Big Bad List of Cool Things You Can Do with a Color Copier

Technology with multi-function color printers and copiers has come a long way. And because copiers use toner and not ink, it’s more cost-efficient than ever to use them for many printing projects you would have sent to an offset printer in the old days. (Not that long ago, right?)

You say, “Give me examples.” No problem! Although I work mainly with Sharp color copier and printer equipment, I know other brands also offer the capabilities to create these products.

But before you read any further, it’s important for you to keep the following things in mind:

  1. Use the “thick” setting when using “thick” paper. High quality color printing depends greatly on your paper settings. You want to avoid streaking, which can happen if you use the wrong setting. (Always follow manufacturers recommendations for paper types in your copier/printer).
  2. Always follow your manufacturer’s directions on paper settings. For example, with certain Sharp all-in-one color printers, you must use the manual feed tray for postcards, tab paper, glossy paper and other specialty stock. Other models can handle up to 110 lb. card stock in the main unit tray and optional drawer. So, don’t waste paper! Check before you start printing.

So, without further ado, here’s my big bad list of cool things to do with a color copier (in no particular order):

  • Invitations – Personalize them easily and at no extra charge!

Invitations made on a color copier, Copeco

  • Thank you cards – Skip the trip to the store over your lunch break. You’ll never run out.
  • Holiday cards – Surprise customers with a photo of your office staff (or not).
  • Booklets – Print educational materials on demand.
  • Raffle tickets – Now it’s easy to make your own for that big fundraiser.
  • Table-top advertising – Publicize your upcoming events at upcoming events.

Table tents made on a color copier, CopecoTable top advertising made using a color copier, Copeco

  • Brochures – Update them as often as needed and print small quantities.
  • Flyers, pamphlets and leaflets – Create handouts on the fly and print them up just as quickly.
  • Posters (up to 12″ x 18″, cropped to 11″ x 17″) – Hang them up everywhere or place them on easels for eye appeal.

Posters made on a color copier, Copeco

  • Programs and bulletins – Control your costs and create just enough.
  • Event tickets – Grab yourself a perforation tool and get started.

Tickets printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Event signs – Tell everyone where to go and what to do.
  • Name tags –  Make sure everyone gets to know everyone else.

name badges printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Back stage passes – For the privileged few.

backstage passes printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Certificates – Give credit where credit is due.
  • Magazines, newsletters and catalogs – Yes indeed, the quality is that good!

newsletters printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Business cards – So everyone can be into your business.

business cards printed on a color printer, Copeco

What kinds of projects have you used your color copier for? Tell me about them below in the comments. Or send me a tweet at @CopecoCopiers.

How to Make Printed Copies Using Different Types of Paper Inserts

Today’s color printers and copiers can help you do so many things to create professional-looking documents. One that my customers ask me about from time to time is how to add page inserts (or insertion sheets). This can include various types of colored paper, tabs, heavier weight covers and much more.

Here is a simple, nine-step process for how to make multi-page printed copies on a Sharp all-in-one printer or copier using various types of paper from different trays:

  1. Load your paper trays with the types of paper that you wish to use. Please note: if you want to make a copy on both sides of a particular type of paper or insert sheet, you cannot use label sheets, transparency films or tab paper. Also, you can only use tab paper as an insert if you don’t make any type of copy on it.
  2. Place your original document in the automatic document feeder tray and tap the [Preview] key.
  3. Tap the [Others] key and then tap the [Covers/Inserts] key.How to Insert Paper from Different Trays on a Sharp Copier
  4. Tap the [Insertion Type A] key and then tap the [Change] key. Note: the default settings for insertion types A and B are the same.
  5. If you only want to INSERT a particular type of paper (sheet A and/or B), tap the [Make No Copy] key. If you actually do want to make a copy on the insert (see my note in #1), tap the [Simplex] or [2-Sided Copy] key. After you finish with these setting, just tap the [X] key. Note: to change the type of paper insert you want to use, tap the [Paper Tray] key and select the tray that contains the paper you want.How to make copies using page inserts on a Sharp copier or printer
  6. Tap the insert page display key.
  7. Using the number keys, enter the number of the page where the inserted sheet should go, and then tap the [Enter] key. The total number of insertion sheets is displayed at the side of the [Enter] key. Repeat these steps for the number of insertion sheets. Note: if you accidentally enter an incorrect insert page number, tap the [Page Layout] key and change the page.Learn how to create multi-page copies with different types of page inserts
  8. After the settings are complete, tap [X] and [Back] keys in sequence.
  9. Preview how your document will turn out using the preview screen. Note: to cancel all settings, tap the [CA] key.
  10. Tap the [Color Start] or the [B/W Start] key to start copying.

I hope you get lots of use from this great feature on your Sharp printer. I’ve helped many customers learn how to use it. If your business is located in Northeast Ohio or Western Pennsylvania, contact us for more information about Sharp office equipment and how to get the most out of it.

So You Want to Design Your Own Banner?

We welcome guest blogger and graphic designer, Jenni James of Jenni James Design, to the Copy Talk blog to share a few tips with us non-designers who want to create a banner in-house.

design tips with Jenni

First things first. Do you remember what the acronym K.I.S.S. stands for? Keep It Simple Silly. This is the key for great, attention-grabbing banner design. I will go over three basic concepts, that if used correctly, will help you effectively convey your message to the viewer. Theses design concepts include fonts, color and proximity. Here we go!

Design Concept: Fonts

We have all seen signs or banners that use a crazy font preloaded in desktop publishing software, that you can honestly barely read. This is not a good idea. Yes, these fonts do have their place, but it usually is not on your banner. When it comes to banner design, you want to use a font that represents your message as well as looks nice and legible from a distance. It is a good rule of thumb to only use one font, maybe two, but never more than three when you are designing anything. Here is a list of fonts with some common descriptive words that might help in font selection for banner design.

Clean & Classic: Myriad Pro, Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica

for sale sign in classic font

Fun & Whimsy: Bauhaus, Folks, Forte, Brush Script

for sale sign in brush script

Bold & Strong: Impact, Helvetica Black, Futura Black

for sale sign bold and strong font

Designer Tip: Do NOT use Comic Sans. It is unprofessional and should not be used in a business setting. It should only be used if you are creating a look for school children.

The trick is to use a strong bold font that you can read from a distance. If you use thin fonts that are very “dainty,” your message will not be seen. Sign shops use charts that show how far away you can read text of a certain inch height. We are working with an 11″ x 40″ banner in this case. The letter height should not go over 10 inches (720 pt). Depending on the font you use, you will need to adjust this height because all fonts take up different amounts of space.

Designer Tip: Learn to Kern. Kerning is the space in between letters and some fonts do not space them properly, especially in programs like Microsoft Publisher or Word. Choosing “Format” then “Character Spacing” from the menu will be your best friend, I promise.

Design Concept: Color

On to concept number two, color. Color is important. There is a reason why fast food restaurants use red, yellow and blue, just like coffee houses use greens, browns and neutral tones. There are color combinations that are meant to give you a headache and shut your eyes, just as there are color combinations designed to attract a certain type of person.

After all of my years in the sign industry, red and white seem to be the most impactful and easily recognizable. Why you may ask? Those are the same colors as a stop sign. That object tells a driver to stop and pay attention. It is so ingrained into our minds that we do this with any other objects of the same colors. Yellow and black is also a great combination if you want someone to take warning, just like the signs that indicate a deer or a railroad crossing.

On the other hand, you want to use colors that are appropriate for your message. If you are designing a banner for a little girl’s birthday, lots of pinks and purples would be appropriate, just as blues and greens are appropriate for a little boy. If you are going for a calming effect, muted colors should be used. Try Color Scheme Designer to help you visually apply some color to a space before choosing a color and hoping it is effective.

Designer Tip: Use a reversal; they work wonders. For example, the white text on a red background used below.

for sale sign with color reversal

Design Concept: Proximity

Last, but not least, let’s talk about a little thing called proximity. Proximity in design is the concept of keeping things together that need to be together, such as a name and phone number on a business card. People love to fill up the entire space available with as much information as possible, when the info is really not needed. Again, “Keep It Simple Silly.” If you are going to put more than one phrase on a banner, make sure it stays with the information it belongs with.

