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Printing has come a long way since its invention back in 200AD. Back then, woodblock printing was the only option.

Things moved forward quickly over the next 1700 years, with the introduction of Movable Type, Etching, Rotary Press & Hectograph all making their stamp, and then eventually being replaced.  However, the advances in technology and the printing innovations that have taken place over the years are really quite astonishing.

Join us as we take you back in time to look at the evolution of printing over the last 100 years…


Screen printing first appeared in a recognisable form in China way back in 960AD.

However it was early in the 1910’s that printers began experimenting with photo-reactive chemicals, thus revolutionising the screen printing industry.

Technique: Screen Printing involved a blade or squeegee moving across the screen (a piece of mesh stretched over a frame) to fill open areas with ink. Blocking stencils prevented ink from reaching certain places.

Fun Fact: World Famous artist, Andy Warhol is credited for popularising Screen Printing. His iconic 1962 depiction of Marilyn Monroe was screen printed in garish colours.


The Spirit Duplicator was more commonly known as the Ditto Machine in America, or the Banda Machine in the UK.

Before photocopying technology was introduced, Spirit Duplicators were popular in the production of newsletters and fanzines.

Technique: This method used two sheets, called spirit masters. The top sheet was typed, written or drawn upon and the bottom one was covered in wax. The pressure placed on the waxed sheet then produced a mirror image of the desired marks.

Fun Fact: Because of its ability to produce multiple colours in a single pass, the spirit duplicator was popular with cartoonists.


German inventor, Rudolf Hell invented a dot matrix based device in 1925. It was called the Hellschreiber and was patented four years later in 1929.

Until the 1990’s, Dot Matrix printers were by far the most common form of printer used with personal and home computers.

Technique: Much like a typewriter,a print head moves back-and-forth or up-and-down and prints on impact, striking an ink-soaked cloth ribbon against the sheet paper or other material. However, unlike a typewriter, individual letters are drawn out by a Dot Matrix, allowing various fonts and graphics to be reproduced.

Fun Fact: Like Dot Matrix versions, nearly all inkjet, thermal and laser printers print closely spaced dots.


Originally named Electrophotography, Xerography was invented by Pal Selenyi, a Hungarian physicist in 1938.

Technique: A dry photocopying process where areas on a sheet of paper are sensitised by static electricity & sprinkled with a resin that is fused to the paper.

Fun Fact: This technology still exists in modern day photocopy machines & laser printers.


While similar technology was patented back in 1867, the first commercial inkjet product was released in 1951 by manufacturing giants, Siemens.

Although introduced in 1951, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that inkjet printers could reproduce images created by personal computers.

Technique: A high pressure pump directs liquid ink through a microscopic nozzle creating a continuous stream of ink droplets.

Fun Fact: One square meter of inkjet print contains around 20 billion droplets.


This method of printing focusses on the science of sublimation.

Sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from solid to gas – without passing through the intermediate liquid phase.

Technique: Sublimation dyes are transferred to sheets of transfer paper via liquid gel ink. The ink is then deposited on high-release inkjet papers. After the digital design is printed onto sublimation transfer sheets, it is placed on a heat press along with the substrate to be sublimated.

Fun Fact: Today, Dye Sublimation is a digital method of printing commonly used for decorating apparel, signs, banners and novelty items.


Laser Printing was invented by then Xerox product developer, Gary Starkweather in 1969. Already working within the photocopying market, Starkweather had the idea of using a laser beam to draw an image on paper. He then adapted a Xerox copier, which became one of the first commercial laser printers on the planet.

Technique: Text and graphics are produced by repeatedly passing a laser beam over a negatively charged cylinder - called a drum. The drum selectively collects electrically charged toner (powdered ink) and transfers the image to paper.

Fun Fact: The first laser printer designed for office use was sold for the equivalent of £13,200.


Traditionally light and small in size, Thermal Printers are ideal for portable retail applications such as point of sale systems.

During the 1990’s many fax machines also used thermal printing technology.

Technique: A printed image is produced by heating thermal paper when it passes over the thermal print head. The coating turns black in the heated area, thus producing an image.

Fun Fact: The 1998 Game Boy Printer was a small thermal printer used to print out elements from some games.

1981 – 3D PRINTING

This method is also known as additive manufacturing.

In 1981, Hideo Kodama of Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute invented two additive methods for producing 3D plastic models.

Technique: When it comes to modern day versions, imagine an inkjet printer – but on steroids. Where an inkjet printer puts a single layer of ink on top of the page, a 3D printer adds new layers on top of each layer until the object is completed.

Fun Fact: 3D printers have been used to print a huge variety of different objects, including jewellery, clothing, medical prosthetics, food and houses.


Digital printing allows digital-based images to be printed directly from a personal computer or other electronic devices.

This method has revolutionised the printing world, allowing for shorter turnaround times and far greater flexibility.

Technique: Digital printers assemble images from a complex set of numbers and mathematical formulas. These images are captured from pixels – a process called digitising. The digitised image is used to control the deposition of ink or toner, which ultimately, reproduces the image.

Fun Fact: Digital printing uses a colour management system, which keeps images looking the same despite where they are printed.


We live in day and age where everyone is looking to save money. We are constantly told to shop around in order to find the best deal.

But one thing you shouldn’t sacrifice when looking for a bargain is quality, and printer cartridges are no exception to this.

While counterfeit printer cartridges can save you a huge amount compared to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or remanufactured versions, they can cause huge problems to your print quality, hardware and even your personal safety.

Below is a list of the reasons why purchasing counterfeit cartridges should be avoided at all costs.


So many people make the mistake of thinking they can ‘get away’ with poor quality, counterfeit printer cartridges – but the truth is you can’t.

The first problem if you are going to encounter is whether the cartridge will actually work at all. In all honesty, you are dodging a bullet if it doesn’t!

However, if it does pass the initial test, then expect a really poor print compared to original or remanufactured cartridges.

Poor colour quality, splotches and streaks are among the many complaints from counterfeit cartridge users.

Also, expect your counterfeit cartridge to be empty pretty quickly after purchase, as there are rarely fully filled during their slapdash manufacture.


If you get away with only poor quality printing then to be honest, you should be thankful.

The next, more impactful consequence, is damage to your printer. Counterfeit cartridges can cause a variety problems, at that is usually down to poor quality components used in their manufacture and the fact that they are ill-fitting when inserted into your printer.

Expect leaks, bursts and spits from your counterfeit, all of which can cause permanent staining and damage to the hardware.

Physical damage to both your printer, and yourself should also be taken into account as it is a real possibility.

While remanufactured cartridges are far cheaper than OEM versions, they should never be confused or associated with counterfeits.

Here at Red Bus Cartridges, we source used OEM cartridges from our sister company, The Recycling Factory, before remanufacturing and eventually selling.

If a cartridge does not pass any one stage of our testing process, then they are discarded - as are any counterfeits that we ever come across.

For a greater insight into our remanufacturing process, watch the video above.


If you are reading this article then there is a good chance that the above two points may already be something that you have encountered - in which case you might be searching for your printer warranty at the same time as reading this!

Don’t for a second think that your printer manufacturer will uphold your printer warranty if it has broken while you were knowingly using counterfeit ink or toner cartridges.

They won’t – it really is as simple as that. As soon as you knowingly use a counterfeit cartridge, you are essentially voiding the warranty on your printer there and then.

That said, if you have made an innocent mistake, and you are able to prove that you didn’t intentionally go out to buy counterfeit cartridges, then you might just be lucky – depending on the make and model of your printer.


Counterfeit cartridges are generally manufactured overseas, meaning that to reach the United Kingdom, they must be shipped long distances.

The lengthy supply chain involved in shipping these items across the world can be extremely harmful to the environment.

The same cannot be said for our remanufactured cartridges, as we complete all of our manufacturing, from start to finish, right here at our purpose built Lincolnshire factory. This enables us to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum and create a closed loop recycling system, as cartridges can be refurbished on numerous occasions.


That’s right, the manufacturers of these counterfeit cartridges have illegally copied an original design and have more than likely broken UK Patent Laws along the way.

Counterfeit cartridges are illegal to produce and sell – something you really don’t want to get involved in for the sake of saving a few extra quid!

No matter how cheap they are, counterfeit cartridges should always be avoided. We understand that OEM versions can be very expensive, so if you are looking save money, why not try remanufactured versions?

