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#1 Posted : 8/16/2022 11:38:27 PM(EST)
Kittredge

Rank: New User

Posts: 4

For years and years I used a Canon MG5320 printer for my online labels on a Mac (currently with Catalina - 10.15.7). It worked great. I could adjust the tone and intensity of the color and the labels were always beautiful. After my second MG5320 printer finally died, Canon no longer made the MG5320 so I got a Canon TS8220. It has been awful. It uses Apple AirPrint instead of a printer driver and Apple apparently doesn't support the Canon product (or so says Canon) so I cannot adjust the tone or intensity. The option isn't even available. The labels now bleed terribly over time (especially the red), they fade quickly and just look awful.

So I am in search of a good printer. I've been using inkjet forever but would even switch to a laser printer if it would give me good labels again. I need a printer that feeds from the back so the labels don't get stuck as they tend to do with a lower tray feed. I need to be able to adjust the tone and the intensity of the color. I primarily use the online glossy clear labels. If you have any suggestions I'd be so grateful. I've spent so many hours researching this and feel like I'm no closer to an answer than I was when I started.
#2 Posted : 8/18/2022 9:15:08 AM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

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I'm sorry to hear about the issue that you're experiencing. Unfortunately, I don't have have access to a Mac computer to test any of my printer models with, so I'm unable to provide any specific recommendations about a newer model that may provide better results.

I've searched online for some answers, and the information I've found is somewhat inconclusive. It seems that Apple developed AirPrint to provide a simple means for users to print from iPhones, iPads and Mac computers without the need to install or maintain printer drivers. They tout this as a quality-of-life feature, and for most users who are simply looking to print photographs from their mobile devices it's likely been well received. AirPrint has been much less popular with power-users who are attempting to adjust advance settings that are only available when installing the actual print driver.

Both parties are somewhat to blame here. From what I can tell, most printer manufacturers have stopped developing dedicated print drivers for Mac computers and just work to ensure that their newer models are compatible with AirPrint. Meanwhile, Apple developed AirPrint to be a very broad solution that could apply to any printer model from any manufacturer. This results in some of the more advanced features being limited to Windows machines where dedicated print drivers are still being developed and maintained over a printers lifetime.

The only real solution to is look specifically for a printer that features dedicated print drivers for Mac. I've done some searches this morning, and it appears that the newest models from Canon, Brother and HP all require AirPrint when printing from a Mac computer. This applies to both inkjet and laser printers. After looking at a few Epson printers, it does seem that they may still be supporting actual dedicated print drivers for Macs on some of their models. I have an Epson EcoTank ET-2650 that I've had a lot of success with over the years. It features a back loading mechanism like you requested, but it doesn't have advanced features for adjusting tone and density. I just looked at the driver page though, and it seems as if there are updated Mac drivers available. You may want to browse Epson's inkjet printer models to see if you can find one with the features you're looking for. Just make sure to check to see if there's a Mac driver available before making a purchase.

If you're unable to find a newer printer model that meets your needs, you could always look back for discontinued models that do not feature AirPrint compatibility. Availability on older models can be touch and go. I've had some success finding older models on Amazon, but they're usually being sold by individual users rather than the manufacturer and the pricing can sometimes be quite high.

Before shopping for a new printer, there is one thing you can try with your current setup. You mentioned adjusting the tone and intensity in the past, but have you ever adjusted the media or paper type setting within the print options? If the print options available through AirPrint allow you to adjust the paper type, setting it to a glossy or photo option should dramatically improve the print durability and decrease the bleed that you're experiencing. This is always the first thing we recommend for smearing, smudging or bleeding issues, and in most cases it tends to resolve the problem without any additional adjustments required. It's definitely worth a shot if you haven't tried making this adjustment already.
#3 Posted : 8/20/2022 1:07:44 AM(EST)
Kittredge

Rank: New User

Posts: 4

Thank you SO MUCH Josh for all that research. It was so incredibly helpful. What you said confirms what I thought I understood from my research which was that anything using AirPrint was not going to be able to be adjusted for tone or intensity and that Epsom had the greatest chance of being a possible option because some models still used printer drivers. It certainly is frustrating to feel like my printing capabilities have worsened not improved with time! I had actually started looking at used or refurbished models of the old printer before your response. You never know what you get and those may stop working like my other ones eventually did but it may be the best option. Almost seems like what I need is a windows computer instead of a Mac.

