinion – we found the same issue with similarly-priced albums we’ve made with other companies. But something to be aware of if you’re super-picky about paper weight, since there are no other paper options here.

Print Quality

I’m impressed with the print quality. Moleskine+MILK use press printing and even at close range, photos look super sharp. I sharpened before exporting and exported at full size, and would take the same steps next time around.


On the whole, colours, saturation and contrast all look great. Everything’s just a touch warmer than it appears on my computer, but I suspect this is because the images are printed on ivory paper (and I wouldn’t hesitate to print on ivory again). As always, colour calibration of your own monitor is key to making sure your prints turn out as you’d like them to!

Darker tones came out a bit darker than I’d expected, sometimes to the point where a bit of detail was lost in areas with lots of blacks or deep shadows (everywhere else, detail was awesome). I wasn’t disappointed with the end result, but I’d be tempted to try to correct for it next time if I was working with shots with dark blacks.

Overall, the photos printed beautifully – edges are sharp, textures look impressively true to life, and the finish is an easy-on-the-eyes matte rather than super-shiny. The text, too, looks great. It’s elegant, well-saturated and crisp.


Here are the specs on what you get when you order a Photo Book plus:

  • 7×10 portrait or 9.25×7.4 landscape album
  • 60 pages
  • Black hard-cover book with inset album title printed on ivory cardstock
  • Black hard-sided linen case with album title printed on ivory cardstock
  • Moleskine styling inside and out (elastic closure, ribbon bookmark, extendable inner pocket, stitched binding, standard “If found” front page, Moleskine logo embossed onto the back page of the book cover and back of the slipcase and printed inside the front cover of the book)
  • Downloadable PDF of your album designed for tablet (but works on anything with a PDF reader)
  • Digital “Flip Book” copy of your album that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter or via email
  • Ability to embed video into your Flip Book

Total Cost: US$100 + shipping and subject to import duties and taxes (shipping to Canada from New Zealand, where Moleskine+MILK is based, came in at US$18.99). Preordering a book (paying before you start building it) will save you $30 off the list price – a good deal!

Design Options

What makes the Photo Book plus unique from the other Moleskine+MILK products is the “editorial theme” function, which gives you access to a library of customized layouts that have been designed to work well with the type of book you’re making, whether it be a wedding album, a travelogue, a cookbook, or one of eight other themes. Essentially, they’ve done all the layout work for you. And I have to say, being able to drop a snazzy recipe template into a book of travel photos is pretty cool.

From there, your design options get pretty limited. Like I said before, the paper type is set (ivory, matte). You choose one of five fonts and one of eight colour schemes, which are then used throughout your book, with the extent of your choice being whether to set the font size in a text box to small, medium or large. As for the spreads themselves, you choose which layout to use, but there’s no option to resize or move the photo and text boxes.

For someone with album design skills, all of this might sound pretty restrictive. And at times, I felt a little frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t tweak things here and there. But in a sense, the restrictions are really one of the key selling features of the book. They’ve done all the detail work – figuring out how big margins should be and what font sizes will work well with the proportions of the book – making it all that much easier for someone with no knowledge of programs like InDesign to make really beautifully designed books.

And even if you do know how to use InDesign, these books can shave a lot of time off of your process by taking care of all the layout details for you.

Having the flexibility to include as few or as many photos as you want, within a reasonable range, would be nice. Right now, the page number is set to 60, no more and no less. That being said, Moleskine+MILK does offer expandable, hard-sided books starting at US$50 for 20 pages ($35 if you preorder) plus $1 per extra page. So the option is there, it just doesn’t come with the same extent of snazzy layout options.

The Process

As a brand new company, Moleskine+MILK still has a bit of a ways to go before their book-making process matches up with the ones offered by veterans like Blurb, but I’m impressed with what they’ve done so far. Their online book-building tool is pretty slick, and gives you a great sense of what your album is going to look like in print. And the process is straight forward: select your theme, upload your photos, choose your layouts and you’re off.

As the company grows, it would be great to see basic functions like spellcheck and undo/redo built into the application. Until then, expect to spend some time proofreading or copying and pasting text in from a word processing program.

When I was writing the draft of this review last week, I had made a note about how great it would be to see a function added that would allow you to easily drag and drop photos from the library to the template. When I was making my album, I had to reload images and templates every time I wanted to make a change. Well good news, guys: they announced just yesterday that drag and drop has been added! I gave it a whirl last night and found that it worked nicely. This is a HUGE plus. Albums should come together in lightning speed!

