Category Archives: Printing Tips

5 Ways to Choose the Right Ink Cartridge for your Printer

Ink cartridges are most of the time costly especially for small businesses. Replacing ink cartridges as often as few times a month can be frustrating and adding cost to your monthly expenses. Even if you tried to lessen the printing, still it doesn’t last long and the next you know is that you’re taking off that cartridge from the printer and replace a new one again.

Here are 5 ways to choose the right ink cartridge for your printer:

Printer Compatibility

Image courtesy of TypographyImages

The first thing to consider when buying an ink cartridge is to check if it is compatible with your printer since not all ink cartridges are created equal. Different printers have different types of ink cartridges. There are those that require multiple cartridges and there are those that require individual cartridges.

XL vs Standard cartridge

There is a BIG difference between XL and Standard cartridges.

If you are into high-volume printing, then, you should opt for the XL. This gives you more printing pages and will save you not only time but money. Standard cartridge is suggested for everyday home general printing or just plain text and not with photos or photography printing.

Tri-color vs Individual cartridge

Both cartridges have its advantages and disadvantages depending on the usage and what you print. If you are using a tri-color ink cartridge, this can be costly in the long run because the cartridge won’t work when one ink cartridge runs empty. Thus, you have to replace the whole cartridge forfeiting the remaining of the other ink portion. And ditching a cartridge still with ink is really a waste of money. While with the individual cartridge, all you have to do is just replace the one that is already empty.

Recycled Ink Cartridges

For the eco-friendly consumer, using a recycled ink cartridge is not only saving you money but the environment and the earth. Recycled ink costs 50%-80% lower than the brand-name cartridges. And most often than not, it produces the same quality, yields more or less same pages as with the brand-names when used properly.

Manufacturer’s warranty

Most of the ink manufacturers have product warranty to guarantee customer satisfaction. It is best to keep the packaging in its original form (with less or no box damage), the warranty card and the receipt should your ink flunk to work as promised. You can bring the item/s to the store together with the original packaging, receipt and, warranty card for replacement or refund.

If after reading this, you’re still not 100% sure about the ink cartridge that you’re buying for your printer – DON’T PANIC!  That’s what we’re here for. 

Contact the Ink Toner Store team and our experts will be more than happy to give you guidance on what to buy.  Who knows?  Maybe you can score some BIG discounts, too!

How to Choose the Best Paper for your Photos

If you are a professional photographer or even a novice in the field of photography, I know you have invested not only money but time, effort and sweat just to get that picture perfect shot. After the grueling photo shoot comes the result of your hard work – the picture perfect images.
If you are the kind of photographer who takes the quality of his work seriously then you should take into consideration the quality of your photo paper as well. You cannot just load whatever photo paper you found at the store into your printer, isn’t it?

The choice of photo paper can make a big difference in the effect, quality and feel of the picture.

Characteristics of photo paper

  1. Thickness – A thick paper is ideal if you want to have a photo lab like feel and result of your picture.
  2. Opacity – If a picture is to be mounted, choose a photo paper with high opacity. The recommended one is the Inkjet photo paper because they usually have higher opacity rating.

The Finish

  1. Gloss or Semi-gloss – First thing to consider is if you are going to mount the picture or not. If you will put it in an album or just to give away to friends and family, a glossy or semi-gloss is the best option since it gives a rich color to the picture. Although glossy papers offer higher contrast and saturation, if you are going to frame the print, then definitely gloss is not the right choice because it can create reflection and glare both from the print and the glass.
  2. Matte – A good quality matte paper is often used when printing black since it gives more detail, contrast and, texture. This type of photo paper had more stability and can be printed on both sides.
  3. Canvas – One great option if you want to frame your print is canvas. This kind of paper is rough but delivers a matte like rich texture, contrast, and color to your images especially when viewed from a distance. A glass cover over the frame is not necessary for a canvas.
  4. Art paper – Art paper is more expensive than the regular matte paper because it is often thicker and heavier than the latter. Art paper qualifies as a matte paper with a reasonable amount of texture and is mostly used for landscape prints, archiving art photos in museums, fine arts, etc.

Brightness / Brilliance

  1. The brightness of the photo paper can greatly affect the color, contrast and, hues especially the dark ones. Most of the paper reflects 60-90% of light.


Choose the right photo paper according to your or your client’s budget and needs. Purchase a photo paper with lower values if you want that image to be long lasting in terms of brightness.

Knowing When To Replace Your Printer Ink Cartridges

Jerry Cooke ink large fcc
Printers are the pillars of office equipment in the house, schools and in every business. The cost of printer ink cartridges is part of the chunk of the monthly expenses. Since printing is used daily often to print small or large-volume printing, we should be aware when to replace the ink of the printer to ensure the quality of the print especially in colored and with images.

Pale colors – It is an alert sign that your printer ink cartridge is nearing its limit when the color of your images is not as bright and vivid as it used to be. The black color is already printing gray or very light gray. Colors are becoming very pale and very light. The dress is printing light pink instead of the bloody red color. This is a red flag that you have to replace the ink soon.

