Being a graphic designer often means you need access to some high-quality or extremely modern technology.
That includes your favorite software platform, as well as additional hardware to keep your clients happy and your business in order. Without those tools, you’ll struggle to work at full capacity.
There are many great tools that aid the graphic design process, but a printer is one of the most important.
In this guide, we will take a look at some of the best graphic design printers and then analyze their features to show which ones are best for both your personal and professional needs.
Who Should Get This
If you’re a graphic designer of any capacity or ability, you should have a high-quality printer at your disposal.
The machines allow you to better showcase your portfolio by printing off high-resolution pages of your best work so you can bring them with you to your next big client meeting or proposal. They can also handle a variety of personal tasks as well.
A design printer will also allow you to easily highlight any of your samples. That can quickly pay off by landing you some increased opportunities to help your business grow.
If you aren’t a graphic designer, the printers listed below are still great options for printing and scanning photos or documents.
Best Printer for Graphic Design: Our Picks
This section covers top printers for graphic design and explains their individual niches.
- Best For: Overall
- Key Features: 1.44-inch OLED screen. Five individual ink tanks. Reliable performance. Scan and copy capabilities.
- Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth, WiFi
- Sheet Size: 3.5 x 3.5, 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 7 x 10, 8 x 10, letter, legal, envelopes
- Dimensions: 14.9 x 14.2 x 5.6 inches
The Pixma TS6320 is a strong printer with a slew of useful and impressive traits. That includes a versatile design, multiple connections options, five individual ink tanks, and a 1.44-inch OLED screen. All of that creates a reliable, well-tuned product perfect for graphic design.
Backing up those characteristics is a general functionality that gives you the ability to print, copy, and scan as you need. While many printers on the modern market are limited in what they can do, the Pixma truly serves multiple needs.
This printer could definitely have a higher print capacity, and the ink cost can definitely add up over time, but such issues pale in comparison to everything else you get with this item.
- Best For: Resolution
- Key Features: 6-color ink for accurate printouts. 200-sheet tray. Supports various weights. Compact design.
- Connectivity Technology: Wireless, Ethernet
- Sheet Size: 13 x 19 inches
- Dimensions: 30.9 x 18.7 x 16.2 inches
The Epson Expression Photo HD is a strong printer that utilizes 6-color inks for incredibly accurate printouts. This model goes above and beyond in several areas, including the 200-sheet tray and the ability to hit borderless printers up to 13 x 19 inches.
As with other top options, it also happens to be fast and incredibly reliable. It has the ability to support various weights, but manages to stay compact. The space-saving design is especially helpful if you don’t like big, bulky items.
As with so many other quality electronics, the Photo HD doesn’t come cheap. It’s not an incredibly expensive printer, but the higher price tag may put some people off. For graphic designers, it can be worth it.
3. HP Envy 5055
- Best For: Usability
- Key Features: HP Instant Ink. Excellent connectivity. 2.2-inch touchscreen. High quality. All-in-one design. Alexa compatible.
- Connectivity Technology: WiFi, Bluetooth, Cloud Printing
- Sheet Size: 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14, Legal, Letter, Envelope
- Dimensions: 17.52 x 14.45 x 5.04
For a more streamlined printer that still works well for graphic design, check out the Envy 5055. HP is known for quality products, and this more affordable option is no exception. The 2.2-inch touchscreen looks great, while the HP Instant Ink works exactly as advertised.
Another reason this gets high marks is the versatility. It’s a true all-in-one printer, which means it gives you the ability to print, scan, and copy. In addition, you get plenty of excellent connectivity through WiFi, Bluetooth, and Cloud Printing.
When getting this, understand that it’s a smaller printer. Though it has a lot of versatility through its multifunctional design, it doesn’t support larger paper sizes. As long as you know that, you’ll be fine.
- Best For: Laser
- Key Features: Dash replenishment. Wide connectivity options. High color quality. Automatic duplex printing.
- Connectivity Technology: USB, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi
- Sheet Size: 8.5 x 14 inches
- Dimensions: 19.1 x 17.4 x 12.3 inches
If you want a laser printer that goes above and beyond for graphic design, the Brother Business creates great results. Not only does it have excellent connectivity through its three different options, but it cranks out high color documents and images at 33 pages per minute.
