So you are looking for a printer that can turn your artwork and amazing photos into life. But you are overwhelmed.
There are many printers out there today, and picking the right printer as an artist is very hard these days, thanks to the vast amount of printers out there.
Every Price point has at least 20 printers available for sale, and all of them have different strengths and weaknesses.
I was wondering about finding the best printers possible for artists, art paper, and art prints.
So I put together this review after completing hours of research, and reading many blog question and answer discussions, and reading all blogs and articles I could get my hands on.
In the end, I came up with this Round-up.
I tried making everything easy to read and understand while keeping everything neat and simple.
I Also made a full video about it if you prefer that!
Prefer watching a Video? Click below!
What to look for when buying a printer for art prints?
Okay so firstly, the most important part of buying a printer is going to be is researching what sizes of paper, and art paper you intend to print on.
Printers come in different sizes and formats making it a necessity to know what sizes you will need to print on, because, the worst thing you can do is buy a printer only to find out later that it doesn't work well for your needs.
If you are interested in printing on canvas, here is a fully detailed blog about the best printers for canvas.
What sizes are your Art Prints?
There are many different sizes and finding the right size is very important to make sure you can do everything you need with it.
I suggest you get a tape measure and find yourself a rough estimate of what sizes you are willing to print on.
Don't forget to keep in mind, that for printing bigger sizes, you will need a bigger printer! Printers can be very big sometimes, so make sure you have space for it in your house.
There is also no point in splashing your money on a printer that can print very large images if you are only willing to print small prints like A4.
How often are you going to be Printing your art?
If you are a home user there are plenty of choices to print your artwork and amazing photos at cheap prices.
If you plan on doing Intense printing, and maybe want to sell your art prints, you should look into a high-end printer.
Printers on the higher-end will produce faster prints, and at a much higher picture quality than the cheaper ones.
Usually, they have bigger ink cartridges too, meaning you won't have to be refilling them so often. You can usually get a better deal on ink when bought in bigger amounts. ( Meaning you save money in the long run)
higher-end printers are usually more easily user refillable. So you could refill them without having to buy new ink cartridges for every refill.
However, if you will only be printing once or twice a month, and don't care too much about supreme quality, then you should be fine with a cheaper option.
What is your Art Printing budget?
Don't understand me wrong. Owning a high-end printer is definitely going to give you amazing results, but don't shy away from the cheaper printers. These days even inexpensive printers will give you amazing picture quality and results.
It all depends on how often you are planning to print with it. If you will only be printing a few times a month you will definitely get away with a cheaper printer
But you get what you pay for. The higher-end printers are definitely going to give you better results, and will usually have better customer support.
To calculate Ink-Price Ink cartridge size (ml)/ price = How much ink you get per dollar or whatever currency you are using.( The higher the number the better)
What types of Ink are Best for Printing artwork?
Dye-Based inks are usually absorbed into the paper, while Pigment-based inks stay on the surface. When dye-based Inks are absorbed into art-papers it gives them a washed-out look sometimes.
You will run across two Ink-types when looking for a printer. The most common are Pigment-based Inks and Dye-based inks.
Dye-based ink printers are usually cheaper. They give amazing color quality, but they aren't suitable for all art-paper types.
When printing on materials with rough surfaces or media that isn't very fine, it is recommended to stick with pigment inks, as they will give better results.
Pigment-based inks usually last longer on art prints and have better longevity without any color fading and other problems.
But if you will be getting a dye-based Ink printer, don't worry you can always spray the paintings with an anti-fade spray that will keep everything looking new.
When printing on Canvas, or Giclee I will almost always recommend that you go for Pigment-based inks.
Pigment-based inks have a longer lifespan and can last anywhere from 100 to 200 years without having much fading.
So. If you don't care too much about the lifespan of your photos, and want to get the best bang for your buck, Dye-based Inks will still work.
However, it's recommended to go for pigment-based inks if you can.
But better Ink-quality doesn't come without its cost. Pigment-based inks are usually a little more expensive than dye-based inks, and the ink is usually thicker, meaning it could clog the printer heads if you don't properly clean it.
Are Laser printers good for art?
Laser printers are amazing options for printing text, and for achieving very high printing speeds.
However, they are not recommended for printing artwork, as their quality won't be as good as ink, and will look a little faded away compared to pigment-based inks. They usually lack the color depth that you are looking for.
Art paper thickness
If you are printing on thick prints or paper, then you are probably gonna need to go for one of the higher-end and bigger printers, as they usually yield better results.
Not all paper-types will work with all printers, so if you have something particular in mind, I suggest you do a quick google search ("insert printer name" for "paper-type")
You will usually find people who have tried printing on the paper-type you need, and they will tell you if they have succeeded with it or not.
Are Black colors important to your graphical prints?