Ink Warning – Low ink warning differs from one printer to another. Most printers display warnings or indicators when the ink is low. Some printers have software installed on the computer. A notification pops up on computer screen or on the printer screen and some are flashing light reflected on the printer.

Low Ink Coverage – When you notice that your printer is not printing evenly and is skipping some parts, your ink cartridge is already running close to empty. If you are in the middle of printing high-volume prints, it’s time to replace the ink cartridge to prevent work delay.

Streaks and Spots – if your ink cartridge is nearing empty, you sometimes see horizontal or vertical streaks and spots here and there. This is because the printer head is not coated evenly during printing. It’s time for you to shop for a new ink or a new set of an ink cartridge.

Printing Pro Tips: how to troubleshoot your printer problems



Printers can be maddening at times. There you are printing a much needed report when all of a sudden the printer just quits. You restart, check the toner, try to slap it on the sides, but nothing is doing. You take a deep breath and count to ten then start at it again. Before you head to the ink toner store to buy another cartridge, how can you tell what is wrong?

Problem: The lights do not show

Check the electrical cables and confirm that the printer is getting power from the mains.

Problem: The printed text is too faint or streaky

If you are sure that the cartridge is not empty but the printing is still too faint or streaky, the print could be blocked by dried up ink. Wet a paper towel with bottled water and wipe the print head. After wiping the printing head, use a moist paper to prime the print head.

Problem: Cartridge not recognized

When electric current cannot flow across the cartridge’s contacts the printer may bring up this error or print gibberish. This can be solved by scraping the coating of ink dust or oxidized copper on the contact strip. Use an eraser to do it. You can also use alcohol to clean the strip but be careful not to touch the print head with the alcohol.

Problem: The printer is too slow and does not print at times

The network connection speed is the first suspect in this case if the printed pages are coming out okay. If you are printing over Wi-Fi the distance could be the problem as WiFi speeds can decrease over distance. Try switching to a wired connection. Wireless printing should be done over 802.11n wireless frequency which is as fast as wired connection. Network malfunction can also take the printer offline in which case it will not get the assigned jobs. Ask the network admin to have a look.

Problem: The printer says the cartridge is empty

If the printer says the cartridge is empty while it is not, the electric strip contact is the suspect again. Try cleaning the strip with an eraser or alcohol. You can also remove the cartridge and reset it.

Problem: The printing looks awful

Ink toner recycling could be the source of your problems in this situation. This is notorious with newer printers. Try switching back to the original manufacturer recommended toners. Third party toners can get notoriously wasteful, releasing too much or too little ink.

Printing Paper to Save Ink



Printing costs can quickly rack up even in medium sized offices.  Much of printing costs can be saved by sensible use of the print function. Paper is wasted as people print to test, print to keep copies, print stuff off the internet and so on. You can save on those trips to the ink toner store and the stationers by implementing some easy to follow guidelines on printing.

No printing Emails

In these days of limitless cloud storage, anyone printing emails should be surcharged for ignorance. Printing emails to keep a copy is rampant especially in large organizations where people feel the need to keep evidence of communication. This should be discouraged at any cost. Anyone who needs to save a copy can do it on the disk.

Know paper quality

Ink comes out differently on different qualities of paper. If you are printing on recycled paper for a client marketing pitch, the client will not be too pleased with your efforts. However, if you do it on laser or inkjet paper, the results are great. This could prompt you to be printing on this paper all time, at great damage to your pocket. Know what kind of paper to use commonly and what to use on special occasion. Photocopy paper is the best for common printing.

Printer service

Just like any other machine with moving parts, your printer needs looking into regularly. Printers using toners can accumulate toner dust which leads to paper jams and smudged printing. Blow away dust, clean print heads and electric contacts. This will make your printer more efficient, saving on paper and ink.

Tweak documents

Margins too wide, big font, double spacing, and badly done paragraphing all contribute to using more paper than necessary.  Teach everyone around the office the basics of efficient document production. Print on both sides to halve the paper needed.

Ensure ink is really empty

Some printers are notorious for showing empty toner messages when the toner gets to 25%. Ensure that the toner/cartridge is really empty before throwing it away.

Go green

Recycling is a great way to save on costs. Use recycled paper for printing bulk documents for internal consumption like reports. Save more with ink toner recycling.  Toner manufacturers have come around this need from customers and companies like HP have refillable toners. Use it on the printer that does most of the mundane printing.

Go paperless

This is the best way to save on both paper and ink. Printing to PDF is a better alternative to hard copy with the added advantage that your documents are more easily shareable.

