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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oops! DIY Fail: Wait! We're what? Out of Ink?

For our invitations and inserts, we decided to use treeless paper from EcoPaper.com, specifically Banana Paper Cover Stock and Banana Paper Printer Paper. Now I'm not sure if it's a combination of the paper or that we chose purple for our signature color or the design of the printer we're using, but Wow.

Let's backtrack a second. When we moved last October, I put all of our cables and cords for the office together. My thinking was that it would be easier for when we unpacked. Well, it's now May and the office isn't unpacked and I have no idea where the printer power cord is. So rather than stress about trying to find it before Saturday so that I could print out our invitations before Saturday's Wedding DIY Project Crafting Day, I decided just to buy another and to pick up ink while I was getting it. After a quick cost analysis, it was cheaper just to buy a new printer.

Enter the HP Photosmart C4680.

Now cue dismay. We've printed 45 invitations (2 invitations per 8.5x11 page) and 8 of the 1st of 3 inserts (2 inserts per 8.5x11 page). And we're out of ink. Ok, not out of ink, "Low on ink." Either way the cartridges have to be replaced. While the printer tells you you're running low, it doesn't tell you whether one or both cartridges need to be replaced.

So, this morning. We replace both cartridges and start printing. We printed 37 more copies of the 1st of 3 inserts (2 inserts per 8.5x11 page). And we're out of ink. Ok, not out of ink, "Low on ink." Replace ink and print another 37 of 3 inserts (2 inserts per 8.5x11 page).

Well now we're actually out of ink. We have all of our invitations printed. All of 2 of 3 inserts printed. 14 of the 3rd insert. And we're out of ink. This time, we're really out of ink. See I bought two 60 Combo-packs (in addition to the came with the printer) yesterday thinking that would more than cover 180 color printouts. Nope. It didn't. We're out of ink at 149 color printouts.

On the plus side - the print quality is amazing and this printer is fast (excluding replacing ink cartridges, we printed 90 color invitation inserts in under an hour). The biggest con though is no separate low on ink indicator for the two cartridges (there's one black and there's the one tricolor).

Anyone else using an HP Photosmart C4680 printer to print on Banana Paper? What were your results?


  1. I'm using the same printer but not on banana paper. My ink actually printed all my in 50 invitations, all 60 3 page programs and and gift tags. It may really be the paper that you're using or maybe the colors or fonts. I really can't tell. However you should be able to go into the printer through your control panel on a PC or right at the bottom of your screen for a MAC and see what the levels of ink are. I can see mine whenever I need to know.

  2. Thanks Jem!

    I think it's definitely the paper - it's uncoated. The color is the same for our invitations and inserts, but there's been variation in output across the ink cartridges (all HP, regular not high capacity size) - the last one printed 57 copies compared to the first sets of cartridges that printed 45 and 37 respectively.


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