Designer Tip: Banners that have information displayed in a centered alignment tend to be read more easily.

banner with text aligned center

The banner above is poorly designed. There is too much information, it is scattered around the banner and the reader does not know what they are looking at, other than something is a free offer. It is bouncing out to them like a late-night infomercial. It is not easy to read or understand.

In the design below the paragraph reads easily, allows the reader to have a call to action, “Call Now,” and some imagery to help reinforce the idea. Color can be used to help a reader’s eye “bounce” from place to place on a banner. If you look away from the image below and look back, the first thing your eye should see is “FREE,” then the phone number, then “Call Now,” and finally “Tax Advice.”

good banner design

I hope these little tidbits of information can help you on your journey to design the perfect banner to convey your message. Remember your K.I.S.S. principle, and you will create a great piece of signage. Happy creating!

For a little further reading, check out the Non-Designer’s Design Book. It is a great little guide that will help you in any design situation.

We hope you enjoyed Jenni’s design tips. You can find out more about her by visiting her on Facebook or

Snacks & Solutions Is Back with Free Training for 2014

copeco snacks and solutions logoEvery business struggles to find time for employee training. We are here to help you learn and get the most from your Sharp copiers and printers. Our ever-popular Snacks & Solutions training series is back for another season in 2014.

March to August, you can join us on the second Thursday of the month at 11:45 a.m. to get up to speed on topics that will help your office shift into the fast lane. Did we mention that lunch is included and it is free? Yes, there really is such a thing as a free lunch!

We have been working hard since last year renovating our showroom to make it even more spacious and conducive to training.  If you are located in the Canton, North Canton, or Akron area, please join us in our new showroom for one of the following sessions:

Randy Hudson talks scanning at Snacks & SolutionsMarch 13, 2014: Basic Scanning
Learn the basics of scanning to increase productivity. Topics will include how to scan, file and retrieve.

April 10, 2014: Document Management
Learn how to better organize and retrieve your scanned documents while minimizing paper usage.

May 15, 2014: Color Class
Create your own fliers, posters, brochures and more! Discover how your color copier can make handling in-house print jobs easier and more cost-efficient.

June 12, 2014: Document Security
Learn about Sharp’s Security Suite and how to protect your company from identity theft, stolen information, unauthorized use and more!

July 10, 2014: Managed Print Services
Analyze your current printing environment, identify total print expenditures, and create a customized cost per print plan to realize significant cost reductions.

August 14, 2014: Production Printing
Learn how Sharp delivers versatile functionality for busy workgroups and how you can impact your communications without breaking the bank.

Class size is limited, so register soon. We do not want you to miss out on this free informational event! Register online at

All training classes are held at Copeco’s headquarters, 3874 Highland Park NW, North Canton, OH 44720. If you have questions regarding Snacks & Solutions or how we can help your business with its copying and printing needs, contact us.

3 Ways the Sharp Aquos Board Revolutionizes the Board Room

Here at Copeco, we are always looking for solutions to keep you on the cutting edge of printer and copier technology. Enter Sharp’s Aquos Board, which makes slide carousels, overhead projectors, digital projectors and white boards a thing of the past.

This revolutionary interactive display system combines the traditional whiteboard, TV, touch-screen computer and projector, and creates an amazing multimedia center for the board room, classroom or conference center. The video below, from Sharp USA, gives an excellent visual overview of the Aquos Board.

Benefits of the Sharp Aquos Board

As you can see from the video, the Aquos Board allows you to annotate or “write” on your presentations and share them through digital technology with those in attendance at your meeting or presentation. While live annotation of your presentations is a pretty amazing feature, it can provide many additional benefits far beyond this, allowing you to work smarter, not harder. We have broken down several different situations where the Aquos Board can be immensely helpful.

1. Strategic Planning & Team Brainstorming

Have you ever been involved in a strategic planning session for an organization? It often entails brainstorming ideas, goals and tactics to reach those goals. These sessions usually entail many pieces of paper from easel pads that one lucky person gets to transcribe and send to participants after the meeting.

