Wild West Yorkshire, Saturday 27 November 2010
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My new black and white laser printer the HP Laserjet P2055dn and my previous colour Lexmark C734dn.
I SPEND an hour this morning connecting my new printer. I'm rather pleased that I can download the Windows 7 driver and get the printer to show up on my network as this would normally be where I'd panic and phone a friend for help. After watching the calm, methodical way my friend Jonathan tackles such puzzles on a dozen previous occasions, I find that I can follow the process through, provided I give myself enough time.
After my last three colour laser printers I've gone for monochrome but this small Hewlett Packard Laserjet is still capable of duplexing (printing both sides of the page) so it's perfect for my black and white walks booklets which I print in house. It's a shame that I no longer have the option to print in colour with the new machine but the cost of colour toner was getting ridiculous with my Lexmark colour laser:
cost of new toner (all four colours) for Lexmark C734dn: £712
cost of new Lexmark C734dn printer (ships with all four colours): £339
(the toner cartridges supplied with the printer are smaller but page for page still work out cheaper, at 2.12p compared with 2.7p per page at 5% coverage)
Giving up on colour means that I've had to give up printing my little Sushi Sketchbooks. These were intended to make the most of the A3 format of the big colour printer that I had at the time. There were six titles; two were drawn on long distance walks, two on the coast and two in Victorian Yorkshire towns.
I'm pleased that I took time out to draw some of the old buildings of Normanton in my little Sushi Sketchbook The Normanton Chronicles as two of them, the baths and the cinema, have since been demolished but I'm sorry that I didn't also draw two of the town's old public houses, the Talbot (or was it the Greyhound?) and the Great Northern, an early Victorian gem of a building. I believe that both have now gone.
As I set off to work on a seventh small sketchbook in the Peak District, I met a publisher who's based there and he got me thinking that I'd be better going for commercial printer for my next sketchbook, High Peak Drifter.
The cost of toner and other consumables such as image drums, belts and waste toner drums was making publishing on demand less and less of a possibility with my monster A3 machine and now even A4 colour lasers are proving ridiculously expensive to run.
I hope that the new printer will enable me to go back to printing on demand but this time it will be strictly in black and white. The Laserjet P2055dn has the big advantage that it doesn't require you to do anything more than replace the toner cartridge; it won't start asking for a new image drum, belt or waste toner cartridge.
Link: Willow Island Editions where my current crop of walks booklets and published sketchbooks are available online.
Richard Bell, illustrator
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