Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Working Smarter: 14 Tips for Saving Money on Printing Costs

When large iconic organisations like Westpac Banking Corporation (one of Australia's "Big Four" banks) sends customer letters on black and white printed paper and offers electronic statement copies, you know what is acceptable in business.

Printing is expensive, especially multi-colour printing, even if it's done in-house. Here are some tips for saving money on printing costs. Not all solutions will be relevant to your operation, but choose those that are relevant and you will save money:

  1. Print all your commonly used documents, forms etc on demand. Don't print dozens of copies and leave them in a cupboard somewhere where they may become misused, dirty, or obsolete (when something changes)
  2. Don't use coloured print or graphics for anything that doesn't need it; encourage staff to print in black and white (make the default black and white and the coloured print optional on your printer)
  3. When designing documents that need to be printed in colour, don't use a coloured background (large areas of colour use a lot of ink), use a white background
  4. Print at draft resolution when printing documents for proofreading or which, for some other reason don't have to be top quality
  5. Don't print anything you don't need in hardcopy format
  6. Provide as much as you can in digital format eg, capability statements, brochures, information blurbs
  7. Scan and store forms digitally rather than copying them
  8. Recycle scrap paper that is only printed on one side eg, for note pads or printing drafts
  9. Consider using a standard typeface that uses less ink (Century Gothic is suitable)
  10. Get the best deal for your inks and papers
  11. Consider reducing your standard font size, but don't make it so small it's illegible; maybe go from 12 point to 11 or 10 point, but don't overdo it
  12. Use a copy service for long print runs or a photocopier instead of a lazer printer if it's more cost effective (do your homework)
  13. Consider installing software like EcoPrint2 which enables you to select what is printed from Internet sites (the user selects or deselects such things as images/photographs)
  14. If using non-proprietary ink cartridges, do a check to see whether they are providing as many prints as the proprietary ink cartridges before using them across your organisation
Apart from the economical reasons for saving money on printing costs, for anyone who is 'green' or who cares about the ecology, that is a complementary reason ... and a very good one too.

Take a quick look at the printing that occurs within your organisation? Do you think you could make any sensible savings without adversely affecting company image or efficiency? Let us know.

Happy printing.



  1. Rick Jansen7:54 AM

    There's a firm that sells a font which has empty spaces in it to reduce ink usage. When it prints, you can't see the holes and it looks normal. Can't remember the name, but it's very popular with large volume printers.

  2. Thanks for commenting Rick. I've seen the font you talk of, but wasn't all that impressed as you have to pay for it when most of us already have fonts that will do the job almost as well.


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