Author Topic: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark  (Read 9286 times)  

Offline jesspark

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MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
« on: May 01, 2009, 09:30:31 pm »
Although I love looking at all the beautiful DecalGirl skins posted here on KindleBoards, none of DecalGirl's selection really felt very "me" to me. Enter www.mytego.com, a website for custom skinning all sorts of electronics, including both the first-generation Kindle and, recently added, the Kindle 2. Designing skins on their site, whether from a selection of Tego's images or one of your own, is easy, fun, and even a tad addicting; before deciding on my first skin, I assembled quite a collection of contenders, and I was crossing my fingers that my skin turned out looking as cool in person as it did in the website's preview -- if so, I'd be giving Tego plenty of business in the future!

After receiving my first Tego skin, I have to say that the biggest negative for me is the turnaround time. Here's a timeline of my order:

Saturday, April 11: ordered custom skin.

Tuesday, April 21: received email informing me that my order was now being made.

Friday, April 24: received shipping notification.

Friday, May 1: custom skin was delivered.

Total time from order to delivery: 21 days.

Now, granted, Tego is based in Canada, I live in Florida, and I chose "Standard Lettermail" shipping, but I wish there was some way to speed up the process a little bit. It looks like my Tego design languished in limbo for about ten days before being manufactured. Maybe I'm just spoiled by companies like Oberon Design when it comes to turnaround time, though.  =)

That being said, was my custom Tego skin worth the wait? You bet!

Having never skinned any of my electronics, I wanted to go with something sort of understated and neutral to start off; I didn't want bright colors or splashy images distracting me from reading my Kindle. I chose an old photo of seashells taken by my husband at Cocoa Beach, then applied a subtle white "ripple" effect to tone down the colors a bit and give an impression of water over top of the shells. I thought this would complement my navy Hokusai Wave cover from Oberon nicely: open up the cover with the wave on front, and find shells inside. It made sense to me, anyway.  ;)  Since I only remove my Kindle from its cover when I insert or eject the SD card, I didn't bother with designing a piece for the back; I just ordered the front. Unlike DecalGirl, which requires you to order both a front and a back skin, Tego allows you to order only the "faces" you want to cover on your Kindle. I like that.

One thing I do prefer about DecalGirl's custom skin process (which I began before finding out that I'd have to pay for both a front and a back whether I wanted both of them or not) is the ability to eliminate the "NEXT PAGE," "PREV PAGE," and "BACK" labels on the Kindle's buttons. I'd love to see Tego include that option in the future!

The skin, when it arrived, seemed pretty true to the colors in the photograph, although I'm not sure if the same could be said for a more vivid image. For my picture, though, it worked well, and the print quality seems decent. I was pleased with how that turned out.

I was a little disappointed with the texture of the skin, however; it maintains the tiny diamond shapes from the backing paper to which it was affixed, and you can see minute "dimples" when the light hits it just right as well as feel them the slightest bit. It's not a deal-breaker for me (and I don't know if this is normal -- for instance, whether DecalGirl's skins are totally smooth or if they have a faintly visible/tactile texture like Tego's), but it's something that I felt ought to be addressed. I don't think it's going to bother me, fortunately.

Tego included instructions for applying my new skin, as well as a nice little touch: an alcohol prep to wipe off my Kindle before putting the skin on. Convenient!

Applying the skin was kind of a pain, though. Remember, this is my first skin, so I don't know what's considered typical, but I spent just shy of twenty minutes putting my Tego skin on my Kindle. Several of those minutes were spent simply removing the main piece from the backing paper. Despite peeling it off slowly, probably half of the "cut-outs," the little stickers that should've come off to reveal the holes in the skin for the keyboard and buttons, didn't detach from the main skin on their own. This meant that I had to punch out each one individually. Yuck! Once that was done, though, I didn't mind the rest of the application process; there were six pieces in total, and, in spite of their thinness, I felt that they were all pretty easily removable and adjustable when I needed to straighten them out. The skin isn't perfectly aligned, but it's close enough for me, and I think it looks downright spiffy.

What do you think? These are some photos of my Kindle in its debut skin, along with its coordinating custom screensaver and navy blue Hokusai Wave cover from Oberon:



















The colors aren't exact, but you get the idea.  :)

Overall, I'm satisfied with my Tego skin. I wish it would've gotten to me faster, and it would've been nice if all of the keyboard/button cut-outs would've separated on their own, but those small annoyances are outweighed by my happiness with the ease of designing and ordering a custom skin as well as with the final product itself. Tego included a code for twenty percent off my next order, and, after this, there's no question that there will be a next order -- I just have to decide which of my designs to go with for my second skin!

