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Choice Stationery Supplies Blog - for all the chat on printer inks and cartridges

  • Printer Creates Human Face on Pancakes

    Maybe we’re a little late with this as Pancake day was last week, however it’s still worth mentioning. The latest trend it seems is to have your face burned into a pancake.

    A team of researchers has created a 3D printer that uses facial recognition in conjunction with a hotplate to burn layers of batter into a replica of a person’s face. The device even has the technology to see the lighter and darker tones of a person’s face to ensure it’s captured and cooked with precision.

    The printer uses Computer Numerical Control to convert the designs into a graph, which is then printed on the pancake. This is also utilised alongside the face recognition software to print the layers of batter directly onto the hotplate. This facial recognition technology uses a digital camera and image processing to create the replica face.

    Tehe technology has been developed with the help of research and innovation experts at Bristol-based Kinneir Dufort.

    They developed custom software that can turn contours of a human face for the batter dispenser. To do this the darkest areas are laid down first and they get lighter progressively. When this is added to the hotplate the batter changes colour and different tones appear.

    It’s a quite useless novelty use of the technology, but a notable and very fun one at that.

  • 6 Tips for Getting more from your Virtual Office

    Thanks to changes in technology and also in attitude the idea of working remotely or from home is more popular now than it has ever been before.

    Working from a virtual office has been shown to make workers more productive according to a Stanford University survey, which found workers, got 19 per cent more work done from home. That’s a lot of productivity and it says a lot about our surroundings and the ways we work. So, if you’re thinking about trying the whole work from home/virtual office concept out with your employees – here are some tips to make it more likely to work.

    Sharing and the Cloud

    The cloud is at the centre of the working from home revolution and businesses that wish to get the most out of their employees need to embrace the technology. Thanks to cloud based software such as Google’s apps like Drive and Gmail as well as VoIP technology such as Skype the physical distance between a person and their office doesn’t really need to matter any longer.

    Tech to Help

    Businesses hoping to make the very most of the new way of working, need to have reasonably good quality tech to do so. Be aware that it’s a good idea to invest in solid, tried and tested technologies rather than the shiniest and newest untested ones. Investing in technology that is easy to use, doesn’t cause problems and allows for a smooth virtual office experience ensures you’re more likely to use it and also get the most from it.


    If you are going down this route, you still need to remember that there will be times when you need a physical space too. Yes, you may be saving a lot of money on heating and electricity not having an office, however there will be times when you need a place that’s more formal to meet than a coffee shop.

    In addition, it’s also worth thinking about and signing up to a service like which provides a London office address, mail forwarding and meeting rooms. These types of services provide that professional edge when you need it and are often available at great prices.


    There are all sorts of great tools out there that can help you organise your efforts and ensure your remote working effort is a success. Software such as Trello and Asana are great for managing workflow and keep tabs on tasks, as well as allow users to keep in touch with each other in an organised manner. Our advice is to invest in a workflow tool like this.

    Don’t be a Control Freak

    One of the things a lot of business leaders find hard about relinquishing control of the office is that it means they have to trust their employees to do the work and to choose their own hours. This can be hard for some people depending on the sort of managerial style they have, however it’s a must-do if you want to make the virtual office a success. Flexibility is the reason  virtual workers choose to do so and business owners need to offer some.

    Give it Time

    Like any culture change in business, people need time to adapt, so give it time. Take the lead here and be as patient as you can be with people starting out and allow them to adjust to their virtual surroundings.

    A virtual office and virtual tools can be a great way to streamline your business, increase morale and make for a happier, more productive company. The above pieces of advice should help you make the most of this potentially fantastic change.

  • Infographic: Office Hoarding

    Office hoarding infographic

    We talked last week about ways that people can keep their offices tidy and this infographic by Careerbuilder goes a long way to helping you to do so. It's filled with valuable tips and tricks on keeping your office area spick and span - take a look.

  • 4 Ways to Lower Printing Costs

    The high cost of ink is one of the biggest issues that people tend to have with printing. Printer companies don’t tend to like to make printers economical or low cost, even though the hardware may seem quite inexpensive in the first place. However, there are a number of ways that you can keep costs of printing affordable and ensure good quality at the same time.