There are still a few bugs that need sorting out (like photos that inexplicably fail to upload), but you can tell from the existing functions – like near-constant autosaves, the feature that rejects photos that are too small to ensure a quality print, and the recent addition of drag and drop – that the company is committed to making a user-friendly, quality product. With that in mind, I fully expect the bugs to be ironed out, and fast.

They’ve made a good effort to incorporate web functions into the design process (no option to do offline design as of yet). You can upload photos from Flickr, Picasa and Facebook (web-sized photos will be too small to pop into full-sized spreads, but they do work in the smaller templates), and share a preview of your work in progress and the final album with friends via Facebook, Twitter and email. They’ve also built in a collaborate function, where you can invite your family and friends to contribute to the album you’re creating. The possibilities there are pretty cool!

Moleskine+MILK states in the fine print that they’re not a data hosting site, so once you’ve printed your book, your library is wiped and your opportunity to edit your album is gone (you can reprint the same album though). For the benefit of the company and their customers, I hope that they add a short-term data storing feature down the road; personally, I’d happily buy more copies of the album I made if I could swap a few photos and bits of text here and there. But since I’m pretty sure my mom doesn’t want a book that’s been dedicated “For David”, I’m stuck with the one copy.

The books are printed in China and, having submitted over Chinese New Year, the product took a while to get to me – about a month from when I hit “Submit” to when it arrived in the mail. The company does warn that products submitted over holidays will take longer to arrive, so if you order a book outside of holiday season you can reasonably expect a shorter turnaround time (7-14 days, according to the website).


Having only been in the album printing business since the fall of 2012, Moleskine+MILK is on to a good thing. There is still some work to be done before the book-building process is 100% user-friendly and bug-free (yesterday’s addition of drag and drop is a giant step in the right direction!), and they don’t yet offer the same range of design features that you’ll find with a company like Blurb (no ability to use InDesign to make your own layouts). But from our email exchanges with them and the activity on their Facebook page, it’s easy to see that they’re committed to adding helpful features, working through wrinkles with speed and generally offering a great product.

And they already do. Despite the few hiccups I encountered as I built the Photo Book plus, I can’t wait to start building another one, because the final product is stellar. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I’ve long been a big fan of the Moleskine design, and the application here is beautifully executed. The styling and construction are great, and the photos look goooood. And despite my desire to fiddle around with layout sizes, I love that the templates make it easy for anyone to build a beautiful book!

The end product will inspire you and the people you share it with to get their photos off their hard drives and into albums. With one quick flip through the book I made, Lauren and Rob were already excited about making one of their own. Success!

Stephanie Simpson

Hi, I'm Stephanie! I'm a ninja-in-training here at Photography Concentrate. I've just started getting serious about shooting, and am excited to learn more. I'm interested in food and travel photography, cooking and exploring!

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67 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Oh this is just too cool. L.O.V.E. my Moleskines :)

  2. Great read! Sleek looking album!

  3. Thanks for the info. I love the feel of a book in my hands. I may very well give Moleskine + MILK a try.

    • Lauren Lim says:

      Agreed! Not much beats the feeling of your own images in your hands. Let us know what you think if you give them a try!

  4. Anastasia says:

    Hi Lauren!
    I wonder if you would recommend using them for customer’s album and ebook? I am desperately looking for a site/approach to create custom photo books with a lot of text (not only photos) it needs to be both print and ebook (ideally with an option to only create an ebook) … I have hard time finding anything… Would moleskin MILK work in your opinion or is there something better out there and I just missed it in my search?


  5. Kacie Bowles says:

    Do you know how well these would work as a wedding guest book? You mentioned that the pages are thin enough to see through- so I’m wondering how well they would do if people signed them in ink? I love this idea because the paper is so much better than your typical shutterfly glossy photo paper. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated! Very helpful review, by the way.

  6. Im really surprised you seem to be ok with the ivory paper. Most serious photographers take a lot of trouble to get white balance just the way they want it and the ivory paper really ruins the photographs as far as I am concerned.
    I’m also surprised you seem ok with the show through. These books are really expensive and I don’t think it’s acceptable to use paper where there is show through. It might be ok for holiday snaps but not for photos you really care about.
    My impression is that the company hasn’t really thought about the needs of serious photographers enough.
    Another niggle. They recently doubled their shipping costs from China where the books are printed. This seems like a rather transparent attempt to balance their discount policy with a higher shipping cost. Compared with Other goods I buy off e bay from China, their shipping rates are extremely high. For my current book they will add just under 25% to the total cost. Add in GST payable in New Zealand and you get a nasty surprise at check out.

