Let’s be honest, every one of us has gotten really angry and upset at our printers on multiple occasions, haven’t we?  We’ve all faced the full litany of the typical problems with printers: running out of ink, paper jams, unable to connect to the printer, having to pay outrageous prices for replacement cartridges, fingers black with indelible ink stains, and on and on.  We expect them to just work, but in reality, they break down so often that we just cannot rely upon them.  The only way they stay dependable is with a huge amount of regular attention by someone . . . which rarely happens.

The (ID card) struggle is real

replacing printer ribbons

A good summary of all the things that seem to continually go wrong with printers can be found here: why printers are so terrible.
And for a little more history on how we got to such a sorry state of affairs in the printer business, you should read this article: the battle for your soul taking place inside your printer.

With problems like these, it’s amazing that we are still buying and using printers in-house.  The only possible explanation is that we just can’t outsource many of the small print jobs that we need day in and day out.  But what if we could outsource efficiently and effectively?  Fortunately, for many kinds of print requirements, web services are coming to the rescue to provide an alternative to in-house printing.  The ability to order and receive custom printed products online gives us many more options than we used to have.

For example, it is nearly always better to order printed labels on-line, rather than attempting to print them in-house.  The ability to get printed photos or photo-books in record time, with amazing quality, is another example of how online printing services far surpass the quality of in-house printing which is available.  And if you need photo ID cards, services like InstantCard provide a much better product, at much lower cost, than in-house printing.

Gosh Jammit-all

another ID card jam

Printing ID cards on PVC plastic presents a challenge which is significantly more complex than printing on letter-sized paper.  The chances of jams and meltdowns multiplies exponentially.  The cost of supplies is crazy-high because of the perceived “security” that goes with a company badge.  And ID card printers can’t print from software you already have, so you are forced to buy bad software at an exorbitant price.  Not to mention the poor design of the software, the high cost of maintenance, and the constant re-training necessary.  No wonder we feel such a strong sense of injustice.

With a situation like this, why would anyone want to print ID cards when they can so easily avoid the hassle, and pass that problem on to a company that specializes in the print process because they do it every day?  Some companies imagine they “must” have the cards in-hand immediately, whereas thousands of companies simply issue temporary badges for the few days it takes to receive card orders.  Others say they want to handle their own card template designs, even though those people are rarely professional graphic designers.  Others kid themselves that the cost is lower, but they can only possibly justify a lower cost when they don’t count the staff time involved in caring for these expensive, uncooperative, and annoying pieces of hardware.

So the next time your printer starts giving you a major migraine headache, try searching online for an on-demand printing service.  Or alternatively, consider this solution on how to deal with a troublesome printer.you get an ID card