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Archive for February 2018

Time For An Update: HP DesignJet Has New Driver Downloads Available

Time For An Update: HP DesignJet Has New Driver Downloads Available

HP DesignJet users now have access to new software — HP has recently released several routine driver updates which expand current printers compatibility all through free software. So what’s included and how do you install the new updates? Here’s what HP DesignJet wide format printer owners need to know.

What’s updating?

HP has released three new driver updates, one for Mac and two for Windows. Driver software is the program that allows your computer to communicate with the printers and keeping the software up-to-date can prevent future headaches by ensuring you are using the latest version with newly introduced compatibility and, occasionally, bug fixes.

The latest HP DesignJet Mac PostScript Driver is for Mac OS up to 10.11. The update, which was released on Jan. 31, adds support from the HP DesignJet T930, HP DesignJet T1530 and HP DesignJet T2530 Multifunction, with all the updates applying to those printer series.

The updates for Windows users are similar, each with compatibility for new printer systems. The HP DesignJet Universal Print Driver HP-GL/2 update includes support for the HP DesignJet T1700. The HP DesignJet Universal Print Driver PostScript, software for PostScript printers only, has also been updated to support the same T1700.

Routine updates of the printer driver can help prevent problems down the road. So how do you install the new printer driver updates?

How to install the HP DesignJet Wide Format Printer Driver Updates

For Windows users, with the printer on and no other programs running, users first need to download the driver from HP and select the “save this program to disk option.” Remember where you save the file, since you’ll need to access the file later in the process. Once downloaded, double click on the file to unzip. Then you need to navigate to the Printers Window and head to Start > Settings > Printers. Once there, click on “add a new printer” and the software will walk you through the steps. Make sure to click the “Have Disk” option and you will get a new window that asks you to locate the files you just downloaded — click on the one that ends with “.inf” and click okay and the new software will be installed.

On Mac, the process doesn’t have quite so many steps. After downloading, just double-click on the installer and the computer will walk through the program. Don’t forget to have the printer on during the installation process.

Regular software updates will help keep your printer system running smoothly — and the update only takes a few minutes. Lost somewhere in the update process? Photo Direct is happy to assist with the process — just give us a call and have your printer model number handy.

How to Replace Your Old Printer Without Going Broke With A Trade-In

How to Replace Your Old Printer With A Trade-In (Without Going Broke!)

The bigger the wide format printer, the bigger the expense — but upgrading to the latest wide format printer might not be as expensive as you think. HP is currently offering a trade-in program for DesignJet wide format printers. And the best part? The printer you trade-in doesn’t have to be HP and pick-up can be included. Here’s how it works.

To see how much your old printer is worth, there’s just a few simple steps. Before you start, you’ll need the manufacturer, model number and measurements, including the weight of the equipment you would like to trade in. You’ll also need the company ABN number, payment details for an online bank transfer and a valid email address. And to get started, you need the model name of the printer you’d like to get. If that sounds a bit daunting, Photo Direct can help you determine just what information you need.

First, you need to register with the trade-in program, where you’ll get an estimate. Next, you need to write in and get an official quote, which takes around 7 business days until the quote is returned. Once the quote is approved, you can then purchase the new printer and accept the quote. For this part, you’ll need the invoice, serial number and reseller details for the new equipment.

After sharing the pick-up address for the trade-in, filling out banking information for the return and sending a copy of the tax receipt, HP will complete the trade-in.

Not sure exactly what printer you’d like to upgrade to? Photo Direct staff are always happy to help photographers and other small businesses choose the best wide format printer for the needs of their particular work. From the volume of the prints to the cost of the supplies, we can help you determine which option will best suit your needs. As an HP-authorised dealer, we can help you understand the trade-in process too. HP is offering a number of excellent printers as part of the trade-in, including photo printers, multifunction printers and production printers.

HP’s trade-in offer is good through April 30 – contact us today to get started with your trade-in discount!

2018 Trends To Help Photo-Focused Retailers Jumpstart their Year

2018 Trends To Help Photo-Focused Retailers Jumpstart their Year

One month in, and 2018 is already sparking new trends in the retail industry. While some trends are like bell bottom jeans and mullets, missing out on some key retail trends could leave businesses stagnant while trend-focused competitors grow. So what are some of the key trends coming up this year — and how can businesses in the photo industry capitalise on them? Here are a few trends businesses can implement to grow.

Customisation and personalisation are continuing to drive growth.

Remember finding your name on a keychain as a kid at a touristy gift shop? In 2018, personalisation is no less exciting, but easier than ever to do thanks to technology. For photo-focused businesses, this trend can apply to anywhere from marketing to products. For example, a photo print shop could offer personalised service to design and print a gallery wall, customised to the client’s home, images and sense of style.

Another way companies are implementing personalisation is through the use of technology, and in particular, artificial intelligence that is able to recommend products based on what the customer has already viewed. Chat-bots, when properly tailored to your brand, can also help customers build a stronger connection with your company.

Cash is old school.

While accepting a variety of payment options is a good idea, many small businesses haven’t yet adapted to the idea of a cashless payment system. In 2018, Amazon is opening stores without cashiers and Apple, Android and Samsung are allowing users to pay with their phones. While research from Business Insider doesn’t show growth predictions as strong as in 2017, estimates are still putting mobile payments in the billions over the next three years alone. By offering more convenient cash-free payment options, photo-focused businesses can offer one more reason for customers to come back.

Trends aren’t all about tech.

Sure, cashless payments and chat-bots are all trends powered by technology, but trends are far from being tech-only. While the user experience has always been part of a successful online store, the same idea is expanding to brick and mortar stores in 2018. Creating an enjoyable in-store experience, along with encouraging customers to spend more time there, can help businesses grow. As Forbes points out, retailers that focus on the tactile experience stores can offer that e-commerce cannot are doing well, like Coach’s new approach with in-store personalisation, for example.

How can photo-focused retailers enhance the in-store experience? Old-school options like excellent customer service still go a long way. Displaying samples in-store to allow customers to see different finish types and paper types is another option. Hosting free workshops to teach photography skills, or perhaps a DIY workshop teaching the art of making a gallery wall, are just a few of the ideas to enhance the in-store experience.

Photo retailers aren’t immune to changes in the retail industry — and quickly recognising and adapting to new retail trends can help your business to outpace the competitors. With years in the photo industry, Photo Direct is here to help photo businesses find new ways to grow. If you want to brainstorm new ways to help your company grow, call the sales team at Photo Direct at (03) 9894 1644 so we can help you expand your business in 2018 and beyond.