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The best art printers have been developed specifically for art prints and large projects. So although that makes them more expensive than the best home printers for general consumers, it also makes them the perfect choice for artists and designers.
When testing the best printers for artists, we’re looking for devices capable of strong color reproduction and clarity, using the best inks for art printing (generally, these will be pigment-based inks). Ideally, we also want to see the option to print in larger formats and on heavy fine art media. We’ve also considered the usual factors we test for, like budget, design, and overall performance.
Note that these are all color printers, but if it’s monochrome you’re looking for, read our guide to the best black and white printers instead. If you’re specifically looking to print photos, don’t miss our roundup of the best photo printers. While if you’re a student, check out the best student printers.
01. Epson EcoTank ET-8550
An excellent all-rounder that works well on glossy and matte paper, the ET-8550 offers affordable running costs due to its efficient ink tanks. It’s easy set-up, and you get beautiful quality results, even using grey and deep photo quality black ink for impactful prints. It’s also a built-in scanner and copier, to boot!
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For a more affordable option, this device can print a bordered sheet of A3+ in full colour in around two minutes, though affordability comes at the expense of the colour reproduction. You can opt for more affordable high-yield ink cartridges to max out on the affordability, too.
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Best for A2
03. Epson SureColor SC-P900
It’s pricey, but the SureColor SC-P900 is compact and offers fantastic results, including panoramic prints to cut sheets up to 17 by 22 inches if you purchase the roll-feeder, too. Setup could be better, and the ink that comes with the printer won’t go far.
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Best for A3+
This one is great for larger prints, but it will set you back financially. However, for this big-ticket pricetag, you’ll get fantastic colour reproduction, great speeds and sharp prints that dry almost straight away. It’s very versatile, too, so you can use it for everything from standard paper to heavier media.
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05. Epson Premium XP-6100
This small, light and cheap art printer is easy to use and incredibly quick, and for the money comes with some excellent features. It does the basics well, and while it’s best used as a photo printer, it can easily be used to print off art, though the compact size means you’re limited to A4 prints.
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06. Epson SureColor SC-P5000
If money is no issue for you, and you want the best no matter what the cost, the Epson SureColor SC-P5000 is what you want. It’s a remarkable printer, and for around $2,500, you’d expect it to be! Expect industry-leading colour accuracy and stunning print quality. This is really for exhibition work.
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Best overall art printer
We think the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is the best art printer you can buy today. That’s not only because it a range of things well, but also because it does a range of things exceptionally. When you factor in that it does so with affordable running costs, as one ink tank prints around 3,400 pages, this is a printer that will be ideal for the largest number of creatives out there – from photographers to crafters and artists.
It’s easy to set up the ET-8550 and it supports Wi-Fi, USB and Ethernet connectivity, plus a mobile app enables you to manage prints and ink orders. It’s the quality of the photo and art prints that really impresses us, unlike standard printers that use CMYK the EcoTank ET-8550 makes use of grey and deep photo quality black ink for prints that have real impact.
It will print wide format 13- x 19-inch pictures, though if that’s overkill for you, there’s the slightly cheaper ET-8500 that reaches up to 8.5- x 11-inch pictures. The ET-8550 supports A3 prints, which is a pretty essential for creatives. If the price puts you off, consider the savings on ink, and this art printer also includes a built-in scanner and copier. I particularly like the compact design, too.
Best cheap art printer
Short on cash? Then the best art printer for you is the Canon Pixma iP8750. This affordable device can print a bordered sheet of A3+ in full colour in around two minutes. And with five dye-based inks, plus a pigment black, the results are worth waiting for.
Plus, if you want to save more money, you can buy high-yield ink cartridges that cost you less than standard cartridges. That makes this one of the cheapest art printers to run, as well as to buy.
Overall this a good art printer for the money that is cheaper to run than some printers on my list. It’s worth recognising you get what you pay for however, and Canon Pixma iP8750 lacks some of the colour reproduction of the most expensive printers on this list. For personal art prints this is great, professionals may find they need more.
