Every artist knows their home office or studio will look different from the traditional setup. For one thing, the proper technology to create fine art and massive art prints needs to be advanced, optimized, and able to handle color and the greater size.
Most artists recommend using a large format printer whether they prefer to use a Mac, PC, or no computer at all. However, if you are seeking the best large format printer for your studio, you need to understand what to look for.
At the outset, it seems like all printers are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. To help you identify the best large format printers for fine art and artists, we have gathered together models based on their efficiency, technological adaptability, and image quality.
Comparison of 11 Best Large Format Printers in 2020
|HP Designjet T120 Large Format Printer|
|HP DESIGNJET T120 2018 ED. Printer|
|Canon imagePROGRAF iPF770 Large-Format Printer|
|Canon imagePROGRAF 670e Large Format Printer|
|Epson SureColor T3170 Printer|
|Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Inkjet Printer|
|HP Designjet T100 Printer|
|HP DesignJet T530 Large-Format Printer|
|HP Designjet T1500 PS ePrinter|
|HP Designjet T830 MFP Printer|
|Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Wide-Format Printer|
Top 11 Best Large Format Printer Reviews in 2020
Collected here are 11 of the best large format printers. These were chosen to represent a broad range of options, including inkjet models and others best suited for photography.
1. HP Designjet T120 Inkjet Large Format Printer
The HP DesignJet T120 was designed to be one the smallest large format printers currently on the market. Despite its size and compact nature, it has a maximum printing width of 24 in. and is able to accommodate various paper types, including photo and glossy finishes.
You can also use rolls if you prefer that style. One of the best features of this model is the wireless connectivity. You will be able to send your completed pictures and documents to the HP DesignJet T120 from your laptop, desktop, smartphone, or working tablet. You can also use a basic Ethernet cable or take advantages of the USB 2.0 port.
This model uses dye-based and pigment-based inks in four colors with easy to replace cartridges. The system produces up to 1200 x 1200 optimized dpi. The full product dimensions are 38.9 x 20.9 x 11.2 in. and it weighs 56 lbs. One great feature of the HP DesignJet T120 is the included 1-year limited manufacturer warranty that covers parts and basic wear and tear.
2. HP DESIGNJET T120 2018 ED. Large Format Printer
Where to begin with the HP DesignJet T120. This is a large format printer for artists or similar content creators who need to develop documents with a maximum width of 24 in. The device creates documents with highly saturated ink and is capable of working in color or simple black and white.
This model has superior wireless connectivity that allows you to access it from your laptop, desktop, tablet, or even smartphone. The system is highly compact to fit in small spaces and is recommended by the manufacturer for desks, crowded studios, or home offices.
Paper is loaded into an upper tray, while the output tray is forward facing. You can use a broad range of paper types, including traditional letterhead, glossy, photo, and matte. You can also use rolls if you prefer that style. The software and drivers are up to date and the system appears to be compatible with Macs and PCs.
3. Canon imagePROGRAF iPF770 Large-Format Printer
The Canon 9856B002AA imagePROGRAF iPF770, besides having a large name, is also a massive large format printer designed for offices and studios that churn out a remarkable amount of art prints or blueprints.
This model utilizes high speed printing and a sub-ink tank system to rapidly produce documents. The ink is highly saturated and can be in color or black and white depending on your personal preference. An economy print mode is available to reduce how much material is used at any given time.
Similar to a couple of other models currently on the market, the Canon 9856B002AA imagePROGRAF iPF770 has a forward-facing output tray which deposits completed documents into a small mesh basket. This reduces product backup in the printer and helps reduce the frequency of paper jams.
Multiple paper types are accepted in this system, including traditional letterhead, glossy, and matte options. The maximum printing width on this device is 36 in. The full product dimensions are 55.5 x 43 x 31 in. and the printer weighs a whopping 224 lbs. Wireless connectivity is an option, as is the use of a standard Ethernet cable.
4. Canon imagePROGRAF 670e Large Format Printer
The Canon imagePROGRAF 670e is a large format inkjet printer designed for the busy artist who needs to print highly detailed images on a regular basis. It uses a dye Reactive ink set that consists of four colors and two channels of pigment to create solid blacks.
Unlike some other machines, this printer utilizes 90 mL cartridges and focuses on reducing ink consumption while still generating saturated pieces. The Canon imagePROGRAF 670e has a high-density print head with 15,360 nozzles and minimum droplet size of 4 picoliters.
The system has a maximum 2400 x 1200 dpi and is great for abstract details, blueprints, and similar documents. One great feature of this large format printer is the Direct Print & Share for computers that allows for printing directly from a cloud service or a networked folder on your computer.
You and multiple users can connect wirelessly to the Canon imagePROGRAF 670e from your laptops, desktops, or tablets to share the printer in a studio or office. This model has full product dimensions of 44 x 33 x 30 in. and weighs 92 lbs. It can accept multiple paper types but works best with traditional, glossy, or matte options. The maximum printing width is 24 in. while the maximum printing length is 59 in.