With this option, you can enable the incredibly useful dash replenishment, while the automatic duplex printing goes a long way towards saving money and time. It’s not the flashiest option, but it’s high-quality, robust, and dependable.
The biggest issue with this printer is the customer support. Brother is pretty hit or miss in that area, which can be a bit of a bummer if you get stuck or have an issue that you can’t figure out. The printer, however, does its job well.
- Best For: Compact
- Key Features: Versatile wireless options. Duplex printing. Compact design. Durable frame.
- Connectivity Technology: Wireless, Ethernet, USB
- Sheet Capacity: 250 pages
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 16.2 x 9.6 inches
Despite its impressive 26 page-per-minute print speed and 250-page sheet capacity, the Lexmark C3326dw is a compact printer perfect for anyone who needs extra room. This device can easily slot into a corner or sit on top of a desk without ever crowding you out of the room.
Even so, it can do quite a bit. Not only are the specs strong, but it comes with multiple connection options in addition to AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. That adds a ton of versatility to the device. It has Lexmark’s full security architecture as well.
As many great features as this printer comes with, it’s lacking a few. There’s no WiFi direct or touchscreen display. Most users won’t notice those absences, but they would have the device more functional.
- Best For: Efficiency
- Key Features: Glossy, high-end photos. Versatile printing options. Compact. 8-color dye-based ink system. Fast. Easy to use.
- Connectivity Technology: WiFi, USB, Ethernet
- Sheet Size: 3.5×3.5, 3.5×5, 4×6, 5×5, 5×7, 7×10, 8×10, 8.5×11, 8.5×14
- Dimensions: 28.7 x 18.7 x 13 inches
Few printers combine as many graphic design features as the Pixma Pro-200. Another excellent Canon model, this option comes with an enhanced 8-color dye-based ink system that makes everything pop. It also works with a wide range of paper sizes, increasing versatility.
There’s a lot of power here too. The power is incredibly fast and efficient. You can freely switch up your borders and everything is easily controlled through the 3-inch LCD display. There are plenty of ways to connect (WiFi, Ethernet, USB) as well.
This is a solid printer. However, Canon is not known for its customer service. This Pixma won’t come with too many issues, but if you experience any you might have trouble resolving them.
How to Choose a Printer for Graphic Design
Anytime you buy a graphic design printer you need to think about versatility. By that, I’m talking about what printing functions it’s capable of as well as the types of print media it can accept.
You want a printer that can easily scan and print just about anything. That will give you the ability to print samples and put together presentations on different sizes and thicknesses for maximum versatility.
You should also consider the paper size your printer can accommodate when looking into an option that meets your needs. Every model will be able to accept the standard 8.5 X 11-inch piece of paper, but graphic designers often have needs that extend beyond that.
Look for an option that can work with larger paper sizes to increase your abilities to print and show your work in full detail.
The two main printer types offered these days are laser and inkjet. While you can get away with a cheaper laser printer, an inkjet printer is better suited to the needs of a graphic designer.
The models are more expensive, but they will allow you to print pages in better detail so you can accurately represent your design work without becoming distorted or pixelated.
Cost should always be a concern when considering a big purchase. Always measure a printer’s price against what it’s capable of doing as well as the results it delivers.
If you have professional needs, look for quality and deal with the cost as a business expense. If you want great results for a more casual setting, there are some good affordable options out there.
Useful Tips & Resources
A printer is an important tool if you do any sort of graphic design work.
However, you should know how to best use that tool to your advantage to highlight your work and help you land more clients.
Watch this video for some tips on how to design something with print considerations in mind.
There are also other tech tools that can help you with your graphic design work. You don’t need every gizmo and gadget to do good work, but have a look at this video to find out if you might be interested in adding a new tool to your setup.
The printers you’ll find here all make for great options when it comes to graphic design needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or only design for yourself as a hobby, each one is a welcome addition to your setup that will give you increased capabilities.
Do you know of a good graphic design printer that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below!