The PrintShop aims at providing a very specific service: good quality large format prints for the lowest possible cost. This is what the majority of fABE students have asked for. We print on good quality paper using expensive commercial printers operated by trained staff. Yet we currently only charge £1.40 for an A2 full colour print. Equivalent services in London commonly charge £8.00 or more for the same service.
We open the hours we do for two main reasons:
- If we open longer hours, we will need to pay staff to manage the room, and this would make it more expensive to produce prints. We subsidise the PrintShop heavily already, and would have to pass an additional cost on by putting up prices.
- We know from experience that people only print at certain times of the day anyway. Although it seems like a good idea to have the PrintShop all day, in practice, staff spend most of the day by themselves, waiting for someone to come and print. We generally open twice a day, morning and afternoon, and although we understand it may be slightly inconvenient to have to print when the Shop is open, rather than whenever you like, most students appreciate the low prices this allows.

We keep track of when there are likely to be busy periods using dates given to us by course leaders and published in the PrintShop Events calendar. We use this calendar to predict likely demand and put on extra staff. We then extend the opening hours and often open late in the evening if needed.

We used to stay open until late at night, but realised that this was simply encouraging people to leave printing to the last minute and it made both the lives of both students and staff very stressful. We will stay open late, but now close at 11.00 pm at the latest.

We also used to open on any day of the year if needed. But this too causes problems. On the one hand people don’t come in on Bank Holidays, even with a submission due, so it is a waste of money. And if people do come in and the machine breaks down, we cannot repair it as the Canon engineers are not available. We continue to open on Saturdays if necessary, as this seems to still work well.

We try to keep the same regular hours everyday (i.e. 9.00-10.30 & 14.00-15.30), but these hours go up at peak times and go down outside teaching periods. You can however always find up-to-date opening times on our website. You can check at anytime, from any browser, smartphone etc.:

Yes. If you arrive within the scheduled opening time, we will (within reason) extend the hours until you are finished. We could advertise longer hours in the first place, but then everyone would still leave it until the last minute to turn up and print, and this would just extend the opening hours and increase the cost.

The PrintShop is not a computer cluster, and is not setup for people to work on their files. If people prepare their files for printing properly in advance, it makes it much quicker and easier for everyone and helps to keep queues to a minimum. We provide a simple guide that shows you how to do this using a number of the most common pieces of software:

We have an easy to follow online guide, and we ask you to read this before coming to the PrintShop: