10 Best Printers for Graphic Design

Arek Dvornechcuck
Branding Expert

I'm a strategist and designer based in New York who help brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch

People often ask me what’s the best printer for graphic design, so I have gone through the important features to help you choose one that works best.

Graphic designers heavily rely on printers as it's a vital tool when it comes to showcasing their work to peers and clients.

What's the best printer for graphic design to buy in 2021?

As a graphic designer who considers high print quality, finding the best printer may be a bit difficult.

There is a variety of printers available on the market, at different price points and with different features to choose from.

However, I tried to make everything easier for you by listing the things to consider and my recommendations for choosing a printer for your graphic design needs.

Graphic Design Printers

  1. Canon Pixma iP8720—Best overall
  2. Epson XP-8600—Most compact
  3. HP ENVY 5055—Most budget-friendly
  4. Lexmark 3326dw—For small businesses
  5. Brother HL-L8360Cdw—Best laser printer
  6. Canon Color MF741CDW—Best for Art Prints
  7. Brother HL-L3210CW—For medium businesses
  8. HP Envy Photo 7855—Most convenient
  9. Epson SureColor P800—Most versatile
  10. Canon Pixma TS8320—Best inkjet printer

How to choose the best printer for designers

When choosing the best printer, there’s a lot to consider—from choosing between laser or inkjet, ink and toner cartridges, dye-based or pigmented inks, size, and the paper it accepts.

Here's my quick guide on how to choose the right printer for your graphic design work.

When choosing the best printer for your graphic design needs, there are six factors that you should consider:

  1. Laser vs. Inkjet Printers
  2. Individual Ink Tanks
  3. Ink and Toner Cartridges
  4. Dye-based vs. Pigmented Inks
  5. Size
  6. Paper

Now let’s go through each of them to see their importance when choosing a printer.

Laser vs. Inkjet Printers

Due to advancements in technology, choosing between laser and inkjet printers has never been this challenging.

We used to consider things like speed, color, and resolution—but now, it all boils down to pages-per-month capacity as well as sustainable cartridge replacement.

To make it simpler for you, inkjet printers are more appealing to graphic designers with their ability to produce vivid and stark images.

However, if you’re the type of designer who is leaning towards quality prints with low cost, then perhaps laser printers are best for you.

After all, it all depends on the type of work you do, your convenience, and of course—the budget that you have.

Individual Ink tanks

You must make sure that it has individual tanks per color — or else, it will make you suffer from clogging.

As a designer, I recommend choosing an inkjet printer with not lower than four-color plots to get the best quality in your photos.

Pro tip: Knowing how pigmented inks react to paper will surely bring you nothing but convenience in the long run.

Ink and Toner Cartridges

Surprisingly, people miss assessing cartridge replacement when buying a printer.

However, this is crucial since this can be a major contributor to your future expenses.

Basically, you can produce more pages with laser toner cartridges making it more efficient though it can be pricey.

But if you are into using inkjet cartridges, then what’s best to do is to look for a compatible ink.

Dye vs. Pigment Ink

Ideally, dye inks tend to fade faster — but since graphic designs are not usually needed in the long term, making use of this more affordable alternative is already a good option.

However, if you consider this an important factor, I suggest going for pigment inks as they last longer than dye-based ones.

Maximum Print Size

Depending on the type of media that you produce, considering the maximum print size of a model is needed.

If you typically work with the most common sizes such as paper or legal size, then going for laser printers will bring you no harm.

On the other hand, if varying and larger prints are what you need, inkjet printers are what you looking for.

Paper Compatibility

Another factor you should consider when buying a printer is the paper it accepts — it must accept both light and heavy, as well as double sided pages.

Moreover, you should note that inexpensive models usually are not capable of accepting heavier grade paper making it a bit of a problem — this is also the deal breaker for most laser printers.

With these in mind, I have gathered some of my personal favorites that will surely help you produce spectacular and of high quality photos while staying on the budget.

1. Canon Pixma iP8720

Canon printers are known for their reliable and quality printing, so it’s no surprise that this is on top of my list.

With its value, Canon Pixma iP8720 is the best printer overall for designers.

This model is the best choice for graphic designers who are looking for a budget-friendly printer that offers print-shop quality up to 13 by 19 inches.

Price: $349.94

Canon Pixma iP8720 - Best overall printer for graphic designers
Canon Pixma iP8720 - Best overall

This printer produces excellent output ranging from white and black to color photos with its 6 color ink system and 9600 by 2400 dpi resolution.

