Artifact Uprising Vs. Shutterfly: Photo Printing Services Compared

So, you’ve got a whole bunch of photos from a special event that you want printed, bound into a photobook, or made into cards – but which service should you use? Artifact Uprising and Shutterfly are two of the most popular online photo printing services, but they have some key differences.

This comprehensive guide will compare the pros, cons, quality, and prices of Artifact Uprising and Shutterfly to help you decide which is best for your needs.

A Brief Comparison Table Of  Artifact Uprising And Shutterfly:

FeaturesArtifact UprisingShutterfly
Print QualitySuperior, professional gradeGood, but not as sharp
Product SelectionCurated, focus on core photo itemsHuge variety of customizable products
CustomizationClean, modern designs and themesMore embellishments and playful themes
PriceExpensive, premium productsAffordable, frequent sales
Turnaround TimeLonger, handcrafted productionFaster, rush options available
PackagingLuxe, gift-worthyBasic branded packaging

Overview Of Artifact Uprising

Founded in 2016, Artifact Uprising emphasizes premium quality and an elevated aesthetic for all of its photo products. They offer an array of products including softcover and hardcover photo books, cards, calendars, prints, and gifts like notebooks and pillows. Their products are hand-assembled in the U.S. using ethically-sourced materials.

Artifact Uprising
Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising Pros:

  • Very high print quality – products have a soft, matte finish that looks almost painterly.
  • Clean, modern designs with thick pages that lay flat. Products feel high-end and luxe.
  • Excellent customer service and product guarantees.
  • Easy-to-use website and customization options. Intuitive design software.
  • Premium look and feel with thoughtful packaging. Products feel gift-worthy.

Artifact Uprising Cons:

  • Significantly more expensive than other services like Shutterfly. Books start at $15.
  • Smaller product selection focuses just on core photo gifts.
  • Longer production and shipping times due to hand-crafted nature. Rush options available.

Overview Of Shutterfly

Founded in 1999, Shutterfly pioneered online photo printing services. They offer a huge selection of photo products including cards, calendars, prints, posters, thank you cards, announcements, and a variety of photo books in different sizes, paper types, and binding styles.

Shutterfly Pros:

  • Huge variety of products from photo books to canvases, blankets, puzzles, pillows, bags, and more unique gifts.
  • Affordable pricing with frequent sales and discounts, especially on cards. Books start at $10.
  • Fast production and shipping times, sometimes as quick as same day.
  • Partnerships with brands like Starbucks for branded products.

Shutterfly Cons:

  • Print quality is not as high resolution and color accurate as Artifact Uprising. Can look more pixelated.
  • Design interface is not as sleek and simple to use. More clunky.
  • Products come in branded Shutterfly packaging, which looks less luxe.
  • Customer service not as personalized. Can be slow to respond.

Also Read: Comparison Between Mpix And Printique

Artifact Uprising Vs. Shutterfly: In-Depth Comparison Of Photo Printing Service

Quality Comparison

The biggest difference between Shutterfly and Artifact Uprising is photo print quality. Artifact Uprising uses a high-end professional lab for printing that results in richer colors, finer details, and a soft matte paper that resembles a professional photography print. Shutterfly’s prints are serviceable but colors can be flatter and details not as sharp.

Similarly, Artifact Uprising’s lay flat binding technique for the photo books allows for crisp image alignment while Shutterfly’s books can bend and warp photos across pages. For photo purists who want their images to look as perfect as possible, Artifact Uprising’s quality is ahead. But Shutterfly is by no means poor quality, it simply prioritizes affordability over top-notch professional printing.

Customization Differences

Both services offer templates and themes for easily designing photobooks and cards without starting from a blank canvas. Artifact Uprising’s options are more curated, featuring clean modern layouts and stylish fonts perfect for showcasing photos elegantly. Shutterfly has a wider array of templates with more variety but the overall look trends more casual, playful, and kitschy.

In terms of mixing photos, text, and other embellishments, Shutterfly provides more overall flexibility with borders, stickers, solid colors, and themes. The Shutterfly design interfaces are more complex with added learning curves but allow you to fine tune a wider array of options. Artifact Uprising streamlines customization to focus on a high-end aesthetic.

Read More: Comparison Between Canvas Champ And Easy Canvas Prints

Cost Comparison

Artifact Uprising commands a clear price premium over Shutterfly. For example, a 8×8 20-page softcover photobook costs $15 at Artifact Uprising but just $10 at Shutterfly regular pricing (often discounted to $8). While deals fluctuate, Shutterfly generally offers lower everyday prices along with frequent sitewide sales.

