But narrowing down your search for a suitable printer can feel overwhelming. So, whether you work in a team or you freelance from home, here’s my guide to finding the best printer for art prints.
Here, you’ll find out what you need to look for. Plus, get my recommendations for the best printers for graphic designers.
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What to Look for When Buying a Printer For Art Prints
If you want an excellent printer for art prints, you need to know what to look for. What factors are essential, and what’s less important? Here’s my guide to choosing the best printer for making art prints!
Type of Printer: Laser or Inkjet Printer?
You have two main choices when it comes to printers: inkjet or laser.
Laser printers are much quicker and cost less to run, but they are more expensive upfront.
Inkjet printers can’t manage the heavy output that a laser printer offers. Yet, you can get better color saturation with an inkjet printer.
So what’s the main difference between inkjet and laser printers? It comes down to the type of ink or toner used. Laser printers use powder ink, while inkjet printers use liquid ink. As a result, it’s possible to get crisper images when you print on an inkjet printer.
But technology has come a long way, and laser printers can now produce impressive images, too.
Laser printers can also handle a much larger volume of pages per day and month. If you need to produce a lot of media or you work in a team, a laser is an answer. An inkjet printer won’t be able to keep up. Look for printers that can manage 30 pages per minute as the gold standard.
Whichever type of printer you decide to go for, there are some great models on the market. Check out my recommendations below!
Size of Printer
The size of the printer you’ll need depends on what kind of media you need to print. Graphic designers work on everything from business cards and flyers to huge posters. If you need to produce anything bigger than standard 8.5” paper, you’ll have to go with an inkjet printer.
Laser printer technology hasn’t quite got there yet, at least at an affordable price. Make sure to double-check the measurements of the printer output before you buy it!
Type of Paper
Look for a printer that can take a range of paperweights. That way, you’ll be able to use inexpensive paper for drafts and tests. You can switch to heavy stock paper for your finished products. Not all printers can handle a wide range of paper types, so make sure you check before you buy.
How much you can spend always has to be a consideration. If you’re on a tight budget, an inkjet printer might be the best bet. But you also need to think about the long term costs. Inkjet printers eat through much more ink and need more maintenance. So, your running costs will tend to be higher than with a laser printer. If you can spend more upfront, you’ll benefit by saving money in the long term.
The Best Printers for Art Prints: The Reviews
Now you know what to look for, let’s get onto the reviews. Here are the top recommended printers for graphic designers and artists!
The Epson SurColor SC-P800 is a fantastic choice for graphic designers (at a premium price). This professional printer will make your prints look crisp and impressive. You can print both black and white images and colored media with no problem. It can also take a range of papers, including photo paper and fine art paper.
The Epson SureColor is suitable for printing anything up to 17.5”. This makes it a versatile printer that meets all your needs. With wireless connectivity, you can place it anywhere in your office. Print from your phone, tablet, or laptop for greater convenience and speed.
- High-quality prints
- Can print on all types of paper
- The expensive price makes it a big investment
The Pixma Pro is an excellent choice for a graphic designer. It’s capable of producing media up to 19”, so you can print off all types of media for your clients. The two media trays can handle a variety of paper types, including thick stock paper and photo paper.
The Pixma Pro gives you the versatility and crisp images that you need to look professional. The clever Greatest Image Generating System mixes the right inks for your prints. So, your pictures will always look their best. Plus, it’s wireless, so you can print from wherever you are in your house or office. It’s a high-quality, powerful printer for any artist or designer, and at a reasonable price too.
- Fully wireless
- Can print any kind of media up to 19”
- You can’t scan or copy with this printer
The Epson Expression is an ideal smaller printer for a freelancing graphic designer. This printer won’t take up too much space, and prints so you can focus on what you’re doing. The Expression XP-8500 produces high-quality prints. The photos come out with saturated, realistic colors.
The smart Dash Replenishment system tracks your ink. It will reorder when you’re running low, so you never run out again. This smart feature will save you time and money. You’ll never be stuck waiting for the next ink cartridge to arrive so you can get on with work!
Yet, the Expression XP-8500 can only handle media up to 8” x 10”. So if you need to print in bigger sizes, you’ll need to look for something larger instead.
