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Best Printer for Graphic Design: Top Printers for Designers

We pick out the best printers for graphic designers of any skill or budget level
Last Updated on December 7, 2023
Best Printer for Graphic Design

Have you ever created some fantastic visuals that look great on your screen, but are much more underwhelming when you print them out? You may need to invest in a better printer for your graphic design work. Any colour printer can print your work, but for outstanding quality, clarity and color reproduction; only the best will do.

In this guide, we’ll help you pick the best printer for graphic design to suit your individual needs. Whether you’re operating on a budget or put quality above all else, you’ll be sure to notice the difference once you pick up one of our choices!

Products at a Glance

How We Choose the Best Printer for Graphic Design

In scouring the market for the best graphic printers, we focused on three core factors: print quality, cost of operation, and versatility. Whether you’re a journeyman designer or a seasoned graphic artist, you’ll want to keep your costs at a minimum and your quality at a maximum – being able to print on multiple forms of media is also a major plus.

Depending on your needs, there’s a wide variety of factors to consider: be sure to check out one of our other guides to find the best printer for you!

Our Recommended

Best Printer for Graphic Design: Top Printers for Designers

1
PROS
  • Good print quality
  • High speed
  • Low cost per print
  • Easily refilled
  • Built-in scanner
CONS
  • Bulky

If you need print-shop quality for your designs, then the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is our favorite. With an easy-to-replace ink tank system that creates sharp and large prints, this printer beats out the competition for sheer value and is our pick for the best printer for graphic design!

The ET-5850 can print graphics in a variety of formats, to a maximum size of 8.5″ x 14″ – making it great for the majority of applications. On smaller sizes, it can reach a top printing speed of 25 prints-per-minute, which should hopefully clear the backlog quickly enough! With an integrated flatbed scanner and intuitive touchscreen, the unit is a very versatile addition to any designer’s arsenal. As another handy bonus, you have both wired and wireless printing options, making it easy to send media over.

Though it is a great model, the ET-5850 is not necessarily for everyone: the price tag may drive away the novice designer. Additionally, it is quite a large unit – so good luck finding a home for it! Still, if you can clear those hurdles, then the ET-5850 is easily the best choice for a printer for graphic designers anywhere!

 

2
PROS
  • Slim design
  • Great color accuracy
  • Compatible with high-yield cartridges
CONS
  • Slow

Flaunting an innovative six-cartridge system, the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is every professional creative’s dream. Capable of printing huge tableaus with great clarity, this printer is a fantastic asset for any graphic designer wanting to create expansive installations with ease!

The XP-15000’s form factor is slim and quite manageable, despite being a large-format printer, with a rear tray for speciality media such as cardstock. With a maximum print size of 13″ x 19″, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a client needing anything bigger. If your printing needs are above average, you can opt for high-yield cartridges that are capable of producing 800 prints each. Along with standard wired and wireless connectivity, the XP-15000 comes with WiFi Direct, allowing you to print without a network connection. There’s a lot to like about this great wide-format printer.

Equally, however, there is a lot to dislike. At a paltry nine pages-per-minute, this printer is a great deal slower than some competition. While the color reproduction is accurate across the board, the darkest shades of black tend to blend together, leading to the occasional disappointment. It’s a rare issue, however, and for the average wide-format designer this is a stellar printer, capable of great images with great yield!

3
PROS
  • Low cost
  • Small footprint
  • Great color accuracy
CONS
  • No ethernet port or card slot

InkJet printers are infamous for their high running costs, but the Canon PIXMA G620 has managed to be the exception that proves the rule. This is a budget-friendly printer, that also boasts a low cost per page and excellent print quality – perfect for graphic design.

With a single tank refill, you can print up to 3,800 4″ x 6” color photos, with a rough cost per page of 2.5 cents. Not to mention, it comes with a filled tank out of the box, so you don’t need to buy it ink for at least a few months. Flaunting a six-color dye-based ink system, The G620 is capable of producing accurate shades and deep blacks with a wide color gamut. Additionally, you can print on various media types including fabric, card stock, and magnetic photo paper. 

We like that this printer works with Alexa, though we’d have liked the G620 more if it had a card slot or an ethernet port. We also missed the touchscreen panel as this model comes with a one-line mono display, which is much harder to read. For a great print economy at a low cost, the G620 is the best budget printer for graphic designers – it may not impress veteran illustrators, but novice designers will find plenty to love.

