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Best Printer For Graphic Design
If you’re a graphic designer, whether professionally or not, one thing you can’t do without is an excellent printer.
There’s nothing worse than spending hours creating graphic design content only to realize that your printer doesn’t do your work justice.
That’s why, before you print out your next graphic design project, we definitely recommend investing in a printer that ranks highly in terms of speed, resolution, and functionality.
If you’re not sure where to start looking for the best printers for graphic design, you’ve come to the right place.
We have 5 of the best graphic design printers on the office supply market to review for you today, along with a buyer’s guide of everything you need to know before you make your decision!
Table Of Contents:
The Best Printers for Graphic Design
- Canon IP8720 Wireless Printer
- Brother Business Color Laser Printer
- HP Envy 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
- Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer
- Lexmark C3326dw Color Laser Printer
Choosing The Best Printer For Graphic Design: A Buyer’s Guide
Canon IP8720 Wireless Printer
The number one printer we would recommend to all graphic designers is the Canon IP8720 Wireless Printer.
This is a high-resolution inkjet printer with a DPI (dots per inch) rating of 9600 x 2400. These numbers represent a high dot density, meaning that any graphics you print using the Canon IP8720 will be sharp and clear.
In addition to the impressive resolution, the Canon IP8720 features a 6-color ink system consisting of 6 individual ink compartments.
Where most printers work using a 4-color system, this model features a large black cartridge and a dedicated gray cartridge in addition to the usual black, magenta, cyan, and yellow.
This increases the range and accuracy of the Canon IP8720’s color printing.
You might think that the intense resolution of the Canon IP8720 would slow down the printing process. However, that’s not the case at all. This printer can produce up to 10.4 color images every minute!
Additionally, the Canon IP8720 doesn’t restrict you to A4 printing. You can print images and graphics up to 19 x 13 inches, which is larger than A3.
Finally, the wireless connectivity of this Canon printer ensures that you can connect multiple devices, including phones and tablets.
However, the drawback to this feature is that the instructions for setup are somewhat lacking, especially for people who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
- 6-color system – Broad and accurate color spectrum
- 9600 x 2400 DPI – High resolution
- 10.4 color images per minute – Fast and efficient
- Up to 19 x 13-inch prints – Larger than A3
- Wireless – Easy connectivity
- Insufficient setup instruction – Wireless setup can be confusing
Brother Business Color Laser Printer
As an alternative to our best overall pick, we’d recommend the Brother Business Color Laser Printer.
Unlike our top pick, the Brother Business Color Laser Printer operates using a Laser printing system. Compared to Inkjet printing, Laser printing is typically faster and more cost-effective.
The Brother Business Color Laser Printer compensates for its elevated retail price with low running costs and a printing speed of 33 pages per minute.
Moreover, the resolution of this printer, while not as high as that of the Canon IP8720, is still impressive, at 2400 x 600 DPI. The high DPI rating makes for crisp, professional-quality graphics.
The Brother Business Color Laser Printer runs on 4 separate ink cartridges at a time. Your first set of cartridges are included with the purchase of the printer, and since they work on an individual basis, they can be replaced one by one and won’t clog easily.
The only issue with the ink cartridge system is that the toner cartridge has a shorter lifespan than the others, so you’ll probably need to replace it quite frequently.
Something we particularly like about this Brother printer is its automatic duplex function, which automatically prints double-sided.
Not only will this save you time and money in the long term, but it’s also the most environmentally friendly option.
Additionally, the Brother Business Color Laser Printer allows for multiple methods of connectivity, including wireless, ethernet, and USB connections.
This provides a lot of flexibility and versatility in terms of how, where, and when you print your work.
- Laser printing – Fast and low-cost
- 2400 x 600 DPI – Very good resolution
- Cartridges included – No extra purchases necessary
- Automatic duplex function – Efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly
- Wireless, gigabit, and USB connectivity – Versatile
- Toner cartridge runs out quickly – Requires frequent replacement
HP Envy 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to break the bank for the sake of high-quality graphic design prints. The HP Envy 5055 printer is both highly functional and budget-friendly.
With a resolution rating of 1200 x 1200 DPI, the HP Envy 5055 printer will deliver clear and defined prints that you can be proud of.