Grade: B+
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 02:51:53 am by jesspark »

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    Offline mlewis78

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 10:48:24 pm »
    Jess, I love it, and it's unique -- no one else has this.  Great photos (as usual from you).
    New York, NY
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    Offline intinst

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 11:45:38 pm »
    Great Kombo, Jess!
    A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits.  Edith Sitwell 
    Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the
    engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair. Annie Dillard

         Located just outside Little Rock, Arkansas

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 02:29:23 am »
    Thanks, mlewis78 and intinst!  :D  Once I get my Hawaiian-print Borsa Bella bag, my combo will be complete! ...well, for now.  ;D

    Offline Lcky24

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 07:13:40 am »
    Looks great! I just wanted to add to this that I also ordered from Mytego, and I got the e-mail saying that it was being made the day after I placed the order...Since I don't live all that far from Canada we will see how long it actually takes before I get the skin. I'm still very excited but slightly worried about the texture issue  :-\
    ★Amy

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 09:50:09 am »
    Wow, Amy! That gives me hope, then; if there's not automatically a ten-day waiting period between ordering and manufacturing, maybe my next skin will get here a little faster. The shipping itself was surprisingly speedy at one week, especially since the email I received quoted Standard Lettermail as taking fifteen business days to destinations outside Canada. I hope you get your skin quickly -- I saw your design in another thread and thought it was beautiful (I love me some hibiscus!), and the quote on the back is so appropriate! I'm eager to see how it looks "in person."

    As for the texture, you can see it in photos of Lynn's Tego skin where the light hits the vinyl. I was worried that it would bother me, but I'm finding that it doesn't... although I just read that DecalGirl's skins don't have a texture, and I'd rather Tego's didn't. Maybe it'll diminish in time as the skin adheres more closely to the Kindle? We'll see.  =)

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #6 on: May 02, 2009, 09:54:39 am »
    Jess, what's the cost for a custom skin? Also, how much is shipping from Canada to the US?

    L

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    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #7 on: May 02, 2009, 10:01:23 am »
    For one "face," it's twelve dollars; for both, it's twenty-one. Standard shipping to the US was three dollars.

    It looks like the Kindle 2 skin is a little pricier at sixteen and twenty-four dollars, respectively. Shipping stays the same, at least.

    Offline Meemo

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #8 on: May 02, 2009, 01:09:11 pm »
    Love it Jess! 

    Being a "beachy" girl myself that combo would be perfect for me.  I have the saddle Tree of Life - I've been looking through some of our pictures from Gatlinburg - the view from the cabin we like to stay in there, all green trees with the mountains in the background, trying to find one that would work for a custom mytego or decalgirl skin.  This makes me want to keep looking.  You had one option that was all water & sky that I loved too - can't find any pics like that in our pictures - or even a good beachy one from all our pics at the Gulf beach here and on the Atlantic side.  (What's up with that, anyway???)  But with the ToL cover, the trees would be a better fit anyway.  Or maybe I can find a nice one with fall colors...

    Anyway, sorry for thinking out loud on your thread - I LOVE your mytego skin!
    em
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    Offline Kathy

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #9 on: May 02, 2009, 02:42:23 pm »
    Love it. Since I have the same cover, I may have to get this one next. It is perfect. Of course, only if you want to share. ;D

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 10:09:44 pm »
    Thank you, ladies!

    Love it Jess! 

    Being a "beachy" girl myself that combo would be perfect for me.  I have the saddle Tree of Life - I've been looking through some of our pictures from Gatlinburg - the view from the cabin we like to stay in there, all green trees with the mountains in the background, trying to find one that would work for a custom mytego or decalgirl skin.  This makes me want to keep looking.  You had one option that was all water & sky that I loved too - can't find any pics like that in our pictures - or even a good beachy one from all our pics at the Gulf beach here and on the Atlantic side.  (What's up with that, anyway???)  But with the ToL cover, the trees would be a better fit anyway.  Or maybe I can find a nice one with fall colors...

    Anyway, sorry for thinking out loud on your thread - I LOVE your mytego skin!

    No worries, Meemo -- I like hearing about others' custom skin ideas and combos! I think a mountain/forest skin would look awesome with the Tree of Life cover. My mom is a big fan of the mountains, so I know she'd love something like that; she and her sisters usually rent a chalet in Gatlinburg every year, in fact.

