July 12, 2013


Graphic designers: Is your PDF printer friendly?

Here's the scenario: You've been asked to produce a flyer, poster, or other marketing collateral that will be printed by the recipient on an office or home printer. Many would urge you to make your PDF printer friendly.

What's printer friendly? It doesn't use large areas of solid color, ultra-bold and color-saturated headlines, large areas of background colors, and so on.

Here's an example of what not to do. I picked this piece at random and my intention is not to demean or embarrass those who produced it—we've all made the mistake of not remembering the context of everything we do.

It may seem like an insignificant issue, but here's what the August issue of Consumer Reports calls the inky truth: "Even the cheapest ink, at about $13 an ounce, costs more than, say, fine Champagne, while the priciest, at about $75 an ounce, is more costly than, say, Chanel No. 5 perfume."

Thanks to Jim Green for pointing to the need.


An example of an ink-hungry page...

From Consumer Reports: The high cost of wasted printer ink...

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Thanks for pointing this out, Chuck. It's amazing the amount of toner and ink that can get eaten up unnecessarily. Think both printing and copying. I encountered this in a not-for-profit environment. It's a lot easier to not spend $50 a month than to raise $50 a month! Waste not, want not...

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