4
PROS
  • Versatile media capabilities
  • Low cost-per-page
  • Great color reproduction
CONS
  • Bulky
  • No roll-feed support

For the best panoramic prints, the PIXMA PRO-200 from Canon is the ultimate premium print solution. With an array of useful features to help improve your process, you’ll have very few complaints from your clients!

The PRO-200 is a premium graphics printer that produces prints with a high level of clarity and color accuracy, making it an excellent addition to your design studio. It boasts an 8-cartridge ink system that delivers true-to-life colors with sharp details and deep blacks. Since this is a wide-format model, you can print on custom paper sizes up to 13” x 39”, but most artists use it to print A3 and larger art prints and posters. 

The PRO-200 is pretty heavy despite the actual size of the model, like many other large-format printers. And speed-wise, the printer takes north of 90 seconds for A3-and-above-sized prints, which is somewhat slower than average. Considering the sheer size and quality of the prints, it is excusable. What may not be excusable, for some, is the upfront cost of the PRO-200, not to mention the cost of running. For a premium print experience for graphic design, you can’t go wrong with the Canon PIXMA PRO-200. 

 

5
PROS
  • Large-format prints
  • Great color reproduction
  • More affordable than other similar models
CONS
  • Slow to print
  • Bulky and strangely-designed

Though the ET-5850 is our number-one printer for graphic design, it does have some limiting factors in terms of print size and media. We like to think of the ET-8550 as it’s older sibling: bigger, more versatile… but not the favorite (no, we’re not bitter).

With all the same ink-saving capabilities as the ET-5850 but also including large-format prints such as posters, the ET-8550 pumps the maximum print resolution up to 5,760 x 1,440 DPI. Even on the largest print formats, images still come out with crisp detail. And if you had trouble swallowing the price of the ET-5850, you may want to chew on the fact that the ET-8550 actually costs less. 

So why isn’t this the best printer for graphic design? Well, whilst the ET-8550 is cheaper and slimmer than our first choice, that comes at the cost of functionality. The input trays are confusingly placed below the output, making it difficult for the printer to grab paper and for you to insert it. It is also painstakingly slow by comparison to the ET-5850, making the overall print economy difficult to put down to a binary “Better or Worse”. If you’re looking for a middle ground between speed, quality and size; this is probably the best choice for your graphic design needs!

Features and Considerations

There are a few key factors to debate when deciding what printer to pick up for your graphic design needs:

Ink Quality

To make sure that your work looks its best when printed, consider investing in a printer with a high-quality ink cartridge system: this generally means no less than six ink cartridge slots for top-grade ink and premium-quality nozzles. 

Ink Cost

If you aren’t careful, the cost of buying ink for your printer can become a black hole for your wallet. The best printers for graphic design have a high cartridge yield, meaning that you get the most out of each cartridge. If you can afford them, refillable-tank printers are generally the best for yield.

Ease of Use

To avoid spending less time in menus and more time designing, make sure that the printer you choose has an intuitive UI that doesn’t slow you down. Some graphic design printers have built-in touchscreen displays that make them much easier to interact with and do tasks like ink status monitoring and switching between different print modes. If you prefer hardware buttons, many printers also have physical dashboards along with the screen. 

 

Is dye-based printing better than pigment-based?

Pigment inks typically result in longer-lasting graphics prints that are more resistant to fading and damage. However, compared to dye inks, they don’t produce the same level of color accuracy. Many printers utilize a hybrid ink system that uses both pigment and dye inks for more versatile printing. However, if your primary printing needs are printing graphics and photos, a dye ink based printer would be much better than a pigment-based printer. 

Are InkJet printers better than LaserJet printers for graphic design?

Yes: InkJet printers generally produce better-looking graphical prints, whilst LaserJet printers are better suited for high-volume document printing in home and office environments.

Our Verdict

For an economic, fast and versatile printer, it’s hard to argue against the value of the ET-5850! Though it doesn’t print to the widest possible formats and is quite a bulky model, it adds value to any graphic design business with fast, high-quality printing!

For some even cheaper options, check out our guide on some of the best printers under $200!