    All in all I would not recommend Moleskine. They look great but not a product to buy if you want to have your photographs looking their best.
    Also be beware their special discount vouchers. As of writing this I have failed to get the site to accept my voucher number and cannot get any reply from customer service. They used to havea phone line but it’s e mail only now and you know what that means!

    • I’ll second that. I recently tried out the moleskine/milk photobook and was very unimpressed. I absolutely would not recommend one of these for a paying customer, like a wedding album. The cover photo is not printed on the actual cover, it’s just paper glued on, and the edges of mine were peeling up as soon as I took it out of box from the mail. The paper is of poor quality, and the printing in my book looked atrocious, very grainy and my pictures were all distorted. If you have a paying customer, look elsewhere and go with a true professional printing service.

  7. I’ve had several of the Moleskine books printed. The print quality of the books was very good but I had to have two reprints done because of the cover quality. Unlike the Photo Book Plus, I went with the option that allows for a cover photo. Whatever process they’re using to adhere the cover photo is, in my opinion, lousy. The photo inlay on 2 out of 3 books I ordered was peeling off. Their customer service was great about accommodating me, but I was left truly disappointed. I hope they come up with a better method for photo covers.


  8. Just received my first two moleskine classic printed books in the post – two copies of the same book. Utterly disappointed.
    1) Colour calibration was perfect on one, horrendous on the other with a cyan tint making black and white images look green (I know it was not my fault because one of the books was fine!)
    2) Binding was bad. One of the books wasn’t even straight. Both of them had at least one page where the binding came too far into the page, showing the threads and glue spots in a very untidy way.
    3) Page creases – including the front cover (I agree with the comment about the sticker on the front looking lousy). Sadly 3 pages on the correctly colour calibrated book were creased diagonally across the pages.
    4) The edges of the pages looked and felt like they had been cut with a blunt saw.
    5) Black ink smudges on two corners – where is the quality control?
    6) Poor finish of the bookmark (not cut with a heated implement as the regular moleskine notebooks are, so the photobook bookmark is already showing signs of fray).

    Holding a normal moleskin in your hand, the quality does feel inferior in the photobooks. I love moleskine and have used them for years. It’s such a brilliant idea to have moleskine photobooks but they have not produced it well, the actual product you feel in your hands is certainly not the moleskine quality I was expecting.

    For the price I certainly won’t be ordering any more until the quality improves.

  9. Same problem of a peeling cover. Obvious right out of the box. Milk Books printed me a second copy for free, but, alas, that one had a peeling cover too.

  10. Rob Lim says:

    Hi everyone,

    First off, I’m sorry it’s taken us so long to reply to the comments on this post. I’m really sorry to hear about the experiences some of your have had with your books.

    I’ve let our contact at MILK-Moleskine know about the issues you guys have brought up and your comments on this post. I was hoping they would have followed up on this post, and I’m sorry they haven’t yet.

    If anyone has had any recent experiences with their Moleskine books please let me know and leave a comment below.

    – Rob

  11. I’ve just had a bad experience with MILKBOOKS, yet to receive the final book printed, my impression of the customer service help is poor. I just placed a fairly big order of 200 pages album and had some problems applying the promotional code. I turned to seek for customer help service to apply manually the promotional code but no satisfactory solution was given. Everything was apologies but you placed the order and the system is designed in such a way that they can do nothing to help me. Seriously, since when treasury is linked to production. This is a company and the company is run by people, not just automated computers and paypal. One thing is production, another thing is invoicing. The whole discussion with customer service was pointless and I feel so frustrated that I just with I could complain somewhere formally. Worst first time experience ever with Milkbooks. They showed ZERO care about the customer.

    • Reannan Ross Ryttov says:

      I’m having the same problem. They don’t seem to care. I’m hoping I can get a refund, I’m done with trying to make it work for months on end. They definitely lost another client.

    • Having the same problem here too. Tried emailing customer service but no reply. I have already paid for the books! But can’t apply the code. There is no where that I can see where you can do so. They were great last year. It all worked. But not this year for some reason

    • Agreed. I feel the same way!

  12. Ordered my first round of books from Milkbooks… I’m not terribly impressed. The print quality is grainy and somewhat orange-y (where I printed some of these photos through Costco as prints and they came out lovely), and the cover on one book has white specks all over it, in addition to an offset “ghost” of the cover’s text. I don’t really want to, but I think I’ll need to request to swap that out as it’s meant to be a gift.
    These are albums of our wedding photos for our parents… unfortunately I was so confident with them that I ordered a voucher for OUR album (a Moleskine book, so I’ll be able to compare when I’m done and have it in my hands). Hopefully that album comes out alright, but I’m kind of disappointed -the quality is a FAR cry from the professional quality that Milkbooks claims they provide. The whole reason I skipped less expensive websites was to avoid this in the first place!

