My choice of the best printers for graphic designer

As a graphic designer with over 15 years in experience, I understand that my need for a good printer is different from a casual user. When I first started out, there wasn’t an article like the best printers for graphic designer. Instead, I need to learn through trial and error. After these 10 over years, I now look for specific things like

  • accurate color reproduction
  • will not deteriorate in quality if I don’t touch it for a while
  • able to print larger than A4 sizes

If you are a graphic designer looking for such a printer, below are what I think are the best inkjet printer for the money based on my own experiences of using different models, both at home and in my offices.  If you need other product recommendations specifically for a graphic designers, check out my reviews of the best tablet for graphic design as well as the best monitor for graphic designer.

Note: Both models I recommend below are inkjet printers because I feel they are better for graphic designers. While there are good laser jet printers as well, the color reproduction just isn’t as good.

 

Epson Surecolor P600 review – Best printers for graphic designer

 

Epson p600 review

For accurate color reproduction, nothing beats Epson P600 or other Epson models from my experience especially in this particular price range of below $800. For poster work, the accuracy is stunning and looks exactly like how an actual piece will look like when printed in a factory. I compare other models to Epson’s color reproduction and can see the difference easily.

The ink quality is also pretty good. I have left the printer alone for as long as 8-9 months but the result still looks as good when I eventually used it again. The ink wouldn’t dry run and looks as vibrant as the first day that I opened the cartridge.

However, the best thing I like about this printer over others is its incredible wide format printing. See the image below and you will understand how I love this feature

Epson p600 2 review

Sometimes, I work with these kind of wide format graphic design and being to print it out easily on my printer saves me lots of productivity time.

One thing to note though is that the size of this printer is BIG so you need some space to place it. If you are working in a small space, you might want to consider other more compact printers like the model I am recommending below.

Setting up the Epson P600 was easy. Connecting it via wireless is also pretty fast as my computer was able to detect it within seconds of booting up.

Overall, I am pretty confident to recommend this printer to all graphic designers if you have the budget for it. Its colors are accurate and using it is a breeze.

 

Budget printer for graphic design

 

canon ix6820 review 2

 

If you are on a tight budget like I was when I was just starting out in my career, then I recommend the Cannon ix6820. When I was using it, the model number was ix6520 but the ix6820 is the successor to this line of products.

The biggest addition for the ix6820 was the Airplay, which allows you to easily do wireless printing. The rest of the features were continuations from the ix6520, which is a good thing since they are pretty good.

Design of the printer remains compact so it is definitely a good printer for small offices or tables. Color reproduction on this is pretty high although it is still below what an Epson P600 can produce. This is because of the limited color cartridges used when compared with other better color printers.

There are however 2 main pain points that I need to point out.

One is the wireless set up. It is not as smooth as the Epson so prepare to spend some time on the configuration. Warning: you might feel frustrated if you don’t get it right the first time but try a few times and you should be able to set it up eventually.

Another nitpick is the need to change paper size. This is due to its compact size design so it can’t hold all the different paper size at once. If your job requires you to print on different sizes, then this can be a rather cumbersome thing.

 

Other things to note

When buying printers for graphic design usage, there are a couple of things to note. I already mentioned a number above such as accurate color reproduction, paper sizing etc. Below are a few more that I think should be highlighted:

  • Individual ink tanks: Having individual ink tanks allow you to easily replace the particular color that has run out, rather than needing to buy the whole cartridge which can be expensive. Both models I recommend above use individual ink tanks so they satisfy this criteria. Another advantage of individual cartridge is that they are less likely to clog. A printer head that uses 3 in 1, for example, tend to have more clogging problems which can be a major headache.
  • Cartridge replacement cost: The real cost in a printer is always the cartridge replacement cost. If you buy printers with individual ink tanks, it will already save you money since they are cheaper than buying the whole cartridge.
  • Size of paper: I have briefly mentioned this but do consider the kind of paper size you will be working with. Some of the cheaper printers do not handle certain sizes so do check this out thoroughly before making the purchase. In this aspect, the Epson Surefire P600 is a good choice as it can handle almost every kind of paper sizing available.

 

Conclusion

For graphic designer, the color accuracy is the most important as you want to see exactly how your design will look like when being printed out. For this, nothing beats an Epson. Of course, there are other factors mentioned above but color representation is key.

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