Move to Bigger Offices

For the second time in 6 months we have had to move to bigger offices!

We haven’t moved far – about 20 feet in fact, just across the corridor. But we now have about 20% extra room, which is enough to allow an extra 2 sets of shelving and we can now move a set of each of the toners in from the warehouse. Most of them will stay where they are but at least we won’t have to run backwards and forwards quite as much.

We are also making the offices more ‘squiddy’. The external windows are being fitted with contra-vision signs by Jo from Divine Signs this week. She did a great job with the signage on the original small office at the front of the building and she also wrapped the ‘Squidmobile’ (the kids love it – the wife hates it!).

Ian from Creative Direction has designed the artwork as always (he is responsible for the car design, my business cards, the website and pretty much anything else artwork-wise). He is also designing some great big ‘end-plates’ that will fit to the shelving in the offices. When  customers come in, rather than see lots of boxes, they will see these fantastic pieces of artwork.

We are also having a squid-clock fitted on the main wall as you come into the offices. And quotes from some our customers are being stencilled on the walls. It should look amazing – and hopefully just in time for when the Lancashire Evening Post comes to take pictures for the upcoming feature on Friday!

The Ink Squid

Tips and Tricks 7 – The Service Warning!

Most inkjet printers have an internal waste-ink reservoir. Ink is pumped into this reservoir every time you do one of the following:

  • Change a cartridge
  • Clean the heads
  • Turn the printer off and on again

The printer has a built-in clock that estimates when this reservoir is near to full. At this point you will get a warning and not long after your printer will shut down.

In the past it would have been worth getting it serviced but printers are so cheap nowadays that it isn’t worth the money. You can get a new printer for not much more than it would cost to service the old one.

But there is an alternative…

For many models, especially Epsons, you can buy a new reservoir for not much more than £10. All you need to do is intercept the ink lines via the service hatch at the back of the printer and then divert them to the new reservoir. Finally, a nifty bit of software accesses the internal ‘clock’ in the printer and sets the counter back to zero.

Hey presto, you are printing again. If you want any advice about this please call us on 01253 403020. Happy Printing!

The Ink Squid


The BIBAs Cocktail Party

We had a really good night at the BIBAs Finalists/Winners Cocktail Party on Thursday.

All the finalists and winners were there to collect their certificates and have more photos taken. I was trying to remember who was who (I was a bit drunk on the big night and everything is a bit fuzzy), but I spotted a familiar face and we got talking.

He told me he had sold his business a few years ago and had been busy as Lancashire’s High Sheriff in 2011/12 as well as being the local Chairman of the Yorkshire Bank and the National Chairman of the British Chambers of Commerce.

I was obviously talking to a very clever chap but I was a little confused about which category he had won the BIBA award in. Had he set up another business after selling out…? No – he had been awarded the title “Prestonian of the Year”!

I knew he looked familiar – It was Peter Mileham. OOPS!

The Ink Squid

Tips and Tricks 6 – How to Cure Blocked Heads

OK – so you already have blocked printer heads. What now?! Here is how to cure them:

1. First, check it isn’t something else! It is easy to forget to remove a ‘pull’ label and this has the same effect as putting your finger over a straw full of liquid. The vacuum stops the liquid escaping. And since the printer does not know if the label has been removed, it tries to draw ink against the vacuum and nothing happens! This looks exactly the same as a blocked head so check for this first. I did this myself not so long ago and I should know better!

2. Try cleaning the heads. Inkjet printers will get a blocked head at some point no matter what you do. This is why they have the built-in cleaning routines. So clean the heads and print a nozzle-check pattern. If it isn’t perfect, repeat and see if it improves. If not, repeat once more and then stop.

3. If repeated cleans don’t work, leave it overnight. Allow ink to flow into the blocked head. Sometimes this will loosen the blockage and the next time you clean the heads there can be an improvement. Also, if the blockage is an air bubble, sometimes leaving it a while allows the bubble to work its way out.

4. Most of the time, the above will solve the problem but occasionally even this won’t work. It is worth replacing the cartridge at this point. On very rare occasions you can get a faulty cartridge where the air-release hole isn’t properly formed. The air can’t escape so neither can the ink. Before you go any further it is worth checking for this. With the £10 originals this is an expensive gamble but with ours it is less painful and worth a go.

5. If none of the above work, then you may need some head-cleaning solution. If the ink has really dried solid (should not happen if you follow our guidelines) then it will need some help to break down. Beware of kits that force cleaning solution through the head usually with some kind of syringe. These can cause more damage than good. Our friends at octoink are experts at this so give them a call

And of course, if you ever need any advice please feel free to call us on +44 1253 403020

The Ink Squid

Tips and Tricks 5 – How to Avoid Blocked Heads

As requested, here are the main ways to avoid blocking the heads on you inkjet printer:

1) Print regularly – if you leave a printer unused for a period of time, the ink starts to dry out in the heads so try and print something in colour at least once per week

2) Never take cartridges out of a printer for more than a few minutes. On many models this exposes the heads to air and the ink will start to dry immediately. With Epson printers this can ruin a printer very quickly indeed.

3) Try not to leave a printer with empty cartridges installed (for the same reason as above)

4) Switch the printer off at the power button first before pulling the plug out (the printer goes through a mini head-cleaning procedure before shutting down and this reduces the chances of getting blocked heads)

5) Try to avoid running cartridges completely dry before changing them. This is a little out of your hands as the printer estimates when a cartridge is empty. The idea is that a little bit of ink is left in the cartridge so that no air gets into the ink line but sometimes the printer gets this calculation wrong. The first you should know that a cartridge needs replacing should be the message from the printer and not a deterioration in print quality. If the quality drops first then air is already in the line and this can be a pain to correct! If this happens a lot then try keeping an eye on the cartridge levels and changing them a little earlier.

6) Try not to keep the printer near a heat source (like a radiator) or in front of window in direct sunlight. This will heat the printer up (especially since many models are black) and bake the heads

7) The same for the cartridges – don’t leave them in direct light or near a heat source

In the next ‘Tips and Tricks’ – what to do if you already have blocked heads.

The Ink Squid