  13. Hi everyone,

    We value all feedback and are always looking to improve our service and product.
    We love helping our customers to create stunning photo books. We don’t like it when things go wrong, as they sometimes can when technology meets print, but we always strive to supersede our customers’ expectations and print beautiful books. We work with our customers on an individual, case-by-case basis to reach the best resolution.

    At Moleskine + MILK we aim to offer our customers the ability to create a personal photo album that is beautifully designed and produced to stand the test of time, to ultimately give our customers a book that they will treasure and hand down through the generations. All of our books are made by hand and we stand by their quality.

    All the best,
    Nina – Customer Service Manager at MILK Books

    • christine says:

      Seriously? This is an answer or just the blurb the PR team told you to use?

      There is a huge promotion running now for Moleskine/MILK and I am soooooo glad that I didn’t get suckered in.

      Thanks for the honest reviews everyone.

    • I’m considering ordering some books with a professional discount as a photographer, but I’m wondering why they don’t offer icc color profiles for their different papers so the photos come out the way you want or you can approximate for any color shifts when ordering?? AdoramaPix Albums and their photo service in NYC does this and it always works out.
      Icc profiles = professional quality photo printing… otherwise you’re just guessing and hoping everything works out.

      *MILK please let us know if you have those!

      Thank you.

    • I was seriously looking at ordering one of the new high end Cream albums for my wedding album, and now am so glad I have read these reviews… Was willing to pay a premium for an elegant album from New Zealand. Shocked to learn that these are actually made in China, and that past quality and customer experience has been so poor. What a shame.

  14. I too have had all the same problems–bad binding, poor color, peeling cover, fonts that couldn’t be printed properly. They promised me a new book, it never arrived. Now they claim they’ll refund this, but only thru paypal. Since we don’t choose to connect our accounts to outside the bank, I have no way to actually retrieve the refund. And I don’t think they’d send the refund anyway. Why would Moleskine choose to work with such a shady operation, off-shore at that. It’s ridiculous, not just the money, but the hours spent creating the album. I just can’t imagine they will be in business much longer operating on this model. Heed my warning…don’t use this company!!

  15. Wow….I’m now in two minds since coming across these comments. I have been in discussion with MILK for a few weeks and about to spend quite a bit of money on a range of sample books to see whether I should use them for photo books to offer my clients for my portrait photography business. There website looks like they take quality seriously but these comments say otherwise. I’m quite worried now as some of these comments are only from last month too. I will look further on the internet for more reviews….

    • I have invested a lot of time creating a beautiful wedding album on the MILK website. I was about to purchase the album, but then came across these negative reviews. Has anyone recently received a wedding album that turned out well??? (I was planning to buy the cream album.) Thanks!

      • I ordered 2 books in the last few months, the most recent arrive today. Neither had very good photo quality. I’ve gotten much better through adoramapix, blurb, and picaboo. It has been very disappointing. I haven’t yet contacted them about it, but seeing these other comments I wonder if they will care. I would not print my wedding album through them. I’m so glad I moved one of my books to Picaboo in July when I realized that it would take more pages than I wanted to pay for on Moleskine. It looks stunning, unlike the 2 moleskine books.

  16. Hi all,

    We take these complaints very seriously and it has lead to us reviewing our production quality and processes with our American production facility. Upon investigation we are satisfied that these were isolated cases and that our quality is as good or better than any other photo book maker anywhere – so much so we would be happy for any participants of this blog to test our service and if you do so this month you can use PHOTO33 code and save 33%.

    If you have any concerns with your order please don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team at

    We have pride in our history and a passion for making beautiful books so any dissatisfaction is distressing to us and we work to remedy any issues as quickly and efficiently as we can.

    All the best, and thanks for your support.

    Geoff Blackwell, Founder
    MILK Books

    • What about your false advertising? I purchased a print 16×20. You site says 50% off sitewide. I did not get my discount. I complained to your customer service, Jacinda replied, “To clarify, our site-wide discount codes are not for use via the MILK & PRINT portal, and this stated on the promotional landing page for each promotion we have.” This is a lie…there is no “landing page” information. I have contacted the site concerning PQBlackwell Licensing, LTD. I am a professional wedding photographer and will find a more reputable company to deal with.

