Category Archives: Print & Design

Compatible Toner And Ink Cartridges

compatible toner and ink cartridgesDo you ever wonder about the difference between compatible toner and ink cartridges vs. those that come from the original manufacturer? I mean, other than price? And what about remanufactured cartridges?

The price issue is certainly significant. And it does make you think… What about reliability and safety for your equipment? Can you really save all that money and still get high quality performance out of your printer?

Read on and find out the differences and similarities, along with the best options for YOUR needs. Which one should you buy? The difference in price between the cartridges from the original manufacturer as compared to the compatible cartridges or the remanufactured ones is quite significant. Does that also reflect a matching difference in quality?

Knowing the answer to that question will help you decide which type of cartridges to get while preserving your peace of mind. After all, you need high quality print output. You don’t want any smears, smudges, or fuzzy print on your document!

What is an Original Cartridge?

The cartridges we generally consider original are brand new, and they have been made by the same manufacturer whose name is also on your printer. Since HP is one of the most common brands for printers, an HP cartridge would be considered an original one, also called an OEM product.

Many people really value the trust factor, and are willing to pay a significant premium for getting an “original” cartridge. However, there are alternatives, as we’ll see below.

Compatible Toner and Ink Cartridges

Compatible Toner and Ink Cartridges are also brand new. They have been freshly manufactured… just not by the manufacturer who made your printer.  There are quite a few third party manufacturers who create cartridges that are basically identically to the original ones.

Most of those so-called third party manufacturers create the same high quality products as the original manufacturer.


Remanufactured Cartridges

Unlike compatible toner and ink cartridges, remanufactured cartridges are not brand new. They have been used, generally once. Then, they have been returned to be cleaned and refilled. Of course they are also tested before being sent out to be used again.

Why is there such a big difference in price?

Consider the price you’ve paid for your printer…  generally, printers are comparatively inexpensive. Sometimes, they even throw one in for free when you buy a computer! Yes, even (and especially) brand name printers!

The reason for that is that the printers’ manufacturers’ sell their printers at a steep loss, expecting to make their money back on the back end, i.e., by selling the ink and toner cartridges.

But with the increasing popularity of compatible and remanufactured cartridges, the math no longer works as expected.

What about Print Quality?

For quite some time, people placed a lot of trust in brand names and paid a premium to get the “real deal.” But word got out that the print quality was essentially the same. The ink formulation of the compatible cartridge is virtually identical to that of the brand name cartridge.

Whether it’s the colour reproduction, the print quality in general, or the ease of use, there’s really no difference between the two options.

What about failure rates? The failure rate is indeed slightly higher, but it is very insignificant in the grand scheme of printing. Consider that the brand name cartridges have a failure rate of less than 0.5%, and black remanufactured cartridges have a failure rate of 1%. Consider how many cartridges you would have to buy before that difference becomes significant!  Just do the math!

Depending on how much you’re printing, this means one or two failed cartridges every five years or so, at most. Chances are that you won’t ever encounter a bad cartridge.

What about the warranty?

You may be wondering whether using compatible toner and ink cartridges can void the warranty of your printer.  And you’ll be happy to know that the answer is “No!”  Thanks to the Competition Act passed in 1998, there are clear guidelines that protect you as the consumer and give you free choice of where you purchase your cartridges.

Which toner or ink cartridge should you choose?

As you’ve seen, there are three types of options – OEM, compatible, and remanufactured cartridges. And they all are manufactured to the highest standards, and are virtually guaranteed to work for your printer.

Why not purchase a compatible or remanufactured cartridge with your next OEM order and do a comparison test yourself! Both kinds come with a satisfaction guarantee, so if you don’t like them, you can return them.

Our customers have been very happy with both our compatible cartridges and the remanufactured ones. And if you aren’t for some reason, we’ll gladly take them back and issue a refund.

We’re so happy with compatible cartridges, that we’re having a special promotion right now. Just call us on July 19 on 0800 007 5566 to ask about our specials and get your compatible cartridges to do your own test! Of course you can also use our Live Chat.

Missed the deadline? Call us anyway, and we’ll be happy to assist you!

We’re looking forward to helping you look good – and crisp, accurate printing is certainly part of that!


Business Card Best Practices 2017

business cards best practicesAre your business cards working for you? Your chances are much improved that they do if you’re using business card best practices.

Do you know how can you tell whether they really are doing their job?

I find that we don’t give enough thought to our business cards. We need to have them, but beyond making sure our contact information is up-to-date, we don’t even consider what else we could do with them.

The new year is a great time to take another look… And so I’d like to share some tips with you about how to really put those business cards to work… the 5 steps to Business Card Best Practices for 2017.

