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From the blog

Printing Tips: In Black and White

by Mick Parsons

I like saving money as much as the next person; free audio books, Martin’s money saving tips, cashback, I’ve done them all! But isn’t it nice when you can save money and do your bit for the environment as well? Well I have one suggestion for all you budding savers out there; eco printing.

Yes, that’s right, you can save money by looking at your printing costs; the paper you use, the printer settings, the printer, and even the typeface. These can all have a detrimental effect on your printing budget.

So, let’s talk typefaces, basically there are two types; Serif and Sans-serif. A serif typeface is more traditional and is the one with the little lines at the edges of the letter. Whilst the Sans-serif is more contemporary. Serif fonts are generally good for large volumes of text and are easier on the eye.

The consumer magazine Which found in a test that Times New Roman (a serif font), was the most economical font and produced 44% more print than Verdana from a single cartridge. And Century Gothic used 30% less ink than Arial, but although it uses less ink, it uses more paper due to it being a wider font. Garamond and Calibri were two other fonts that were also good for ink consumption and generally, a serif font will use less ink. But always keep in mind the readability of the typeface and its suitability for the job in hand.

Interestingly, there is a cool computer program that you can download called “Ecofont” that puts tiny holes in fonts, thus saving on ink by up to 20% when used over a similar font.

As for the paper used, changing the weight from a 100gsm to a 60gsm paper could result in a 47% saving in paper costs, and printing on both sides of the page will save a further 50%!

However, something often overlooked that can make a huge difference are the printer settings. This little gem has lots of cost-saving goodies, such as using “plain paper” mode for using less ink and “draft” mode will use half the ink of printing in “normal” or “best”. Also, by using print preview you can pre-select the area you need to print, rather than printing out the whole document.

Finally, the printer itself, if you’re in the market for a new printer, look for an energy-efficient black and white one, (black ink cartridges are cheaper). And go for high-capacity cartridges which can work out 30% cheaper over long print runs.

So, by making a few simple changes and with better printing practice, we can all make savings, but the biggest savings of all are made if we ask ourselves “does it really need to be printed at all, or could it be emailed instead?” I think my work here is done.