Apart from industrial based and intensive work processing firms, graphic designers is arguably working with print more than most other creatives. You’ve got everything done and your design is sent for printing for which the commercial printer will do an amazing job in delivering your design for sure. However, until then, you will have to go through the process of impressing your clients before your design actually goes into full production.
Convincing your product to a client is one thing, and presenting it is another. Properly presenting your product to a client would be an impossible task if your final product doesn’t actually looks as it is. Therefore, multiple in-house printing, will give you the lay down on what is there to work on your designs and a good printer is needed to effectively deliver your designs to your client.
There are mountains of printers out there and new models are relentless being shipped out of the factory, but below we will look into the best printers for graphic designs and guide you through what’s best for you.
Laser or Inkjet Printers
Well, deciding between an inkjet or laser printer used to be easy in the past. Back then, there isn’t much differences between the speed, color and image resolution between the two, but with technological advancement comes strengths and weaknesses and the weaknesses have now largely caught up with the strengths. The deciding factor is now broken into two parts, high pages-per-month capacity and the lowest price for cartridge replacement rather than selecting between the color and sharpness of the inkjet with the speed and potency of the laser.
To say the least, a lot of your choice largely depends on the type of printing you work with. If your daily printing often involves proofs for in-house review, the laser printer with its lower material cost might be more appealing to you. Nonetheless, the larger part of today’s professional photo printers are inkjet instead of lasers due to its printing quality and pigmented results. As you go on and emphasizes more on the images quality, the chance of you selecting an inkjet is inevitable.
Individual Ink Tanks
Many inkjet printer has one cartridge for all three colors which significantly increase the chances of them being clogged and the likelihood of color bleeding and casts is much higher as well. Therefore, it is advised that your inkjet printer should have separate individual tanks for each color. If your design is more focused in photo quality, a photo inkjet printer with more than four color tanks will drastically improve your image’s color and sharpness. While it’s not seen often in stores, there are printers with as much as 12 color tanks with the capability of producing wider range of color and deeper dark tones. Do note that when you are working with photographer-grade pigmented inks, the paper used plays a big part. A deep understanding in how your ink goes with the paper you used will benefit you later on.
Economical Ink & Toner Cartridges
All printer users share the same common problem, which is the replacement of cartridges. Replacing cartridges is an inevitable expense that dwells down the number of people considering to get a new printer. By keeping track of the page yield from each cartridge and the price will keep your expenses intact for future expenses. Generally, laser toner cartridges will have higher page yield and is definitely more efficient but the downside is it being more expensive. But for designers, an inkjet printer would most likely be the choice and getting a printer that allows compatible inks will definitely make cartridge replacement a lesser burden on your wallet.
Unless you are printing exhibit sized images, the likelihood of your needing a large format printer is very slim. But not every proof is limited to only A2 size however. As it may be, the maximum print size each model can handle is the least mentioned among other techy features on each model. While laser printers have improved tremendously, the one drawback is its capability of handling up to 8.5 inch width only – common computer paper size. Of course, individual preferences vary, but if there is one benefit of an inkjet printer, this would be it.
Most people often neglect this part of a printing. You have to keep in mind that the printer you chose needs to be able to handle a variety papers easily. With a general understanding, it will keep your expenses to a minimum without sacrificing quality. Most inexpensive printers are generally front fed (affordable HP models) and is not capable of handling heavier grade papers and therefore not a good choice. This applies to many laser printers as well.
Now, let’s reverse time and go back to searching for a printer that offers high quality and performance but doesn’t require you selling off your kidneys. There are a variety of printers full of features, but only a handful caters to the strict standards of graphic designers. Here are some printers that will help you to deliver your content perfectly without an arrow to your knee.
Canon PIXMA iP8770
Ask designers what is the best printer for photo and graphic design, they will say Canon. The reason is simply because Canon is known to make some of the best printers for photo and graphic designs. Designers that hoped to imitate shop quality prints, the Canon Pixma iP8770 is a fine choice. Similar to other Canon printers, this model is built with a feed system allowing it to handle majority of paper weights and finishes which gives you the choice of using economic papers or professional-grade. The iP8770 costs a mouth-watering of only RM1,097.
Epson is another quality brand that will bring out the most of your graphic design. It features Epson’s advance “Micro Piezo” advanced printhead technology using special “piezoelectric” materials that propels ink out with great precision and reliability. Do note that the same ink is used throughout all ink tank system printers which means that manufacturing then became a lot cheaper and thus, cheaper ink. The Epson L1800 is designed for high page yield and is currently selling for RM1,808.
If the need of you slanting towards a quantity instead of quality, a laser printer would be your best bet and here are some recommendations:
The Brother MFC-J3720 is built for high print volumes and this reliable, sturdy all-rounder boasts the fastest print speed in its class – up to 22 monochrome and 20 color pages per minute. Brother printers are known for its low ink cost and it is not hard to see why, especially in the J3720. This model boasts an affordable 2,400 page-yield InkBenefit cartridges and it is even compatible with iOS devices. Coming in at RM1,699, the Brother MFC-J3720 is a good all-rounder for those who wants high page yield.
HP LaserJet Pro MFP M435nw
With low printing and overall costs but studded with features, the HP Laserjet Pro Multi-Function Printer fits the needs of an efficient business center; be it a growing startup or small enterprise. As big and heavy as it may be, the M435nw has a 500 pages tray and prints around 30 pages per minute. This printer has an “Economode” that ensures lesser toner utilization per print to give you lower cost per page considering it uses the HP 92A toner which is known for being ultraprecise and capable of churning out 2,500 standard pages. Costing a little more than the other printers above at RM3,069, the M435nw laserjet is worth the investment.
All in all, understanding your needs and choosing the best printer for your job is the best possible way to save money and time. While there are many factors influencing your decision, knowing what’s essential before you step foot in stores is the first step to ensuring quality printing and nailing that design.
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