Visit to find remanufactured printer cartridges and save up to 70% compared to OEM versions.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT



Here at The Red Bus Cartridge Company, we thoroughly test our entire range of remanufactured toner cartridges. We are confident in the quality of the products and if you do not find them to be at least as good as the original product, we will be happy to send you a replacement or a full refund.


Order our products before 6pm and your order will be dispatched the very same day!


Buying from us will save you money as our remanufactured products offer savings of up to 70% compared to an original cartridge.


Every year thousands of toner cartridges are disposed of ending up in landfill - this is hugely damaging to the environment as they take many years to decompose.

Buying a remanufactured printer cartridge from The Red Bus Cartridge Company will not only save you on printing costs, but you will also be contributing to a greener environment by using a recycled product.

Our cartridges offer an environmentally friendly alternative as they’re remanufactured in the England which enables us to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum and create a closed loop recycling system as they can be refurbished again and again.


The Red Bus Cartridge Company are extremely proud to be selling a British remanufactured product.

Our purpose built factory in Boston, Lincolnshire is where all of the remanufactured toner cartridges are made and is home to a team of dedicated employees with a wealth of diverse skills. Everything from research & development to packaging design is completed in Boston.

As a proud British online seller we continue to support the British economy and remanufacturing industry.


The internet is flooded with companies that offer compatible cartridges at rock bottom prices and, following extensive research of copy compatible products we have found that the old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly applies.

Only the best components are used in the remanufactured cartridges that we sell and guarantees you will be purchasing a robust product that will perform exactly the same as an original cartridge.

Many ‘copy’ compatible cartridges do not meet British manufacturing standards and are produced with stolen designs and a quality that cannot always be trusted. The toner cartridges we sell meet British remanufacturing case law, replacing parts only when necessary, this is why we call ourselves ‘cartridge safe’. 


Customer feedback is vital to us, which is why we have a Feefo facility built into our website. At the time of writing, we have a Feefo rating of 4.5 out of five, with over 85% of all our reviews containing the maximum score available.

To purchase your remanufactured printer cartridges, visit or call 0800 091 9090.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT


 If so, you are luck! Head to our YouTube channel today for a wealth of installation videos for a number of different remanufactured cartridges.

 Below is an installation video for remanufactured CF360A, CF361A, CF362A and CF363A Toners toner cartridge.



Also, if you’re ever in need of any additional assistance then don’t hesitate to contact our HQ.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT

The Big Debate - Remanufactured vs OEM

There is no denying that consumers are more price conscious, and the days of brand loyalty –although not completely absent – have definitely waned as people come to understand that buying alternative products does not always mean that they have to compromise on quality. This is true of the (almost) age-old debate between buying original (OEM) and remanufactured printer cartridges. There are many consumers who still have doubts about OEM alternatives, so perhaps it is time for The Red Bus Cartridge Company to dispel some of the most common misconceptions surrounding remanufactured cartridges.


Remanufacturers just replace ink and toner in cartridges

There was a time where single re-use remanufacturers (so called ‘drill and fill’ merchants) were abundant, however, the more professional amongst the industry have far more in-depth procedures to ensure a standard of quality is set across all products. Cartridges are cleaned, and components such as rollers, blades and other mechanical parts are replaced to restore full functionality. The cartridges are rigorously tested, and being STMC and ISO 9001 certified confirms that there is a strong system in place to ensure a high quality standard.


Print quality is not as good with remanufactured cartridges compared with OEM’s

Each remanufacturer will use different ink and toner formulations and have various methods of testing print quality. Our cartridges use the highest quality toner powder, and the strict processes applied to our products means that we are able to match the print quality and page yield of the OEM equivalent.


Using a remanufactured cartridge will void my warranty

This is one of the most common misconceptions that consumers have about using remanufactured cartridges with their printers. However, it should be the most straight-forward to dismiss. OEM’s are not allowed to void a printer’s warranty simply because remanufactured cartridges are being used. Most remanufacturers also offer their own guarantees – we have a 100% money back guarantee on our toner cartridges if a customer is not satisfied, although we are confident in the performance of our cartridges.


In summary, of course OEM cartridges will always have a loyal customer base and there will be benefits to purchasing OEM toner products in conjunction with their paper and printers. In reality though, as consumers become more eco-savvy and are able to research and educate themselves about more budget-friendly alternatives, there will most certainly be more opportunities for genuine quality remanufactured products to impress.


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