Category Archives: Printing tips

How Can a Small Business Manage Outgoings?

As a small business owner you want to see your profits increase, but in order to successfully achieve this goal you will need to keep an eye on your finances and know how to effectively manage your business outgoings.

Start by identifying your largest outgoings and areas where you could make some substantial savings such as production, marketing or administration costs.

Once you have identified the key areas you need to focus on, you can then begin to effectively manage your business outgoings, using the tactics we have suggested below. However, it is important to ensure that all new processes are easily maintainable and adhere to your company’s values.

The next step will be communicating your new business outgoings management plan to your workforce. This will ensure that they are all aware of your objectives and ready to help put these plans into action.

Read on for some simple tactics your business could adapt to help effectively manage your outgoings…

Employees – Involve your employees as much as possible, so that they are all aware of your company’s largest sources of revenue and outgoings. Try to get them involved in decision making to help them learn how to effectively manage their own costs. The majority of employees want to be involved and will want to help their company to succeed. By keeping your staff in the loop you may even find that they suggest better strategies or more cost effective solutions for your business.

Printing costsManaged Print Services can help your business to reduce its printing costs. This is achieved by creating a bespoke strategy that will ensure costs remain as low as possible, without compromising on efficiency, and can also help to improve the quality of your printing.
As part of an improved print strategy, managed print services will also optimise your printing infrastructure, which will help to save your company money and improve productivity.

Energy bills – Being more energy efficient will not only help you to save money, but it also has the added bonus of helping the planet too. Try to encourage the whole office to get involved and help to make a difference. Ensure that all computers are shut down at night and all lights are switched off.

6 Questions to Ask Potential Managed Print Companies

Managed print services (MPS) can offer big benefits for your business. By finding the right service you can spend less time managing documents and more time on your business goals.
Asking potential managed print companies the right questions will help you get the best return on investment in the future.

To help you evaluate your best print management solution and find a service provider who can meet the needs of your organisation, here are six crucial questions you should be asking…

  1. Where can we read your client reviews?

Client feedback is a great place to start. Do your research and see if you can find online reviews and testimonials for each potential MPS. Do they deliver what they promise?

  1. What analytics do you use and what reporting will be provided?

A good MPS should be able to offer a bespoke solution that fits your business and work flows. They should be able to provide analytical tools and reporting that can tell you how much time and money you are spending on printing, scanning and managing documents.

  1. How secure is your solution?

From sharing and printing confidential information to accessing documents stored on your network, robust security is an absolute must when it comes to a print management solution. Find out how a MPS can assist you with your GDPR responsibilities and be sure to check that their print management security will work seamlessly with your existing security setup.

  1. What maintenance and help desk support do you offer?

When something works, you don’t notice it. Our preventative maintenance provides absolute peace of mind and lets you get on with running your business. We offer personalised, attentive service from local engineers so that your issues are resolved quickly and easily. This is the kind of service you should be looking for when choosing a MPS.

  1. How can your services improve workflow?

Find out how well a potential MPS can integrate both your digital and hard copy processes, so that all work flows smoothly and efficiently throughout your business. Will they suggest new software options to automate workflows? Will they provide suggestions for equipment placement within your office? Will they help with connectivity, cloud applications and mobile printing? And finally, what are their service response times like?

  1. How future-proof are your services?

This final question is probably the most important. Can this potential MPS meet your business needs for the future? How quickly and easily can you change or upgrade? And how much will it cost you? Take this opportunity to ask these questions and future-proof your investment.

Why Your Business Should Use a Multifunction Printer

multifunction printer

Multifunction printers (MFPs) combine a printer, copier and scanner into one convenient machine. This makes them an essential piece of office equipment. In this blog, we’ve summed up the top three advantages of a multifunction printer and why your business should be using one.

MFPs are Convenient

One of the biggest advantages of a multifunction printer is that it is so convenient to use.  Documents can be printed, copied and scanned in one place, without having to use several machines. An MFP is also space saving as you do not have to find space for multiple devices in the office.

MFPs are Cost efficient

As well as not having to purchase separate devices for each task, MFPs are cost efficient in the long run, because you only have the running and maintenance costs of a single machine. In addition, most MFPs have a very low cost per page rate for both colour and mono printing and offer accounting features that let you restrict printer use or allow default settings such as double-sided printing to reduce your costs.

