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5 Best Printers for Making Art Prints & Graphic Designers – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

An art print is something like a banner poster or a flyer. It also refers to simple birthday cards and invitations.

The kind of printer you use has something to do with how aesthetic the final product becomes. Printers with bad print quality will undermine all your efforts. 

Today, I want to talk about the best printers for making art prints. If you are a graphic artist and you want to get the most out of your money, read on and then pick from my selections. 

Best Printers for Making Art Prints

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1. Epson Expression ET-7750 EcoTank Printer

Epson Expression Premium EcoTank Wireless 5-Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner, Copier and Ethernet

 

Epson is already gearing away from making cartridge-based printers. As such, most of the models that are out in the market use tanks.

This one is particular can deliver high-quality image prints without having to spend a ton of money on ink.

Key features: 

  • No cartridge – the box comes with four bottles of ink. Once the ink is depleted, you have to buy ink in bottles. This printer uses five colors. With regular print jobs, the ink can last up to two years. 
  • Save on ink – despite the absence of a cartridge, the ink level of the printer can produce 14,000 pages of black printouts. For colored ones, you can expect to have about 9,000 pages. However, these are for documents only; image prints will produce less than that. 
  • Paper type – I love the fact that this printer can take paper up to 17 inches wide. If you are a graphic artist, what it means is that you can print a poster the size of A3. 

The printer has an SD slot and two USB ports. If you want, you can also use an ethernet port to connect it online. The printer also accommodates papers 23 millimeters thick. 

2. Canon PIXMA Pro-100 Wireless Inkjet Printer

Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device Printing

 

Canon is a manufacturer of cameras. It is no wonder that they are also producing printers that help photographers print images at a high standard. This particular model is a favorite of artists that create art prints. 

Key features: 

  • Dye inks – uses dye inks for superior quality. This model uses eight types of ink. Three of these inks are dedicated to greyscale printouts. 
  • Optimum Image – it has a technology where the system will detect the best ink combination to produce a print that is as close to what you have on your PC.
  • High resolution – the is compatible with many types of ink colors. It can produce 4800 x 2400 dpi or dots per inch. This is really high-level standard that will make your printouts crisp and clear.  

What you will love about the product is that it has borderless printing. The feature is useful for artists who want to produce decals and stickers

3. Brother Business Color Laser Printer

Brother Business Color Laser Printer, HL-L8360CDW, Wireless Networking, Automatic Duplex Printing, Mobile Printing, Cloud printing, Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready

 

 

As the name implies, this is a bulky printer for business. However, it does produce high-quality printouts that artists will love.

Brother provides great printers, but they also come at a cost. 

Key features: 

  • High-quality – it prints at a speed of 33 pages per minute, and it can match the performance of compact printers that are made for photo printing. 
  • Connections – you can connect via Wifi, ethernet, or the usual USB cable; your mobile devices can also connect with it, and then you can print directly from there. 
  • Double-sided print – you can print on both sides of the paper at once. This comes in handy if you are merely printing documents for a client. 

The printer has a high-quality photos, but it cannot beat printers that are made specifically for photo prints. It is great for art print but not for 

4. HP ENVY Photo 7855 All-in-One Printer

HP ENVY Photo 7855 All in One Photo Printer with Wireless Printing, HP Instant Ink ready, Works with Alexa (K7R96A)

 

This printer gives you value for your money. You can print on both sides of the paper, it has a touchscreen and many others.

However, it still uses cartridges, not tanks like Epson.

Key features: 

  • Mobile printing – you can connect your phone and print from there; it supports wireless printing, and you can also print directly from the cloud-like Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Direct printing – you can print directly from a USB or SD card
  • Ink delivery – you can subscribe to HP’s ink service, and you will receive ink at regular intervals; the starting price for the subscription is only $3 per month 
  • Cost-savings – you can print high-quality photos for less than five cents per printout; what it means is that this printer is really good for business. 

I like the printer because it has borderless printing. And since it has wireless support, you can take it anywhere you are.

The wireless connectivity makes it possible to connect with WiFi and Bluetooth. 

The printer also has support for many paper sizes. Here are the most common: 

  • Letter
  • Legal
  • 4 x 5
  • 4 x 6
  • 5 x 7
  • 8 x 10 

The printer does not support envelope printing. It has a warranty of one year. Despite using cartridges, I can say that this on of the best options as far as printers go for artists.