  17. Anxiously waiting for my book to arrive (in transit at this time). Hope, hope, hope in light of these comments above it is ok. Will keep you posted. Anyone else just received a book?

  18. Right before they launched they had a promo for 20 page books for $40 and a free Molskine journal – I ordered 3 to make as Family Christmas gifts that year. I received the voucher via email (was a couple of months before Christmas so I filed the email for later.) Then, I completely forgot about it. Recently stumbled across the email and was excited to finally use it, but read the voucher was only valid for one year. Ugh!. Reached out hoping they’d give me the credit toward a purchase (not expecting the promotion or freebies), but, not so much. Ah well. My fault for not using right away. I was considering just going ahead and buying the albums I’d created, but after reading the reviews here, I think I’ll look elsewhere.

  19. This is the most shocking reviews i’ve ever come across, i was just about to create an account and try these guys since they pride doing something professional, but i ‘m going somewhere else. The risk of imminent surprise will be too shocking for me. As a matter of fact the “head my warning dont use them” from the above review got me some chills, i wont be a victim.Thanks.

  20. I ordered two moleskine milkbooks just hours before I stumbled upon this site. I just received the books today and the quality is fine for the project, but not worth the money I paid (40% off retail). The ‘sticker’ on the front seems pretty substantial. I ran my thumb across the edge several times, but its raised and anything might scrape up the edges of it. The pages have a very faint bleed through when the book is open flat. I can’t comment on the quality of the pictures because this album is a bunch of old, poor quality photos. I love the moleskine cover and the back pocket, but there are better options at this price point.

  21. Hey all! Me and my husband just received our Cream Album today and it is disheartening. After spending an insane amount of time color correcting photos and organizing them; We have horrible photo quality! The ribbon for easy removal was already frayed and instead of the imbedded cover photo they display in the digital albums, it was a lame glue on which was crooked. Furthermore, the photos look washed out and lack vibrancy. The satin finish and all is great but when you open the album, it’s the stuff made of nightmares. My husband enjoys photography and he’s horrified. Everyone who saw the album at the opening is horrified.
    I never came across these reviews earlier and have another voucher left with me. The album has pathetic photo quality and the paper has an awful gloss look that further ruins the album. We’ve contacted customer support, I hope they reply soon. I have another voucher but I think it’s pointless using it. We really need a good wedding album, any suggestions? I’m so upset.

  22. John Phipps says:

    If you think this is bad you should checkout reviews about Shutterfly on their facebook page, or any of the other print on demand sites. I’ve been using Milkbooks for years and have never had any problems. the print quality is great on the white page Milk books and looks even better when you print the originals without messing about with them. The fact of the matter is that my images were taken on a high resolution camera with excellent digital compression and subsequently look great. I’ve tried printing through other companies and had numerous issues with late or no delivery, shoddy workmanship, no resolution and the ultimate insult NO REFUND. Milkbooks rule the print on demand world and I’m willing to pay a little bit extra and take a slight chance that something will eventually be wrong with my book rather than wait for months for a book that may or may not turn up and when it does I roll my eyes and quip “well, you get what you pay for”

  23. I had also ordered two photobooks. The cover photo had an orangey hue which was not in the original picture, photos within the book were darker than the original pictures and the quality of the pictures was grainy.

    Upon contacting customer service in relation to these issues, I was informed that when printed on paper, photos always appear darker compared to viewing on screen (?!). It was only after another push (and over a week getting these pictures “assessed by their printers”), they acknowledged the issues with pictures being darker or orange.

    In relation to the graininess, I had pointed out to customer service that the print quality is not made clear on their website. They have been rude and rebutted this point, providing me a link which is hidden away on a support page (which I am sure people have only ever looked at if they need support or have issues).

    Whilst they have offered me a reprint (because “I am dissatisfied with the product”, and not because the product is of poor quality), the product and the customer service is not up to standard, especially given the price paid and I would definitely not order from them again.

  24. I’m so glad I have read this review and all of the comments below. Thank you so much to everyone who has thoughtfully passed on their awful experiences — it has saved me, big time. I’m looking for a very high quality photo album for our wedding photos. I don’t want to waste time or money. Most of all I dont want the memories of our pspecial day to be ruined with awful quality printed photos. I rally feel for all of you who opened up your mail and instead of seeing something fabulous, a keepsakem you were all upset and angry at being duped. I will not be using moleskin & milk!