With its well-built feed system, the Canon Pixma iP8720 accepts up to 150 sheets of a variety of paper weights and finishes.

Moreover, this offers versatility as it prints nice-looking reports—from business, school-type, and professional-grade — pretty much anything a designer would need

Apart from its features, the Canon Pixma iP8720 lets you print with almost no head clogs and a respectable speed making it more suitable for serious photographers and graphic designers.

Interestingly, this model makes everything even better with its AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and PIXMA Printing Solutions that allow hassle-free printing of portraits straight from your phone.

With its unbelievable performance, it comes as no surprise that this model stands alone, for better or for worse.

So if you’re looking for an affordable printer that offers excellent quality wide-format printing, then look no further.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: Black
Printing Technology: Inkjet
Brand: Canon
Print media: Glossy photo paper

Pros

  1. Excellent print quality
  2. Easy installation
  3. Budget-friendly

Cons

  1. Single paper tray
  2. Unstable wireless connection
  3. Desk space-consuming

2. Epson XP-8600

If you’re a designer who’s looking for a compact all-in-one printer that does it all, then maybe the Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 is best for you.

This is the best compact printer if you need a small yet mighty machine in terms of printing performance.

Although small, this printer has a competitive edge against other brands with its ability to produce superb borderless photos up to 8 by 10 inches.

Price: $249.99

Epson XP-8600 - Most compact printer for graphic designers
Epson XP-8600 - Most compact

The Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 is a real game changer offering a wide range of options and some unique abilities.

Though made with plastic, this mid-range printer delivers an edge for its sleek appearance — bringing you printing with style.

This printer gets a plus point for those who are eco-conscious as it allows you to print both sides of the paper automatically.

Talking about speed, this printer is designed to print one color photo on average of 30 seconds to a minute depending on the quality that you want.

One interesting feature of this model is the Print CD which allows you to create a layout and even print on printable CDs, CD-ROM, DVDs, or optical discs.

Moreover, setting up has never been so easy with Epson Expression Photo XP-8600’s wide variety of connectivity options — starting from ethernet, Wi-Fi, to USB, among other third-party mobile solutions.

With this model, a narrow desktop won’t be an issue with its small footprint — indeed a compact, space-saver printer.

Needless to say, this compact all-in-one printer is perfect for graphic designers who have a limited desk space but still want to turn their creative ideas come to life.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: Black
Printing Technology: Inkjet
Brand: Epson
Print media: Paper (plain)

Pros

  1. CD print feature
  2. Ultra fast printing
  3. Wireless versatility

Cons

  1. No fax feature
  2. High running costs
  3. Manual document feeder

3. HP ENVY 5055

If an all-in-one printer is what you need but you’re on a tighter budget, then this most budget-friendly yet improved printer will save you.

The most budget-friendly printer for graphic designers.

New features such as Bluetooth Smart, better Wi-Fi connectivity, and faster printing speed set the HP ENVY 5055 apart from the old HP ENVY 4520, providing designers a better experience.

Originally designed as an entry-level, this budget option surprisingly gets most of the job done.

Price: $149.00

HP ENVY 5055 - Most budget-friendly printer for graphic designers
HP ENVY 5055 - Most budget-friendly

The HP ENVY 5055 offers professional-quality prints up to 8 by 10 inches, made possible through its 6 color Claria Photo HD Ink feature.

This versatile printer measures 5 by 17.5 by 14.5 inches and weighs 5.5 kg with a monochrome touchscreen display of 2.2 inches.

Like most photo printers, this model does the basics — print, scan, and copy wide and excellent quality photos with the right amount of crispiness.

Surprisingly, the HP ENVY 5055’s borderless printing comes with good details and excellent color accuracy.

But more than being a “budget” option, this model gives you versatile features to support a range of tasks.

Despite its price, this printer exceeds your expectations as it is ENERGY STAR approved for maintaining a small ecological footprint — saving you from your regular power expenses.

In terms of sustainability, you don’t need to worry about handling refills since this is compatible with XL cartridges and HP instant ink through a straightforward subscription service.

For its price, the HP ENVY 5055 is the best budget-friendly printer you can get on the market.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: Black
Printing Technology: Inkjet
Brand: HP
Print media: Envelopes, Paper (plain), Glossy photo paper

Pros

  1. Low running cost with Instant Ink
  2. Excellent color accuracy
  3. Reasonable price
  4. Amazon Alexa compatible

Cons

  1. High running cost without Instant Ink
  2. Slightly unresponsive touchscreen
  3. Ethernet and USB incompatible

4. Lexmark C3326dw

If you’re a graphic designer who’s running a small business, then you might want to consider purchasing one from Lexmark.