It makes printing affordable, which means that you can expect to make a profit for each printout that you sell. 

5. Canon TS9120 Wireless Printer

Canon TS9120 Wireless Printer with Scanner and Copier: Mobile and Tablet Printing, with Airprint and Google Cloud Print compatible, Gray

 

This printer offers a guaranteed high-quality print. It is great for artwork, including vinyl decals.

What I love about the printer is that it has three functionalities. You can print, copy, and scan. What makes this printer unique is that it uses a 6-color ink system.

Key features:  

  • Voice-activated – the printer has a WiFi configuration where you could connect it with Alexa. If you need to print, you just have to tell Alexa and the printer will do it for you. 
  • 6-ink system – there are two extra cartridges, and this makes the printer work faster. the reason behind this is that there are more cartridges disposing of ink compared to the regular one that uses only four. 
  • Connectivity – you can connect the printer to your WiFi; if you want, you can also use Bluetooth to connect. If you do not like this, you can use the traditional connection via SB cable, which comes with the product. 
  • Print speed – this printer is blazing fast; it can print 15 pages in one minute, but this is only for black and white. Colored pictures will take longer. For example, a standard photo will take 32 seconds to print. 

The printer offers two input trays for different paper sizes. It makes it easier for you to manage your work, as you do not have to replace the paper type all the time. The printer is compact, so it will fit on your desk with no issues. 

Things to Consider when Purchasing Printers for Making Art Prints – Buying Guide

The type of printer you should buy will depend on the amount and kind of printing that needs to be done.

Inkjet printers

Inkjet printers use a cartridge that puts ink on the paper. Inkjet printers are the most common ones in stores and can print on different paper types.

Modern models are fast and more versatile than laser printers, but their cartridges will not last as long.

Inkjet printers struggle to handle the heavy output of a laser printer, but you can achieve better color saturation and sharper images when printing on an inkjet.

Laser printer

A laser printer is a fast, efficient way to print. This type of printer doesn’t require any ink as it uses toner instead. However, that comes at the cost of being less flexible than some other options out there. It doesn’t produce color variation but has proven itself to be a suitable choice in monochromatic printing like bills or letters. Compared to an inkjet printer, a laser printer has much lower running costs. 

Multifunctional/all-in-one Printer 

Multifunctional printers are a great choice for graphic designers. It’s cheaper to buy one than two separate machines, so if you have projects that need faxing, scanning as well printing then this may be the perfect solution. 

Photo Printers

A photo printer is the best choice for printing art. They produce better quality than other types of printers, handle different types of paper, and can also handle wider prints.

Print Size

The size of an artwork that the printer can print will be determined by a Print Size. This is measured in inches, height x width.

If you need to produce anything bigger than standard 8.5” paper, then the inkjet printer is what will work best for your needs. Graphic designers often print on different sizes of media and this size range requires a larger printing area with higher resolution capabilities.

Some printers have a paper tray, which adjusts to various sizes. These include standard photo sizes of 4 x 6 inches and 5×7 inches on special photo paper.

Paper size and format

Make sure the printer you are considering can handle a range of paperweights. This will allow you to print on inexpensive drafting and test papers, then switch over to heavier stock for finished products so they have the desired thickness without any wrinkles or creases in them.

Budget and Price

Buying the right printer can be tricky, especially when you’re on a tight budget. Inkjet printers are cheaper in the short term but they may become costlier over time as they use up more ink. If it’s not too much trouble then we recommend going for laser instead if possible because their operating costs will be lower in the long run as they don’t wear down over time as an Inkjets would.

Resolution

When it comes to printing, the higher your resolution is, the better quality you’ll be able to get. To maintain high-quality images, make sure that you select a printer with at least 4800 dpi resolution for the best results.

Printhead and Ink

You can tell how good a printer is by how many cartridges it has. The more cartridges a printer has, the better it will be at making deep, vibrant, and smooth colors. The application of the ink also matters. Some inkjet printers have more precise nozzles, which can produce more detailed prints and is often preferred by graphic designers. 

Printing Speed

Don’t settle for slow printers! They might be affordable, but they’ll never be as fast or reliable when you need your designs to come out quickly. Get a printer with speeds of at least 30 seconds per color so that work doesn’t get delayed in the busy stages of life.

Connectivity

Some printers don’t have a wireless connection. But this is important to some people.