5. Epson SureColor T3170 Wireless Desktop Printer
This model produces accurate A1/D-size prints and is also capable of printing on regular paper with a maximum 24 in. width. The Epson SureColor T3170 has a compact and clean design with an optional stand for artists who dislike cluttering their studios with technology.
An LCD color touchscreen allows you to switch between settings easily, and the entire system is designed to replace ink less often high capacity cartridges. These cartridges can hold 50 or 80 mL depending on your personal preference. Because this is a more modern large format printer, you are able to connect wirelessly. Users are able to print from their laptops, desktops, tablets, or smartphones without difficulty.
The system is compatible with Macs and PCs and also includes a USB 2.0 port for flash drives and similar devices. The full product dimensions of this printer are 20 x 38 x 9 in. and it weighs 60 lbs. You can choose to print in color or black and white, and multiple paper types are accepted. This particular model is recommended for photographers because of its color quality and simplicity.
6. Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Inkjet Printer
The Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 is a smaller large format printer intended to be used for the fine arts or by artists seeking to make prints. One of the best features of the model is its anti-clogging ink technology, which prevents too much from being used.
It also reduces the chance of smudges and clogs. The tubular ink delivery system is also capable of churning out prints at faster rates, resulting in speedy content creation. On average, the Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 is capable of creating about three pages per minute.
Compared to a regular inkjet printer, three pages does not sound like a lot. However, this large format option can create images up to 22 in. in width in both color or black and white. This model utilizes the Lucia Pro 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink system, which uses 11 different shades of ink.
Three of these shades are gray to develop a better contrast and gradation between black and white. The cartridges are easy to replace and last for a long time. When it comes to paper, the Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 works well with traditional letter as well as glossy, photo, and matte options. It has a front loading input tray and a front output tray.
You can connect to this printer wirelessly or by using and Ethernet cable. There is a USB 2.0 port. If you enjoy using media apps, you can also send documents to the Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 through your smartphone or digital tablet.
7. HP Designjet T100 Large Format Printer Best for Artists
The HP DesignJet T100 is a medium-sized option for individuals interested in large format printers. This model has a maximum paper width of 24 in. and accepts a variety of paper types, including rolls, traditional letterhead, photo, and glossy or matte.
The paper can be loaded vertically in an exterior input tray, or you can choose to use the built-in front-loading automatic roll feeder. To complete a full document, the HP DesignJet T100 takes around 70 seconds. It is capable of printing in color or basic black and white.
It includes a compact plotter and allows you to choose whether you want to print wirelessly, attach an Ethernet cable, or use the USB 2.0 port. You can also print from a smartphone using the HP Smart app. Surprisingly, this is one of the smaller large format printers on this list.
The HP DesignJet T100 has full product dimensions of 44.9 x 24.4 x 16.3 in. and weighs around 67 lbs. While it isn’t portable, it can fit in an artist’s home office or studio without too much of a struggle. A limited 1-year manufacturer’s warranty is also included with most purchases, and the ink is easy to come by.
8. HP DesignJet T530 Large Format Printer
The HP DesignJet T530 is another HP model that focuses on creating stellar image quality. This model has a maximum print width of 24 in. and accepts a broad range of paper types, including traditional letterhead, photo, matte, and glossy art paper.
It even allows you to print on rolls with an automatic front-loading feed roll. When it comes to specifications, this model works best when you use a 24 in. x 150 ft. feed roll and are willing to use scissors to trim between prints. The ink system produces 2400 x 1200 dpi, and the machine takes 30 seconds to complete a full page.
You can choose whether to print in full color with the dye-based ink or to stick with black and white. It is possible to connect to the HP DesignJet T530 using the USB 2.0 port or by connecting a basic Ethernet cable. Users are able to send documents and prints to the machine from laptops and desktops. An output tray collects finished pages to avoid ink smudging and to ensure prints don’t fall to the floor.
Because of its size, this large format printer has full dimensions of 38.9 x 20.9 x 36.7 in. and weighs 75 lbs. Most models come with a limited 1-year warranty to cover manufacturer error and basic parts replacement. If you are an artist who prints long form work, architectural blueprints, and similar content, then this might be the best inkjet large format printer for you.
9. HP Designjet T1500 Postscript ePrinter
The HP DesignJet T1500 is a powerful large format postscript printer intended for dedicated studios and offices that know they need to create a massive number of prints or documents in any given month.
This machine uses a dye-based six ink system to create glossy photos with intense gradation and pleasing contrast between black, white, and colors. Paper is loaded into this device through two automatic front-loading feed rolls which accept individual pages or actual rolls of paper.