However, Artifact Uprising fans feel the higher cost is more than justified by the noticeable jump in print and product quality. For bargain hunters, Shutterfly allows you to create more photo products for the same budget. It really comes down to prioritizing quality or price.

Turnaround Time

One of Shutterfly’s advantages is faster turnaround times, especially when you want your order quickly. They have same day options along with 1 day production on cards and most books and prints. In comparison, Artifact Uprising handcrafts products upon order so standard production takes 2-3 days for most items.

Artifact Uprising also has longer shipping times of 4-9 days via USPS while Shutterfly offers faster 1-3 day shipping through FedEx. For last minute gifts, Shutterfly’s speed is preferable. But the extra production time at Artifact Uprising ensures excellent quality control. Rush fees are available at Artifact Uprising if needed.

Product Selection

Artifact Uprising has a tightly curated selection of products focused on their core photo books, prints, cards and calendars. Their brand centers around a minimalist, elegant aesthetic. In contrast, Shutterfly offers an enormous catalog of products encompassing everything from mugs to blankets to phone cases, on top of the basic books and prints.

Shutterfly’s partnerships with brands like Starbucks allow you to create branded merch. And their selection of puzzles, bags, pillows, and other home decor featuring your photos is unmatched. If you want to photo print on tons of random objects, Shutterfly is your best bet.

Also Read: Comparison Between mpix And Artifact Uprising

Packaging and Presentation

Presentation is another clear differentiator, as Artifact Uprising products arrive in clean, minimalist boxes with cotton inserts that feel special and gift-worthy right out of the box. Shutterfly products come in basic branded packaging that looks more mass-produced.

For gifting photo creations, Artifact Uprising’s unboxing experience elevates the perceived value. Though Shutterfly products themselves are perfectly lovely, the packaging lacks that extra touch of luxury. Ultimately it’s up to you whether packaging is a deciding factor.


  • Artifact Uprising is the winner for premium quality prints and photobooks with an elevated, stylish aesthetic and presentation. Ideal for photobooks and printing your best professional photos beautifully.
  • Shutterfly has a lot more variety in both products and customization options. The larger selection and lower prices make it better for casual photos and experimenting with unique photo merchandise.

Watch the video to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Artifact Uprising better than Shutterfly?

Artifact Uprising has better print quality with more carefully crafted designs, while Shutterfly has more variety and lower prices. So Artifact Uprising is better if your top priority is beautiful professional photos and aesthetic. But Shutterfly is better if you want a wide selection and affordability.

Is Artifact Uprising good quality?

Yes, Artifact Uprising is known for very high quality printing and materials that look like a luxe photo book you’d buy in a gallery. Their products have an elevated, artisanal feel.

Are Shutterfly prints better quality?

Shutterfly prints are decent but Artifact Uprising prints are superior in color, resolution, paper texture and accuracy. Shutterfly prioritizes affordability over the absolute highest print quality.

Is Milk photo books better than Artifact Uprising?

Milk Books are comparable to Artifact Uprising for a high-end aesthetic and print quality, though the two have different designs. Milk Books also focus specifically on photobooks. So they’re on par for quality, just with a different look and feel.

Which Is Better For You? Key Questions

Are you a semi-pro/professional photographer wanting to print a photobook or portfolio?

If your priority is to showcase your photos in the highest quality printing with a sleek, professional look, Artifact Uprising is the clear choice. Their more curated approach focuses on the photography itself.

Are you looking for a deal or discounts?

Shutterfly runs promotions and discounts year-round, especially on cards. If getting the lowest price is most important, shop Shutterfly’s deals.

Do you want fancier/trendier embellishments and themes?

Shutterfly offers way more variety in decorative page elements like borders, filters, and graphics. Go wild with embellishments using their tools.

Do you need to print and ship quickly?

Shutterfly’s faster production and shipping times work best for last minute gifting needs. You can often get products overnight.

Do you want upscale luxe packaging?

Artifact Uprising’s unboxing experience with cotton inserts and minimalist branding feels high-end and gift-worthy. Shutterfly packaging is more basic and utilitarian.

Do you want the widest selection of photo merchandise?

Shutterfly offers photo printing on everything – blankets, bags, ornaments, phone cases…you name it. Go with them if you want photo customization far beyond books.

The Bottom Line

While Artifact Uprising wins on premium quality and aesthetic, Shutterfly takes the trophy for affordability and massive product variety. Look at the key features important for your project to decide. But rest assured that both Shutterfly and Artifact Uprising produce lovely photo gifts sure to delight.

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