Ink has been around for longer than most people realize. The first inks were invented in 2500 B.C. in China and Egypt. The printer ink we use now is nothing like the first ink, but it is undeniable that ink has had significant staying power. Looking to the future, it seems unlikely printer ink will fall out of favor.
Printer ink has many advantages, including superior photo quality and, with laser printer ink or toner, better speed and precision. These advantages keep printer ink the most popular printing choice for individuals and businesses today.
Plus, recent innovations in printer ink technology, including the ink tank and high-yield cartridges, show that printer ink is keeping pace with the needs of contemporary printing. These are the seven reasons printer ink will be around for a long time.
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Advantages of Printer Ink
Printer ink is used in inkjet printers, and toner is used in laser printers. Inkjet printers either use thermal power or electricity to control ink application onto paper. Laser printers use toner, a powder-based print substance made from small plastics.
The laser printer applies the toner and then heats the paper to set the toner in place. Printer ink is still the most popular printing medium despite toner’s advantages and recent gains in popularity. This is because of its affordability, high-quality image printing and the security printing affords businesses.
- Personal and affordable
Printer ink is more economically feasible for most customers because inkjet printers are significantly less expensive than laser printers. The lower upfront cost makes inkjet and printer ink more attractive to individuals who require printing capabilities but do not need to print in large volumes.
Inkjet printers also come in smaller sizes than their laser counterparts, which is ideal for personal printers. The affordability and compact sizing combine to create fantastic personal printers.
- Image printing
Inkjet printers and printer ink are the best options for individuals with varied printing needs. People who only use their printer for black and white document printing might be better served by a laser printer that uses toner because they are faster than inkjet printers. Those who use their printer for documents, photos, cards and more should invest in an inkjet printer.
Toner printers can print color, but printer ink is better because ink mixing creates superior colors than toner color mixing. Plus, inkjet printers can print onto glossy paper, commonly used for photos. The heating process in laser printers makes them incompatible with paper that can melt, such as paper with gloss coatings.
- Complements laser printers
For many businesses, the toner versus ink discussion is null because the two are used in conjunction to satisfy all printing needs. A company can use the inkjet printer for cardstock and image printing while using the laser printer for everyday document print runs. The two types of printers have their own niches, which is why toner is unlikely to replace ink for the foreseeable future.
- Physical copies provide security
In the age of advanced computer systems and cloud storage, it might be enticing to write off printed documents as a dying media. While businesses are transitioning many of their important documents to internet storage, they would be wise to back up their online data with physical copies.
Data breaches are more common than ever, and documents can be lost permanently if not backed by physical copies. Printing serves as a security assurance for many companies in the age of online storage.
Updates in Printer Ink Technology
Peter Drucker, a famous business educator, proclaimed, “innovate or die” as a rule for businesses and technologies. With the breakneck speed of innovation, it seems to make sense that something will replace the old printing medium of printer ink.
Recent innovations in printer ink technology invalidate these predictions. Inkjet printers now utilize ink tanks and high-yield ink cartridges, and there are always improvements to ink recipes on the horizon.
- Ink tank printers
Ink tank printers remove the largest source of frustration associated with ink printers: the ink cartridge. Replacing ink cartridges is time-consuming and potentially expensive. Ink tank printers replaced cartridges with large ink reservoirs that run out of ink less frequently and are easy to refill.
Ink tank printers take the guesswork out of printing, as it is easy to check if the ink is running low rather than waiting for documents to come out faded, as with cartridges. They also reduce plastic waste because ink bottles are replaced less frequently than cartridges, and they are reusable.
- High-yield ink cartridges
For inkjet printers that require cartridges, there are innovations in cartridge capacity that make them better than in the past. High-yield ink cartridges provide up to 50% more ink capacity, while extra-high-yield cartridges increase page yield by four times compared to standard cartridges.
High-yield ink cartridges are the same size as their standard yield counterparts, making them compatible with any inkjet printer. For instance, if you have an Epson printer, you could swap out standard cartridges for high-yield Epson ink cartridges without making any changes to your printer.
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- Ink chemistry
Significant advances have been made in both toner and printer ink since their introduction. Current innovations are improving toner’s color printing abilities. Some companies are experimenting with solid printer ink methods that reduce paper absorption and spreading for precise and clear printing.
Other innovations build off the current drop-on-demand inkjet technology common in printers today. The constant innovations in ink chemistry are a good sign that printer ink will stay prevalent for long into the future.
Printer Ink Is Here to Stay
The rise of internet storage and laser toner printing seem like they could spell the end of printer ink used in printing, but this is not the case. Printer ink has its own niche in high-quality image printing, it is affordable for personal printing and it is consistently being improved to keep up with modern printing needs. For these reasons, printer ink will be around for a long time.