Color Print vs. Color Copy

steve_aJanuary 3, 2006

I hope this is the right forum for this question. We are making a family recipe book for gifts and need it reproduced. It's about 75 pages, mixed black and color text/graphics. I can get the copying done via web-based businesses for about 15 cents a page, plus a few add-ons. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be just as cost effective to print it at home. We have a new printer, Canon Pixma 780, which takes separate ink tanks. Ink is supposed to be reasonable, but I haven't priced it yet. I know there are a lot of variables, but is there any way to estimate the cost per page for this type of job? Anyone tried to figure this out? Thanks in advance. Steve

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Well, as you said, a lot depends on the cost of your ink cartridges.

Are the 15 cent pages laser printed? If so, they are usually water-proof... a big plus in a cookbook. I'm not familiar with your Canon printer, but if it is regular inkjet, that usually is NOT waterproof ink. Also, inkjet printing fades faster than laser.

Does the 15 cent cost include paper? Is it high quality paper such that you can print on both sides? That may be a factor in your binding cost, too.

Have you checked at local Kinko-type places for quotes? They do binding, too. If you are going to all that work to make the cookbook, you will want to put a durable, sturdy cover on it with a binding that lets the book lie flat when open. (Just ask the cooks in your family!)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 6:10PM
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Red, Thanks for the info. The waterproof issue is one I hadn't considered. I'm pretty sure that the commercial copy places use laser printers, I will verify. At least one that I'm looking at has 24 lb. paper at no extra charge. As far as binding, my daughter will do that at her workplace. So I'm still leaning toward commercial copying, but would welcome any other input. Steve

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 7:28AM
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Just to follow up and add some info that might be helpful: We decided to do partial color printing and black/white copying. By doing this, I was able to calculate that the ink costs for our job came to less than 10 cents per page. This is a Canon Pixma 780 printer which uses 5 ink tanks. We went through 4 of the 5 tanks, at a total cost of about $32 for ink after $3/tank credit from Staples. Based on the number of pages printed (mix of black text, colored text and color graphics), it comes out to less than 10 cents per page. Paper was 1 to 1.5 cents per page. This is cheaper than the internet price of 15 cents, plus setup fee and shipping (for color copies). We did give up the possible greater durability of the laser copies. Steve

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 12:28PM
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With each cookbook, why don't you give each person a piece of acrylic sheet from the hardware store? It would hold the book open and protect the top from moisture splashes.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 11:53AM
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Chuck, You and my wife think alike. She put the cookbooks in binders with clear covers, so that the recipe could be slipped into the front cover when it's being used. It works, I've used it. Thanks, Steve

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 5:38PM
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