If you are a graphic designer or a digital artist you will probably have to print your own work on a regular basis. Since a basic printer gives mediocre results at best, you could go to the local print shop for your artwork and prints.
But if you have a professional art printer at home you can save yourself the trip and the money. To help you choose between the different art printers available, we have compiled a list of criteria you want to look out for and our recommended digital art printers.
What to look for
Here are the 4 points we look out for when deciding which model to buy amongst the best printers for artists.
- Laserjet Vs. Inkjet – most people already have a laserjet printer at home. These are great for printer text documents really fast but accurate. However, for complex images and prints an inkjet printer does a much better job and pretty much all printers for artwork are indeed inkjet printers.
- Resolution – the amount of dots per inch (dpi) is a good indicator of the resolution and the quality of the printer. Cheap artist printers start around 600 dpi. This is already a great improvement over your standard printer, but high quality art printers easily reach a dpi of over 1200.
- Maximum Print Size – when printing documents you pretty much always use A4 format. But when printing your artwork you might want to change the paper format to the size of the digital artwork. So check which formats are supported by the printer and if the maximum size is big enough for you.
- Media Type – the best results are obtained when using heavier grade or textured paper such as photo paper or fine art paper. So make sure that your printer supports these high quality papers besides standard grade paper.
Besides these points there are also a few things of lesser importance you might want to keep in mind such as the price, the physical size of the printer itself, and the option to connect the printer through USB and/or Wi-Fi.
If you don’t want to print all your art pieces but still want to display your work to others, you could also consider buying an art projector.
Best Printers For Artists
1. Canon PIXMA Pro-100
The Canon Pixma Pro-100 is our favorite digital art printer and is popular among many artists and photographers. This printer features 8 different ink colors and support grayscale ink as well, which translates to high quality prints.
It features a big tray for regular paper and a second tray for thick photo paper, glossy paper, or luster paper. So if you want you can print a lot of images at a time with the same quality as professional print shops.
The only downsides are that the printer only works with Canon cartridges which are somewhat more expensive than regular cartridges, and the fact that the printer doesn’t work with computers using Linux.
4800 x 2400 dpi
Maximum Paper Size:
13 x 19 inch
2. Epson Expression ET-7750 EcoTank
If you have a higher budget available the Epson Expression ET-7750 is a great option as well. This model can print at a 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution and supports paper that is up to 17 inches wide and 23 millimeters thick.
On the flip side, this printer is also rather bulky, so make sure to have plenty of space wherever you are going to use it.
The price might seem a little steep at first, but what makes the Epson Expression so great is that it is very efficient in its use of ink. So over the year you can save a ton on buying ink refills.
5760 x 1440 dpi
Maximum Paper Size:
11 x 17 inch
3. HP Envy Photo 7855
The HP Envy Photo 7855 is the low budget alternative to the printers above and is great option for people looking for an affordable printer for art.
Besides having a low price, it also works with both cheap and the high quality ink cartridges. The resolution might not be as high as the other printers, but still good enough for most projects.
The two major downsides are that it doesn’t support very thick photo paper and has a tray that can only hold a small number of sheets.
4800 x 1200 dpi
Maximum Paper Size:
8.5 x 14 inch