MFPs are Smart

Most modern MFPs allow you to connect your printer with either your smartphone or tablet for wireless and cloud printing. This means you can print important documents, even when you are out of the office. In addition, every document that you copy, scan or fax using your MFP can be directly sent to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Some models also allow users to check and send emails directly from the machine.

It’s easy to see why a multifunction printer would be beneficial for your business. To learn more about how we can help make your print processes simpler and more efficient with bespoke print solutions, please get in touch.

What is Follow Me Printing?

follow me printing

Follow me printing has become a popular solution in a variation of print environments, such as legal settings where the need for confidentiality is paramount, for example. This is due to the many benefits; it is convenient, flexible, and secure, and increases the level of control that the user has. What’s more, by making print more intentional, it also reduces waste. But what is it?

Essentially, with follow me printing solutions the user starts a print job from their workstation, but it doesn’t actually print until it has been authenticated by the user. Authentication protocols could be something like scanning an ID badge.

Example 1;

A lawyer needs to print an extremely confidential document about a client’s case, which cannot be seen by prying eyes. Follow me printing allows the lawyer to verify their identity upon retrieving the document, so that it does not fall into the wrong hands. The system reduces the need for a personal printer for each lawyer.

 Example 2;

A student is studying in the library and wants to print something in the room where she will have her next lesson. When she leaves the library and finds her way to the printer in her classroom, she can scan her ID badge and receive the document. This means she can print to a convenient location without her documents being left for someone else to see or even take (either accidentally or on purpose).

Based on the above scenarios, you can see just how beneficial follow me printing can be, especially when applied correctly, on large sites. Since the documents are deliberately printed during the authentication stage, the potential for wasted, unclaimed items drastically declines. As a result, the cost benefits on ink and paper is remarkable. This level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness is one of the key benefits to follow me printing.

If you have any questions about follow me printing, or managed print in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’d be more than happy to help.

How to Find the Right Printer for your Business

Understanding your business needs for it to function efficiently is essential. Understanding then what equipment you need, in particular the type of printers, will only aid your efficiency.

For many, printers all look the same and it can be quite confusing when deciding what will work for you.

Making a wrong choice in your printers can lead to unnecessary expense, decline in productivity and frustration! So, Mode has compiled a quick-look list that should help you decide the type of printer you need.

Running Costs: If you are purchasing the machine yourself, this can be exceedingly costly as the responsibility of servicing, supplies and maintenance will be down to you. Perhaps consider entering into an arrangement with a supplier and review the type of servicing they will include.

Office size: If you are a one-person band, then maybe a portable printer is ideal for you as you are on the go and maybe your office can be anywhere. Or if you have more people in your team, consider the size of your office and the space you have for a printer.

Functionality? You may need a printer and photocopier if you already own a fax machine, however, more common these days is the need for an all in one machine that allows you to copy, print, scan and fax.

How connected? Do you need wireless or can you be connected? Do you need to print from a mobile or will you and your business only need computer connection?

What quality do you need? Think about your needs as a business. If you are a design company then you need a printer that can print high quality so that you can show your clients your work. Or do you only print text? It would be pointless you are obtaining a high-quality printer that has the capacity to print high quality images, when really you only need typed text.

Inkjet or laser? There really isn’t any difference on price these days but think about what ink you’d like to use. Inkjets use ink and laser use toners. Broadly they offer the same quality and capacity to do the same things although arguably Laser have a broader capacity for different work.

Print Speed: Think about how much you point, you will then need to consider the speed of your machine, particularly if you are in need to printing larger volumes.

Think about a supplier! Sometimes its just easier to have someone handle all this for you. There are often so many things to consider when obtaining the right printer for your business that sometimes-seeking advice can help you reach the right decision.

If you need to discuss your printer needs for your business, then do contact Mode today.

The Print Industry: Our Jargon Buster

This jargon buster and glossary of words contains the definitions of some of the terms commonly used in the Print industry. So if you don’t know your Saddle Stitch from Embossing, or what CMYK and GSM are, then this is the place for you.


Art Paper
This paper is available in both gloss and matt and has a coating of what is usually china clay. Art paper would typically be used for jobs that require a fine finish, such as a brochure or an annual report.