- Compact size
- Excellent color rendering in your prints
- Can only produce small prints up to 8” x 10”
If you’re looking for an affordable printer on a budget, go for the HP Envy. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, it gets the job done. You can print beautiful images and prints effectively. Connect wirelessly from any device for easy printing. The HP Envy produces 12 prints per minute, so it’s not built for larger volumes. But if you only print or in smaller numbers, the HP Envy is a reliable tool for your home or office. It gets bonus points as you can also use it to scan, copy, or fax prints or documents.
- Reasonable cost
- All-in-one printer allows you to scan, copy, or fax too
- Slower print speed than other printers
The Expression Photo HD is an impressive printer, offering everything you need. It’s compact so it can sit anywhere in your office, and you can print wirelessly for convenience. If you need to print on a wide variety of papers, the Expression Photo HD is the printer for you. It has a front and rear tray and can take up to A3 paper, heavy grade paper, and even CDs and DVDs. You get incredible versatility and ease of use with this printer. The colors are bright and vibrant yet realistic every time. It also produces excellent black and white imagery. Expression Photo HD is an excellent choice for any graphic designer.
- A versatile printer than can print on thicker paper too
- Great for color or black and white prints
- The ink cartridges are expensive
The Canon PIXMA TS8320 has been designed to make life easy for you. The handy touchscreen is simple to use. The wireless connectivity and Canon PRINT app allow you to print and edit from your phone or tablet. Most importantly, it produces gorgeous, high-res images and prints. Your work will look professional when you use this printer. The PIXMA can handle heavy paper and cardstock and has both a front and a rear feeder. Admittedly, the speed is low at just 15 pages per minute. But for this low price, the Canon PIXMA is the best printer around!
- Available for an affordable, low price
- It produces high-resolution images
- It has a slower print speed
The HP ENVY 5055 is a low-cost printer that allows you to print cost-effective images quickly. It won’t compare with a premium printer that a design agency might use. But it’s suitable for a freelance designer working from home. The HP ENVY offers quick and straightforward wireless and mobile printing. So, you get more flexibility in how you print. With up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi color resolution, your prints will look fantastic. The tray can only hold up to 100 pages, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on the printer. This affordable printer is the right choice if you’re on a tight budget.
- The low cost makes it ideal if you’re on a budget
- Great prints with high resolution up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
- The low paper capacity in the tray means you need to top it up frequently
The Epson Expression Premium is a high-end printer with incredible capabilities. For one, it has a supertank suitable for printing for 2 years or up to 9,000 pages. So, you won’t need to worry about replacing ink cartridges for a long time. It’s cheaper to run and maintain, too! Secondly, the image quality is superb at 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi resolution. You’ll get beautifully crisp prints. It offers the expected wireless connectivity and mobile printing for ease. Plus, it can handle a range of paperweights, including specialty papers, with a rear and front tray. Everything a graphic designer could wish for!
- The ink lasts for an extremely long time
- Low maintenance and running costs
- Takes up more space in the office
The Canon Color imageCLASS is a super-capable, professional-grade laser printer. It can print incredibly fast at 28 ppm, making it suitable for heavy volumes. If you print a lot of media for your clients, or you work in a team, this printer can stand up to the pressure. The Canon Color imageCLASS produces crisp, bold images with perfect color saturation. You can load an amazing 850 sheets into the printer, so it needs less maintenance. You can get on with your work and let the printer take care of your prints, worry-free. It’s user-friendly with a touchscreen display and wireless connectivity. Plus, you get a great 3-year warranty and customer support if you run into any issues.
- Super-fast printing speed
- You can print heavy volumes with this printer (ideal for a team)
- This printer is larger and bulkier than other models
Another excellent choice for a team of graphic designers. While this printer is on the larger side, it’s robust enough to handle large volumes of printing. You get super-quick results thanks to the 28 ppm speed of this Brother Printer. Choose from double-sided or single-sided prints. With powerful wireless connectivity, it’s easy to access the printer from any device. If you’re looking to print a lot of images at fast speed and low cost, this is the ideal printer for you.
- Very quick print speed of 28ppm
- You can print from any device
- One of the more expensive printers on the market
The Wrap Up
As a graphic designer or artist, you know how important it is to have high-quality images. With these recommended printers, you’ll have no problem printing superior prints. Go for any of the excellent printers on this list to show off your work at its best!
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