Unlike the other printers we’ve reviewed in today’s article, the HP Envy 5055 uses one black cartridge and a tricolor cartridge.
The printer’s use of tricolor ink cartridges is the main downside of the model since tricolor cartridges are more likely to suffer from recurring clogging.
However, the upside of the HP Envy’s ink system is the fact that the purchase of this printer entitles you to 2 months of ink delivered to your home, free of charge.
The HP Envy 5055 printer is easy and intuitive to work with, thanks to its touchscreen interface, which is quick and simple to navigate.
In addition to this, the connectivity of the HP Envy is very impressive. Between the Bluetooth and Wifi device connectivity, you’ll always benefit from an easy, wireless connection.
Plus, the printer is able to connect to the HP Smart app, which allows you to control and monitor the progress of your printing tasks remotely.
- 1200 x 1200 DPI – Enhanced resolution
- Touchscreen interface – Intuitive
- Includes 2 months of free ink – Cost-effective
- Connects to HP Smart app – Allows for remote control
- Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity – Flexible device communication
- Uses tricolor cartridges – May be more prone to clogging
Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer
If you’re willing to pay extra for a top-of-the-range graphic design printer, the Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer would be our recommendation.
The Canon Pixma Pro-100 has the highest resolution of any printer in our top 5. It has a DPI of 2400 x 4800, which is enough to ensure consistently stunning and detailed graphics.
In addition to the high resolution, the Canon Pixma printer features 8 individual dye-based ink colors for maximum color accuracy.
The color range supported by this printer ensures that your chosen colors will be optimally reflected in the printed result.
You can print in any size up to 13 x 19 inches (surpassing A3 prints) using this printer, so whether you’re designing business cards or posters, the Canon Pixma has your back.
The connectivity of this printer is also ideal for consistent, professional use. It features built-in wifi, so you never need to be restricted by the range of your router.
Plus, the Canon Pixma Pro-100 comes with Print Studio Pro Plug-In Software. This software has a lot of benefits, including previewing and editing tools as well as color management and paper settings.
With that being said, the setup for this software can be quite complicated and unintuitive.
- 2400 x 4800 DPI – Extremely high resolution
- 8 individual ink colors – Diverse color range
- 13 x 19-inch maximum – Suitable for larger prints
- Built-in Wifi – Effortless and consistent connectivity
- Includes Print Studio Pro Plug-In Software – Ensures professional quality
- Complex setup process – Unintuitive software installation
Lexmark C3326dw Color Laser Printer
Last but not least, the Lexmark C3326dw Color Laser Printer is an excellent choice of printer for graphic design work.
This is a compact, durable printer, built with a steel frame and long-life components, including a long-lasting toner that only needs replacing once per 2500 pages of color printing.
Although the toner is long-lasting, the downside is that it’s very expensive and quite tricky to replace once it has run dry.
Apart from this one issue, though, the Lexmark C3326dw is an amazing graphic design printer.
It has a resolution of 2400 x 600 DPI, which may not be the highest of all our reviewed products, but is more than enough to deliver prints of professional quality.
The Lexmark printer allows for device connectivity via wifi, USB, and ethernet.
When your printer is connected to your chosen device(s), the full-spectrum security system comes into play to protect your personal data. This way, you can use the Lexmark C3326dw with confidence.
- Prints 26 pages per minute – Fast operation
- 2400 x 600 DPI – High-resolution prints
- Wireless, USB, and ethernet connectivity – Connect to any device
- Full-spectrum security – Keeps your data protected
- Long-life toner and components – Durable
- Toner is costly and difficult to replace – Can create issues when toner runs out
Choosing The Best Printer For Graphic Design: A Buyer’s Guide
Regardless of whether graphic design is a profession or a hobby for you, choosing the perfect printer to showcase your work is a big decision.
That’s why it’s crucial to have an idea of which features to prioritize before you start comparing models.
The following buyer’s guide breaks down every factor to bear in mind with the aim of narrowing down your selection.
There are plenty of features to take into consideration when buying a printer for graphic design. However, before we get into any of those, the first decision to make is whether you want an Inkjet or Laser printer.
Inkjet printers work by literally spraying ink onto the paper. On the other hand, Laser printers use static electricity to guide toner powder onto the right areas of the paper before setting the color with heated rollers.
