Paper and Ink: Two Innovative Artists Showcase Talents

8. November 2013 03:17 by Steve Leigh in   //  Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

Forget elaborate sculptures with pricey materials and traditional painting techniques. Two contemporary artists, Elsa Mora and Fabian Oefner, are showcasing ways of using simple paper and ink to make dazzling, colorful artwork that stands out in a crowded field of new art. Though Elsa blends traditional paper crafts with a sculptural sensibility and Fabian mixes art and science to create inspired photographs, both share a strong visual sensibility and a desire to use traditional materials in unexpected ways. Because of these unique characteristics and shared vision, we wanted to take time to highlight these artists' work. More...

Ink Wash Painting: A Long Standing Tradition

Ink has many uses from practical applications to more artistic ones. One of the earliest of these ink art forms, and one of the most technically demanding, is ink wash painting. Said to originate out of China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), this art uses calligraphy ink to create landscapes that are often imaginary or loose interpretations of actual places. Since the Tan Dynasty, this type of ink painting has spread to other Asian countries, and has even inspired notable American artists, including Georgia O'Keeffe. More...

Artwork You Can Print Out and Hang on Your Wall -- M.C. Escher

A print of a classic work of visual art from your HP laser printer is a great way to liven up your surroundings at home or the office. Many large high-resolution reproductions of iconic photographs, paintings, drawings and prints can be found with a quick search on Google Images, and they can be resized to handily print out on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of photo paper or coverstock.  For monochrome prints, you will achieve the best results from a laser printer versus an inkjet printer.  To print color artwork, a photo inkjet printer will produce a better quality piece.

This month, we are going to take a quick look at the work of one of the most gifted and influential artists to come from the Netherlands, M.C. Escher. More...

HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn: The Best Laser Printer For Its Price

HP-printer.jpg

Priced at only $229, the HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn is not only affordable and fast, but its small size lends itself to a convenience rarely seen with printers. Weighing only 15 pounds and measuring 15 inches wide, 9.5 inches tall, and 11 inches deep without including the 5.5-inch paper tray, this monochrome laser printer fits comfortably on any desk alongside a PC and is easy to transport between offices when such a need arises. In addition, it handily connects to a computer with a USB cable. Best of all, the HP P1606dn toner lasts for approximately 2,100 pages and retails for about $28.49 each. If you do the math, the cost of replacing your toner works out to just over a penny a page!  Continue reading for our opinions on why this is an awesome printer... More...

How to select the right Inkjet photo paper for the job

6. December 2012 07:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments

inkjet-photo-paper The advent of advanced digital cameras and home editing software has enabled typical consumers to enjoy supreme quality personal photos from the comfort of their own homes. However, no matter how high-end your technological equipment may be, without proper photo paper your prints will not feature the crisp, professional quality that you desire. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to select the right photo paper for your purposes. There is an incredibly vast range of photo papers for photographers to choose from, and those who are unfamiliar with the digital photo world may feel a bit daunted by this plethora of choices. The following guide will help consumers to identify the photo paper that will best benefit their photography.

Finish

Photo papers are produced in a few different finishes, the most common being gloss and matte. Each finish offers its own benefits and drawbacks.

Glossy photo paper is valued for its bright, vivid display of hues. Colors seem to leap off of a gloss-finished page, and many people find the sheen of this paper to be an attractive quality in itself. However, glossy photo paper is unsuitable for framing, as it reflects copious amounts of light and can create a glaring effect. Most people therefore choose to reserve their gloss-finished paper for brochures, greeting cards, and other such purposes. Glossy photo paper is also very prone to smudging and must be handled carefully.

Conversely, matte photo paper does not reflect any light and is far less likely to smudge. While this subtler paper does not offer the glitz and glamor for which glossy paper is so valued, such qualities make matte photo paper far more suitable for framed pictures.

Thickness

Photo papers are offered in a wide variety of thicknesses. You should try to select the photo paper that best suits your durability needs.

A thin inkjet photo paper is perfectly adequate for most everyday uses. Casual prints, flyers, and other informal printouts can be created inexpensively with a low-durability paper. However, if you wish to preserve your printouts for an extended period of time, a thicker paper is essential. These higher-quality papers tend to hold their shape and their colors far longer than their lower-priced counterparts. Many consumers mistakenly believe that a hung photo can be printed on thin paper if it is protected by a frame; however, even within the frame's protection, a low-quality paper is likely to bend and fade over time.

Color

Surprising as it may seem to novice photographers, photo paper is offered in many different shades, each of which influences printed pictures in a slightly different manner.

Consumers can find photo paper in any hue from ultra-bright white to subtle beige. Generally, the whiter your photo paper, the more boldly your prints will emerge from the page. Enhanced white paper is therefore ideal for photographers who wish to produce eye-popping pictures. However, in many cases, a softer color will be more suitable for your purposes. For example, a formal family portrait or a quiet nature scene will be better complemented by a gentle off-white color, adding a pleasant, relaxed dimension to your photo.   