  25. Hi,
    I made a Moleskine book base on this review for a holiday taken a few years ago. The first book arrived around September 2014 and was accidentally printed it on the white book instead of the black, which they offered to re-print it for free. I was pretty disappointed with the print quality though and emailed some photos of the printed pages to support. After some back and forth, I got a list of export settings to use such as exporting with at least 300 dpi and not using the high resolution copies from my Flickr account as well as using sRGB because their print process uses CMYK and the color shift may cause images to look stranger than normal.
    Anyways, I finally got around to re-doing the entire book with newly exported images and received it recently and I’m not completely happy with it still. The pages have a softer feel to the first book I got and the print quality is still disappointing. I’m going to try out a normal glossy pages book for my next project, but also based on some of the more recent feedback, I’d also suggest steering clear of the Moleskine specific versions. Other than the print quality, I think it’s a wonderful book, but it’s a photo book after all and the print quality needs to make it memorable.

  26. Wow. This is really disappointing. I was totally convinced by the website and about to pay a big sum for great quality. Apparently not the case with Moleskine. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. Will definitely not order a photoalbum with these guys.

  27. I received a $100 Moleskin gift voucher as a wedding gift. I spent HOURS making the album, spent extra and was so disappointed when it arrived a few days ago. I ordered a Moleskin Photobook. The photo quality was so poor. It was grainy and looked like it had been printed on a home printer or a colour photocopier. These were all high resolution photos from the professional photographer so you can’t blame the quality of the digital images used.

    The quality is so poor that I’m already researching ways to make a new album. To be honest, I’ve lost confidence in websites where you can’t see a sample of the final product before you buy it. I thought Moleskin would be reputable and trustworthy- obviously not. I’m now thinking of making an old fashioned album, printing the actual photos on Kodak photopaper at Kmart and sticking them in an album. The quality of Kmart prints that I’ve done for picture frames so far is 100 times better. SO disappointed.

  28. I have just received my 4th Milk / Moleskine book and I have nothing but positive comments about my experiences with Milk Books. Whenever I’ve had a query my emails have been responded to promptly and I am thrilled with by books and their quality. Yes, they’re expensive but compared to my experiences with other photo books these are in a class of their own. I am sorry others have not had the same level of satisfaction … but I’m one very happy customer!

  29. Alex Norman says:

    I ended up getting another photo book printed from them, but in the normal photo book style, not the Moleskine. The quality was better than the Moleskine, but I was still not thrilled with it. The book itself was beautiful, it’s just a shame that the image printing quality wasn’t amazing. Their support staff sent me this link from their website that details the printing process, how to get accurate coloring and has some zoomed samples of the finished prints which I think accurately reflects the book – . I’ll probably start trying out other photo book retailers for the next project with an eye out for ones that use a glossy page that’s not hugely expensive.

  30. Hi there,
    About two years ago I ordered a Bespoke photo book. Loved it.
    Then, last month, thought I’d use them again, only to receive my order today, and I was appalled by the quality decline. Horrible grainy photos, pages were thinner, the book was smaller, colours horrendous…
    They’ve definitely lost another customer.

  31. I was recommended Milkbooks by my cousin to print my wedding album who had a really good experience and after tossing up between Milkbooks and Artisan State, I decided on Milkbooks as it looked like more of a premium product. I actually had already purchased an Artisan State voucher but went and purchased a voucher for the Milkbooks Cream album when they had a 50% off sale, thinking that I’d use the Artisan state voucher for my parents and in-laws, and keep the Milkbooks Cream album for myself.

    Reading through these comments now really make me wish I hadn’t purchased the Milkbooks voucher but their customer service have actually been really helpful throughout the process. I asked for images of real life examples of the Tintoretto and Mohawk papers offered for the Cream albums (which they honestly should just have on the website – customers shouldn’t need to ask!) but I have to say the images do not fill me with confidence. I have just placed my order for the Cream album since I have already prepaid for it. Here’s hoping that they have solved their quality issues.

  32. I too have had an INCREDIBLY disappointing experience with the Moleskin photo album. I spent hours and hours perfecting three wedding albums to give as parent gifts for this upcoming holiday season using M+M’s actually very user-friendly and attractive interface. Using their beautiful site led me to believe I would be receiving a high-quality product, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I honestly got in to bed and cried after opening the packages and seeing the albums I had such high hopes for. I will not be giving these to family members or even displaying them in my home. Money down the drain unless their customer service team can do something for me, which sounds unlikely after reading this thread.

