Artkive Turns Your Kids’ Artwork (And More) Into Printed Books

Posted: May 22, 2013 in All category
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Artkive, an app designed to eliminate the overwhelming guilt you get tossing your children’s
brilliant artwork into the garbage, now has another
purpose, too: you can order printed out books of
their creations. Instead of just hiding the child’s
crumpled up drawings and precious finger-paint
covered handprints that school sends home – what is now, like every day? – under cereal boxes and empty bags of chips, you can assure yourself that
you’ve found a more efficient means of saving these
items instead. You snapped a photo of them. The sense of relief is overwhelming, I tell you. OK, I kid…a little. But as any parent will tell you, kids’ art output is overwhelming, forcing you to curate with a heavy hand.
That’s why so many moms (and some dads, too) have begun snapping photos of the art before it hits the
trash. Explains CEO Jedd Gold, who has extensive experience working in kids’ entertainment, including with the
relaunch of nostalgic 80′s brands like Strawberry Shortcake and Trolls, he was inspired to build Artkive after
witnessing this very behavior at home. “I was watching my wife take pictures of our kids’ artwork on her camera, that she would upload to her
computer, and then she would upload from her computer to one of these photo sites. But by then she wouldn’t
remember who created what piece, or when they were created, and they’d be out of order,” he says. “I thought,
‘there’s gotta be an app for that.’ But there really wasn’t.” So he launched one. The Kive Company raised $500,000 late last year for its mobile application that helps you to not just take the photos, but also annotate them with things like the child’s name, date of creation, and other comments. Although the original goal was to make the art archiving process easier – as you can tell by the name – the
app’s small but growing customer base of 105,000 (almost all moms) have already found other uses for it.
They’re documenting everything that you would save for a kids’ scrapbook, including report cards, photos,
other items from events and school activities, and more. One woman even used the app to document the last
seven months of her pregnancy.

With this expanded focus, the printed book option begins to make more sense. Because as much as I love
my own daughter’s art, I’m not sure how often I’d really revisit it in hardcover book format. But a scrapbook of
her pre-kindergarten years? That I could get on board with. Gold initially tested the concept with an alpha product launched in December. He added a “print” button to the
app, without offering an explanation or any details as to what the final product would be. Despite this lack of
information, a couple hundred Artkive users ordered books. With the app’s recent update, the book purchasing feature has been overhauled. Users can now review and
edit their books, changing things like the title, text on the page, the pictures it includes, and more. Books can
either be 8×8″ or 8×11″, and start at $25 for 20 pages. Each additional page is $1.00 more. Before the holidays, the plan is to expand into gifts, like calendars and mugs, for example. Also new in the recent update is social sharing – something Gold had originally limited, thinking that the last
thing anyone would want to see on Facebook was other people’s kids’ drawings. But Artkive’s user base
disagreed. In addition, Artkive has also recently come to Android, however it’s not yet feature-complete with the iOS
version due to the company’s limited resources. I love the idea behind Artkive, but the app itself needs to streamline things a bit. There are too many manual
steps involved on almost all screens, from sign-up to upload. These are mainly minor inconveniences, but
anything that takes more time that it should – or could – is something that will eventually find itself dropped in
favor of quicker, smoother alternatives…like Shutterfly’s automatic upload on its mobile app, perhaps.

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