This term is to describe the digital representation of the customer’s piece of marketing collateral

Backed Up
This refers to the second side of a sheet being printed, with the images usually identically aligned on both sides.

Bank is a lightweight paper used typically in typewriting and correspondence for easy reading.

One of the more common printing terms, bleed refers to the fact that the printed area exceeds the trimmed area. For logistical reasons, it is not possible to print to the very edge of the paper, so to get the effect of this it is necessary to print a larger than necessary area and trim the paper down.

Blind Emboss
A logo, text or design that has been relief stamped into a sheet of paper, onto which no printing ink has been added.

Blind Embossing
In this process of embossing, no ink is used which means no colours are possible. Instead, the design or text is only visible as a raised area on the paper.

This is basic paper which is most commonly used for copying or with laser printers.

Calendered Paper
Paper that has been put through heavy rollers during the manufacturing process in order to achieve a completely smooth finish

Case Binding
Section sewn books bound with hard board covers

The four colours that make up a standard set of inks used on a modern lithographic press. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Key (Black)

In line water based surface coating that protects the ink from rubbing and enables quick handling

The process of putting together the multiple elements or sheets of a document in the right order

Mechanically creasing a printed job will make folding the sheets easier

When you fold a piece of paper, the folded item gets thicker and the middle pages start to extend beyond the middle. Without this extension adjustment, the trimmed final book will have common elements on the middle pages appearing closer to the fore edge than on the outside pages.

Cross Over
Type or image that continue from the left hand page of a book or magazine across the spine on to the right hand page

Computer to Plate. This term refers to the practice of transferring an image onto a plate using laser technology

As Emboss but recessed into the substrate

Die Cut
A process to cut, score of perforate a flat printed sheet

Digital Printing
This printing avoids the stage of films and works directly from electronic data making it cost effective and popular for short run jobs. The quality of Digital Printing is not as good as lithography printing but it is continuously improving

Digital Proof
An on screen dummy copy of a publication which is used to check the running order and proofread the publication on screen

Dot Gain
Each dot on the plate carries in which is transferred onto the paper using offset. The percentage that the printed dot is larger than the dot on the plate is called dot gain

Stands for Dot Per Inch which refers to the frequency of dots appearing on the plate

Test of ink colours before going to press

Drilling refers to holes being made in paper for use in a ring binder

This is a plain white mock up without any printing, using the same paper and binding process as your final product. This allows you to get a feel for the finished product without the cost of printing

Dust Jacket
A loose cover to protect the boards on a case bound book

Endorse Folding
This is the term given for folding a sheet of paper twice. Newspapers for example are folded once down the spine, and then once again in half for posting

Printed or plain sheets of paper that attach the inside pages of a book to its cover

To carve, mould or stamp a design onto a surface so it stands out in relief

Films are very rarely used now but are produced by an imagesetter from the artwork and are used to create the printing plate through a photochemical process

What follows the printing process, whether that is creasing, folding, stitching, binding or anything else

Flush Cover
Book or booklet having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text

Foil Block
An off line process to attach foil in a predetermined shape to the printed page

The page number

Fore Edge
The outer edge of a bound publication opposite the spine

Four Colour Process Printing
This is the most common method of producing colour print. The four CMYK colours are translucent, which means the can be overprinted and combined a number of different ways to achieve a wide range of colours. Most magazines and colour books are printed using this process

The Forest Stewardship Council trademark provides international recognition to organisations that support the growth of responsible forest management.

Grain Direction
Direction in which the majority of the fibres in a piece of paper or board are aligned.

This is usually used for high quality or long run printing and is sometimes known as intaglio printing. In this process, the image is etched below the surface of the plate. The web version of the process is termed rotogravure.

GSM is an acronym for Grams per Square Metre. Typically, photocopier paper would be around 80gsm, whilst letterhead paper might be 100gsm and a postcard 250gsm

Half Perf
A perforation line usually running across the page but not to the full width of the page

This is the process used to produce a range of tones such as on a photograph or tinted area and involves dividing the image into a series of dots.