That being said, in answer to your question about adjusting the print settings, I have to the extent that it is possible. From the computer itself the most I can adjust to is the media type to photo, plain paper, etc. I can go into the printer itself to the settings that come up when it is in copy mode (like matte, semi gloss, gloss and all those many other settings). I did a test run a few weeks ago using online label OL421CK (clear gloss inkjet) which is the one that I use the most. I printed a label that had a lot of red it in to see how it would hold up. I did one test with each different paper type and now, about 6 weeks later, every one of them has substantial bleeding. The words on the label llook blurred a not crisp and areas that should be clear of color show a pink tinge. I can live without being able to adjust tone and intensity but this bleeding and also fading of labels never happened before with the old printer and happens all the time now. I don't know if I should get a laser printer or if there is something different I can do with the inkjet. I've been printing my own labels since 2008 and the is the first time I've ever been frustrated. I've been removing labels from jar candles and replacing them every couple of weeks because the labels are fading without evening being in direct light. Can you tell me what is the optimum setting for the OL421 labels and is there a printer that would give me crisp, clear labels again that don't bleed or fade? Do you recommend using a laser printer over an inkjet for labels that don't bleed? I don't understand why this is suddenly happening.

Thank you again so much for your tremendous help!

Jennifer
#4 Posted : 8/22/2022 5:06:28 PM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

Posts: 894
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I'm glad that I was able to provide you with some useful information despite not having a perfect solution to your AirPrint issue.

What kind of environment are the printed labels being used in? Are they being used near moisture, whether it's direct contact with water or even just heavy humidity and/or condensation? The clear gloss inkjet material isn't waterproof or weatherproof so if there's even incidental contact with moisture, bleeding or smearing can be expected to some degree. If the bleeding is occurring over time in a dry environment, that type of issue is solved on most printer models simply by adjusting the paper type setting within print options to one of the photo settings. If you're experiencing the bleeding after having already changed the paper type to a photo setting, then it's likely that the page has been oversaturated with ink. This is where your tone and intensity settings would come in handy. You can try to reduce oversaturation by adjusting the print quality down. If you're printing on the highest quality setting, the standard or normal quality setting will likely be fine when using one of the photo settings. Reducing downward from normal or standard may ultimately impact the image quality. Unfortunately, the quality setting on most printer models doesn't allow for the same type of nuance or control compared to more advanced color options.

If you find that you're unable to get your desired results when printing with an inkjet printer using AirPrint, you may want to consider a laser printer. The toner used in most laser printers is a dry powder that is fused with extreme heat to the surface of whatever material you're printing. Laser printing is considerably more durable over time when compared directly to inkjet printing, and it's very unlikely that you'd ever experiencing bleeding as you've described it since you wouldn't be dealing with a liquid-based ink that needs to be absorbed properly to dry completely and reach its maximum durability. One thing to keep in mind with laser printing is that the paper type setting is very important. Most desktop laser printers are set as default to print on plain copy paper. Label materials are considerably thicker than plain copy paper, so you'll usually need to adjust to a heavier paper type setting to achieve the best results. From what I can tell, those settings tend to be available when using the AirPrint functionality on Mac computers, so I think you should be fine in that regard.

I hope this helps. If you wind up needing any additional information please just let us know.
#5 Posted : 8/23/2022 9:44:36 PM(EST)
Kittredge

Rank: New User

Posts: 4

Hi Josh,
I've been using OnlineLabels for about 12 years now. I go through thousands of labels a year. The ones I am having trouble with with the new printer are the OL421ck (the clear gloss inkjet). They aren't near moisture. I already know about that issue. They are kept in a folder in clear page protectors. That's how I've been doing it since 2010 and it's only with the new printer that they bleed, even in the page protectors. In fact, It is so bad that I've had to throw away page protectors and get new ones because they get covered with red ink. The funny thing is, with the old printer I did a stronger intensity of printing, setting it high and making much darker labels, but because of the Apple AirPrint, I'm no longer able to change the intensity so they are actually LIGHTER than they used to be. This isn't the labels or how I'm using them. It has something to do with the way the printer is printing them. I've always used a glossy setting in the past but if I do that now they still bleed. They aren't wet or tacky. They are completely dry but the color just gradually drifts and becomes blurry over time. The letters on the label no longer look crisp and clear but look fuzzy. Any that are out in the open eventually fade, and I never had that problem before either. It's like the ink isn't adhering to the labels correctly, which makes no sense.