The best printer small-size businesses need.

The Lexmark C3326dw is suitable for graphic designers who are running a small business as it gets moderate amount of work done.

Price: $236.24

Lexmark C3326dw - For graphic designers with mall-sized businesses
Lexmark C3326dw - For small-sized businesses

Measuring 9.6 by 16.2 by 15.5 inches, this compact and durable printer fits in any place.

It comes with integrated duplex printing, a tray with a capacity of 250 pages, a single-sheet spreader, and a two line color display.

Lexmark C3326dw also takes printing to another level with its multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet.

And if you are the type that makes sure everything is secure, you should consider getting this printer as it features full-spectrum security by Lexmark.

Talking about speed, it can produce 26 pages per minute, powered by a 1-GHz dual-core processor and 265-MB memory.

This printer also offers one-piece toner cartridges and long-life imaging components that will surely save your business from frequent supply replacement.

Another notable feature of the Lexmark C3326dw is its built-in energy-saving mode and an alternative and automatic sleep-to-print to sleep mode.

And if you are into saving paper and energy, its EPEAT silver and ENERGY STAR certification will surely make you grab this printer.

So if you have a limited budget for your small business but still want to produce quality color printouts, then nothing is a better option.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: White, Gray
Printing Technology: Laser
Brand: Lexmark
Print media: Paper (plain)

Pros

  1. Duplex printing
  2. Compact
  3. Durable steel frame

Cons

  1. Non-touchscreen display
  2. Lacks Wi-Fi direct
  3. Manual feed

5. Brother HL-L8360CDW

If you still haven’t found the right printer, you might consider checking the best laser printer from Brother.

The best laser printer for graphic designers out there.

Brother HL-L8360CDW is an excellent choice for graphic designers who are in need of a reliable, quality, and efficient laser printer.

Price: $349.99

Brother HL-L8360CDW - Best laser printer for graphic designers
Brother HL-L8360CDW - Best laser printer

With its undeniable high performance, this printer elevates your productivity through its 33 pages per minute printing speed.

The Brother HL-L8360CDW produces both excellent color and black prints up to 2400 by 600 dpi class resolution.

Another feature that makes it competitive is its advanced triple layer security feature which helps you ensure restricted document and device access.

It comes with a built-in wireless 802.11 b/g/n and Gigabit Ethernet network which allows both easy sharing and setup.

Apart from those features, this also offer cost-efficient printing with the Brother Genuine high-yield replacement toner cartridges that are built to last.

Moreover, it also lets you enjoy additional functions such as near-field communication (NFC) and a color touch screen.

This printer also has an adjustable paper tray for letter or legal size paper that has a 250-sheet capacity.

Proving its paper handling flexibility, the Brother HL-L8360CDW comes with an additional 50-sheet capacity multi-purpose tray for letterhead and alternative media prints, and an optional multiple layer trays that can handle up to 1,050 sheets.

So if you’re looking for a single-function laser printer with a wide spectrum of features, then I recommend this one to you.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: White
Printing Technology: Laser
Brand: Brother
Print media: Envelopes, Paper (plain), Card stock, Label

Pros

  1. Flexible paper handling
  2. Excellent print quality
  3. Expandable paper capacity
  4. Triple layer security

Cons

  1. Expensive
  2. High running cost
  3. Space-consuming

6. Canon MF741Cdw

If you are looking for a perfect printer that can bring your artwork to life, I suggest you purchase this.

Your best companion in producing terrific-quality art prints.

With its rich feature capabilities and high-quality imaging, you can never go wrong with the Canon Color ImageCLASS MF741Cdw.

Price: $589.99

Canon MF741Cdw- Best art print printer for graphic designers
Canon MF741Cdw - Best for art prints

This multifunction color laser printer with custom presets is business-ready for graphic designers.

The Canon Color ImageCLASS MF742CDW is built for more extensive demands and can produce high-quality prints while having minimal maintenance.

This duplex laser printer comes with a 5 inches touchscreen display — and what’s even better is that it’s customizable to suit your printing needs.

This printer sets itself apart from other brands with its speed of 28 pages per minute.