The terms used for imperfections in printing due to debris in the ink or paper

Hybrid Screen
A screening technology made up of two different screen algorithms. This is usually a combination of AM and FM. The technology seeks to combine the advantages of each and allows print to a higher definition

The process of arranging pages correctly on the flat sheet prior to printing so that when folded the pages appear in the correct order.

ISO 12647
The printing standard determines the colour of the CMYK inks and the dot gain allowed on the print sheet.

Kiss Cut
A light die cut that cuts through the first layer but leaves the base substrate uncut

Laid Paper
This paper is uncoated and has a textured pattern of parallel lines, similar to handmade paper. It is often used for business stationery and can be compared to Wove Paper

A sheet of paper containing two pages, one on either side.

the term given to a blank sheet of paper

Make Ready
term referring to the process of preparing a printing press for its run

Matt & Gloss Varnish
Specialist coating process providing high levels of contrast between pre-selected areas of matt and floss on the finished pages

Micro Perf
a very finely cut perforated edge designed to simulate the effect of a guillotine cut edge

A measurement to indicate the thickness of paper as against grammage which is a measurement for weight only

The pressure point in between two rollers

Offset Printing
In this printing process, the paper never comes into contact with the printing plate. Instead, the ink is transferred from the plate to a blanket cylinder which then transfers the ink to the paper

A wooden frame used to transport large volumes of print

A US brand that created a colour matching system that identifies a wide range of colours by number to ensure standard results across the printing industry

Paper Sizes
in Europe, the ISO standard is the common way to define paper sizes. The A series, particularly A4 paper is the most common, everyday paper. The C series defines the size of most envelopes. There is also the B series, as well as RS and SRA which are used by printers. They are slightly larger than the A series and allow for extra grip, trimming and bleed when printing

Perfect Binding
Book binding that holds the paper to the spine using glue. This is the most common method for magazines and paperback books.

Printing both sides of the substrate in the same pass through the printing press

One printing plate normally aluminium but can be plastic, carries the halftone dots for one colour. A printing press capable of printing full colour will usually have at least four printing units with one plate on each unit.

Print Marks
These are marks used by printers to ensure your colours are correct as well as marking where to trim and fold elements

Printing Plate
This plate carries the image that is to be printed onto stock. Printing plates can be made of a variety of materials and are even available in paper for single use printing plates

Pur Binding
Similar to perfect binding but this is more expensive and has superior strength

250 sheets of paper

The alignment of different printing plates, necessary when printing with two or more colours. The target shaped register marks will be visible on an untrimmed sheet and these are used for accurate positioning of the plates.

Raster Image Processor converts a digital file into dots that can be imaged onto a plate

Rollercoat UV Varnish
A varnish which is applied all over the printed surface unlike spot UV which is only applied to specific areas

Run On
When a printer quotes a job, they will usually give a price for a set number of copies and a price for any additional copies after that. These additional copies are the run on.

Saddle Stitch
You may know this as stapling, but printers call the process of assembling a magazine or small booklet with a wire stitch through the fold a Saddle Stitch

Screening is the art of being able to use only three solid tint colours and black as a contrasting colour to simulate a natural looking colour image.

Screen Printing
A process of transferring ink to the printing surface by squeezing it through a fine sheet of fabric that is stretched across a frame

The folded sheet that is folded with others to make a book. Larger pieces of paper will create multiple sections as they are folded

Self Cover
A cover made out of the same paper stock as the text pages.

The digital file which holds the finished artwork is separated using software into the 4 CMYK colours that the press is capable of printing

This refers to a printing fault where wet ink is transferred from one sheet to the back of the next as it leaves the stack, creating a ghost image.

Sheet Fed
A sheet-fed press prints by picking up one sheet of stock at a time and is the most common type of press

Show Through
The degree to which printing is visible through the paper due to low opacity of the paper

Special Colours
These are specifically mixed colours that are outside the CMYK colour range and require specialist inks

Spot Colour
A printing ink specially mixed to give a specific colour, including metallic or fluorescent inks. Customers may have a corporate colour which must be accurately printed and is not suitable for CMYK separation

A type of binding usually using two metal staples

Stock is the printing term that refers to the type of paper or cardboard you are printing on

Thread Sewn
A more expensive form of binding. The sections of a book block are sewn together prior to being bound to give added strength and improved flexibility.