    Love it. Since I have the same cover, I may have to get this one next. It is perfect. Of course, only if you want to share. ;D

    How about this photo, Kathy? It's royalty-free stock, which means it's up for grabs, and I think it looks great as a skin! Here's a preview from Tego:




    Man, I could play on mytego.com all day!  :D

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #11 on: May 04, 2009, 04:09:54 pm »
    For those of you who are interested in creating your own custom skins but can't find the perfect photo in your private collection, another good place for royalty-free stock is deviantart.com -- you can browse recent submissions in their Stock Images category, narrowing it down to subcategories like Nature, Animals, or Plants; you can also perform a search for something specific, like "seashells" (that search was done in the Nature subcategory, but you might also try searching for seashells under Objects).

    If you have ad-blocking software installed in your browser, though, you may have to disable it while browsing deviantART, since it's been known to interfere with the ability to view images.

    Unlike some stock-only websites, deviantART is updated constantly, so it makes finding new and interesting pictures for personal use really easy!

    Offline Jaasy

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #12 on: May 04, 2009, 05:57:11 pm »
    Thanks for the link, Jess.  These images are awesome! 

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #13 on: May 04, 2009, 06:03:45 pm »
    You're welcome, Jaasy! I hope to see a lot of cool custom skins in the future -- since I can only have one skin on my Kindle at a time, I'll just have to live vicariously through everyone else.  ;D

    Offline Kathy

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #14 on: May 04, 2009, 07:16:23 pm »
    Thank you, ladies!

    No worries, Meemo -- I like hearing about others' custom skin ideas and combos! I think a mountain/forest skin would look awesome with the Tree of Life cover. My mom is a big fan of the mountains, so I know she'd love something like that; she and her sisters usually rent a chalet in Gatlinburg every year, in fact.

    How about this photo, Kathy? It's royalty-free stock, which means it's up for grabs, and I think it looks great as a skin! Here's a preview from Tego:




    Man, I could play on mytego.com all day!  :D

    Love it. I wonder if DecalGirl would do a custom skin with the picture. This would be on my list of future skins that's for sure. Looks so nice with the Wave cover. I think this would look great with Eric's Wave cover in saddle as well. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #15 on: May 05, 2009, 05:36:39 am »
    You're welcome! If you get that as a custom skin, you know you have to upload photos of it immediately, right?  :D  I'd love to see the final product.

    Nothing beachy (yet), but I've started posting custom skin ideas that are up for grabs; you can see 'em here!

    Offline AnelaBelladonna

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #16 on: May 05, 2009, 08:06:03 am »
    That is so beautiful!

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #17 on: May 05, 2009, 11:23:38 pm »
    Thank you, AnelaBelladonna!  :)

    Offline Lcky24

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #18 on: May 06, 2009, 06:17:45 pm »
    So I don't know about my tege order being any quicker. My timeline so far looks like this-
    April 29th- designed and put order in
    April 30th- got confirmation e-mail saying it was being made
    May 6th- got e-mail saying my order has shipped
    Looks like overall it may take just as long as yours Jess! I guess we will see how soon it actually arrives!
    ★Amy

    Offline Lcky24

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #19 on: May 14, 2009, 03:43:34 pm »
    So I got my skin. I hate it. I don't like the texture at all, since my skin is mostly just black it makes it look cheap and it looked kind of worn right out of the package on spots where it looked like it had been rubbed or scuffed. I dont like how it fits the Kindle2, it doesnt seem to fit as well as decal girl skins, and def. not as well as my 3apc skin did. The back came in 2 pieces, which I hate because it leaves a seam. I like my design (obviously, since I designed it) but the quality and texture of the skin I do not like at all.It also does not seem to stick as well and is really easy to peel on and off, this may benefit some people but I like my skins to really stick. On a side note, when I removed my 3apc skin it was super easy and left no residue at all, I was really pleased with the quality of my skin from 3acp and I think thats where I will order again.
    ★Amy

    Offline jesspark

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    Re: MyTego.com Custom Skin Review by Jesspark
    « Reply #20 on: May 14, 2009, 05:10:11 pm »
    That's too bad, Amy!  :(  I wondered how different colors would look with the "snakeskin" texture, and I'm sorry to hear that solid black doesn't look nice. Although it certainly has a texture, I didn't see any evidence of rubbing or scuffing on mine; that can't be normal, and maybe Tego will refund your money if you let them know how unhappy you are with the skin.

    I'm still pleased with my Tego skin, but I imagine design plays a big part in that, and there are designs I've made that I'm hesitant about ordering from Tego due to uncertainty about how the texture would affect the overall look. Taking a look at your other points, the skin is still stuck tight to my Kindle, and I didn't have any concerns with the back piece because I rarely take my Kindle out of my cover and I didn't even design a back "face." I guess what they say is true: different strokes for different folks!

    I don't know about 3acp, but Decalgirl also does custom skins. Maybe you'd have a better experience with them?

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