What ARE The Business Card Best Practices in 2017?

First, there are the basics, such as name, company, email address, website, and phone number. These belong on almost any business card. But what else should you add, if anything?

What about your social media links, your mobile phone number, your fax number, your snail mail address, and maybe even a cool slogan?

Not so fast! Remember the SIZE of the average business card?

Step 1: Consider the business card’s purpose and its audience

Before you design your card, consider its purpose and its audience. Do you want to sell something, or do you want to attract leads to your company? What kind of action do you want people to take? Also consider your ideal prospects and what they might feel attracted to.

Step 2: Invite the desired action steps

Make sure that anyone looking at your card will see what you want them to do at a glance. Do you want them to call? Place your phone number prominently on the call. Do you want them to visit your website, maybe to sign up for a free gift, then make that very clear.

Step 3: Avoid overly fancy designs… and clutter

Some cards are so focused on showing off a beautiful design that there’s no room for the message – which means that your message can easily get lost. Other cards are so filled with detailed information that the typeface is by necessity so tiny it will be hard to read. Even worse, it will be hard to figure out what action you want your cards’ recipients to take.

Focus on what’s most important to you, and you’ll get better results.

Step 4: Different business cards for different audiences and/or purposes

If you network with different groups, you may also find that customizing your business cards to your target audience can make them much more effective. One way to customize them is to add a slogan that will really speak to your target audience.

Step 5: Track the results

Tracking your results is another key element of business card best practices.  Once you’ve made the effort to customize your business cards, why not find out how well they work. If you use a call to action, add a different URL for each type of card, so you can see which one gets the best response.

Another option is to use separate phone numbers. These days, getting additional phone numbers is very inexpensive, and the value of knowing how to attract your audience is absolutely worth the extra effort.

Making the card design process easy, fast, affordable

Worried that it’ll get too expensive to print all those different cards? Don’t be. If you take us up on our current introductory offer, you’ll get your first set of cards for just £24.95, including the design AND free shipping!

But that’s just the beginning. We have a very cool Do-It-Yourself Printing & Design Platform where you can go into your account, create a new card based on your template and make any changes you want. Once you hit the order button, you’ll get the cards within one or two business days, depending on the time you ordered them.

Of course, you can also create additional cards for new staff members with that same ease and speed. And if you have questions, we’re always happy to help! Just call our office on 0800 007 5566 or contact us on Live Chat.

As you can see, it’s easy to keep up with business card best practices and create cards that are attractive to your ideal audience as well as effective! Always remember to ask yourself what you want people to do, and then invite them to do it… right on your business card.

Brochures and Letterhead – Do We Still Need Them In 2015?

Junior executives dynamics exchange their business cardsIt’s 2015, the era of online marketing and social media. So you may be wondering… Do you still need things like brochures and letterhead?

Sure, you definitely need business cards, at least when it comes to exchanging them with people you meet in person. Imagine a networking meeting without them!

But those business cards are just the beginning.

The trouble with business cards

For starters, business cards are SMALL! On one hand, that’s an advantage because you can fit quite a few of them inside your wallet. That way, you can keep them with you at all times and pass them out any time the opportunity arises.

On the other hand… They have only so much room. And what’s worse, there’s more and more you need to fit on them, including email address, website, blog, and social media links. And that’s in addition to your name, company role, address, and multiple phone and/or fax numbers.

As a result, the print gets smaller and smaller, and ever harder to read, so you’ll have to become more and more selective.

Brochures to the rescue

The solution? A brochure, not instead of but in addition to your business cards!

A brochure has room for lots of details about your products and/or services, and can really make you shine. You can also add testimonials and special offers.

But… you have a website for that, you say.

Well, I’m glad you do. A website is extremely important these days. Still, a brochure plays another key role in your marketing game. People have to actually find your website, in order for it to be able to work its magic. And while you do have the link on your business card, not everybody makes the effort to visit it.

A brochure, on the other hand, is completely effortless. You hand it to someone, and they cannot help but see the key information. It’s right in front of their eyes, at least if your brochure is well-designed. So it lends itself especially to person-to-person encounters.

Brochures work beyond in-person encounters

But that’s not all. The benefits of brochures aren’t just limited to in-person encounters! You can also (gasp!) mail the brochure to your prospects. Yes, the old-fashioned way. Once it falls out of the envelope, it is once again right in front of their face. And if they’re at all interested in what you do, they’ll take at least a quick look.

Whether that quick look becomes a more in-depth look and eventually a phone call depends on the quality of your brochure.

The most effective letter

It also depends on how the brochure arrives on your prospect’s desk. Does it come with a cover letter? Maybe even a handwritten one? Or at least one that’s signed by hand, and maybe has a little hand-written note jotted down somewhere? Has the envelope been addressed by hand?