Best for A2
The Epson SureColor SC-P900 is one of the more expensive art printers on my list but you get a superb printer for your money, and one that prints BIG. This art printer can deliver some excellent results, including panoramic prints to cut sheets up to 17 by 22 inches (though this requires a roll feeder that’s bought separately).
Onboarding is a little mixed; the Epson SureColor SC-P900 is easily setup and comes with connectivity to Mac and PC, as well an on-printer LCD touchscreen to help you manage our prints. The only downside is the ink supplied with the printer won’t last long. This is the only downside to a professional art printer that’s actually nicely sized and suitable for home use.
The print results speak for themselves – photos and art prints are deep and colours rich and vibrant, as this printer uses an UltraChrome 10 ink system to deliver a vast array of tones – these inks are: Cyan, Light Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow, Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Photo Black, and Matte Black. (This does make the Epson SureColor SC-P900 a little more expensive to run than some on this list.)
But if you’re looking for professional results from your prints, and want them to last and not fade then the Epson SureColor SC-P900 is the best on this list, just be aware of the extra costs involved.
Best art printer for A3+
Here’s another good option for great-looking prints at larger scale. The Canon PIXMA PRO-200 will cost you about twice as much as the iP8750 (number two on my list), but you’ll get a corresponding jump in quality when it comes to colour reproduction. It’s a relatively speedy printer, too. And it goes up to A3+, which as the name suggests is larger than A3 at 330mm x 483mm (13″ x 19″). It’ll also do panoramic prints up to 990cm wide.
This printer delivers lovely sharp prints that are dry almost straight away. And it’s versatile; working with set of eight inks, it’s capable of printing on anything from standard paper to heavier fine art media.
If you’re a professional artist or looking to sell art prints on craft stores like Etsy or your own site then the Canon PIXMA PRO-200 comes recommended. That pro-quality comes at a price though, as this is more costly to run than the cheaper Cannon and is, well, huge. You’ll need a dedicated space in your craft room or study to keep it running.
Best value art printer
The Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 is a small, light and cheap art printer that is great for printing off photos and small artworks. It’s easy to use and incredibly quick, and for the money comes with some excellent features.
In our Epson XP 6100 review we found that it does the basics well – scanning, copying and printing – but also has pre-installed templates to help you get more from these features. It’s best used as one of the best all-in-one printers, but it can easily be used to print off art, though the compact size means you’re limited to A4 prints.
The real downside to the Epson XP-6100 is the cost of replacement inks, which we worked out at around 16p a print, which is slightly more expensive than other printers on this list. So while the XP-6100 is cheaper upfront, it could be more costly in the long run, depending on how much use it gets.
Best premium art printer
If money is no object, then the Epson SureColor SC-P5000 should be top of your shopping list. You can print up to A2+ and panoramic prints. I’ll take the heaviest fine art media in its stride. And its print quality is quite exceptional.
The SC-P5000 has an internal colour calibration sensor, and that combined with a set of 10 Epson UltraChrome HDX pigment inks means that it can reproduce 99 per cent of the Pantone solid coated colour range.
This by far the most expensive option on our list, as well as the heaviest, at 52kg. But if you’re printing exhibition work and high-end art prints for customers, then it should ultimately pay for itself.
Best art printer for line work
Architects and engineers will need different things from a printer than artists and graphics designers. And so if you want to print crisp, large-scale line work such as blueprints and building plans, the HP DesignJet Studio is the printer to go for.
This dye-based A1 plotter also has great eco-credentials because it’s made with as many recycled materials as possible, using low and renewable energy construction processes. Note, though, that it only has a basic set of CMYK inks and will struggle with smooth gradients and photographic quality, so it’s not really suitable as an all-purpose art printer.
Best art printer for mobility
The Canon Selphy CP1300 is the portable printer that makes digital art on the move a little more fun. You can use this tiny printer – it’s small enough to slip into a shoulder bag – as it’s primary to print lab-quality photos directly from your camera, which is great for scrapbooking and collecting reference photos. But, the Canon Selphy CP1300 can also be used to print-off art directly from your iPad or other tablet.
