Just How Important Is Ink!

by: Robert Michael

Peering down at the page of our books or newspapers or thumbing through glossy color ads that arrive at our homes, we tend to overlook an essential part of these media creations. Ink is the real medium that ‘illuminates’ the printed page. Without it, there would be no carefully scripted letters or bright, lively images, no smiling faces promoting new and improved products.

Still, ink has been getting more attention lately as the market for household ink becomes more and more competitive. Changes in the way ink is marketed and distributed have led consumers to take another look at the process in order to find ways to purchase affordable inks.

The old inks of ancient history were simple and natural constructions, made from such elements as vegetable acids, animal products and nut oils. Today’s inks are different. Chemists have created super-durable inks with technical additives and engineered these products to provide the smoothest results from use in commercial or home machines. The only problem is that ink has become in some cases extremely expensive as the market for ink shifts. Therefore, people are looking to get the most out of their dollar when it comes to refilling the printer or copier machine.

A growing number of buyers are resorting to an array of complex options for buying ink. Some search for bargains in sale catalogues or buy ink bulk; some even buy a new printer advertised at a lower retail rate than the required ink cartridge! Another option is to refill your old cartridges at a local ink distributor. This has become popular due to the way the cartridges work. It is not uncommon for a cartridge to not dispense all of the available ink, and so refills of a cartridge have turned out to be an efficient purchase.

Buyers can also explore the use of ‘alternative inks’ like soy based products, which are available from some print shops as environmentally friendly products that aid in the recycling of printed matter. These are useful in home projects that don’t involve the high-speed name-brand printer; issues of compatibility might mean that these alternative inks are not for everybody. But for those interested in long-term environmental effects, printing experts can advise them on how to use more natural ink products.

With all of these available choices, it’s getting harder and harder to figure out the best way to get affordable ink products. Consumers can look to product reports in office magazines or to the clamoring web pages where cheap ink is advertised, but in the end, the only solution is thorough research. Buyers need to be able to deduce which products deliver a high volume of ink at a low price, and which ones are just rip-offs.

Also, one doesn’t want to end up with a pile of waste products, plastic cartridges of whole machines marching into obsolescence. Overall, it pays to shop around when looking for the next bottle of that magical stuff that makes the pages of our print media come alive.