Four colour printer test pages are pretty common but it is very rare I find a decent test page for a mono laser printer. So I normally end up running a whole bunch of separate tests on multiple bits of paper when taking a look at a printer which is far from an effective use of time (and toner).
With this in mind I decided to put together a test page that should be able to detect all of the most common print quality problems with ease on one bit of paper. Whilst I created it initially for use here at Refresh I thought it would be worth sharing with our customers too and writing a quick article explaining what each section is for.
You can view/print the image here or if you would prefer click the thumbnail on the left and then right click and then click “Save Image As”. If you are printing directly from your browser be sure that you are zoomed in fully before printing so the black ‘L’ almost fills the page.
The large black ‘L’ mentioned above it arguably the most important bit of the page as it is designed to detect stripes that may occur at almost any point . Horizontal stripes/bands are most likely the result of a defect with the drum which will either be part of the cartridge or a separate consumable depending on the model of the printer. However vertical stripes are normally the result of a defective toner.
As the majority of mono laser printers are used for printing invoices or other text heavy documents a block of text is provided midway down the page. This is designed to be representative typical font and text size so you can check your printers ability to print the characters to an acceptable standard for you.
Mono laser printers are also very popular with designers and architects for presenting line work and blueprints to customers, so I dedicated a section to detecting in these images. The boxes below show lines horizontally, vertically and diagonally in patters that should help you easily detect even the slightest inconsistency.
Unfortunately print quality problems with text and fine lines can take many different forms so I cannot advise of a probable cause. However the use of these last two sections along with careful examination of the rest of this test page should help to point you in the right direction.
The bar below represents your printers ability to fuse the toner is all shades from the most solid black to white. The transition should be smooth and not suddenly change. If the transition is not smooth or does not show the two extremes this would suggest a problem with the fuser not regulating heat correctly or imperfections on the transfer belt (which can normally be identified visually). If however the problem first occurred directly after changing the toner cartridge please continue to examine the other sections of the sheet to further identify the issue.
Our mock test card at the top of the page is not just for branding. It is designed to bring together everything above all in one image so you can see how the different elements work together and ensure you are getting the very best print from your printer possible. Please bear in mind that laser printers are not designed to print photos or similar so please don’t be surprised if your prints are not rivaling those produced by a ink-jet printer. However the image below should easily be replicated by a laser printer to an acceptable standard.