Digital Photography Review

best printer for art prints | Topdeblogs

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Despite the rise of digital media, the demand for physical copies of art prints is very strong, and shows no signs of diminishing any time soon.

For artists who occasionally or frequently require a printer for their artwork, either for sale or for display, finding the right high-quality printer may be difficult given the options that flood the market today.

To help you reduce the amount of time and money you spend on your search, and avoid outsourcing the job to your local print shop, we conducted a full round of research of different printer types and brands as well as their features to give you a comprehensive list of the best printers for art prints.

We’ve spent over 30 hours in researching, writing, editing and designing this article. Much of this time went into finding the best selection criteria for art printers, and scouring the market for the best products available today.

For each recommended printer, we gave a grade of 1-10 on each selection criteria (with 10 being the best).

We also made sure to provide scenario-based recommendations for the printers. For example, you’ll find the best budget printer, the best printer without a built-in scanner, and even the best printer overall. These case-specific recommendations will help you decide even more precisely.

Enjoy!

How To Choose the Best Printer for Art and Artists

For an optimal decision-making process, we’ve concluded that the following selection criteria are the best when it comes to picking fine art printers.

Ink Type

Ink Type is used to define what kind of Ink goes into the printer while printing your art. Usually, you’ll find up to 8 types of colors. But the most common ones are Dye and Pigment colors. We’ll discuss both of them in brief so you can know which color to expect in your printers

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing printers that are compatible with either Dye or Pigment printers. And in some cases, compatible with both.

Dye Ink Type

Dye Inks use color substances that are easier to dissolve in liquid. Dye inks tend to provide more vibrant and colorful prints than Pigment inks.

One area where the dye ink isn’t good is durability. While it looks great, it can fade when it comes in contact with water or direct sunlight.

Pigment Ink Type

Though dye inks display color and vibrancy better, pigment ink is better at holding the color over time. Pigment inks use small color particles instead of the color substances used by dye inks.

Pigments have excellent UV resistance and superior durability compared to dye inks.

On the downside, even though they are durable, they are not great with color consistency. The vibrancy and color generation might be un-even and you may need to print more than once to get the desired result.

Scanner

Scanners are a vital part of printing art as an artist might already have arts that they need to scan and reprint for various purposes. All-in-one printers have scanners built in, but you will want to make sure that certain aspects (i.e. Resolution & Color depth) are up to the mark.

We’ll now discuss these aspects and what are the recommended ranges for them.

Scanner Resolution

Scan resolution means the amount of detail that can be captured with the scanner. Scanner Resolution is quite a vital criterion as lower resolution means your scanned copies won’t look like the original after printing.

Scanner resolution is measured by samples per inch (SPI) but people also use DPI (Dots Per Inch) to measure resolution. Ideally, 300 DPI resolution is considered standard for scanning artwork. But usually, we recommend going above printers that have 600 DPI as the more resolution a printer can scan in, the better.

In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at printers that have a resolution from 1200 DPI to 9600 DPI (Interpolated).

Scanner Color Depth

Color Depth defines the amount of color a scanner can gather while scanning a certain artwork. Higher color Depths are better in this case as the more color depth the scanner can pick up, the more accurate the scanned artwork will turn out to be.

Color Depth is measured by bits. The number of bits indicates the amount of color available per pixel. Ideally, you’d want at least 8bit scanning capability both internally and externally. This is because the human eyes can only catch 10 million colors whereas the 8-bit spectrum holds over a 16 million colors.

In today’s article, all of the printers have at least 24DPI color depth. Some even have 48-bit color depth (Internal)

Print Quality means the quality of the printout. Ideally, the print quality of an artwork depends on two things, Resolution and Cartridge count. While they are easy to understand, we’ll give an in-depth rundown of what these criteria are and how they fare in terms of picking a printer.

Cartridge Count

Cartridge count indicates the number of cartridges a printer can Use. Ideally, you’d want a quad cartridge setup as they provide more color options, but if you’re on a budget then a Dual cartridge setup would work well too

Generally, the number of cartridges can affect art printing greatly. Because the more cartridges you have the better and color accurate your printing will be. Generally, printers would have either CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black) or RGB (Red, Green & Blue).

In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at printers that have cartridge count setups from 2 to 5. Ideally, a Quad cartridge setup is recommended, but a dual cartridge setup works just fine too.

Resolution

Print resolution means the number of ink dots that can be put within an inch of paper. For example, if a printer has 600 DPI print resolution, this means that the printer will output 600 dots of ink for reach inch of printer paper.