So I thought you might be able to tell me the optimum setting for the clear inkjet labels on an inkjet printer. The one difference between this and my old inkjet printer is it has an extra cartridge called "photo blue" that the other one didn't have (in addition to the yellow, magenta, cyan and black). I don't know what, if any, factor that is playing.

Jennifer
#6 Posted : 8/24/2022 3:29:40 PM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

Posts: 894
United States

Was thanked: 80 time(s) in 76 post(s)
I can't say with certainty how the simplified AirPrint functionality replacing traditional print drivers affects the available options or the final print quality. Print performance will also vary moving from one printer model to another, even when they're both from the same manufacturer. In this scenario you're battling two different variables that could both be affecting the print output to some degree.

I have access to two different inkjet printer models from Canon. My Canon PIXMA TS9120 is an older model, but it also features the extra photo blue ink cartridge. My Canon PIXMA TS6420 is a newer model, but features a simplified cartridge system with only a black cartridge and a single cartridge for color. I have both printer models hooked up to a PC using official drivers directly from Canon. The print drivers for both printers allow me to manually adjust the print quality and make granular adjustments to the advanced color settings, but I've never needed to utilize these settings when printing on the clear gloss inkjet material. For both printer models I use the "Glossy Photo Paper" media type option and the "Standard" print quality option. This combination of settings has always provided me with excellent results when printing various full color designs on the clear gloss inkjet material. The final print output varies to some degree in terms of color, but they're ultimately very close to one another in terms of print quality and durability. I haven't experienced bleeding or fading over time with either model. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Mac computer to try testing the same print settings using AirPrint instead of the official drivers from Canon.

I hope this additional information helps. If you need any further details please just let me know.
#7 Posted : 10/16/2022 5:44:05 PM(EST)
Lumineyrie

Rank: New User

Posts: 1
United States
Location: Ohio

I hope it's okay to pose this question here rather than a new thread - I'm using an Epson ET-8500 with my Mac and getting great prints but the paper makes such a huge difference! There is just enough smearing from the printer wheels on vinyl that I'm looking for optimal settings again before wasting much more paper. This may be a good question as Josh has mentioned before about optimal settings, but with the latest update to system print setup dialogues, Premium Presentation Paper Matte is no longer an option! What new option should we be using with mac + inkjet + printable vinyl? The relevant options seem to be coated, photo matte, and the only option that says premium anymore is 'ultra premium photo paper luster'. Thank you so much in advance.
#8 Posted : 10/17/2022 9:27:44 AM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

Posts: 894
United States

Was thanked: 80 time(s) in 76 post(s)
Originally Posted by: Lumineyrie Go to Quoted Post
I hope it's okay to pose this question here rather than a new thread - I'm using an Epson ET-8500 with my Mac and getting great prints but the paper makes such a huge difference! There is just enough smearing from the printer wheels on vinyl that I'm looking for optimal settings again before wasting much more paper. This may be a good question as Josh has mentioned before about optimal settings, but with the latest update to system print setup dialogues, Premium Presentation Paper Matte is no longer an option! What new option should we be using with mac + inkjet + printable vinyl? The relevant options seem to be coated, photo matte, and the only option that says premium anymore is 'ultra premium photo paper luster'. Thank you so much in advance.


As detailed in the posts above, Apple's reliance on their AirPrint functionality can sometimes alter or simplify the options that would normally be available using traditional print drivers. I suspect that may be the reason the options you've used in the past now appear differently.

Of the paper type settings you listed, I'd try the "photo matte" setting first, and then potentially try the "ultra premium photo paper luster" setting if you're still unhappy with the results. The print quality setting could make an impact as well. Printing with the highest or best print quality setting may lead to over-saturation and smearing. If you're experiencing smearing even after adjusting the paper type setting you may need to reduce the print quality setting to improve the results. I've typically experienced the best results when using a photo paper type coupled with the normal or default quality setting.

We don't currently offer an inkjet printable vinyl material. The settings listed above would be suggested for use with our weatherproof matte inkjet material, but if you're using printable vinyl from another company I can't say for certain how well these settings will work. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Mac computer so I'm unable to test the more limited settings offered by their AirPrint functionality.

I hope this helps. If you need any additional information please just let us know.
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