Another key feature of this printer is its Application Library platform which allows seven functions: Print Template, Standby Slide, Scan-to-Present Destination, ID Card Copy, Consumables Information, Copy (Eco), and Copy (Bleed Reduce) which are all unique to the Canon imageCLASS product line.

The Canon Color ImageCLASS MF741CDW also offers a wide variety of printing options ranging from iOS to Android devices supported by the Canon PRINT Business application.

Moreover, its sharp and superb quality printing with V2 (Vivid and Vibrant) Color Technology, makes it a perfect candidate for producing your art prints.

With all the features I have mentioned, I am sure that this will give you the best quality art prints for your money.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: White
Printing Technology: Laser
Brand: Canon
Print media: Paper (plain)

Pros

  1. Customizable Application Library
  2. Low supply costs
  3. Two-sided printing
  4. Touchscreen display
  5. Built-in security

Cons

  1. Lacks auto-duplex ADF
  2. Big footprint
  3. Poor connectivity

7. Brother HL-L3210CW

If you need an upgrade from the previous one, this next printer I have reviewed may help you with your medium-size business’ needs.

The best printer for graphic designers who run a medium-sized business.

The Brother HL-L3210CW’s large paper capacity of 250 sheets and a large toner box giving you up to 1,000 pages make it perfect for medium-sized businesses.

Price: $324.00

Brother HL-L3210CW - Best printer for graphic designers with medium-sized businesses
Brother HL-L3210CW - For medium-sized businesses

This model measures 9.9 by 16.1 by 18.1 inches and comes with an antiquated control panel with one-line monochrome LCD display.

With its robust design, the Brother HL-L3210CW offers easy use and navigation — paired with its phone and tablet printing options.

Like what I have recommended for small businesses, this printer can reduce your expenses by providing high-yield supplies that are built to last.

With its speed of 19 pages per minute with 2,400 dpi print quality, this can help boost your productivity and run your business smoothly.

The Brother HL-L3210CW is powered by LED technology, ensuring great-quality professional prints.

Another feature that makes it stand out and perfect for business is its compactness, allowing you to save more space.

Moreover, this printer is also compatible with Alexa which takes its printing to another level.

Combined together, the features I have mentioned makes this printer a great choice for those designers who have a medium-size business.

Specifications:

Printer Output:  Color
Color: White/Grey
Printing Technology: Laser
Brand: Brother
Print media: Envelopes, Paper (plain), Card stock, Glossy photo paper

Pros

  1. Versatile paper handling
  2. Affordable
  3. High-quality prints
  4. Wireless connectivity

Cons

  1. High running cost
  2. Manual double-sided printing
  3. Lacks auto-feed tray

8. HP ENVY Photo 7855

The HP ENVY Photo 7855 brings you nothing but excellent quality photos and comes with a scanner, making it the most convenient printer on the list.

The most convenient printer for graphic designers.

This photo-centric all-in-one is best for graphic designers who don’t want to break the bank without compromising their prints’ quality.

Price: $229.89

HP ENVY Photo 7855 - Most convenient printer for graphic designers
HP ENVY Photo 7855 - Most convenient

This printer comes in a classy matte-black with glossy-black highlights design.

The HP ENVY Photo 7855 measures 7.7 by 17.9 by 19.8 inches and weighs 17 pounds, stepping up its convenience.

Its size is also very compact and doesn’t demand too much area of your workspace.

Interestingly, this printer features a 3.5-inch color touchscreen located in the tilt-up front panel.

Saving your time, this model has a tray that holds up to 125 sheets of plain paper — it can also print your beautiful photos in less than a minute.

What makes the HP ENVY Photo 7855 so convenient is its wireless printing through Wi-Fi direct and Ethernet, along with its USB and memory card ports.

Quality-wise, it can produce great quality prints that are well-saturated and vivid, making it suitable for general business use.

For its price and features, you would never regret risking your tight budget on this very convenient printer.

Overall, the HP ENVY Photo 7855 is a great choice if you're looking for the best all-in-one printer for small business.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: Black
Printing Technology: Inkjet
Brand: HP
Print media: Labels, Glossy photo paper, High-resolution paper

Pros

  1. High scan resolution
  2. Decent printing speed
  3. Reasonable cartridge price

Cons

  1. Inadequate touchscreen sensitivity
  2. Single color cartridge
  3. Lacks duplex scanning

9. Epson SureColor P800

If you’re still not satisfied with the previous printers I have listed, this one might end your search because it is the most versatile on the list.

