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Minimizing paper waste when printing temple cards.

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:38 pm
by JamesAnderson
This is an issue with the output from both TempleReady and new FamilySearch once the patron brings the diskette or the Family Ordinance Request in to the temple

I cleared some names in new FamilySearch, and since I'm in Provo, went up to print the FOR and the cards in Salt Lake while I was up there for the wiki user group meeting. What was found in the process of printing the cards is what this post is all about.

When they print cards, they print them on card stock that is 8 1/2" by 11". You get four to a sheet and blank ones are just the card cut outline with a large X in them. There is also on one side over an inch of selvage (printer's term for the parts of the page that end up being discarded, like the white space around postage stamps on a sheet). There's about a half inch of selvage on the other three sides.

So here's the idea. Why not print them on a spool of card stock instead of sheets, much like those label-maker printers you can use to print things like shipping or address labels? If a paper provider could come up with the paper in the thickness required for the cards in a roll form (sometimes described as 'coiled') and have it feed into a printer, that might save a substantial amount of paper in the end.

I see the cards printed on the roll, then the attendant would cut them from the roll with a pair of scissors. Would require about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between the edge of the printer and the printed card edge on the last card in the print run, but if you say printed 30 cards in the run, that would be a good amount of paper that could be saved. Especially given the amount of paper that would be used anyway for printing the cards in the Church as a whole.

There is precedent in a long-discarded system used at the temples from 1980 to 1991 where they printed temple names and even family names on adder tape, then an attendant would cut the segment with the name you picked up on it by using a cutter on the printer itself. But the newer system would only be needed for the larger cards now, not the slips for temple-provided names that are already printed many to a sheet these days.

Paper Saving

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:10 am
by garysturn
That sounds like a good way to save paper, but it would require a specalized printer dedicated to just printing cards. Sometimes standard stock paper ends up being less expensive than custom made paper, and by using stock paper they can use a standard printer that can be used for multiple tasks. They can always recycle the unused paper scraps.

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:11 am
by JamesAnderson
Thanks Gary, that's reasonable to expect. Maybe once certain technological things fall into place, much like how long it took to get the label printers onto the market, might we be able to see something like we envision.

I think the best thing is to see if the temples can recycle the paper scraps and leftover paper once the work has been done with the temple provided names. Some may already be doing this, where practical, but how can we then get them all on board where recycling is available?

Minimizing paper waste when printing temple cards.

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:27 am
by MarianJohnson
Why not change the size of the temple cards to fit the paper - six to a page. Is there something sacred about the size that is now being used?

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:42 pm
by JamesAnderson
Two issues, both have to do with unrelated things.

One is the cards usually need to be readable by people whose eyesight is not that good, and that actually does include myself, I'm actually 'statutory blind', more commonly called 'legally blind'. So having some of the critical elements larger does help.

The cards are 3" x 5", and that's about as large as will fit in a standard shirt or coat pocket. There's a hilarious picture on a website for a media player that has a 7" screen of someone trying to shove it into a front pocket on a pair of pants the person holding the player was wearing for the picture, and not being able to do so, it was taken to show how it differed from other video media players similar to iPods.