We all know that modern technology offers the capacity for storing information from photos to music and documents. Most bills and other transactions are sorted out online, there has been endless talk of the ‘paperless office’ and you can even sign key legal documents via the web.
All this may be making you wonder whether you need to have a printer at all, especially if you are a small business. In fact, sound reasons remain for having printers (and using them), even in this digital age:
- It’s a good idea to have hard copies: It’s still worth having physical versions of important paperwork, stored somewhere you can access it quickly if necessary. This will help if your digital copies become corrupted or lost or if your device is stolen. It’s also worth having hard copies of things like boarding passes, or proof of Covid vaccination status as a safety net.
- Promotional materials: Paper leaflets and flyers, especially for smaller businesses, can be invaluable in helping you to reach a wider audience, and you can save money by printing these yourself.
So the reality is that tangible paper documents aren’t going to vanish from our lives completely for a very long time, if at all.
What that means in practice is that, as well as a high-quality printer, you’ll need a regular supply of paper and cartridges to avoid running out – which always frustrates staff and slows work and productivity down.
If you have an inkjet printer, you’ll need an ink cartridge, containing liquid ink which print heads release on to the paper. They’re available in black, cyan, magenta and yellow variations for black and white or colour inkjet printers.
Toner cartridges are for laser printers, and use a dry powder rather than liquid ink, which bonds to the page to create the print. These typically last longer and have a higher page yield (i.e. maximum number of pages a cartridge can print before the ink or toner runs out).
You’ll also need to choose between original, remanufactured and compatible ink and toner cartridges:
- Original models are made by the printer manufacturer themselves.
- Compatible printer cartridges match the above in terms of spec, but cost less.
- Remanufactured cartridges are existing products which have been dismantled, reconstructed and refilled with ink or toner.
A quick guide to printer paper
The other key product you will obviously need is printer paper. In terms of size, most offices will have A4 (210mm x 297mm) or A3 paper (297mm x 420mm or double the size of A4).
Popular types of printer paper include:
- Inkjet – For use, clearly, with inkjet printers.
- Laser – Best used with a laser printer.
- Matte – Finished with a white coating for fast drying and suitable for daily printing tasks.
- Bright white – Smoother and non-textured paper, for high-quality double-sided printing.
- Glossy – Best used when printing photos rather than text, as you get a far higher quality than with matte paper.
- Card stock – For business cards, postcards and so on; much thicker than standard paper and highly durable.
Printer supplies from Octopus
At Octopus Office Supplies, we offer a wide range of high-quality printer materials to make your documents stand out. We stock all the main household-name brands including brother, Canon, Epson, Xerox, HP and others, with a choice of original, compatible and remanufactured models. We also sell printer ribbons, as well as inkjet cartridges plus laser supplies and toner. What’s more, we’ve worked in our industry for more than two decades.
We also stock an extensive line-up of printer paper, for use in laser and inkjet printers and photocopiers, in weights from 75gsm to 120gsm, white or coloured. Our handy online tool allows you to find what you need quickly.
Order online for next-day delivery. We use our own vehicles across the north-west, or reliable third-party delivery services for the rest of the UK. Manchester-based businesses can often have same-day delivery. Alternatively, come to our trade counter in Stockport if you prefer to collect your order in person.