What if you could streamline this process? Preloaded with many commonly used templates such as calendars, action plans, graph paper and to-do lists, the Aquos Board allows you to ditch the paper and transcribing. You are able to create lists on screen during your session, and at the end, save it to a computer and email it to those in attendance. Or, you can send the information to your Sharp multi-function printer and print copies of the information to send to those in attendance.

In addition, as you saw in the video, you can bring up existing documents or reports and annotate those during your session. Then, just as with the brainstorming, send or print the annotated version to give to attendees. You save staff time (with no transcription) and are able to get the information to the attendees more quickly.

2. Presentations & Training

The Sharp Aquos Board simply makes your presentations to look better. Have you ever given a PowerPoint presentation that is projected on a screen and the color or focus is just a bit off? With spectacular HD clarity, backlit design and Sharp’s Uv2A photo-alignment technology, your presentations have never looked this great. And, even better, your presentations have never been easier to read by your audience.

Would you like to zoom in on a particular slide or document in a presentation? The Aquos Board’s touch screen works much like that of a tablet or smartphone. You are able to quickly zoom in or out with the swipe of your hands.

As you are giving your presentation, highlight key points, make annotations or emphasize topics with your finger or Sharp Pen. Just like in the example above, you are able to save the annotated presentation and send it to those in attendance. This is particularly helpful in training environments. With the annotated version, trainees are able to refer back to the presentation in the future for those key points.

3. Video Conferencing

If you have team members in different locations, the video conferencing capabilities cannot be beat. While viewing the presentation, all participants can write on the screen images for real-time interactive participation. Again, the annotated version of this presentation can then be easily sent to all participants. The Aquos Board can also be used in a similar fashion for webinars and teleconferences.

Want to take an Aquos Board for a test drive? If you are in the Canton, North Canton, Akron, Toledo or elsewhere in Ohio, contact us. We would be happy to show you all of the Aquos Board’s bells and whistles.

Take Your Printer or Copier for a Test Drive Before Purchasing

Test Drive Printers and CopiersSo many choices, so little time! With a wide variety of choices available in printer and copier equipment, you want to choose the best option for your organization or business. Do you need document scanning abilities for electronic filing or sending? Do you only need to print in black-and-white or does your sales team need high-quality color copying for full-color presentations? Or maybe your biggest concern is ease of use for your employees. Whatever your needs and concerns, a hands-on demonstration can easily answer those questions and help you make a great decision.

Having led several equipment demos during my sales career at Copeco, I know how beneficial they can be. Think of on-site demonstrations like test driving a car: Would you really buy a vehicle without taking it for a spin first? Probably not. First, you want to make sure the car has all of the amenities you are looking for. Next, you want to feel comfortable behind the wheel. Switch out PPM (pages per minute) for RPM (revolutions per minute), and cars and copiers are actually similar—though I suggest keeping your copier in the office and not on the road! Read more

How to Use Specialized Printing Functions on Your Sharp Copier

Print ButtonYou have worked long and hard on that report for your new client. Now is the time to make sure you wow them with a report that looks as professional as it reads—after all, presentation is everything! An easy way to showcase your efforts is to use paper of a different thickness for the front and back pages of your report.

Copeco’s Sharp copiers and printers offer a convenient way to do just that. With a few simple steps, you can program your Sharp copier to pull paper from different trays while still printing the job in order. The result is a perfectly collated report that is ready for the binding of your choice.

Specialized Printing on a Windows PC

In addition to printing the front and back covers on heavier paper, when using Windows you can also insert colored paper or paper of a different type at specified pages. Blank pages can also be inserted at intervals of your choosing while working on a Windows PC.

  1. Select “Different Paper” and click the “Settings” button.
  2. Select paper insertion settings.
  3. Select the insertion position, paper source and printing method from the corresponding menus.
  4. Click the “Add” button to show the selected settings in “Information.”
  5. When you have completed the settings, click the “Save” button in “User Settings” to save the settings.

