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Old 11-23-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
Kelhan
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Default DTP on a desktop printer

New here and hope I've chosen the right section for this question.

My workplace has approved purchase of CS4 and the hardware (PC and printer) to produce quarterly newsletters, brochures, flyers, posters etc.

In the past I worked as a magazine and news editor, where I had pre-press tech backup and they had set the templates etc in Quark. I have also worked with InDesign and learnt to set up templates, and create files ready for pre-press, FTP them etc. It was a steep learning curve.

Now, I'm in a workplace that wants my DTP skills but won't pay printers to do the end process. From my short experience with InDesign - it doesn't print well to desktop printers. White space around edges of page, off to one side, all sorts of strange setups. But it looks like I have to try and make it work.

Does anyone have suggestions re printers? Which ones work best for desktop printing from InDesign files.

And are there ways to overide settings or something so that it prints to the edge of the page?
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:51 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Kelhan

What sort of output are you looking for – colour, B&W? What final size? How many pages per month/year, copies per issue?

You can get some good quality oversize A3 papers suitable for desktop printers, so that you can allow for bleed in your InDesign documents and then trim to size. One that I've used successfully in the past is a 100gsm Neusiedler that printed beautiful colour from an Epson inkjet, but was also suitable for laser ouput.

Tell us some more so we can offer some suitable suggestions.

   
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:39 AM   #3
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Do also think about the consumable costs. I bought a cheap HP colour laser printer (HP2605) and used it to print 500 A4 full-colour pages. The toner cost to do this cost more than the printer. Desktop printing can be very expensive.

   
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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you're so right there Mike, they currently use colour inkjet and I reckon they could get it digital printed (colour photocopied) externally cheaper
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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thanks annc, output would be mostly colour
current newsletter is 10 A4 pages / quarterly / 300 copies
but looking at redesign and bi-monthly (perhaps A5 12 or 16 pages)
then there's bi-fold flyers bi-monthly
posters random / number unknown
other promo stuff as required
at this stage their stuff has been very basic and they are wanting me to upgrade their visual communications (without the upgraded expense!?!)
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelhan View Post
thanks annc, output would be mostly colour
current newsletter is 10 A4 pages / quarterly / 300 copies
but looking at redesign and bi-monthly (perhaps A5 12 or 16 pages)
then there's bi-fold flyers bi-monthly
posters random / number unknown
other promo stuff as required
at this stage their stuff has been very basic and they are wanting me to upgrade their visual communications (without the upgraded expense!?!)
It sounds to me as if the quantity and variety requires commercial output. As you already know, sending a properly prepared file to a modern digital press is wquick and easy, with a known output as far as quality goes. You can also send items with different printing requirements to the same source, thus saving time and effort. Your employer will also save the capital cost of several pieces of equipment - a tax advantage...

   
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annc View Post
Your employer will also save the capital cost of several pieces of equipment - a tax advantage...
Your time has got to be worth something as well, so add your hourly rate to the costing.

   
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelhan View Post
From my short experience with InDesign - it doesn't print well to desktop printers. White space around edges of page, off to one side, all sorts of strange setups.
And are there ways to overide settings or something so that it prints to the edge of the page?
Err.... nothing wrong with InDesign's printing to desktop machines. You need to set all the options in the print dialog, as you would with Quark: centre the page on the sheet, bleed, trim marks, if required -- even Slug, which is the best thing since sliced bread!

White space around the edge of the page is usually caused by the margins limitations of the printer itself.

As for choosing a printer: first, what sort of print runs are you going to be doing? That's going to be the major factor of what you should choose. Showing your boss a price per page comparison will be very useful in justifying your decision.
I've had excellent experiences with Xerox; and mixed results on different Canon systems. Big, sturdy HPs are very good, but the cheaper consumer end is not very good.

For this sort of stuff, it's very easy to make a false economy. Buy cheap, pay twice, as my grandmother used to say.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:15 PM   #9
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I though that because all my files had been prepped for commercial presses, when I tried to print any proof copies to printer it didn't work real well?

Price per page comparison is what I'm working on now, it all takes time to do the research and present findings . . .

Buy cheap, pay twice, is the truth!
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:03 AM   #10
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I though that because all my files had been prepped for commercial presses, when I tried to print any proof copies to printer it didn't work real well?!
In what way did the proof copies not work well?
Files prepped for press should work fine on any printing device (generally speaking). PDF/X and other press specs just mean: high-res images; no transparency; fonts embedded, etc, etc -- in other words everything necessary for printing a page.
Unless you've got some colour management, doing its usual trick of spoiling things, files "prepped for press" should work fine on a colour proofer.

I would suggest that if you are going to be doing this side of things for your company, that you spend some time learning about Print Production, as it seems from what you say that this is your weak spot.
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