printers and paper

As I men­tioned in the intro­duc­tion, it really doesn’t mat­ter what word-pro­cess­ing pro­gram you use—all of them are capa­ble of pro­duc­ing good typog­ra­phy.

But your printer and paper can make a big dif­fer­ence in the final result. As your eye for typog­ra­phy gets bet­ter, you’ll start to notice that not all print­ers are alike.

inkjet printer or laser printer?

Laser. Inkjet print­ers used to be the cheaper and lower-qual­ity alter­na­tive to laser print­ers. Inkjets are a lot bet­ter than they were 20 years ago, but they still can’t equal the crisp edges of laser print­ing.

color or monochrome?

If I could have only one laser printer, it would be a color laser printer. But I have two—one color, one mono­chrome—so I know that the mono­chrome per­for­mance of a color laser printer is not as good as a ded­i­cated mono­chrome printer in the same price range. This makes sense—a color laser printer is really four laser print­ers shar­ing a sin­gle paper path.

duplex or simplex?

A duplex printer can print on both sides of a sheet of paper; a sim­plex printer only prints on one side.

If you care at all about the envi­ron­men­tal impact that law­yer­ing has on the world, get a duplex printer. A duplex­ing unit is often avail­able as an acces­sory for sim­plex print­ers. You don’t have to print fewer pages. You’ll just be print­ing them on half the num­ber of sheets of paper. What’s not to like?