Today starts a 3 part series on getting your printing to look quality w/out spending a lot of money. If you're like me, you constantly editing your content & need a good, quick solution to check your print media.
The most important thing I can stress is to get a good printer - and stick with it. I've seen people spend money on cheap printers that produce what amounts to zero results. I've seen people spend a ridiculous amount of money on specialized printers and then get killed when they need to refill the ink. I've also seen the, 'printer shop.' Which is when someone buys a decent printer they know nothing about, abuse it then try to return it & start the process over. All this results in is inconsistent printing - also known as a waste of money.
Here's the biggest tip I can give you regarding efficient, quality printing. Do research. I started by examining my needs. I do NOT need a fax/printer/scanner combo capable of producing high quality prints at 10 pages per second. I DO need - quality scanning, quality printing and also importantly - a recognized brand I can get supplies for easily. Simple enough eh? That's only half of it though - here comes the research part.
I pulled up a review of the best printers on the market - saved their specs to a temp. text file so I could refer back later. It doesn't matter so much that I know what those specs translate into - I found the top notch on the market for my needs - and saw what it had inside. Then I simply went to the big 3 in quality printing - Epson, Canon & HP. Personally I find Epson ink jets are top notch, yet ink jet cartridges are not only more expensive, but run out quicker. HP - I'm more impressed by their commercial large scale stuff than their average printer. I eventually settled on a Canon scanner/printer combo. By focusing on it's specs and eliminating unecessary (for my purpose) functions I was able to find a model that shared scanning & print quality specs w/ the top machine on the market -at a fraction of the price. And yes - it was still a bit more expensive than a plain ol' printer - but for my purposes it was worth every penny.
So that's part one - Solid, Consistent, Accessible printing is the key to saving time, resources AND trees. Identify your needs, do some research, and happy printing.
Frank M. Bua