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Need recommendation: best printer, cardstock for at-home folded cards

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by willbachman, May 31, 2009.

  1. May 31, 2009
    willbachman

    willbachman Newbie to Printing

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    I'd like to buy a printer and good quality cardstock so I can make at home folded photo cards like the ones I've been buying from Shutterfly and Kodak Gallery.

    Situation:
    I will produce about 1000 cards per year
    I'll mainly use the printer for making photo cards, but I'd also like to be able to print in color on regular 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper
    I already have a Laserjet for BW documents

    Questions:
    1. What printer would you recommend given the volume of cards I plan to make? I'd be willing to spend a bit more on the printer to get higher speed and lower cost per print.

    2. What is the best source for good quality A7 folded cardstock? The best I've found so far is Crane 5 "x 7 3/8 " Artist Card 220 gsm - 50 Pack which I found at Vistek. This costs $65 for 50 cards, though, and I'd love to find a lower cost source (I would be glad to buy in bulk.)
    http://www.vistek.ca/store/PrinterP...frac12x-7-38-artist-card-220-gsm-50-pack.aspx

    Thanks for your help,
    Will
  2. May 31, 2009
    fotofreek

    fotofreek Print Addict Moderator

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    printing high quality photo images on other than coated inkjet paper or card stock is most successful with printers that use pigment-based inks. dye based inks tend to print fairly flat colored photos on uncoated (not specifically coated for inkjet dye-based inks) stock. Sice you mention Crane Artist stock I would guess that like most Crane personal notes this is not specifically coated for dye based inkjet printing and that it is matte finished. Although not of the quality of Crane notes, I've used Staples photo Supreme double sided matte paper which is specifically coated for dye-based inkjet inks and can also be printed or written on both sides. this paper is a reasonably heavy card stock, comes in 8.5x11 sheets, and costs about $14 for 50 sheets. Cutting it with a good quality paper cutter and folding it by hand works fine for me.

    for paper or card stock of higher artistic quality prepared specifically for inkjet printers you can google and find vendors. although I've never purchased such items I recall that one vendor used to be Red River. I believe that MIS, an ink vendor, lists some papers you may be interested in buying as well. Generally, buying fold over card sets is the most expensive way to go.
  3. May 31, 2009
    Kefp

    Kefp Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Like Fotofreek, I also use Staples photo Supreme double sided matte paper for printing cards. They are 8.5x11 inches, 61 lbs or 230g/sm. The printers I used are mainly IP4500 and MP970.
  4. Jun 1, 2009
    fotofreek

    fotofreek Print Addict Moderator

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    I should add that Staples sometimes has a two-for-one sale on this paper, and I once hit a sale at $2 US per package. Stocked up a supply to last for several years!
  5. Jun 1, 2009
    Kefp

    Kefp Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Did that once too.

    I find the quality of the paper is quite good.
  6. Jun 1, 2009
    ghwellsjr

    ghwellsjr Print Addict Platinum Printer Member

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    Me too. I have many dozens packs.

    In addition to printing photos, I use it as the cover sheet for booklet printing. It holds the staples better than regular paper.
  7. Jun 1, 2009
    Kefp

    Kefp Getting Fingers Dirty

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    :) does the unused paper store well? I mean does it get discolored over time?
  8. Jun 1, 2009
    Grandad35

    Grandad35 Print Addict Moderator

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    For an alternate approach, I use Kirkland Photo paper from Costco selling for about 12 cents/sheet. The photo paper gives excellent color. I then trim the paper to 10x7 with only 2 cuts on a Dahle shear cutter (cutting up to 3 sheets at once) and fold it to get 5x7 cards. 5.25x7.25 envelopes sell for about 5 cents each in lots of 1000.

    The Kirkland paper won't accept printer ink on the reverse side, but it does accept the ink from a ball point pen and works perfectly for hand written notes. I have seen lots of cards printed on card stock, but none of them have the "pop" of cards printed on photo paper. The lower cost is an added benefit.
  9. Jun 2, 2009
    fotofreek

    fotofreek Print Addict Moderator

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    Kepf - The Staples paper is packaged in a plastic bag and then in a closeable cardboard box. I've had this paper stored for years with no problem. The coating is very bright white and doesn't seem to yellow. I believe that they advertise it as acid free which would further prevent yellowing.

    Grandad - the glossy photo paper I used to use when it was for sale at Costco was Epson glossy photo paper. You could actually print on the back side as well. It did have a very faint repeat epson logo on the back, but I never found anyone who objected to it - may not have even noticed it! It worked extremely well with Canon inks. By the way, what are you doing for ink now that Sensient-Formulabs is no longer sold by alotofthings? I'm using IS inks from Precision colors with no custom profile and am extremely happy with them. I've set the printer to manual color control, and glossy photo paper. I do get more neutral blacks in black and white prints from the ip5000 than from the i960 which makes me think that the addition of the light dye load inks complicates the production of neutral black and white prints. ????? Maybe I should try printing with the i960 set to plain paper for black and white prints. I am not sure, but I think that the printer doesn't use the photo inks when set to plain paper.
  10. Jun 2, 2009
    Grandad35

    Grandad35 Print Addict Moderator

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    I stocked up on Formulabs ink late last year and am set for a while. I will probably look at IS when the time comes, but will generate custom printer profiles after making the switch. The RIPs in Canon printers are designed around Canon's inks; since none of the inks sets that we tested perfectly matched the colors of the OEM inks, one would not expect a 3rd party ink set to give neutral grays without a custom profile. While it is possible to improve things with adjustments in the printer's driver, the results will never be as good or universal as a custom profile.

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