Archive for July, 2010

What is Giclée Printing?

Giclée printing is a form of reproduction that allows artists to print high-resolution copies of artwork that have been digitally saved or created.  This process requires a large-format inkjet printer that exceeds the standard four-cartridge ink system of average inkjet printers.  Technically, Giclée can refer to any inkjet printing, but generally it is used to specifically denote high-resolution printing.  According to Wikipedia, the term Giclée was coined in 1991 by a printmaker named Jack Duganne and derives from the French noun gicleur (nozzle) and French verb gicler (to squirt, spurt or spray).

Giclee PrintsBasically, the appeal of this type of printing for artists is that the old industrial machines would make hundreds or thousands of copies at a time and cost quite a bit of money.  With Giclée, artists can make a high-grade reproduction of a piece of art as it is ordered for minimal costs without sacrificing quality.  Since this technique was developed, multiple pieces of Giclée artwork can be found at galleries and museums in some of the world’s biggest cities.  In fact, photographer Annie Leibovitz has sold Giclée prints for over $10,000. Continue reading “What is Giclée Printing?” »

What to Know About Photo Paper

Rainbow Rose

Glossy paper is often used with photos to make colors more vivid.

If you have a photo printer, you might be on the hunt for photo paper to complete the process of printing pictures.  There are some things you should know before making your choice. Continue reading “What to Know About Photo Paper” »

Understanding Printer Resolution

Printer Dots

A closeup of a print. Notice the individual ink dots.

When shopping for a printer, you have probably seen references to a printer’s resolution, or DPI, as a major selling point.  Many buyers have the understanding that higher is perceived as better, but few may understand what the resolution actually means when it comes to print quality. Continue reading “Understanding Printer Resolution” »

Single-pass vs. Multi-pass Printers

Single-pass and multi-pass laser printers vary in speed, cost and sometimes quality.  So, which is best-suited to meet your needs?

Four toner cartridgesMost color laser printers have four toner cartridges – cyan, magenta, yellow and black.  The primary difference between single-pass and multi-pass printers is that each cartridge has its own drum in a single-pass printer and all four cartridges share a single drum in a multi-pass printer. Continue reading “Single-pass vs. Multi-pass Printers” »

Common HP Printer Error Codes

Although newer models of HP printers offer big LCD screens that display text descriptions of problems occurring with the unit, the older models have small status windows that display numeric error codes with minimal description.  Below is a list of some of the most common error codes you may come across with your HP printer.  Keep in mind, some of these issues are easily fixed, but others may require the help of the professionals at HP Technical Support.

Load HP Paper Tray

Load the paper on the tray and use the tab to lock the paper in place.

Error 11: Paper Empty

Solution: Restock the paper.

Error 12: Printer is open

Solution: Close all doors and panels on the printer. Continue reading “Common HP Printer Error Codes” »

Printer Maintenance Kits

HP maintenance kitEven the best printers in the world require maintenance from time to time.  Moving parts within the machine will get worn down, causing issues like streaking and paper jams.  For this reason, many manufacturers offer maintenance kits that consist of replacements for key components within the printer.  No two models are exactly the same, so different maintenance kits may include different parts. Continue reading “Printer Maintenance Kits” »

How to Install Solid Ink

solid ink installationInstalling Xerox solid ink is a simple, straight-forward process that Xerox has made virtually error-proof.  You would have to try hard to install solid ink sticks incorrectly, as it would often involve forcing them into place.

First, a quick synopsis of solid ink:  Unlike with inkjet and laser printers, there are no cartridges involved in the printing process using solid ink.  Rather, the ink is hardened and sculpted into a very specific shape during manufacturing.  When printing, these ink sticks are melted into a liquid and applied to the paper, where they dry with true color and smooth texture.  When the block of ink  is completely consumed, there is no cartridge or other waste left behind. Continue reading “How to Install Solid Ink” »

Deep-Cleaning Laser Printers

If you have a perfectly good laser printer in your home or office that has been having some quality issues because it is dirty, you have three options.  You can junk it and purchase a new machine, call a professional  technician to come clean it thoroughly for you, or you can clean it yourself.  Deep-cleaning a laser printer is not an easy task and will require time, effort and a few tools.  However, it will save you money and extend the life of your machine.

Toner Vacuum

A specialty toner vacuum.

Some of the basic tools you will need to have are latex gloves, cotton swabs, isopropyl alcohol, a mask and newspaper that you can lie down to protect the floor.  You will need to have a small brush, preferably an unused paintbrush with soft bristles.  Cloths will be needed to wipe the loose particles away.  Of course you can use standard cloths or paper towels, but there are special toner cloths designed to trap the toner particles so none become airborne.  Toner particles in the air can get in your lungs and that could be dangerous (hence the mask).  The primary tool you will need is a vacuum.  It is recommended to use a toner vacuum that has a filter designed to keep particles in, but if you only have a standard vacuum, it will also work. Continue reading “Deep-Cleaning Laser Printers” »

What is a Printer Driver?

Printer DriverPrinter drivers are the software that communicates with the printer, sending and receiving documents and data. You might think of the driver as a translator, translating the messages a computer sends into information that the printer understands, and vice versa. Without this translation, a computer and printer could not understand each other, and your toner cartridges would not be able to print anything. Continue reading “What is a Printer Driver?” »

Trouble Printing on Envelopes?

Are you struggling to print on envelopes?

Here are some tips for avoiding these issues and printing envelopes more easily:

First and foremost, be sure you have a printer that supports printing on envelopes, such as the HP LaserJet 4200.  Just putting an envelope in the standard paper tray and hoping for the best will rarely get you good results.  If your printer is capable of printing on envelopes, it will usually have a specialty tray or a slot to manually feed the envelopes. Continue reading “Trouble Printing on Envelopes?” »