Both Inkjet and Laser printers have their advantages and disadvantages.
Laser printers are the best for speed and efficacy. If you have hundreds of pieces of graphic design that you need printing out in a very short space of time, a Laser printer is your best bet.
However, if you’re purely in the market for the quality of your color printing, we recommend investing in an Inkjet printer.
Inkjet printers also have the benefit of being cheaper on average, although they can be a little wasteful in terms of ink usage because some of the ink is used in the cleaning process.
When considering the ink system you’ll need in your new graphic design printer, you should think about both the compatible ink type and the construction of the system itself.
If you have a Laser printer, you’ll be using toner instead of traditional ink. Toner can be applied to the paper more quickly than liquid ink and it’s also less prone to smudging.
For an Inkjet printer, you’ll either be dealing with dye-based or pigment ink. Dye-based ink is less costly and typically faster-drying. However, these inks also tend to fade faster than pigment ink types.
If you have a specific type of paper that you want or need to print your work on, the type of ink used by a printer will be especially important to your decision.
Pigmented ink works better on glossy paper, while dye-based ink will do well on matte paper.
You should also take into consideration the construction of the ink cartridges. The most important factor is whether the cartridges are individual, which we would always recommend.
This is because individual cartridges are less likely to become regularly clogged than multi-color cartridges.
The resolution of your chosen printer will dictate how clear, detailed, and generally professional-looking your final prints turn out.
Printer resolutions are typically expressed as DPI (dots per inch). Simply put, the more dots of ink per inch of paper, the more detailed and high-resolution your print will be.
The strict minimum resolution if you don’t want low-quality prints should be 150 DPI. However, as a graphic designer, you’ll need something better than the bare minimum.
For good-quality prints, the recommended minimum is 300 DPI.
Graphic design printers can deliver DPI resolutions up to 9600, although printers that produce images of this quality are usually more expensive, so it’s up to you where you want to draw the line in terms of cost versus quality.
Graphic design projects usually come with a time limit or deadline, which means that the speed of your printer will be of the utmost importance.
There’s nothing more frustrating than a slow or uncooperative printer when you’re working to a schedule.
Printer speeds are expressed in terms of the number of pages that can be printed per minute.
There’s a lot of variety in this factor between printer models, and the number will usually vary depending on whether you’re printing in color or black and white (with color taking longer).
Graphic design printers can usually print anywhere between 10 and 33 pages of color every minute depending on whether you’re talking about an Inkjet or Laser printer.
Connectivity is an important factor in the evaluation of a graphic design printer. Gone are the days when you needed to physically connect your printer to your computer to establish a connection.
These days, high-end printers come with a range of connectivity options to make your life easier.
Built-in Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity make it easy to connect your printer to your mobile devices wirelessly. Some models even allow for ethernet connections.
Furthermore, some printers can connect to mobile apps that allow for remote commands and monitoring, meaning you don’t need to be in the same room as your printer to get your printing tasks done.
However, we recommend looking at previous customer testimonials concerning the connection setup for various printers before you make your final decision.
This is because some printers come with better instructions than others, and some simply have more complicated setup procedures that can make the initial experience more difficult.
The size of your new printer should be considered both in terms of the physical dimensions of the appliance and the size of the prints it can produce.
While all of the printers in our list of products are capable of printing up to A4, a couple allow for 19 x 13-inch printing, which is larger than your standard A3 print.
Before purchasing a printer, you should think carefully about the maximum size you anticipate needing to print in.
It’s also a good idea to take measurements of the area in which you’ll be using your printer so you can verify whether or not the appliance will fit in its designated space.
Higher-end graphic design printers may also come with additional features, functions, and software to sweeten the deal and improve the professionalism of your prints.
Software such as Print Studio Pro Plug-In will provide you with additional settings and controls to edit your prints and adjust your printer functions for the best results.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of security software might help to put your mind at rest when connecting your printer to other devices.
We hope that this article has helped you to choose your new graphic design printer!
Remember, the key features to look for when choosing a printer for graphic design are printer type, ink system, resolution, speed, connectivity, and print size.
It’s also worth keeping an eye out for additional features such as included software and security systems.