  33. I ordered a $50 gift card for a MILK photo book for someone who is a photographer as a Christmas gift. It was supposed to come in a Cahier notebook with the gift card inside, to give them an idea of what they would be getting. The plastic card came – but not the journal nor anything else. I’ve tried using their customer service email form – got a stock answer not at all addressing the issue, and then I called. He told me someone would email me. Not. I sent another email with a screen shot of their page showing what I was to receive. No response. Now after reading all your comments I don’t trust that they will do a good job on the book and I’ve will have given my friend a $50 bum gift.

    I just ordered a gift card from Blurb. I’ll send her that and keep the MILK gift card for some project I don’t care about.

  34. I found that Moleskine produced a very average print quality, especially when you combine colour and black and white images in the same book. The black and white is produced with a colour print and monochrome so that the images all appear with a magenta tint on them. In the end Moleskine returned the book to us when I sent it to them for a review and credited us the cost for production saying this was the best they could get.

  35. Milkbook lost all our photos! A few days worth of work and no contact. Customer service appalling.

    • Same for us.
      Hours and hours of work gone because they simply decided to discontinue a line.
      It will be interesting to see if I get a refund.

      • I had the same thing happen. Worked for hours on the photo book that simply disappeared. When I thought I could just re-do it on their updated site, the version of the product no longer exist. So a complete waste of time. Such disappointment.

  36. Their products have turned out well in the end for me… but their customer service is horrendous… they do not care about their customers at all! I sing praises of companies that have treated me well… this is not one of them.

  37. I am very surprised about the bad comments and/or experiences. I am a professional photographer and designed several Moleskine photo books. All were really great in every respect. The colors are perfect, almost, as good at least as I expected them. It all depends so much on a perfect work flow starting with a good and calibrated monitor, I am sure many users don’t know this. At best you should know about a profile for the printing or the used paper.
    The support of Milk is always very fast, profound and helpful, and they suggested a possible ICC profile for the Moleskine paper that worked very well. This paper is uncoated and has a light (and beautiful) ivory tone. So it won’t be as brilliant as a coated bright white paper of course, but this is certainly intended and has a very special quality and character.

    The downside: the prices of the books are much too high in my opinion. Instead of permanently offering their super discounts they should decrease their general prices. Because the books are shipped via FedEx from Hongkong I also have to pay additional duty fee.
    Hopefully they will add more design features that are very limited compared with a real design software. Only five fonts are offered, also a bit restrictive. On the other hand it means to design within certain limitation can be quite challenging, in a positive way ;-)
    Anyway, if you know what you do, and how to prepare you photos you should get very satisfying results.

  38. Don’t buy a MILKBOOKS album. Well at least be careful if you do.
    I was almost finished with the massive job of collating 10years of photos for my son’s 11th birthday only to have the whole album deleted because they were no longer stoking that item!! GREAT, Apparently they sent emails but if you read every blinking promo email they send you’d be up all night!
    So there is NO storage it seems and once they decide to discontinue a line all work goes with it!

  39. I am so disappointed to read all these comments. Well, horrified actually. I pre-paid for 6 large format books mid-October by credit card. It posted immediately, but there has been no confirmation email with my voucher numbers as promised. I have contacted the company by email 3 times and have not received even an acknowledgement of the emails, and of course, no help from customer service.

    I am planning on contacting my credit card company to rescind my payment if possible, although I’ve sent a final email requesting MILKBOOKS to contact me. The books were to be wedding albums.

    Any suggestions for another company at this late date?

  40. This company is terrible. Does not honor promotional offers and has nearly non-existent customer service. Very unreliable. I would not waste your time unless you have a lot of it and it isn’t valuable to you.

    My wife and I decided ton Milk as our wedding album supplier since they had offered us a coupon. The coupon is only redeemable at checkout and lasts 21 days. So, we spent many hours making up our album in order to have it ready for ordering before the expiration date.

    Well, the promotional code will not work. Customer service is barely responsive and not helpful. And now we have invested 15-20 hours in creating the album but it will cost us much more than we had expected.

    So yeah. We are not ordering the album we spent all that time creating and will now cost us twice what was advertised. And now, we will not have the album in time for when we will are traveling to see our families.

    Milk, and more specifically, Milks’ lack of customer service and honorable business practices, have cost us the wedding album experience that we wanted.

    I wish I just selected a more reputable company and ordered for a slightly higher price.

    • Jordan Corpuz says:

      I have the same miserable experience. I have some vouchers that will not work at checkout. I spent days creating and re-creating the photo album and at the end, the vouchers will not work. Customer service failed to respond. I love their books but it’s not worth the misery I have to endure with their service.

  41. I’m so pleased that I came across this information! I was about to purchase a Milk photobook but after reading through these comments I certainly will not! Thanks for this review.

