To Print, or to Pie: that is the question.

June 15, 2018


I first learnt the true cost of printing back in my high school days. Each student would get a set amount of printing credits per term, 50 pages if my memory serves. If you used all these, you would need to purchase more from the student office. These weren’t exactly cheap either at 10c per page and boy did they get used.

Prior to smart phones, when the Nokia 3310 was king, we didn’t have access to all the information in the world in the palm of our hand. If we wanted all the lyrics to the latest Gorillaz, Black Eyed Peas or Schnappi song you had to find a lyrics site, one of the virus free ones, copy and paste them into a Word document and print them off.

This reckless printing only became an issue when it came to printing assignments. I would have to tell the teacher that I had run out of credits, which was usually greeted with a very unsympathetic response. More often than not, you were told to go to the student office and purchase some more credits. This was less than desirable as there was no way I was spending my precious canteen pie money on ‘paper’! 

Now the next hurdle was asking my Mum for some more money for printing credits. This was usually answered with “What the hell are you printing? I’m always giving you money for bloody paper…” This rant would usually get faded out with the sweet song lyrics I had printed out and learnt earlier that day. After this occurred a few times, the luxury of more cash for credits was taken off the table by both my mum and teachers.

I was now left with a difficult choice, one no teenaged boy should ever face. Be the guy who doesn’t know the lyrics, potentially look like a fool going quiet in the parts I didn’t know, mumbling away hoping no one would ever catch on or, spend my precious canteen pie money on paper. Growing boys need to eat right…?! WRONG! Apparently passing my classes and getting good grades was more important.

After having made the tough choice of buying my own credits, I soon learnt that what I was printing was truly unnecessary and unjustified. When you are aware of what your wild and loose printing is costing, it does make you think about the next page you print. Do I really need to print that? Is it truly going to benefit me having that piece of paper? Am I going to look it more than once?

The lesson I learnt from this whole experience is that all printing has a cost. Be it to yourself, your Mum, a kind-hearted teacher or your employer, someone is paying for the pages coming out of that machine. It’s not until you can see these costs does it well and truly hit home. For me, this changed my habits and made me more aware of what I was printing.

Printer Logic has been helping Lucidity customers by being able to capture their costs in printing. A report can be generated on a daily, weekly and/or monthly schedule. This allows a business to fully capture the costs of the staffs printing right down to a per user. This can help the company save money by making people more aware of what they are printing and perhaps help them change their habits. Company Wins. Environment Wins.

Questions to ask yourself before pressing the print button

  • Do you really need to print this or is it more of a convenience thing? Can you write it down instead?
  • Do you need to print the whole document? Is there only one page you are actually after?
  • Can this be printed double sided?
  • Has this been proofread? No one wants to re-print a whole page because of a missing comma

If you would like Lucidity to load your printing costs into our environment so you can begin to track your printing costs, please email both the cost of a black and white, as well as a colour sheet to your account manager, as well as the desired frequency of the reports. Printer Logic can be a powerful tool to drive cost savings within your business, take advantage of it!


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