Artists and graphic designers often need to print their work. Buying an art print may seem like an expensive investment, but it will pay off over time. Artists regularly need to produce high quality prints that look impressive and professional. Owning a printer can be a cost-effective alternative to using print services .
Whether you’re printing large format art prints for sale or looking to improve the quality of your creative work, having your own printer puts you in control. Here’s a look at some of the best art prints for artists.
What to look for when choosing an art print
There are some important criteria that every artist needs to consider when buying a printer. The biggest requirements are resolution (dpi), print sizes, ink cartridges, print speed and price.
Quality is certainly a key factor that should make you invest in a professional inkjet printer. Models that offer a higher quality output of photographs will give you work that is suitable for hanging in a gallery.
Professional inkjet printers are usually capable of producing prints with good resolution. The minimum is 600 x 600 DPI in black, while colour can vary by brand. Printers with this resolution cost more than a standard printer, but are still affordable.
High quality printers can reproduce images up to 4800 x 2400 DPI. If you are printing very detailed images or large format prints, you should look for a printer with the highest DPI. These printers are more expensive, but you will get work that is suitable for art exhibitions and sales.
Print size and substrates
Basic printers use 8.5 x 11 inch paper by default, which is the US letter size. But artwork does not fit into a typical size. The standard print size is 6 inches. You can use a basic printer and crop your art, but an art printer accepts different paper sizes for easy production.
You can use a large format printer to print photos up to 19 inches. To produce 24 inch wide prints of any length, you should know that these types of printers are very large and expensive devices. The larger the maximum print size, the more expensive and bulky the printer.
To print different types of media, you need a printer that can handle different types of paper. Thick paper can easily clog up a standard printer. You may need to print your art on cardstock, semi-glossy sheets or textured paper.
For printing photos, most basic art printers produce a beautiful image. But many artists use their printers for different projects and prints. In this case, you want to make sure the printer can handle a variety of substrates without jamming the machine.
Ink cartridge, variety of colours and pigments
Each printer has different options. Some offer a wider range of colours, pigments and sharpness. The best photo printers offer a wide range of colours that are rechargeable. It’s a plus when it comes to refilling the black or colour ink you need, rather than all at once.
Printers with separate CMYK ink tanks are not limited to producing these four colours. The printer uses them at different levels to mix thousands of colours and bring your artwork to life.
Art printers can also produce different hues, saturations and brightness levels. These settings allow you to optimise your graphic so that the printer uses the exact colours from the colour wheel.
Some art printers have ink cartridges specifically for glossy or matte textures. Whether you’re producing photos or other art prints, having different options for the finish can give you a range of pieces.
The more choices your art printer has in terms of ink cartridge, colours and pigments, the better you can reproduce your work to the highest quality.
Pigment inks last longer without fading if the print speed is between 2 and 6 minutes. Fine art printers tend to work slower, but give your images better colour quality. Colours become more vibrant and dense when the ink penetrates the paper for longer.
If your priority is to provide a service for fast prints or numerous copies of photos, don’t look for printers with high print speeds. If your priority is image quality, stay away from printers that prioritise speed. Print speed does not result in better print quality.
A printer can be expensive, but it is worth it for the quality. You can invest in a decent printer for around $80. If you have the budget, you can buy one of the printers for artists and designers with the best pigments and professional details. They have a starting price of around $2,500.
The best printers for fine art prints on the market today
Whether you’re a professional artist or just enjoy art as a hobby, it’s important to have quality printing resources at your fingertips. So which printers are best for artists? Check out our review and breakdown of some of the best printers on the market today.
Best overall art printer: Epson ET-7750
Best art print for experts: Epson SureColor P900
Best Art Print for Serious Beginners: Canon PIXMA PRO 100
Best All-in-One Printer for Artists: HP Envy Pro 6475
Best affordable printer for artists: Epson Expression Photo XP-970
1st Best Printer for Art Prints Overall – Epson ET-7750
Resolution: 5,760 x 1,440 dpi
Print size: A3, 11.75 x 16.5 inches
Colours: 5 ink tanks, CMYK + black pigment
Print speed: 10 pages per minute colour
About the Epson ET-7550
The Epson ET-7550 is a professional art printer that offers high print performance at a low cost per print. Thanks to its ink tanks (equipped to print over 3000 pages), it has much lower ink costs than other cartridge-based systems.
If you are a professional artist who wants to keep an eye on running costs, this is the printer for you. Although the price is higher than some on this list, it is not the most expensive at all. We think this is the perfect sweet spot between price and value, so we recommend it at the top of our list.
Low ongoing ink costs
Comes with over 3000 pages worth of ink.
Great contrast due to additional black pigment.
Large and bulky
Moderately higher price point
- best art print for experts – Epson Brand SureColor P900
Resolution: 5760 x 1440 DPI
Print size: 17″ x 22″
Colours: UltraChrome PRO10 pigment ink with 10 inks.
Print speed: 1 min. 29 sec. per page
About SureColor P900.