  42. I am really happy with my MILK photobook. Having read the other reviews here after I’d already placed my order, I was very worried. But it arrived today, about 10 days after I submitted my order (I live in Sydney), and it looks great. I purchased a medium-sized landscape Archival photobook (not a Moleskine book like one mentioned in this post). I was drawn to this style because of the option of a linen cover, and the images on the MILK website seemed to display examples of books that had lovely, clean designs. I used a mixture of DSLR images (in black and white and colour) and iPhone photos and they came out well. I chose the textured paper, and I’m happy with the print quality – I work in magazine publishing and so I know how difficult it can be to achieve high-quality printing. Many reviewers above complained about the cover photo – the image on the cover of my book doesn’t seem to be as of the same quality as the images inside, but it’s only barely noticeable, and I know the recipient of the book will not even blink an eye at that. I also found the website easy to navigate, and I was lucky to purchase at a time when they were offering 40 % off. All in all, no complaints from me!

    • The quality of our album’s cover photo was noticeably, significantly worse than the images inside (the ones inside weren’t amazing either, to be honest – just not worth complaining about) and customer service was of absolutely NO help to us. The response we received from Jacinda was:

      1. Both monitors that we used “disguised the fuzziness”, making the images look clearer than they were
      2. The original images were already blurry (they were not – even if they were, the printed image was way worse)
      3. Customers are expected to zoom into every single photo even if it already looks fine in the normal view
      4. Customers are expected to read the support pages before purchasing/printing a book (as in BEFORE you know you even need support)
      5. Milk shouldn’t be expected to produce a software that is capable of identifying when an image will not print well

      I’d say that all these excuses alone should be enough to make any potential customer head towards a different vendor.

  43. All the pages fell out of mine within the second read. Would not buy again.

  44. I know you guys are talking about their moleskin range, but i just wanted to add a comment about my experience. I purchased a large leather layflat album from MILK books (60% off, seems like they regularly have sales) and I absolutely adore it. Initially I wasn’t happy with the cover photo being stuck on the outside (literally a photo glued onto the leather) but when I emailed the company with my concerns they were so lovely about it – and organised a reprint without the cover photo (and allowed me to edit my book again to add the cover photo to a page within). So I can’t fault the end product or the service!

  45. Jordan Corpuz says:

    I’m having horrible customer service with MILK +Moleskin. I pre-purchase some vouchers which I have done in the past. I’ve done a photo book last and quite happy with the result. I am not a professional photographer nor I have intentions of publishing my photos. But I have tried every novice commercial photo book makers out there and Milkbook product is one of my favorites. My unhappy experience with them is the pre-purchase vouchers. Unlike other websites that offer similar discounts, they all offer the original value purchased on the expired vouchers. But this is not the case with MILK company. Their customer service will not offer that option on my expired voucher. In fact, Jacinta, the customer specialist handling my case refused to answer that question. She insist that the company being that small have a strict policy in regards to expired vouchers. That seem unfair. I still waiting for her to respond to my request but my email are being ignored at this point. My last resort is to dispute the charge with my credit card if I still don’t hear from her.

    • That’s interesting… Jacinda was also the “customer service” agent that worked on our complaint and I understand your pain completely. I hope your issue was resolved satisfactorily (ours wasn’t).

  46. Does anyone have suggestions on an alternative provider – Lauren and Rob, what are you using these days?

    • Hi Rachel,

      For wedding albums we recommend Vision Art (our favourite album vendor). For personal use we love Blurb (with proline paper).

  47. We also had an AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL experience with Milk, so much so that we set up a blog just to help get the word out and caution other buyers:

    Proceed with caution, everyone! The image quality was subpar and their customer service (if you can even call it that) was even worse.

  48. Hi, I pre-purchased books with Milk books. I wanted a premium book for my photographic portfolio. so if I had been happy with the books, I would have ordered lots more. Now that I have finished several books, I have noticed that my pre-purchase vouchers have been changed to 40% discount. Milk Books did this when I had trouble logging into my account and accessing my vouchers. The company have a 50% on at the moment. My price actually went up when I put in the voucher!! Incredible!! I have been trying to communicate with them but have had little response!! The only response I got was that they have nothing wrong with their system. I spent $600US. I won’t be making the order as I’m not going to pay them again for a product that I have already purchased!! Especially after reading these reviews!! That’s $600 down the drain!! I am not impressed!! What a shame!! I also dealt with Jacinta. My voucher has not expired. They have just allocated me the wrong vouchers!! I’m still waiting to hear from them!!

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