When should you go to a printing company? It depends on the level of importance of the document, how important a factor money is, and what kind of options you have for printing at home. Your home printer is probably up to the task using HP printer ink.
It’s important in any case to consider the costs involved. Printing at home will save you money, especially if you’re using HP printer ink. But if the job is too large, or the work needs to be specially bound – such as for important reports or master thesis papers – you should consider having the job professionally printed.
Keep your goals in mind as well. What’s more important to you? Quality or quantity? In which areas can you save money and where must you splurge a little to achieve best results?
Need 500 Copies?
If you have a high-performance printer at home, it might print like a champ but take forever to do it. By the same token, your home printer might be fast but the output is of relatively low quality. The assumption here is that the printer was chosen for these qualities. However, if you find yourself needing higher-quality output for a job that would take forever and taker tons of ink, outsourcing to a printing shop might be the right move.
When considering color, remember that inkjet color printers usually incorporate the standard Cyan Magenta Yellow-BlacK color array, which will work for print jobs that contain simple color charts and graphs. When the printing of 1,000 high-resolution photographs comes into play, however, it’s best to seek out the assistance of professionals.
Of course, if you have a photo printer at home, like the HP Photosmart, all you need is photo paper and HP printer ink to make fantastic looking images. Products like these are getting more affordable all the time.
Many people opt for inkjet printers for home use simply because of their lower price point. If you find yourself in this category, keep in mind that you will be able to print the majority of jobs at home. But for higher-end needs, a printing company may be the better bet.
You do have the alternative of printing the pages that you can print at home, and selecting those with color photographs or charts to be printed by a printing company. This saves you quite a bit of money, even considering the extra hassle.
You can select the paper stock yourself in this case, which is cheaper because you can order it without having to go through a middle man. Then you can have the printing company use the same stock to print their portion of the work, or even supply them the paper yourself. Of course, not every printing company will be happy to print your job using paper you supply. In that case, it’s a good idea to call the printing company beforehand and check with them.
Printing on paper stock that they don’t even carry might be against company policy for larger firms, but more often than not with smaller mom-and-pop type places, the staff will agree to accommodate you and negotiate a reasonable price. If the company cannot accommodate you in your request, your choices are to either do the printing yourself at home, have all the printing done by the company, or find another business to take the project.