Printing Myths: Exposed! Common misconceptions about printing



The older generation in the office will most likely prefer hard copy prints over those fancy PDFs. This means that printing is still going strong for many organizations. As much as it has been vilified for contributing to the earth’s woes, printing is still necessary and will be here for a long time. In fact, most offices rarely notice the printer until it stops printing. Then it’s a hectic visit to the ink toner store, a call to the IT guys or the electrician. There are many myths that are bandied around without much to support them;

Myth: Third-party cartridges are cheaper

Different manufacturers deploy different technology in their printers. The truth is that third party cartridges work erratically most of the time. Printers refuse to recognise them, they release too much or too little ink, the printer quits unexpectedly amid many other printer headaches. In the end you are better off with the cartridge that the printer maker has recommended. You will be saved many calls to the IT guys.

Myth: Printing is damaging the environment

Greenpeace and other green activists will tell you that precious trees are being cut to make more and more printing paper. The truth is that most printing paper these days is recycled. Better recycling technology has enabled production of high quality printing paper.  In fact, it is hard to tell recycled from original paper with an untrained eye.

Ink toner recycling is also a way to save on making more cartridges. Printer manufacturers have realized that they can make money from this model as recyclable toners are in high demand. Using recycled toner does its bit in conserving the environment.

Myth: Going completely paperless

Much has been said on the need for offices to go paperless. The truth is office culture will not allow it. Contracts have to be signed on hard copy; marketing material has to be made and so on. Ingrained habits will also make kicking out hard copy a bit difficult. There is a generation that will always prefer to the screen. Going completely paperless is a myth that would be better replaced on the need to save on paper and ink.

Myth: Cartridge is the most affordable

Studies comparing cartridge and ink bottle costs showed that you can save as much as $750 by using a refillable ink bottle. Some people will justify this by trying to recycle ink cartridge. These will cost lower but most likely damage the printer. Ink toner recycling is a better and cheaper option.


Ink Friendly/Saving Fonts



The efficiency in use of printing ink could make a big change in printing costs. One of the best ways to save on your trips to the ink toner store is by good document production. This means looking for the best font, margins, spacing and so on. The type and size of font can impact on ink usage, as shown in a non-scientific study by Suvir Mirchandani from Pittsburgh. He claimed that the government can save $400 million in printing costs by using Garamond font. Typographers claim while this may not be necessarily true, font does indeed affect ink usage.


Fonts can be the same size (point) but have different thickness. For instance Times New Roman point 11 will be thinner than Broadway point 11. Thin, condensed and narrow fonts are more economical than other fonts of same size. Fonts that are non-serif are also more economical than serif fonts as there are no flourishes to add to the ink needed.

When combined with other cost-cutting measures like ink toner recycling, eco fonts can save good money. Some good examples of eco-fonts are;

Century Gothic

This simple font from way back is designed for readability. The thin letters make ink usage minimal. The only downside is that it is a bit wide and could negate its advantages if used in bulk printing. It is ideal for printing few pages.


This retro looking font was designed for usage on typewriters with ink usage in mind. The good thing with Courier is that it is thin but wide which improves readability without increasing font.


As mentioned above, several typographers have claimed this font is the most economical in ink usage. The font is narrow and thin meaning more words will fit on a page compared to other fonts. The downside is that without good spacing between the lines it can appear too squeezed.

Brush script

This font is appropriate for decorative writing, headlines, and logos. You would expect the curves and curlicues to use more ink than say Times New Roman.  Surprisingly, it is more economical. The downside is that you cannot use it for a whole document which makes its economy unnoticeable.

Ryman Eco

The designers of this font claim it uses 33% ink than standard fonts like Courier. This has been achieved by making the font hollow. The hollows cannot be seen in standard sizes 8 -11, but are more apparent when the font is enlarged say point 24.


This font is designed with holes in the letters. These holes are not visible in standard size just like with Ryman Eco. It also comes with special software. When used together, the designers claim it can save 50% more than standard fonts.

3 Ways To Reduce Printer Ink & Toner Usage

Have you frequently bought ink and toners because of excessive usage?It is high time you reduced the overuse. The best part of the reduction bit is that you give your printer a longer life and save yourself some coins, killing two birds with one stone. Would you like to cut on costs this way? Well, it is very possible. Let us take a peek on the matter and see just how far you should go to achieve this kind of relief. Continue reading

Common Mistakes in Buying Printer Ink and Toner Cartridges

After looking deep into the bulk buying of ink and toners, here we are again with the Dos and DONT’s of buying printer ink and toner cartridges. The very simple knowledge of buying ink and cartridges are what people overlook; I mean, how important can it be? It is crucial because of the cost of these products and the damage caused to the machine may be irreversible.

You may already have messed up, and you will be smiling at your once upon a time situation, those unaware will want to know; what mistakes are this? Continue reading

A Guide for Dummies: Top 3 Biggest Printer Problems and Solutions

A printer is inarguably one of the most useful devices in our home or business office. Sometimes, though, you can’t help but sigh in disbelief when it jams for the gazillion time. And that isn’t all: printers can present a plethora of problems to their users – from guzzling ink to shoddy-quality prints and everything in between.

Before you thrown in the towel and call tech support, there is a better and cost-effective way: just take a deep breath and summon the inner geek in you. The good news is that most of these problems can be resolved with a little zeal and a tinge of technical knowledge. Continue reading