If you want, you can get a printer that has a wireless connection. Then you can use Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud on your printer with your mobile devices like iPhone and iPad to print your documents.

When you are picking the right printer for your art prints, choose one that has wireless connectivity. If you need to be wired too, find a printer with both.

Ink Type

  • Dye Ink

Dye Inks are a type of ink that is easier to dissolve in liquid. They tend to make brighter and more colorful prints than Pigment Inks. But Dye ink isn’t as good for durability. They can fade when they come in contact with water or direct sunlight.

  • Pigment Ink

Pigment inks are better for retaining color than dye inks. They’re also more durable and resistant to fading, which is perfect if you want vibrant art prints. Even Though pigment ink is durable, the color vibrancy can be uneven. You may need to print multiple times before you get the desired result, so make sure to keep this in mind.

Scanner

Scanning is a very important part of printing art. Artists need to scan their work and then print it onto paper for many different reasons. With all-in-one printers, the scanner is included in the printer. 

Scan resolution is the amount of detail that can be captured with a scanner. If the resolution isn’t high enough, then your scanned copies will not look like the original document after you print it.

The resolution of a scanner is measured by samples per inch (SPI) and dots per inch (DPI). A scanner should have at least 300 DPI for scanning artwork. But, if you want the best quality, go for 600 DPI and above.

The color depth of a scanner defines the number of colors that it can scan at one time. Higher color depths are better for accurately scanning artwork. Color depth is measured by the number of bits. The more bits, the more colors are available to use for each pixel.

You want to make sure that your scanner can show at least 8 bits of color because the human eye only sees 10 million colors. The 8-bit spectrum can show 16 million colors.

FAQ

Is laser or inkjet better for art prints?

Laser printers can print at a faster speed than inkjet printers. This is not that important if you only need to print a few pages, but if you are printing a lot, then there is a big difference. Laser toner cartridges are more expensive than inkjet cartridges, but they last longer and use less ink.

Is an inkjet or laser printer better for art prints?

The printer debate is one that has been going on for ages. Inkjet printers offer great quality when printing photos, but laser will give you prints with more longevity and toner consumption in the long run.  It’s up to you to decide if quality or longevity is more important to you.

Should art prints be glossy or matte?

A matte finish is the best choice for prints that will be hanging in glass because there’s no glare and colors may appear more vibrant. However, some images might have a grainy look or they won’t stand out as much against their background.

Should art prints be glossy?

Photographers like to use glossy and satin finishes for photos, but fine art prints are more likely to be a matte finish.

Is it better to scan or photograph artwork?

For simple artworks, you will get a better result from scanning than from taking a photo. The resolution is higher and the result is more evenly lit.

Can I print on glossy paper with a laser printer?

Laser printers can print on glossy coated paper. If you use the right type of paper that will let the toner stick to it for better results.

What is the disadvantage of a laser printer?

Laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers initially, but if you print a lot of pages, it will be cheaper in the long run. Their toner cartridges are expensive but they last longer compared to inkjet cartridges.

How much does a laser printer cost?

An entry-level black and white laser printer starts from $70 to $200 and is great for home use. You can also print up to about 1,000 pages per month which is more cost-effective than an inkjet printer.

How do you know if your printer is inkjet or laser?

If your printer contains many ink cartridges with yellow, blue, red, and black circles then it is an inkjet printer. On the other hand, if it has one long cartridge then it is a laser printer.

Are laser printers cheaper to run than an inkjet?

Laser printers are more expensive to buy than inkjet printers. Laser printers use toner cartridges that are more expensive upfront but they help you lower your cost per page in the long run because they print faster.

Which is better inkjet or ink tank?

Ink tank printers have a tank of ink. Ink tanks hold more ink compared to cartridges. They usually last longer and are cheaper for people who print a lot.

Are inkjet printers bad for your health?

Inkjet printers use ink cartridges. They have a liquid in them that is mostly not toxic to humans if exposed.

Summary: 5 Best Printers for Making Art Prints

Choose a printer that meets your printing demands. My advice is not to skimp on money. Sure, there are expensive printers out there, but you have to consider the return on your investment.

Despite being costly, they can provide you with high-quality printouts. What this means is that you can charge more. 

Before you buy, you have to identify what you need. If you are making art prints as big as A4, then you should get A3, then you should certainly get a printer that can accommodate this.

But if you are only making small stickers, then you may want a portable printer with you.