    Buy a Printer with a Duplexer

    Buying a printer with a duplexer can make a big difference to your printing efforts as these devices can print on both sides of the paper. This two sided printing saves on paper and is also a lot more eco conscious than many of the alternatives out there. Just learn how to use it by swotting up on the printer settings and you can save a lot of paper, time and money when printing.


    Looking at what you are going to print in the preview screen before you press the print button will help you ensure that you are printing what you need and aren’t wasting time or effort. Remember that most people read digital files nowadays and you should ask yourself if you really need to print or not.

    Software Settings

    A lot of printers come with user friendly software that allows you to change your printer settings easy. Delving into this and figuring out how it works allows you to change the settings, quality and other factors that can help you save on ink. You don’t always need to print in top quality for instance and altering this can help you save money.

    Third Party

    We stock a range of great remanufactured cartridges that can save you money and also ensure quality. These offer printing for a lot less than the OEM price and are well worth considering if you’re looking for lower priced printing.

    Follow these tips to cut the cost of ink and save on your printing costs.

  • How to Fit in when Starting a New Office Job

    New year, new job, new office – how do you make the transition and ensure that you get off on the right foot? Well, here are some tips for making the move to a new office job.


    Starting well places you in a positive position in the office and the first thing you need to do when you begin is to call your employer before you start to establish the best time to begin. Starting off on the wrong foot by arriving late for the first day isn’t good, but often happens as people tend to assume they know things in advance.


    Understanding how people work and how they interact with each other is important. There is always going to be gossip in an office, a teacher’s pet and a silent but effective type. Before you get friendly with people figure out who fits into each role.

    Build Relationships

    Building professional relationships in the office should start from the moment you enter. By entering an office and getting down to business with the other people day, you’ll learn about your goals and role in the office.


    Always ask the people around and over you what is expected of you in the office environment. Sometimes your managers expectations can diverge from traditional standards so talk to them to ensure that you nail all the details down.

    The same is true for etiquette. Figure out what is the accepted and expected form of behaviour. This can be done by talking and listening to office colleagues. Observe your colleagues and bosses behaviour and you’ll get an idea.

    These tips should help you make the transition to a new office in a comfortable and easy manner.

  • 5 Productivity Tips from Incredibly Busy People


    Business and time and how to manage them is one of the big questions a lot of us ask. Time management is a huge part of business and without it we struggle. So, we sourced an infographic that shows how busy people get more done - take a look and see for yourself.

  • Preparing Art for Commercial Printing in 8 Steps

    There's a big difference between inkjet and office printing and the commercial sort and nothing shows this as much as the prep needed to perform it.

    It’s not always a straight forward process and there can be all sorts of issues and problems at hand. When you receive that phone call from the printer, you wince and now know that it’s impossible for the deadline to be met.

    Of course, by following the following advice you shouldn’t have the problem and all the issues will be dealt with before you send your information off the those guys at the printers.


    As you may know DPI or dots per inch is the standard for resolution in printing and usually nothing less than 300dpi is suitable. Images from designers on screen are 72dpi and this can often mean mistakes with resolution. Make sure the version you send is 300dpi or above.

    RGB and CMYK

    Printers use CMYK and not RGB. Once more RGB is used usually for graphic designers on screen and is effective for graphic design. However, when it comes to printing, the design sent to the printers will need to be CMYK in format as this ensures colour consistency.


    Sometimes you may require a colour to be Pantone. However, as most printers use CMYK and Pantone is expensive to print, you will need to inform them of this before printing.

    Black and White

    If you are printing black colours, make sure to send them across as a greyscale copy and not in the CMYK format.


    Your artwork will be submitted with a bleed. This is the margin for error when the image is guillotined after printing. Make sure that it has one before you send it off. Around 3mm is the usual margin for error.


    Most finished artwork is submitted in a PDF format and this is because of the quality. You will need to check that the fonts are outlined in this before you send it off. If the files are sent in a InDesign or Quark file, this will need to be mentioned to the printer before you send it to them.

    Corrupt Files

    Check the file before sending to ensure that it is not corrupt.


    Ensure that the file is flattened before it is sent across as this may cause issues. It’s often overlooked and can cause problems – so double check it and flatten PDF files before you send them off.

    By following this device your print should look excellent and fit for display wherever you require.

  • 20% off ALL Think Inkjets and Toners at Choice

    Choice Stationery Supplies is offering an extra 20% off all its compatible Think inkjets and toners this half term.

    Think Inkjets and Toners are exclusive to Choice Stationery Supplies and offer photo vivid colours with crisp black text that's equal to if not better than the original printer manufacturers product. In most cases Think Ink and toner cartridges even contain more ink!

    To receive your extra 20% off this half term week simply visit and as soon as you add any Think product to your basket you will receive an automatic 20% discount.

    Hurry though as this offer expires at midnight on Monday 23rd February.

    Also this month Choice Stationery Supplies are giving you the opportunity to win a brand new multifunction printer complete with 12 months supply of ink - for more details visit

  • Pixilation and Resolution Explained

    There are so many factors to what makes a good image that it can often be quite easy to lose track in the whole process. One of the main areas of interest when it comes to image quality is pixels and resolution. These can make a huge difference to the quality of an image on screen or in print. So, let’s take a look a pixilation and resolution and what they mean in design.


    A pixel is a small dot that will make up a unit of colour. When these are added together they will create an image and they are essentially the building blocks from which pictures and images are made. High quality images require millions of pixels to form together. The higher the pixel count, while generally the better quality of the image and conversely the lower the count the blurrier and lower quality the image.


    You will most likely have heard of resolution when people talk about the quality of an image or when they discuss digital images or screens. The resolution is the level of detail in an image or a picture and is calculated by adding the number of pixels in a linear unit. A unit can be of any defined size, though for fair measurement it must be the same size. So, for example a resolution of five pixels per millimetre would be far more detailed that one with five pixels per centimetre. The larger the pixel count in a specified area the higher quality the image will be.

    Unlike most other measurements, resolution is measured over a linear area and not a squared area. This is because electrical equipment such as computer displays and printers create images via outputting numerous lines of pixels or dots in a sequence. This is lined up and down a certain area to produce an image.

    Printing Resolutions

    Resolutions in printing are often calculated as DPI or dots per inch and this is seen as the number of dots over a set area on a specific page. Generally speaking, most decent printers will provide you with round 300 DPI at the very least to create a reasonable image quality. In the case of a 300DPI A4 sheet this would make for around 4 million droplets of ink over the whole area – hard to credit from a quick glance.

    Computer to Printer

    One of the issues for resolution, pixilation and images is the transfer of images from on-screen to paper. Computer screens produce lower resolutions than the finished printed product. For instance a computer screen produces between 80-180pixels per inch generally. Even the likes of the MacBook Pro Retina only produces around 200pixels per inch.

    Take the case of a 1920x1080p screen over 14.4 inches and you have only 133pixels per inch – that’s a long way off 300DPI. So, when an item is printed out it may appear smaller one the print than on screen, this is simple re-sizing to ensure that the printed image is of a reasonable quality when on paper.

    Resolution is something that takes some thinking about, though is quite logical once you get to grips with it. Understanding it ensures that your onscreen and off-screen images look their very best.

  • Brother MFC-L2740DW Review

    Brother MFC-L2740DW multifunction is the perfect small office printer and ideal for those looking for a small printer that does it all and is ideal for a office.

    The device is a multifunction one that scans, prints and even faxes and fits into a tiny space that makes it ideal for even the cosiest of offices. The Brother MFC-L2740DW multifunction comes with a 35 sheet feed scanner that can print on both side. It also offers a range of wireless options, so is ideal for network printing. It’s also possible to scan to a PC or send even email said documents from the printer itself.

    Printing speeds are around 30 sheets a minute and the quality of prints is great. It can also be used as a fax machine and copier and once you don’t really care about your printer aesthetics is a great device for SMEs.

    Scanning is a simple process, as is faxing and the only real issue is typing in email addresses to the touchscreen to send emails – this can be a little fiddly.

    In addition, it’s quite affordable at under £200 and is easy to use, simple and practical and even has a little touchscreen to manage all the functions. Setup is easy too and it can be done to a network with the use of a password. In addition, it’s reliable and from experience had no issues at all.

    So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive, attractive little printer then this could be the perfect one for your office.

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