The more personal the letter, the more likely it is to get someone’s attention, and the less likely it is to be tossed into the recycling bin.

No, you do not have to personally write all those notes and address those envelopes. Just be sure that the person you assign to do the job has professional-looking handwriting.

And, of course, make sure your letterhead looks professional too, as well as your envelope. It should have a logo and typeface to match that of your business cards. And the logo needs to reappear on your brochures.

All that makes for a very appealing and effective package. Click below to find out how it works:

Getting your winning business card/letterhead/brochure package

As you can see, we offer a one-stop shop with integrated design and print services, so it’ll be easy for you to get your professional-looking package of business cards, letterhead/envelopes, and brochures. You could also start with just one or two, and then work on the brochures to add them to your arsenal.

To get you started, we’d like to offer you a special deal: £27.77 for 250 business cards.

Just call our office on 0800 007 5566 and we’ll get you set up.

Note: Once you’re set up, you can order business cards for all your staff members in minutes! Just log into your self-service Printing Platform, create the new cards, update the names and other information, and click the order button. The new cards will arrive (usually) within 2 business days.

Crane Print & Design Services

Print & Design ServiceNeed new business cards, letterhead, envelopes or other printable items? You’ll find that our Print & Design Service is the perfect choice. We have an outstanding design team, and deliver your printable goods quickly, usually within 2 working days.

But there’s a lot more. Because of our sophisticated Print & Design Platform, you can make changes almost instantly and order modified items right away. This brings the control of self-service to a service that can easily take longer. Sometimes you may even have to coordinate designers and the printing service. Not with us. We’re offering a one-stop shop!

Let me introduce you to our new Print & Design Platform and how it works:

Print & Design Platform

Our Print & Design platform offers some really handy features… and once you’ve set up your account and your items, you can just go in and make minor changes yourself – anytime you like. After that, you can instantly order new business cards, letterhead, and more.

You can find more information about it here:

But first things first…

How to get started with your Print & Design Services account

First, you’ll need an account. To get one, just call our office on 0800 007 5566 and we’ll set you up with your Print & Design account.

About artwork

Next, if you already have your artwork, for example a logo, just send it to us (preferably by email), tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll create your cards, letterhead, and more.

If you do NOT yet have your logo and/or other artwork, we can create it for you, according to your specifications. We have an excellent professional design team, and we’re sure you’ll be very pleased with their work.

Ordering your products

Once everything is set up inside your account and you have approved it, you can just log in and order your print products at your convenience. Whether you want business cards, letterhead, envelopes, brochures, or whatever, you can just order as many or as few as you want, and everything will (usually) be delivered within 2 business days.

Here’s another perk:

Since you have already proofed the cards the first time, you know they will be correct for all subsequent orders. This saves time and effort and avoids any unnecessary (and costly) mistakes.

And yes, our prices are also very competitive.

But wait, there’s MORE!

Making changes inside your Print & Design account

What if you have a new staff member (let’s call her Cindy), and you want to get some new business cards for her?

It’s easy. Just go into your Design & Print platform account, pull up your business cards, and create a new set of cards for Cindy. Simply edit them by adding her name, her phone number, and her email address, and hit save. From there, you can order her new cards right away, and you’ll get them usually within 2 business days.

You can also do the same thing if you move, open a new satellite office, or if you want to add another item to your information, for example a fax number. It’s fast and easy, and you’ll get exactly what you want.

Print & Design Platform Case Study

When I opened my satellite office in Discovery Park, I needed an extra set of business cards for my new office. The old-fashioned way to handle this would have been to cross out the “old” information and write in the new phone number and email address, at least temporarily, until the new cards arrived. But that looks so unprofessional!

Instead, I just got new cards. I went into my Print & Design Platform and created them in minutes. And just 2 days later, I was able to pass them out to my new neighbors, fellow entrepreneurs in Discovery Park.

Ready to give our new Print & Design Platform a try?

Want your own Print & Design Account so you too can create your own business cards (and other printed materials) any time you like? It’s easy!

Simply call us on 0800 007 5566 and we’ll get you set up. After that, all you have to do is give us your artwork and have your cards and other materials designed. Once that’s taken care of, you can log in at any time to order your cards… and make your own adjustments.

Our Special Business Cards Deal Just For You

Obviously, we’d like you to give us a try. And to make that a no-brainer decision, we’d like to offer you a special deal on your first set of business cards…

Get 250 business cards for just £27.77!

Just call our office, ask them to set up your new Print & Design account and get your Special Deal on business cards, and they’ll be happy to help you.

I’m looking forward to creating your print items for you!