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Printing postcards on the PRO-300

  |   Articles and reviews, Canon printer, Paper review, PermaJet, Printing, Review   |   No comment

Printing 6×4 postcards

Permajet postcard media on the PRO-300

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Keith Cooper looks at some postcard sized media form Permajet in the UK.

The cards are printed on the Canon PRO-300 recently reviewed by Keith.

The small size of the cards means that some care is needed in getting the optimal print settings.

postcards

PermaJet postcard media

PermaJet produce boxes of 6″x4″  (152.4mm x 101.6mm) cut media either blank on the reverse side or printed with a standard postcard content/address format. [PermaJet UK info]

Although described as gloss, I’d call it more of a lustre baryta style of paper, and it worked just fine with a Canon lustre ICC profile for the PRO-300. Whilst not mentioned I’d put the weight at over 300gsm

Greetings card printing

I’ve another article and video which looks at printing various sizes of greeting cards on the PRO-300. However, the small size of the postcards means that rather more care is needed in printing.

I set the paper size to 6×4 on the printer.

set-paper-size

I also set the paper type to pro lustre.

paper-and-media-set

You can override these settings when printing, but I tend to set them anyway, just to remind me what I’m doing.

I’d prefer to select the Baryta media type, but that only works with the rear manual paper feed, which doesn’t support paper as small as 6×4. Hence the use of Lustre and the top feed.

Printer software

I was able to print just fine, both directly from Photoshop and using the Canon PPL printer software.

With 6×4 as a supported size for normal and borderless printing, there’s no need to set custom page sizes.

Using the Canon PPL software gives most print options I want.

For borderless, the image is expanded to cover the print area – you need to allow for this expansion/crop.

I noticed very slight banding at lower print quality settings – probably due to not being able to use an optimised media type. Printing at the highest print quality fixed this. [click to enlarge images]

PPL-borderless-print

Normally I avoid the highest quality settings for speed, but 6×4 doesn’t take long even at the best setting.

For prints with margins, note that the image fits the box described by the margins, it’s not cropped. That means that just because you set a margin, the image may not reach it. Note how the actual left/right margins are a bit bigger below.

margins

Plain paper first

All this means that some experimenting/editing may be needed to get an optimal layout. Add to that that the paper is a true 6″ x 4″ rather than a metric size (150 x 100) and getting precise margins is a bit hit and miss.

For setup I’d want to test things with some plain paper cut to the size needed – just a bit of ink wasted when you get it wrong…

Paper handling

Although I suspected it might cause problems, the first sheet I tried was straight out of the box. It had a slight curl at the corners – nothing I’d worry about at A4 and above. However, that’s a lot of curl relative to the 6×4 paper size and I managed to get ink marks on the corner and paper slip at the end.

You really do have to make sure the paper is fairly flat to start with.

postcards

Postcard printing

With a bit of care I could reliably print postcards. This is actually quite good for a large printer like the PRO-300. Such printers usually have difficulties with small media.

The print quality is rather good, although I’m not entirely sure how the printed surface would take a trip through the postal system.

However, if you’re looking for promotional cards and handouts, having this size of card available and supported by the printer is very useful.

Related articles
Video Notes

A short (3m30s) video looking at printing postcards on the PRO-300.

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