Three Colour Printing
It is possible to use just three of the four CMYK colours; Cyan, Magenta & Yellow

Tip In
An insert attached to a publication by gluing along the binding edge

Two Colour Printing
It is also possible to print using just two colours and this printing is usually used for printing on stationery as it is very cost effective

UV Varnishing
This adds a gloss finish to printed services but in a different way to a regular varnish.

An extra ink that is transparent can be used to protect the wet colour inks sitting on the surface of the paper

Fade to white of illustration or colour in which the tones gradually fade away

A web printing machine has nothing to do with the internet. Instead, it is a machine that can work with paper on the roll, known as the web. The high speed of these presses means they are only economical for high volume or long running jobs such as newspaper

Work & Turn
This is a cost effective way of printing both sides of a sheet without needing to change the printing plates and often referred to as Work & Tumble. The whole job will be printed on one side of the sheet, and then the sheets are flipped over and printed on again

Wove Paper
Wove paper is uncoated and has no apparent texture or pattern. It is often used for business stationery and can be compared to Laid Paper

Top 5 Printer Maintenance Tips

Taking care and proper maintenance of your printer will help it to perform at its best and will keep it in good condition for many more years to come. Whether you own an inkjet or laser printer, we’ve put together our top five printer maintenance tips for you to follow. We hope you find them helpful:


  1. Clean your printer

It is essential to keep your printer as clean as possible. Wipe away any interior paper dust or debris on a regular basis.

  1. Replace Cartridges

You don’t need to replace the cartridge as soon as your printer indicates that it is low; however it is a good idea to plan on replacing it within a few weeks. A dry cartridge can lead to wear and tear on your printer head.

  1. Fold feed trays away

When you are not using the feed tray, be sure to fold it away, otherwise it can easily be knocked or broken by passers-by.

  1. Paper type

You should always use the type of paper recommended by the printer manufacturer. Using the wrong type can lead to problems such as paper jams or excessive toner usage, which will waste money and cause inconvenient problems.

  1. Standby Mode

Printers generate a lot of heat while they are switched on – This can dry up the cartridges or clog up the header. It is best to keep your printer in standby mode between printing or switched off when not in use.

Common Printer Problems (and How to Fix Them)

Printers are the unsung heroes of today’s busy office environment and it’s often not until they hit a hurdle that we realise how much we rely on them.

Equipment that’s not performing properly can cause issues in more ways than one; firstly, in terms of the cost of repairs and secondly in terms of precious time.

Here, we’ve collated a selection of the most common problems affecting printers and how to fix them.

Poor quality prints

This is an annoying issue. Your printer works perfectly well, it’s just as fast as it ever was, but the prints are coming out blurred or with odd marks on them. You can’t use badly printed documents in a professional capacity so you need to get to the bottom of this problem…and here’s how to begin.

  • Print several sheets to see if the quality gradually improves; sometimes the issue will remedy itself.
  • Check the print driver in case you have the wrong paper or media selected; this is a surprisingly common issue.
  • Ensure that toner cartridges are fresh and intact.
  • If everything is as it should be but the quality isn’t improving, then it’s time to call in the professionals
Slow printing

This issue can be absolutely infuriating. You’re in a hurry to get something out to a client or to staff and the printer is in snail-mode. What do you do?

  • Check your settings. If you don’t need top quality print, then select draft standard for documents which are only going to be used within the office. If you’re going to be sharing the documents within a formal meeting or similar, then shift back to the higher quality mode.
  • Remember that double-sided printing will always take longer. Yes, it saves paper but if you’re in a hurry, then that may be a false economy.
Paper jams

Paper jams are another irritating issue and if you’re finding that they happen just too often, it might be time to have your printer serviced. But first, check out these trouble-shooting tips.

  • Check the path of the paper to see where the issue is. If your printer isn’t well-lit in its interior, then use a torch. Remove any paper you can see but do it gently so that you don’t tear it and risk tiny pieces of paper causing even more problems.
  • If you can’t see any paper which has jammed within the machine, take out the tray and reposition it.
  • Still not happy? Remove the entire paper stack, ensure it’s square and replace it.
  • Other tips to ensure paper jams don’t happen too often are to double-check the paper is the right paper for the printer and always store your paper supplies in a dry environment.

