Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Mono, or  black, cyan, magenta, yellow, and others. Confused? 

There are many types of printer cartridges. For a start there is Ink and Toner. The first is a liquid, the latter a powder, with the Toner also called a laser because of the process used in putting print to paper.
Then there are genuine, compatible (generic), and remanufactured printer cartridges. And refills.
And just when you think you know it all along comes 3D.

But today we are not concerned with types of cartridges, but with the different colours.

You will often see a printer or printer cartridge advertised as 'mono'. This simply means that there are no colours associated with that printer (cartridge). These printers are used for text printing, where no colour is normally required. Mono is more usually associated with Toner, where yield is higher and speed is faster (think commercial).

Then there is the more usual combination of four coloured cartridges - black, cyan, magenta, and yellow, although the purists will advise that black, as with white, is not a colour. But in printer cartridge jargon it is.
This combination of colours allows you to print in the complete kaleidoscope of colours like the rainbow.
The combination of cartridges is more commonly used where a business wants flexibility in printing. For instance their statements might be black text with a minus balance in red, but their logo is in say blue. In this case, black will normally  be used in a much greater quantity than the colours so it is in the users interest to order multiple blacks to individual colour cartridges. Home users also will have a preference for this type of printer, in that there is often a requirement to use colours, especially when children are involved.

But there is more. For the graphics specialist or the professional photographer, there is higher quality colour, particularly in regard to ink cartridges, which are recognized as having a higher vibrancy than toner colour.
For instance Epson with their Stylus Photo R3000 have a nine colour combination of ink cartridges:

Photo Black Ink Cartridge
Cyan Ink Cartridge
Magenta Ink Cartridge
Yellow Ink Cartridge
Light Cyan Ink Cartridge
Light Magenta Ink Cartridge
Light Black Ink Cartridge
Matte Black Ink Cartridge
Light Light Black Ink Cartridge

have you noticed that there are 4 different shades of black included in this selection.
Enough for the most fastidious of  colour printer users.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support