If you are in the market for a poster printer, it is a must to educate yourself on several key pieces of information.
What make and model is the printer that is included in this package?
Many companies include older models of printers in their package. This allows them to specify a well known manufacturer such as Canon, however using old technology and charging new technology pricing is a way they maximize profits. ( An example of this would be reflected in the Perfecta, Learn On Demand, Education Pro, Varsity, ProColor and the EcoColor Poster Makers)
Is the system you are considering a 24″ or 36″ Printer?
Many companies include a 24″ wide system in their package. The only positive of a 24″ printer is that the footprint is 14″ shorter than a 36″ printer. The negatives of the 24″ system greatly outweigh the positive. 24″ printers do not provide you the versatility to print 36″x 48″ posters that are great for the Auditorium, Gymnasium, Cafeteria or the Lobby. 24″ is not going to fulfill all your visual needs. Also the 24″ systems are designed similar to our desktop printers. They eat a ton of ink when compared to a 36″ system. The technology is just not the same. Don’t purchase a 24″ system that is going to cost you thousands of dollars more in ink and limit the versatility of your poster printer. Just as important a 44″ wide system is to large for most schools. Unless you have a specific need for a 44″ printer there will be a lot of waste and scraps when using a 44″ printer for standard size poster printing.
What education specific content is included with the printer?
There are many resellers that offer any make and model printer you desire, such as Canon, HP, Epson etc… However when choosing the poster printer for your school you need to consider the experience the reseller has when it comes to working with schools. A printer with no education specific content (ex: software, education specific templates, clipart, visual learning content etc…) will bring very little education specific value to the school, unless there is already a visual learning program in place.
What education specific training program and on going Staff Development is offered?
The training program and on-going staff development program is what makes a poster printer a valuable visual learning and visual communication tool for the school. Without a training program that is in place and one that offers on-going staff development you are purchasing a printer that will go unused and most likely will not be a true educational tool that the entire school can benefit from.
What are the cost of supplies such as ink and material?
The initial cost of the equipment is one thing to consider. However the on-going ink consumption and ink cost is very important. Make sure to ask how many posters you can expect to get out of a set of ink. Any company that is working with schools should have this information built into their program. Don’t accept the answer “That depends on what you are printing”. This is obvious, however the ink cartridges have a specific amount of ink in them that will produce a specific square foot worth of printing. If they say they do not know, it is because they do not want to tell you.Tip to remember: The less expensive the printer , the more you will pay for ink. Know these details: Ink cartridge size. – Ink cartridge cost. – How many ink cartridges are required? – Can the printer run out of ink in the middle of a print?
What all can you do with the printer?
Many companies will try to sell you multiple machines to provide you with a solutions for different applications such as Award Making, Cutouts, Banners, Decals and Stickers, T-Shirt Transfers. The truth is with the right program in place, these applications and much more are available when you choose the right printer. It is just a matter of having a program that teaches you these applications and how they can be created from 1 poster printer. The correct printer will have these options available for you if you choose to tap into those options. Don’t be fooled by being told you don’t need all that versatility. The versatility is already there with the technology of full color printers. The problem is most companies do not want to take the time and inform you of these options or they just do not know these features for lack of working in a school and understanding the needs of many schools.
There are many other things to consider when choosing the right printer for your school. These are just a few important pieces to consider.
For more information visit:http://www.tonasgraphics.com/learn-the-full-story/where you can get detailed information on choosing the right printer for your school. Or contact us at 800-535-7553 and speak to an education consultant.