Top 6 Best Printers for Professional Graphic Designers
An intricate process, graphic design takes a great deal of time and creative effort.
To best showcase your work portfolio or a design sample, you need a dependable printer that can deliver premium quality prints having sharp details and crisp colours.
Professional graphic designers also need a high-quality printer for proofs and submissions.
Once client-approved designs are sent out for printing, a commercial printer will no doubt do a fantastic job.
Before committing to investing in a full production, however, a client would always want to look at the prints.
This is where in-house printing of proofs can help present your vision to a client more effectively.
Everyone wants to look at how the final product would look like.
Finding the best budget printer for graphic designers isn’t just about the price tag. Often, the cheapest option isn’t the best one.
Besides the upfront cost, you should also consider a printer’s output quality, ink cost, permissible page sizes, resolution, etc.
Listed below is a selection of six of the best printers for professional graphic designers:
1. Canon PIXMA iX6850 – Neatly Controlled Shading & Razor Sharp Details
Pitched as an office printer, Canon PIXMA iX6850 supports a maximum resolution of 9600×2400 dpi.
With 5-ink cartridge, it is an excellent option for graphic designers who need to create high-quality glossy portfolios and impressive prints for clients on coated paper.
A highly competent device for printing graphics and photos, PIXMA iX6850 is known for its razor-sharp details and fine shading.
It has one pigmented black ink for ordinary, plain paper text print and four dye-based photo inks – cyan, yellow, magenta, and black.
The cartridges can be replaced individually, and users can opt for XL or XXL inks for lower cost of operation.
Made from high-quality black plastic, PIXMA iX6850 feels like a reliable product.
Although compact in size (58.4x31x15.9cm), it is capable of handling paper up to A3.
A graphic designer can have posters and flyers produced at home without having to visit the local print shop.
Duplex printing & display features are missing, but the printer supports both wired and wireless networks.
The device has three push buttons for power, wireless configuration, and paper feed. The printer does not have a USB socket or a memory card slot.
2. Brother MFC-J470DW – Good Colour Accuracy on a Budget
An all-in-one printer with print, copy, scan, and fax functions, Brother MFC-J470DW, offers excellent performance and a mix of business-class features such as an auto document feeder and duplex printing.
Setting up the printer’s wireless connection is pretty straightforward. The device supports direct mobile printing, as well.
MFC-J470DW has an internal USB socket.
Absence of a front-panel USB means that you’ll need a longer USB cable in case you don’t prefer using wireless or mobile printing option.
This inkjet offers good colour accuracy overall and supports a maximum resolution of 6,000 x 1,200 dpi.
Colours are more vivid in photos than on plain paper.
The printer uses one pigmented black ink and three dye-based inks (cyan, magenta, and yellow).
In its current price range, MFC-J470DW is one of the fastest all-in-one inkjet printers.
It can print a high-resolution 4×6 photo in under a minute.
It’s a reliable budget printer with a lower total cost of operation. You have the option of purchasing high-yield brother replacement ink cartridges.
Professional graphic designers searching for a reasonably priced printer for drafting may want to consider this model.
MFC-J470DW does not excel in any particular area but is competent in most.
3. Canon PIXMA MX922 – Business Class Features & Great Output Quality
Positioned for home and micro office users, PIXMA MX922 is a multifunction inkjet printer with 36-page duplex automatic document feeder.
You can scan, copy, and fax multiple pages without having to load them one at a time manually.
Built-in auto duplex printing allows you to print both sides of the page without having to turn it over manually.
Besides a 250-sheet tray, the device also features a dedicated photo paper tray that can hold up to 20 4×6 sheets.
So, manual swapping isn’t required when you need to switch between printing graphics on photo paper and printing on plain paper.
The device features a 3” LCD screen.
Besides navigation, the display screen can also be used to preview graphics, photos, and illustrations. This feature might come in handy if you need to scan or print from a USB device.
You can print borderless photos or graphics using the 9600×2400 colour dpi and scan resolution of up to 2400×4800 dpi optical.
The device can print a 4×6 graphic in about 65 seconds.
The graphics output quality is good enough for PowerPoint handouts, flyers, mobile application screenshots, etc.
