So the other day I finally got ink for my printer, got some great paper for business cards and post cards, and started up shop. Now my printer isn't anything fancy, just a decent $150 (at the time) Canon desktop inkjet. Only really got it to do paperwork for the business, envelops, and normal office type stuff.
So I was printing off some 5x7 images for some postcards. The paper is so thick that it didn't really want to feed right going one way, but the image would get shrunk and re-sized weird the long way. So after a few hours I finally figured this out as well as there wasn't much I could do to get around it. Still have no idea how I printed my envelopes out as I did - but that's besides the point.
I will have better luck when I get to the 8.5 x 11 sheets of the card stock since that should feed just fine, and the 5x7's came from the butt end of the press sheet - since they only sell the paper per press sheet rather than cut down, and although "cheap" it wasn't like going to office max or something.
The next part I didn't really enjoy but knew what coming is color. So what we have going on here are viewing conditions, paper stock, inks, printer, and the actual image. I knew this was coming because I do have a background in the print industry from college, and a person can take control of the situation and calibrate everything. But, my point is that for the use I needed the post cards for (and will need) are some color prints sent to clients now and then, and some black and whites made for fun and sold online cheap. Also, the viewing conditions of those images will vary widely, so spending all this time calibrating something expendable seemed silly to me, and my printer is on the low end so it wouldn't have even been worth it.
I guess the lessons of this rant are the following...
- If you can farm out printing it's worth it. Granted my business isn't setup on selling prints, so for me it's perfect to order online and pick up the mail.
- Buy a printer with a rear feed tray. There is no chance at all the card stock would make the bend in a normal printer.
- Learn how to use the printer and read the manual. (oops)
- If you don't need to calibrate, don't, it will be in the ballpark and honestly if you need things nuts on dead accurate, well, then you wouldn't be reading this blog for advice =).
- Keep the use in mind. I only needed about 20 copies of the post cards I made, and it would have been super expensive to farm that out. I came out ahead even with all the time learning how to do this.
Again though, if you don't need a nice photo printer at home there is really no reason to get one when really nice prints are pretty affordable online or even at locations here in the cities.
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