A great way to ensure your printers remain in good working order is to know that those people with access, understand the correct way in which to use the equipment. The only way to be sure of that is to provide good training and regular updates if software changes are on the cards.

Keep your printers dust free with regular maintenance and always use the right paper, ink and toner.

3 Signs Your Printers Need to be Updated

Printers are such an integral part of most businesses that many people forget just how important it is to ensure that they are in tip-top condition. They’re generally long-lasting enough to be taken for granted. We might not even notice the first signs that a printer is past it’s best and heading rapidly for its’ sell-by-date, but in today’s’ climate of paranoia around data protection, it will pay more than ever before for you to stay on top of things.

It’s probably unfair to say that the interest in data protection is a kind of paranoia…it’s not. It’s founded in the very real risks which every one of us are facing today thanks to increased incidents of data breaches.

Even on a small-scale, data breaches are a potentially expensive mistake to make…and on more than one level.

With new, hard-hitting legislation due to come into force across Europe at the end of May 2018, more and more businesses and organisations will need to ensure that they’re on-top of updating their printers.

So, take a look at these 3 unmistakable signs that your printer needs to be updated.

1: Regular breakdowns or glitches

Breakdowns cost time and money which most businesses can ill-afford. Throwing a spanner in the works, a broken printer can grind productivity to a halt and not only that but poorly maintained equipment is bad for morale.

Staff want to be able to complete tasks on time and when they need to be tackled. They don’t want to stand around complaining that things aren’t working as they should be.

If you find that your printer is breaking down more often than once a year, then it’s definitely time to review your options.

2: Your needs have changed

This one is something which can creep up on you. As your business evolves and your needs change, you discover more incidences where your printer simply doesn’t offer what you want it to.

It’s things like remote capabilities and speed which are most commonly complained about as lacking and let’s be honest, the ability to communicate with your printer remotely is fairly important in today’s’ high-speed world.

Your business needs what it needs in order to succeed so this is a fairly important issue for most businesses.

3: Out of date tech which opens your data up to leaks

It’s worryingly common even in larger organisations for technology to be years out of date which of course, puts sensitive data at risk.

Your printers need to be as tight as possible when it comes to security so that your business isn’t at risk. The new GDPR legislation coming into force May 25th, 2018 will mean much more serious consequences for businesses and organisations who don’t take responsibility for their clients’ sensitive information.

Staying up-to-date and ensuring that your business or organisation is well equipped and ready for all possibilities is vital, so watch out for these issues affecting your day-to-day productivity. Or even better, get there before they do!

How to Choose the Right Print Management Company

When you’re faced with a variety of print management services and you’re unsure which one to choose, there are several questions you should ask yourself. Most importantly, “will this company save my business time and money?” and “can they offer my business on-going support?” Read on to find out some of the other important things you should consider to ensure you don’t regret your decision.


What Are Your Requirements?


Before you can choose an appropriate print management company, it’s wise to outline the services you actually need. Do you want to outsource all of your collateral or stick to one particular area of print, for example? Once you have a list of requirements, then you will be able to search for the solutions.


Is The Company Well Experienced?


The right print management company will have a team of experienced and skilled staff behind them. As a result, they will be able to offer you wide-ranging expertise. At Mode, for example, we have over two decades of experience in providing bespoke print solutions.


Is The Company Innovative?


Make sure you choose a company that can offer your business original and innovative solutions, to push you ahead of your competitors and help you stand out. It’s important that your print management partner can adjust to your business environment.


What Are the Company’s Response Times?


When working with a company, it’s important to know that they will be at the other end of the phone if you need their support. Our response times at Mode are the best in the industry and we are proud to be able to help our customers whenever they need us.


Are The Printers Energy Efficient?


Energy efficiency is an important factor if you want to get the most for your money. At Mode, all of our products are energy efficient and, as a result, you will notice a reduction in your overall running costs. What’s more, we only partner with manufacturers who have superb environmental credentials, which is great for your carbon footprint.


If you make your decision on price alone, it is unlikely that you will be fully satisfied with every aspect of the service you receive. Please feel free to contact us if you require any more information or have any questions – we’d love to hear from you!

© MODE 2019
Site Map | Privacy Policy | Cookies |Design: Innermedia