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Albums still represent the best way to preserve wedding images in the long term. A book of printed images is more or less timeless and, with care, should remain in reasonable condition throughout the lives of the bride and groom. Modern digital albums have revolutionized format and presentation style. Traditional "slip-in" albums are still available but must surely disappear in due course.

Printed images produced using good quality paper, inks or other printing technologies have a life span under ideal conditions of perhaps 75 years. When images are enclosed in a book and consequently protected from direct light and moisture, this ideal may well be achievable. Over a similar period, any chosen digital media (such as DVD) will be completely outdated and rendered unreadable in the rapidly-evolving world of electronics.

A wide variety of album types is available. Entry-level products are available from Vision Art Book (www.visionartbook.com) and numerous other companies. Up-market products are available from companies such as Graphistudio (www.graphistudio.com), Leather Craftsmen (www.leathercraftsmen.com), Queensberry (www.queensberry.com) and Forbeyon (www.forbeyon.com). It is also possible conveniently to produce smaller versions of the prime book for parents and guests.

Numerous album companies make available as a free download the software required to design custom albums for clients. Typical software packages are equipped with a range of styles, page templates and masks which can be easily applied using drag-and-drop techniques. The completed design can then be uploaded to the company for printing and binding.

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