Print resolution is measured using DPI (Dots Per Inch). And While most people recommend 300 DPI as an ideal resolution for printing, we recommend going for printers that have at least 600 DPI resolution (or better) to ensure detail in your artwork. In fact, our recommended printers have at least 5760 x 1440 DPI.

Print Size refers to the size of an artwork that the printer can print. Print sizes are measured in Height x Width format, and usually in inches (for USA based products).

For example, if we say a printer can print a minimum of 8.3 x 11.7 inches, it means it can print 8.3 inches high and 11.7 inches wide.

As art prints are reproductions, it is hard to picture an ideal printing size, as it really depends on what size your artwork is.

However, 16×24, and 24×36 are considered maximum printing sizes around the US, so you probably won’t get much larger than that unless you opt for an industrial size printer (which is outside of the scope of this guide).

In today’s article, we will be taking a look at printers that can print sizes from 8.5” x 14” to 13” x 19”.

Price

The pricing is surely a vital factor for most people and based on the current market we can divide the printers into three categories.

  1. Low price (Less than $150)
  2. Medium Price ($150-$250)
  3. High Price ($250 and up)

#1. Best Printer Overall – HP ENVY Photo 7855

HP ENVY Photo 7855

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Both Pigment and Dye (1 Pigment and 1 Dye)
    • Our score – 8.5/10
  • Cartridge Count – 2 cartridges
    • Our score – 8.5/10
  • Print Resolution – 4800 x 1200 dpi (Max)
    • Our score – 9.5/10
  • Max Print Size – Up to 8.5 x 14″
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Scanner resolution – 1200 DPI
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Color Depth – 24bit
    • Our score – 9/10

About the HP ENVY Photo 7855

Overall, the best printer for printing artworks is the HP Envy Photo 7855. All of the selection criteria of this printer meet at least the minimum requirement, with a cost of just $229.

The HP Envy 7855 offers both dye and pigment inks so the artists can experiment using printing both types of colors. You can also swap out either dye or pigment color to make it Dye-only or Pigment Only setup. Both cartridge count and max print size meet the minimum requirements.

The color depth and print resolution of this printer on the other hand is exceptional. With 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution and 24-bit color depth, you won’t have to worry about the accuracy and quality of the printed artworks.

Pros

  • Very affordable price.
  • Exceptional color depth ensures most color-accurate printouts.
  • Supports both dye and pigment Ink cartridges.
  • Fast printing speeds.

Cons

  • A dual cartridge setup instead of a quad setup means there will be less color to work with.

#2. Best Printer without built-in Scanner – Canon PIXMA iP8720

Canon PIXMA iP8720

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Both Pigment and Dye (5 Pigment and 1 Dye)
    • Our score – 9.5/10
  • Cartridge Count – 6 cartridges
    • Our score – 9.5/10
  • Print Resolution – 9600 x 2400 dpi (Max)
    • Our score – 10/10
  • Max Print Size – Up to 13 x 19″
    • Our score – 9.5/10
  • Scanner resolution – N/A
  • Color Depth – N/A

About the Canon PIXMA iP8720

If you have a separate scanner at home than it’s not necessary to pay up for an all-in-one printer/scanner. The Canon Pixma iP8720 goes above and beyond the printer side of requirements, without coming in at a very high price point.

The Canon Pixma IP 8720 is priced around $270. Which falls within the medium price range. The max print size of this printer is far superior to the other ones on this list, as it’s able to print up to 13″ x 19″.

The ink cartridge count also surpasses the recommended range as it comes with a 6 cartridge setup instead of the usual quad cartridge setup. A quirky thing about this printer is that it can print borderless Up to 13 x 19″, which makes it especially useful for artwork.

Pros

  • Biggest print resolution among printers on this list.
  • Biggest print size among printers on this list.
  • Comes at an affordable price.

Cons

  • No scanner

#3. Best Cost-Effective Printer for Artwork – Epson EcoTank ET-2760

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Dye
    • Our score – 8/10
  • Cartridge Count – 4 cartridges
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Print Resolution – 5760 x 1440 dpi (Max)
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Max Print Size – Up to 8.5 x 11.7″
    • Our score – 8.5/10
  • Scanner resolution – 2400 dpi (Optical), 9600 dpi (Interpolated)
    • Our score – 9.5/10
  • Color Depth – 48-Bit (Internal), 24-Bit (External)
    • Our score – 9.5

About the Epson EcoTank ET-2760

If you can pay slightly more upfront and save money for the next couple of years then the best option for you would be the Epson EcoTank ET-2760. Depending on the package you choose you could have 2 years worth of ink included in the purchase price.