This printer uses dye sublimation for quality prints and each only takes less than a minute to print. The small LCD screen enables you to set prints from the machine itself or use the Cannon app, which works with Apple devices. The app can be a little temperamental and the printer has a tendency to auto-crop areas of the image, which could be frustrating when printing art from a tablet.
But, as a mobile printer the Canon Selphy CP1300 is a fun way to take your digital art on the go; it’s also a great way to paint and collect references when out and about so digital plein air painters will love it. I’d suggest this is used in tandem with one of the larger home printers on my list. (Take a look at our buying guide to the best portable printers for more like this.)
How to choose the best art printers
Art printers can be very expensive, so choosing the right one for your needs really is a question of balancing quality with budget. To put it bluntly, if you’re a hobbyist or student, spending a lot of money on the top-end art printers is probably going to be overkill. At the other end of the scale, professional designers will fine that an expensive printer pays off over the long term, because better quality prints will keep clients happy, or make it easier to sell your prints online for a higher price. Also, think carefully about whether you need to print at A4, A3, A3+ or A2, because that will have an impact on budget too, and what sort of wired and/or wireless connectivity will best work with your workflow and setup.
How we test the best art printers
To decide which models are best suited for this guide, we combine real-world testing with professional and customer reviews to make sure we’re offering well-rounded and balanced recommendations.
In the best art printers, we expect to see fantastic colour accuracy, fast print times, quick drying and low ongoing costs, as well as a low cost to begin with. We want to see versatility, meaning a printer can not only handle different mediums like photography and type, but also different paper sizes and media.
Lastly, we want to see good-quality inks and ink systems to ensure everything you print comes out flawlessly and true to the original image.
What type of printer is good for art prints?
Inkjet printers are the best for quality art prints, and choose the highest colour ink system you can, ideally (they start at 6 and run to a 10-colour process). There are dye-based ink printers and also pigment ink printers (the ideal) to consider too. (Read our guide to the best inkjet laser and wireless home printers for more details.)
Why choose an specialist printer for art?
It comes down to resolution and size, basic household printers print at 8.5 x 11-inches, while art printers are larger and can be more adaptable, depending on the printer. Some art printers can handle paper of 19 inches, or 24-inch-wide prints of any length (good for banners or large panoramic photos and landscape paintings).
What is a good printer resolution for art prints?
The best resolution for art prints is 300dpi, this is the same as a professional printer would need for magazines printing. More expensive printers can recreate images up to 4800 x 2400 DPI, while the lowest you 600 x 600 DPI for blacks (colours can vary). The higher the ‘dots per inch’ the better the output and the smoother the finish.
What do I need to achieve art prints at home?
Aside from one of the best art printers on my list, I’d also suggest you need a couple of things. First, either a separate flatbed scanner or an art printer with a built-in scanner; you will also need a good DSLR camera and computer or tablet. Take a look at our guides to the best cameras for artists for more choice.
What paper is best for printing art?
First you will ideally be using Fine Art Paper, which will be called Giclee Printing, Rag Paper, Cotton Paper and so forth (but some will be trial and error and check your printer’s depth of paper restrictions). Read our beginner’s guide to Giclee printing for more details.
With a good art printer this paper will work. One tip, always print as matt as a glossy print can hide any paint strokes and leave detail looking flat. Matt prints offer the same impression as a real watercolour or oil canvas.
Can you print sketchbook and moleskin pages?
While technically with some art printers you can tear our pages and use this it’s not ideal. In fact, you’d be better to use your sketchbook as intended to record all those lovely natural marks and then scan and print these pages.
Can canvas art make good prints?
Yes, of course. There are two ways to turn a canvas painting into an art print. You can either take a high resolution digital photo and print from this – you’ll need to ideally take this on a white wall with direct lighting – or use a large flatbed scanner. (Read our guide to the best photo scanners.)
A handheld scanner could be used but this can result in errors. In either case you’ll need to open the digital file in Photoshop or a similar app and tinker with the levels to ensure none of the detail is lost.