With ten different inks, including violet, the SureColor P900 delivers better quality images full of clarity and depth. With two dedicated nozzles for matte black and photo black, there’s no need to swap one for the other.
What’s more, this printer features Carbon Black Driver Technology, which enables higher black density even on glossy paper. With an optional roll feeder, it can also print on 17 x 129 inch sheets.
Speaking of size, this printer measures 14.7 x 18.6 x 29.3 inches and weighs about 20 kg. These dimensions are 30% smaller than other printers in its class, making it ideal for home printing.
The SureColor also has a 4.3-inch touch screen that you can customise to get the same kind of prints every time. It can also accommodate a variety of papers, including sheet media as thick as 1.5mm. Print jobs from this machine last an incredibly long time, with colours that won’t fade for 200 years.
Ten different inks for incredible colour
WiFi connectivity options from smartphones, PCs and laptops
Uses a 10-channel MicroPiezo AMC print head
Carbon Black driver technology
Different nozzles for Matter Black and Photo Black
It is very expensive
- best art print for serious beginners – Canon PIXMA PRO 100
Resolution: 4800 x 2400 DPI
Print size: maximum 13 x 19 inches
Colours: Dye-based ChromaLife with 8 inks
Print speed: 90 seconds
About PIXMA PRO 100
It is a powerful wireless photo printer and standalone inkjet printer. It has copying capabilities with intuitive touch screen controls that allow large format printing up to A3 and sheets of 13 inches x 19 inches. Print quality is good in both grey and colour scales, so your print will stand out even if you’ve created a digital black and white painting. It allows you to print 50 sheets with Airprint on smartphones via a wireless connection.
It has an optimal image creation system so when you print, your colours look like you painted them. It’s also compatible with various operating systems, so even if you have an older system or upgrade after buying the printer, you won’t have any problems. If you have more experience with non-Art printers and want to switch over, this printer is close enough to a standard model that you shouldn’t have any problems, making it perfect for beginners learning the ropes.
High-performance photo printer
Has a standalone copy function
The printer is heavy and large
Lacks many control buttons to operate the printer
No SD memory card slot or LCD screen to preview photos
4 Best all-in-one printer for artists – HP Envy Pro 6475
Resolution: 4800 x 1200 DPI
Print size: maximum 8.5 x 11.7 inches
Print speed: 10 pages per minute (monochrome), 7 pages per minute (colour)
About Envy Pro 6475
This inkjet printer from HP offers all-in-one printing, scanning, copying and automatic document feeding capabilities. Thanks to the HP Smart App, you can also do all these tasks from any room in your house or even another building. If you’re having connectivity issues, this printer has self-healing dual-band WLAN, which means it automatically scans for problems and tries to fix them so you don’t have to.
The flatbed scanner makes it easy to upload up to 35 sheets of photos or art at a time, supported by the automatic document feeder. The Envy Pro can accommodate a range of sheet sizes, from three inches by five inches to eight and a half inches by 11.7 inches.
When you buy it, you also get two years’ worth of ink cartridges delivered to your home. This deal is based on the assumption that you print an average of 100 pages per month.
Prints from the HP Smart App
Climate promise friendly
Self-healing Wi-Fi solves connectivity issues
Comes with 2 years of supplied ink
Cannot be set up without app installed
- best affordable printer for artists – Epson Expression Photo XP-970
Resolution: 5760 × 1440 DPI
Print size: maximum 11 inches × 17 inches
Colours: six-colour Claria Premium ink set
Print speed: 8.5 ppm in black and white, 8 ppm in colour
About Expression Photo XP-970
I’ve placed this wireless colour photo printer at the top of this list because it’s hard to beat for performance. Thanks to its compact and innovative design, you can place it anywhere in your workspace.
This model from Epson is a printer with scanner and copier. Because of these features, it has two front paper trays, one in A4 format and the other for photos. For thicker stock, there is a tray at the back for special papers.
It is specially designed for use with genuine Epson ink cartridges. The continuous system’s 3-in-1 inkjet printing technology produces virtually identical colour copies. The highest print speed is 8.5 pages per minute for black and white copies.
Your ink costs are high, but using generic cartridges could cause damage not covered by the manufacturer. The cost of the original ink system is worth it for its tones, detail and shading.
It has a high-resolution scanner and smart motorised paper feed tray with print quality compatible with A3 and A4 paper printing. You can print from the photo paper tray using smartphones, PCs and laptops. There is a power switch next to a control panel, which is a 10.9cm colour LCD touch screen for operation or interaction.
It is a professional printer that is not expensive
Offers good print quality
The brand has an app
Has a reader for SD, USB and LAN cards
At 8.7 kg, it’s a bit heavy
Buying an art print can seem expensive, especially when choosing the best printer for art prints. If you need to create high-quality prints on a regular basis, buying a printer may be a better option than using a printing service. You can customise each print and create new artwork from the comfort of your own home.
This is an investment that will pay off, especially if you plan to stay in the art field for a long time. Since some printers cost more than 100 euros, it is important to compare several products before you buy one. When looking for a printer, don’t just decide on price, but also on features and efficient use.