While this printer is missing pigment inks, It offers better scan resolution and color depth than other printers on this list. With up to 48-bit internal color depth and the quad-color cartridge setup, you can expect your printouts to be 100% color accurate.

The max print size of this printer meets the minimum required printing size. The scanner can also print the same max size as the printer at 8.5 x 11.7″. And the best thing about it is all of these come together at just $300.

Pros

  • You can choose up to 2 years’ worth of ink with the printer.
  • Massive color depth allows more shades to be displayed on the printouts.
  • High print resolution ensures vibrant and accurate art print.
  • Diverse connectivity options

Cons

  • Slightly expensive.
  • Cannot use pigment inks.

#4. Best Pigment-only Printer for Artwork- HP OfficeJet Pro 8025

HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e Wireless Color All-in-One Printer

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Pigment
    • Our score – 8/10
  • Cartridge Count – 4 cartridges
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Print Resolution – 5760 x 1440 dpi (Max)
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Max Print Size – Up to 8.5 x 47.2″
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Scanner resolution – 1200 DPI
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Color Depth – 24bit
    • Our score – 9/10

About HP OfficeJet Pro 8025

The previous printer was a dye-color only printer, while this one, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8025, is a pigment color only printer.

It is priced at just $170 which is very affordable. It also has the recommended quad cartridge setup (CMYK). The color depth and scanner resolution also meet the recommended range for printing artworks.

One thing that I want to point out here is that if you enroll into the HP Ink program, you can get 6 months’ worth of ink for free but subscribing to HP+ might be more expensive in the long run than buying 3rd party cartridges.

Pros

  • Up to 6 months of free ink through HP+.
  • Meets the recommended range for printing artwork in all the selection criteria.
  • Great for printing landscapes due to large width printing capability.

Cons

  • The price of genuine ink is costlier than 3rd party ink.

#5. Best Budget Printer for Artwork – Epson Expression Premium XP-6100

Epson Expression Premium XP-6100

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Pigment and Dye
    • Our score – 8/10
  • Cartridge Count – 4 cartridges
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Print Resolution – 5760 x 1440 dpi (Max)
    • Our score – 9/10
  • Max Print Size- Up to 8.5 x 11.7″
    • Our score – 8.5/10
  • Scanner resolution- 2400 dpi (Optical), 9600 dpi (Interpolated)
    • Our score – 9.5/10
  • Color Depth- 48-Bit (Internal), 24-Bit (External)
    • Our score – 9.5/10

About Epson Expression Premium XP-6100

For the final recommendation, we’ve got a budget-friendly option. The Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 has great resolution, color depth, and other recommended selection criteria. It’s also at an affordable price of around $150.

You can use both dye and pigment inks on this printer, and for such a low-budget printer, that is a big win. The resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi is great particularly for printing portraits as the height portion of the resolution is above and beyond the standard.

Though it’s a relatively lower-priced printer, the color depth is quite big at a 24-bit spectrum. And as 8-bit color depth is recommended, 24 bit takes the capability of this printer over the fence. Moreover, it also features support for mobile printing.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly price of just $150.
  • Massive color depth and printing resolution.
  • Quad cartridge setup ensures color diversity.

Cons

  • Has overheating issues.

Conclusion

We have reached the end of our guide of the best printer for art and artists. In today’s article, we discussed various key factors for selecting an art printer and recommended the best printers for the various scenarios and specifications.

As a side note, if you are look to have your prints on canvas, metal or other mediums, you can consider look at our list of the best canvas print companies or best metal print companies.

We hope that you found the list above to be helpful as you try to decide on which printer you should choose.

Sources

  • https://learn.corel.com/tips/digital-art/printing-artwork-image-size-resolution/#:~:text=For%20most%20artwork%2C%20300%20dpi,the%20prints%20from%20a%20distance.
  • https://www.framedestination.com/blog/picture-frames/guide-to-frame-and-mat-dimensions-for-common-print-sizes
  • https://blog.adobe.com/en/publish/2018/04/09/printers-cheat-sheet-print-art.html#gs.2xl8lx
  • https://www.art-mine.com/collectorscorner/all-about-fine-art-prints/
  • https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-electronics-best-printer-for-art-prints-20210519-464wpjhk7rbe5gpvhiyhbwivl4-story.html
  • https://dtm-print.eu/en/pages/dye-versus-pigment.html#:~:text=Dye%20ink%20uses%20colour%20substances,as%20sand%20mixed%20in%20water.&text=Both%20the%20vibrancy%20and%20colour%20reproduction%20look%20very%20similar

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