Smart roll switching is included if one runs out of paper to complete a request. An integrated output stacking tray ensures pages don’t become stuck together or disorganized once work is complete. One beneficial feature of the HP DesignJet T1500 is its ability to print art on pages at a maximum of 36 in. in width. This machine only accepts HP 727 300-ml ink cartridges. The full product dimensions are 27.3 x 55.1 x 37.4 in., and it weighs 194 lbs.
10. HP Designjet T830 MFP Printer
The HP DesignJet T830 is a twist on the classic large format printer. It combines an inkjet printer with a scanner and catching tray so you can not only get copies of your artwork but also make sure they don’t slip off the table once completed.
This has one of the biggest basic widths since it is capable of creating prints up to 36 in. wide without difficulty. The HP DesignJet T830 allows you to choose to print large or small documents by featuring two input trays where you can put different types of paper.
It accepts regular letterhead, photo, glossy, and matte options and prints in color or black and white. This model stands vertical rather than horizontal and is designed to allow for quick content creation and distribution.
You can connect to the system wirelessly, via an Ethernet cable, or by using the USB 2.0 port. The HP DesignJet T830 has full product dimensions of 55.2 x 24.8 x 45.5 in. and weighs a whopping 138 lbs. It is intended for serious artists and studios and is designed to last for years before needing repairs.
11. Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Inkjet Printer
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is one of the best large format inkjet printers which allows artists to create imagery in color or black and white. This model uses Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 pigment ink, a style considered one of the leaders in the current ink market because of its rich and vivid color.
Unlike some other printers, the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 makes it easy to change out spent cartridges even during the middle of large work orders. This printer accepts glossy, matte, and fine art papers in addition to regular sheets for drafts. You can also experiment with photographic paper, canvas, and 1.3 mm thick board.
It even accommodates roll paper for artists interested in being a little extra creative with their concepts and prints. Users can further choose how much black ink they would like used during printing to affect the overall shading of the finished product. One unique feature about the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is your ability to print on inkjet CDs and DVDs without difficulty.
When it comes to connectivity, you can utilize Hi-Speed USB 2.0, wireless 802.11n, or the 100 Mbit Ethernet support. This means you can use a laptop, a desktop, or even basic devices like tablets to send art to the printer. In terms of size, this printer has full dimensions of 24.5 x 12.8 x 8.6 in. and weighs around 27.5 lbs. The maximum paper width it can accept is 13 in.
Buying Guide for the Best Large Format Printers in 2020
The output from large format printers is usually for designing walls in studios and homes, banners, and flyers. You cannot compromise on quality because your choices will be staring at you from the wall. It would be pleasant if what stares at you from the wall is something nice but if it is not, you can imagine how that would be. If you make the right choices while buying your printer, you would never have to worry about the quality of your print. These are some of the features you should pay attention to when you want to buy your printer.
With a large format printer, you can print some large prints including posters, wall arts, and banners. But the size of these items will vary with the printer used. The printer’s width determines the height of the print. So, the printer you eventually choose should have a width that supports the size of the print you want.
The print resolution represents the quality of the output image on the print. The print resolution of your large format printer is measured in dots per inch (dpi). The higher the dpi of your printer, the better the quality of the print that comes out of it. Printers with a higher resolution will come out sharper than those with low resolution. You remember what we said about making the right choices? This choice is important. Remember, the higher the dpi, the better the output.
Time is a lot but no one has a lot of it. Printing can take a lot of time especially when it is in large format and the images are detailed. But with some printers printing in as fast 25 seconds, this might not be a problem.
How can I ensure that I print in the best resolution?
Follow the 300-dpi rule. The best resolution for your print should be determined by the size of the print you want. So, if you are to follow the 300-dpi rule, you will multiply the dimensions by 300. For a 10 x 10 inch banner, the best resolution will be (300 x 10 x 300 x 10) = 9,000,000 pixels or 9 megapixels.
What can I make with my large format printer?
There is a lot you can make with your printer especially if the width is large enough. Some of the prints you can make with your printer include billboards, posters, wallpapers, and banners.
Do printers larger than large format printers exist?
Yes, they do. Printers with a roll width from 18 inches up to 100 inches are considered large format printers. However, some printers have a roll width of over 100 inches. These printers are called grand format printers.
What is the best file format to save my images in?
Lossless raster file formats or vector file formats offer the best quality for printing. Raster file formats like PNG and PSD will give you good output. Vector file formats like EPS and AI will also give you high-quality prints.
When it comes to finding the best large format printer for fine art and artists, it can feel like you are traveling in circles. Ultimately, the best printer for you will depend on your individual needs, whether you like inkjet, and the type of paper you want to utilize.
Out of all of these models, perhaps the best one for the average artist is the Epson Stylus Photo R2000. Not only does it have great wireless connectivity, but it also accepts a broad range of media types not even touched by the other models currently on the market.
If you want to be able to print large versions of your artwork, or even just basic documents, consider investing in a large format printer for your art studio today.