Note that when “Bypass Tray” is selected in “Paper Source,” be sure to select the “Paper Type” and load that type of paper in the bypass tray. In addition, when “Other Page” is selected for “Insert Position,” the insert position can be specified by directly entering a page number.

Specialized Printing on a Mac

When using this function in a Macintosh environment, you can use your Sharp printer to assign a specific page thickness to the front and back covers. Compatible operating systems include Mac OS 9, Mas OS X v10.4.11 and v10.5 to 10.5.5.

  1. Select “Printer Features” in the print dialog box.
  2. Select “Different Paper.”
  3. Select “Cover Insertion” settings.
  4. Select the print setting, paper tray and paper type for the cover page and last page.

Note that in Mac OS 9, you must select “Different Paper” and then select the settings for the cover page and last page.

The result is a presentation that is sure to impress your client from cover to cover. Let us know how your Sharp copier or printer has helped you make a good impression in the comments section below. And if you are in need of printer and copier solutions in the Canton, Akron or Toledo areas, Copeco can help. Contact us today.

Image Credit: stuartphoto/123RF Stock Photo

Snacks & Solutions: Get the Most From Your Sharp Printers and Copiers

Taking notes at Sharp Copier and Printer seminarWe were excited to host this year’s first Snacks & Solutions training event at Copeco’s North Canton, OH, location March 14. If you did not attend, you missed a great free lunch! Most importantly, attendees received some insightful training on Basic Scanning and how using that feature on their Sharp printers and copiers can help increase productivity.

Read more

Snacks & Solutions: Basic Scanning Tips

Document RetrievalWhere else can you find out how to increase productivity and also enjoy a complimentary lunch? I will be kicking off Copeco’s popular Snacks and Solutions event series Thursday, March 14 with a session on Scanning Basics. From 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our North Canton, OH, location, I will share a variety of scanning tips that will help you increase productivity and get the most out of your Sharp copier.
Read more

How to Print a Single Envelope from Word using a Sharp Copier

Sometimes you just want simple. Like an “old-fashioned” cell phone that just made calls. Or a remote control with three functions: power, channels and volume. Or Internet dial-up with AOL. (Well, maybe not that last one.)

For example, perhaps you need to print one envelope only, not an entire mail-merged list. If you own a Sharp copier or printer, I’ve got good news for you. This process truly is simple. Here’s how…

On your computer:

  1. Open a new Word document.
  2. If you have an older version of Word (prior to 2007), select “Tools,” then “Letters and Mailings” and then “Envelopes and Labels.” In newer versions of Word, click on the “Mailings” tab and select “Envelopes.”
  3. Type the delivery address and return address in the appropriately labeled boxes.
  4. Click on the “Options” button and go to the “Envelope Options” tab. There you can select the envelope size, as well as bar-coding and fonts.
  5. Now switch to the “Printing Options” tab and under “Feed Method,” select second-to-last icon (envelope image face-down in center of box) and choose “Bypass Tray” under the “Feed From” option.
  6. Click the OK button to process these settings. You’ll be returned to the “Envelopes and Labels” box.
  7. If you want to print just one envelope with these addresses, click “Print.”

However, if you want to print multiple envelopes with the same address and return address, follow steps 1 through 6 and then:

  • Click on “Add to Document” in the “Envelopes and Labels” box and click “No” when the pop-up message appears.
  • In the document, place your cursor on the return address. The cursor should be blinking.
  • Select “File” and then “Print.” Under “Page Range,” select “Current Page,” and under “Copies,” enter the number of copies you want to make. Click “OK” to process these settings.

At the Sharp Multi-function Printer:

  1. Add one or more envelopes in the designated position on the bypass tray.
  2. Touch “Paper Select” on the LCD panel and then the paper type in the button under bypass.
  3. Touch “Envelope,” then “COM-10” and then “OK” twice. The bypass is now set for envelopes.
  4. When you’re finished printing, return the “Paper Select” option to original set-up after printing is complete.

At Copeco, we provide training for our customers on how to use a wide variety of functions and features of Sharp office equipment. If you’d like to learn more, contact us.