What is the Dell “Low Ink” warning and why it is false

12. October 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments

Dell ink

In general, Dell printers are exceptional machines. Many models share one very annoying quirk though: They make low-ink warnings appear on the monitor, even when the ink is nowhere near being empty. If you have a Dell printer and have been warned about having low ink, you may have discovered this issue on your own. Upon attempting to replace the ink, you may have discovered that there was still plenty of it left. In some cases, this warning may appear only a week or so after replacing the ink. In either case, it's quite aggravating. Luckily, there's a way around the issue, and it's outlined below.

Incorrect Ink Levels

There is no clear explanation for why Dell printers sometimes incorrectly warn about low ink levels. The problem isn't universal among Dell printers; some models never have this issue. For those that do, these warnings seem to appear almost at random. Sometimes, the ink is less than half full, but that doesn't mean that it needs to be replaced. There is speculation out there that these warnings are used as a ploy to make customers buy more ink when they don't really need to, but there is no conclusive evidence that this is the case.

Steps for Correcting the Problem

You don't have to be a computer whiz to correct this vexing problem. You don't even have to open up your Dell printer or anything. Please note that this problem can happen with Dell-brand ink and with compatible ink cartridges as well. The steps for correcting the issue are the same whether you're using OEM ink or compatible ink.

  1. Click on the Start menu at the lower-left corner of your screen. You will either see an option for Control Panel, or you will immediately see a Printers and Faxes option. Either click on the Control Panel and then click on Printers and Faxes, or click immediately on the Printers and Faxes options. In other words, you need to get over to the Printers and Faxes section.
  2. A list of the available printers and faxes should be displayed. Locate the Dell printer icon and click on it. If you don't see the icon, the machine may not be on. Make sure that it's plugged in and turned on, and it should appear on the list.
  3. A new window will appear. Click on File, which should be in the upper-left corner of the new window.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on Printing Preferences.
  5. You will be presented with a window that has several tabs and clickable options. Click on Advanced Options then click on More Options.
  6. At this point, you will have two options: You can either choose to display minimized print status alerts in the Windows task bar, or you can choose not to display print status alerts at all. By clicking the second option, you will no longer be prompted to replace low ink on your Dell printer.
  7. From there, simply click on Exit. You will be asked if these settings are correct. Click Yes and exit out of the menu.

The new settings should go into effect immediately. Keep in mind that this also means that you will no longer be alerted when other issues occur. Fortunately, most Dell printers have intuitive designs, so you should be able to tell when a paper jam or other problem arises.

As far as determining when ink is truly low on your Dell printer, the easiest way to do so is by keeping an eye on print quality. If it begins to look faded or uneven, it's time to replace the ink.

How to safely store open inkjet cartridges

8. October 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments

Canon MP560 ink - CLI-221BK Black Ink Cartridge

With many modern inkjet printers, there's no need to switch ink tanks between different types of print jobs. However, there are still models out there that require you to switch to different kinds of ink depending on what's being printed. For example, you may need to use special ink when printing photos. This may seem like a hassle, but it actually results in exceptional prints when done correctly. One major drawback is that it requires you to open new inkjet cartridges, use them for awhile and then switch back to regular ink. Until they're needed again, what should you do with them? Learn some handy tips below.

When is it Necessary to Switch Between Inks?

If you primarily use your printer to print documents and things like that, or if you mostly use it to print photos, you'll hardly even have to switch between different types of ink. When you do need a different kind of ink though, how should you handle the situation? If you only need to print a few photos and then switch back to regular ink, isn't your photo ink cartridge going to go bad? It doesn't have to, and there are a few different ways to keep that from happening.

Risks of Storing Open Inkjet Cartridges

It's generally best to keep backup inkjet cartridges unopened until they're needed. If you have to open them and then store them again, you need to be careful about how you do so. If you don't take the appropriate measures, your inkjet cartridge could dry out and go to waste. After spending so much money on your inkjet cartridges, you'd probably like to squeeze every last drop of use out of them. The main thing you need to worry about is drying out your cartridges, but the following techniques will prevent that.

Plastic Food Containers

The first thing to know is that you should only store one cartridge per container. If you're storing a color inkjet cartridge, place it in a plastic food container with its metal side facing down. If you're storing a black inkjet cartridge, place it in a plastic food container with the metal side facing up. You will need a piece of sponge or a piece of towel as well. Get the sponge or towel wet, but wring it out well so that it's only slightly damp. Seal it in the container with the cartridge. It will keep the cartridge from drying out while it's being stored.

Plastic Baggies

If you don't have any plastic food containers handy, you can also use a plastic baggie with a zipper closure. Just make sure that it seals shut completely. The goal is to keep air from drying out the cartridge. As with the plastic food container, you will need to place a damp piece of sponge or towel inside too. However, you can position the cartridge however you'd like. It doesn't matter if it's a color inkjet cartridge or a black inkjet cartridge.

Where to Place the Containers or Baggies

Finally, you should find a safe and secure place to store the baggies or food containers. They should be kept in a place that is relatively dark. Don't let them come into contact with direct sunlight. They should also be stored in a place that is cool. If need be, keep them in the refrigerator. From time to time, check to make sure that the towel or sponge is still damp. If it's getting too dry, go ahead and wet it again. If you're not careful, the cartridge could dry out despite being stored carefully. With these tips in mind though, your inkjet cartridges should be ready for use the next time you need them.   

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