The most versatile printer perfect for professional graphic designers.

The Epson SureColor P800 is perfect for professional graphic designers who want to step up the game with larger prints on a wide variety of media.

Price: $1,224.99

Epson SureColor P800 - Most versatile printer for graphic designers
Epson SureColor P800 - Most versatile

The new and improved model from Epson brings you a 17 inches wide prosumer-level photo and fine art inkjet designed for serious enthusiasts.

The Epson SureColor P800 measures 23.93 by 14.80 by 9.85 inches and weighs 43 lbs, which maybe be a problem but not enough to outweigh its unique features.

Boasting its latest Ultrachrome HD inks, the Epson SureColor P800 makes use of nine cartridges, each with 80 ml of pigment ink.

With this feature, you can switch mechanisms — from matte to photo black ink, depending on the type of media you use.

This printer is powered by the Advanced Micro Piezo® AMC technology along with its unique ink-repelling coating technology.

It also comes with a 2.7 inch LCD color touchscreen with three buttons for ON and OFF, Home, and Return options.

Moreover, it proves its overall quality with its undeniable sturdy trays that seem well-built for heavy use.

Outshining other models, this printer has a Top Media Input Tray that can hold up to 120 sheets of plain paper, 30 sheets of premium ones, and 10 presentation-quality photo paper sheets.

So if you’re a professional looking for printer that gets most of the job done with quality, then I would say this is the one for you.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: Black
Printing Technology: Inkjet
Brand: Epson
Print media: Paper (plain)

Pros

  1. Excellent print quality
  2. Very compact
  3. High-quality ink tanks
  4. Supports avariety of papers

Cons

  1. Paper roll lacks cutter
  2. Prone to ink loss
  3. Manual feed tray

10. Canon PIXMA TS8320

If you’re still searching for the best inkjet printer that could cater to your needs, then the Canon PIXMA TS9320 Inkjet is my recommendation for you.

This is the best inkjet printer you could ever search for.

This belongs to the most favorite options when it comes to inkjet printers so it’s no surprise that I’ve listed this as the best one.

Price: $335.00

Canon PIXMA TS8320 - Best inkjet printer for graphic designers
Canon PIXMA TS8320 - Best inkjet printer

The Canon PIXMA TS8320 Inkjet comes in a very stylish design in black — measuring 14.7 by 12 by 5.6 inches.

As inkjets are known for their ability to produce bright colors, this model is best for printing with deep black and vibrant colors safe from fading — all made possible by its ChromaLife100 ink cartridge system.

This features prints with a quality as high as 4800 by 1200 dpi — this also allows you to print stunning borderless photos on sizes up to 8.5 by 11 inches.

Every user would surely love this printer with its user-friendly interface that includes a 4.3 inch LCD touchscreen — this allows you to print, scan, and copy documents with much ease.

One unique feature of this printer is that it can be hands-free as this supports voice-activated printing through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Like most printers, this features dual-paper printing without having to swap papers of even the trays manually.

In terms of connectivity, the Canon PIXMA TS82320 Inkjet can easily be navigated using the Canon PRINT app directly from any of your devices.

Moreover, this supports SD card printing, allowing you to print photos right from your memory card without any hassle.

Overall, you can never go wrong with this multifunctional inkjet printer while saving money at the same time.

Specifications:

Printer Output: Color
Color: Black
Printing Technology: Inkjet
Brand: Canon
Print media: Envelopes, Glossy photo paper

Pros

  1. Fast photo printing
  2. High quality prints
  3. Duplex printing

Cons

  1. Above-average ink cost
  2. Manual document feeder
  3. Limited to small papers

Conclusions

While it is true that laser printers are much expensive than inkjet ones, designers get the best quality out of them with their ability to produce vivid and sharp graphic prints.

As there is a wide variety of models and brands you can choose from, you can purchase your printer for as low as $149 or as much as $1250, depending on your needs.

Well, the truth is, you can get better quality and vibrant prints if you have a bigger budget.

As a designer, you need to invest in a printer that is built to last — and of course, a printer that will give justice to your works.

If you can’t afford to take the risk, I highly suggest you go for the most expensive printer with the most features you can afford.

Again, the Canon Pixma iP8720 Inkjet Printer remains the no. 1 option for several graphic designers with the quality prints you can get from its price.

Needless to say, versatile and high-quality printers will be your best companion in making your designs come to life.

Which printer for graphic design from the list are you eying?

Do you have any recommendations? — Leave a comment below.

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