If you are going to be printing art prints with lots of blacks, or maybe black and white prints you are going to need a higher-end printer that has more multiple black Ink-cartridges.
Lower-end printers don't usually have good blacks, they usually look a little faded, and won't give you the black colors correctly.
The higher-end printers will come with 3 different black colors, to make sure you get very high-quality blacks.
Think about how you would like to print your media, and from what device you would want to do so. Consider whether you would want to print using USB, Wi-Fi, or an Ethernet cable.
You would normally expect the printer resolution to have a big effect on the quality of the prints, however, it is not the case.
Most art-prints are made to be viewed from a distance, and from a distance having a little more resolution will barely even matter.
You probably wouldn't even notice a difference in resolution If two Print-outs were hung on a wall with different resolutions. However, if you are printing stuff that is intended to be looked at from a very close distance, then the resolution may become more important for you.
Printer Maintenence Tips
Always Make sure to Drain your nozzles and keep them clean to prevent them from clogging up, and to maintain the printer long term. That will Also make sure you don’t run into any future problems.
Make sure to Turn off the printer if you decide to Open it, preventing you from damaging the printer, and keeping you safe.
At the end of the day, your printer is a machine, and machines need cleaning to maintain performance. Build ups of dust, ink and other debris inside your printer can cause jams, ink streaks and general poor performance.
Now that I have cleared the basics, il start with the printers.
Here is a summary of the Best 5 printers for art prints and artists
- Canon PIXMA PRO-10
- Epson Expression ET-7750 EcoTank Printer
- Canon IP8720 Inkjet
- Epson SureColor P800 Inkjet Printer
- Canon PIXMA Pro 1000
What are the Best printers for artists?
1.CANON PIXMA PRO-10
The Middle range King
Prints sizes up to 13x 19 Inches
If you are looking for superb dedicated professional-looking photo prints then this is exactly what you need.
Selling Art-prints with this printer will be a great option for you due to the very high-quality printing capabilities. You could definitely sell expensive art prints using this printer if that's what you are trying to do.
What separates this printer from the rest is that Printers usually have problems where the final print looks nothing like it did on screen. Canon came up with an amazing solution to that problem on this printer.
This printer comes with a very cool feature called Canon Optimum Image utility. It shows you exactly what the print is going to look like after you complete it, meaning you won't be surprised and will know exactly what you are printing.
The 4800 DPI resolution of this printer definitely comes in handy when you are printing gallery-quality images and will always perform.
Printing on thicker papers isn't a problem with this printer, and many people have successfully used it for printing on canvas with, but make sure to do a quick google search to see if people used it to print on the art-paper you need.
Brings your colors to life thanks to the fact It uses 10 Ink colors, Including several different photo grays and an optimizer program.
Printing from your phone hasn't been easier thanks to the Wi-Fi capabilities of the printer that can print on demand through your phone with ease.
Canon's Pigment inks can be a little expensive, so make sure to look into refilling the cartridges yourself, using compliant refill inks. However, Canon's ink quality is amazing and they promise shelf life up to 100+ years.
Print speed is not bad, it will create borderless prints up to 13" x 19" at around 5 minutes.
Printing blacks is where this printer excels most. Black and white prints are very deep, rich, and clean. So if you are into B&W Art Prints this will probably be the best option you can go for.
A top of the class machine with exceptional quality.
The only printer I would recommend over this printer is it's bigger brother, the Pixma PRO-1 (Amazon link) you should definitely check it out.
2. Epson Expression ET-7750
Printer with most efficient Ink
Prints up to 11" x 17"
First of all, if you are anything like me, and you hate dealing with Ink cartridges and don't want to be replacing Inks all the time, then you will love this printer.
It also comes with enough Ink to last 14.000 Black prints and 9.000 colored prints! How amazing is that!?
This printer is definitely the best option for saving money on Ink refilling and replacements, as its easily refillable with Epsons bottle, and you probably won't even have to think about it for a year or more.
Epson's Ink bottles are designed in a way you can't connect them to the wrong spot and there is no way that they spill. They only open up when they are connected to the proper spot, meaning you will have no messy troubles at all.
Okay enough with the never-ending Ink. Let's talk about the color Quality
The Quality of the prints are out of this world. They are very stunning, and they even have deep saturated blacks. I don't know how they got their colors looking so amazing with 5 color Inks.
All the people who bought this printer were extremely happy about it, even though they were skeptical at first.
If convenience matters, and you want Issue free continuous printing, then this is definitely a good option for you.
Epson even Promise you for their Genuine-quality Inks.
Becareful! If you buy this printer, Always refill it with Epson's Ink's don't try using other Inks or you may risk damaging the printer.