This printer offers USB and wireless connectivity options.
Standard ink cartridges for PIXMA MX922 are expensive, but you can always buy remanufactured or compatible inkjet cartridges.
4. Brother MFC-J6935DW – A Heavy Duty Inkjet that Produces Impactful Prints
A wireless all-in-one colour inkjet printer with automatic duplex printing, MFC-J6935DW can print, scan, copy, and fax documents up to 11×17” in size.
The device features a 3.7” colour touchscreen display.
Its dual tray can hold up to 500 sheets.
An additional 100-sheet tray provides added convenience for printing on cardstock and envelopes.
The printer helps save paper with duplex printing. With 50-sheet automatic duplex feeder, copying and scanning a series of pages is effortless.
Although a bit pricey, this inkjet delivers excellent results even on plain paper. You can produce high impact colour documents and razor-sharp black text at home.
This inkjet uses Brother’s INKvestment cartridge technology.
The cartridge system offers a high yield of around 1,500 colour prints in about 20 dollars.
If you care about green and sustainable printing, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re saving paper and producing less e-waste by using ink tanks that are equivalent of dozens of individual cartridges.
Brother MFC-J6935DW is an ideal choice for professional graphic designers looking for a heavy-duty inkjet.
You can print posters, flyers, logos, banners, presentation handouts, etc. daily without having to worry about the cartridges running dry.
The device provides wireless, Wi-Fi Direct, USB, and NFC (touch-to-connect) connectivity options.
So, you can print from different devices, including PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
5. HP Tango X – Suitable for Basic Print Needs
The printer uses black pigment ink and 3-colour ink cartridge. The output text is solid with no feathering and graphic/photo prints are impactful.
Tango X supports resolutions up to 4800×1200 dpi.
Maximum page size supported by the printer is A4.
With HP photo paper, you can produce graphic prints as good as professional print-outs from high-end printers.
The company promises free prints through its paid-for-ink replacement scheme.
HP will send you cartridges as you need them against a nominal monthly fee that covers up to 50 standard pages (up to 7×5” in size).
Quiet and compact, HP Tango X is 100% wireless.
The printer setup routine too is based around your smartphone. Scan and copy functions also require a smartphone.
The device does not have a USB or Ethernet port.
With its excellent print quality and ease of use, Tango X is an attractive option for graphic designers with basic print needs.
If you need to update continually and best present your graphic design portfolio or you need to show brochure/flyer/poster prints to a client in your office, you can always count on Tango X.
6. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 – Impressive Print Quality
One of the smallest A3+ inkjet printers, Expression XP-15000, offers superb print quality. It's print quality is comparable with a lot more expensive printers.
The printer uses six ink cartridges, thus offering a more comprehensive colour range across the photo and plain paper.
You can print borderless graphic designs from 4×6” to 13×9*. It produces most sensational results on a photo paper.
Claria Photo HD dye inks ensure greater durability; colours on printed designs will remain vibrant for a very long time.
The printer is known for its precise shade control, beautiful skin tones and an overall crisp and beautifully detailed image/graphic.
The device has a 200-sheet tray for paper sizes up to A4. A rear feed can hold anything from 6×4” to A3+ media.
This inkjet supports resolution up to 5760×1440 ‘Optimised’ dpi and has wireless, Ethernet and USB connectivity options.
It doesn’t have a memory card slot but connecting wirelessly from a tablet or smartphone is quick and easy.
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 does not include a whole bunch of functions.
It just excels in one area – printing great looking photos and graphics – and does so really well.
Final Words on the Best Printers
Analyse your specific requirements to make an informed decision.
You may need to print a few designs every week or a whole bunch daily.
Do you need copy, scan, and fax functions?
Will an auto document feeder help you save time? Is wireless connectivity enough, or do you need a USB connection? Is a colour touchscreen necessary for you?
Ponder on such questions to better understand which printer model best suits your needs.
Author Bio: My name is George Mendelson. I am the PR Media Manager at InkjetsClub, a nationwide leading ink and toner retailer. One of my passions is educating and helping people through all the issues related to Printers, Ink Cartridges and Toners.