3.Canon IP8720 Inkjet - Budget Art Prints
Best budget printer
Prints Artwork up to 13" x 19"
Resolution 9600 x 2400 DPI
If you want an Entry-level printer for printing all your artwork, this will definitely do the job.
Canon tops the budget-friendly list, with this amazing feature packed printer. At an amazing price, you can expect print shop results from this printer, and the fact you are paying less doesn't mean you get any less quality.
The 9600 x 2400 DPI Is really good for such a low price and helps the printer deliver extremely accurate prints.
The 6 Colors Ink system includes a gray Ink, which makes B&W prints or monochrome prints much better if that's something you like doing.
You can print many sizes and even up to 13 x 19 Inches, so it should cover most of your projects. The printer is pretty flexible too and can handle many types of media, but not as flexible as the higher end ones.
Connectivity options are amazing on this printer. You can print using AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and the Canon Print which all print wirelessly.
It works very well in a home setting as its not extremely big or massive as other printers, and it doesn't weigh too much. Its dimensions are 23.3 x 13.1 x 6.3 Inches and it only weighs 18 lbs.
You don't get the media flexibility that you would expect when you buy the higher-end printers, But you still get yourself a fair deal for the price you are paying. If you are willing on printing on many types of media, with varying thicknesses I would recommend you stick with the higher-end printers.
This is a printer no one regrets. Some even claim they like it more than the more expensive high-end printer options!
If your budget isn't too high and just want to print stuff then Definitely go for this printer without hesitation. It is a well-known beast of a machine.
4.Canon Pixma Pro-1000
High-end Printer King
Prints up to 17 x 22 Inches
The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is an outstanding high-end printer. It uses pigment inks and produces some of the most impressive photos you will see in your life.
Replaceable Print-Heads make this printer better than most other options. Because if your print-head goes down and it's not replaceable, then you are doomed. However, Canon addressed that problem so you don't have to worry about your new printer getting ruined any time soon.
The 12 Color inks include; Photo Magenta, Red, Cyan, Photo Grey, Matte Black, Photo Black, Blue, Grey, Yellow, Magenta, Photo cyan, and Chroma Optimizer. Each tank contains 80mls of Ink.
It is designed for professionals and is intended for printing the best photos possible. The Canon Pro 1000 even earned PCMAG's Editor choice award for professional photo printers.
The canonPIGMAF PRO-1000 packs Beastly weight of 70 lbs, but as long as you aren't carrying it around all the time, that shouldn't be a problem.
Connectivity options include Ethernet, USB, and Wi-fi. You could also print through your smartphone, but unless your smartphone has your professional photos ready on it, it doesn't really matter that much.
As an artist willing to sell Gallery-Quality photos for high prices, this is going to be a treat and will give your art prints the professional look they need. It will unleash all the details in your Graphical design.
And if you are printing on canvas, fine art paper, Giclee, rough papers, or glossy papers then don't worry. This beast is one of the most versatile Media printers out there.
However, make sure to know that it doesn't have a roller media option. If you want to use roller based art paper you will probably want to go for the Epson P800
This printer will also give you the best Monochrome Art prints on this list. It excels in printing Black and white Artwork, and art prints.
5.Epson SureColor P800 Inkjet Printer
High-end Beast printer
Prints up to 17" x 22"
2,880 by 1,440dpi
If you don't like canon for any reason this is a good alternative to the Canon Pixma Pro-1000.
Where this printer excels is with its Roll media printing capabilities. It excels above the other printers on this list on roll media printing. So if that is something you will likely be doing, this one is for you.
The Epson supports printing on paper rolls that are up to 10 feet long. Something that neither the Canon Pro-1000 nor the Epson 3880 Offers.
It is a pretty big and heavy printer. It measures 9.9 x 27 x 14.8 inches and weighs 43 pounds. And be aware that when using the Roll media adapter or input tray the Front-to-back size becomes longer; measuring 30.3 inches with the paper roll, and with the input, tray extended it goes up to 37.9 inches.
The print speeds are very similar to the Pro-1000's Taking around 3:51 minutes to print out a borderless 8-by-10-inch glossy colored photo. It also prints 17-by-22-inch borderless photos in 12:30
The sure color P800 uses nine colors(Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, Light light black, Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow).
Given the fact it comes with several shades of black means, any Blacks in your Art-Prints will come out exceptionally accurate and amazing.
The Inks of the P800 cost around 70 Cents per milliliter. The ink tanks hold 80ml which is a good amount and means you won't have to be swapping inks all the time. The P800's 80Ml UltraChrome HD ink tanks cost about 55$ each.
This printer and the Canon Pixma Pro 100 aren't for everybody. However, for business owners and hobbyists they will definitely prove their value. If you are into selling your artwork they are amazing options.
Or if you just want to get the most Lively Print that you deserve after knocking in hours and hours of graphical design work, then these two will definitely make you happy.
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