If design is your business and you're often in need of test proofs, your own high-end printer can pay dividends in the long run and also save you from unpleasant surprises when your work comes off the press.
Of course, splashing out on such a heavyweight piece of kit isn't something to be approached lightly, so make sure you read our advice on how to choose a high-end printer. If your mind's already made up, though, here are three models that should be right at the top of your shopping list.
01. HP Designjet T520
HP has always been a leader in large-format printing. The 24-inch HP DesignJet T520 can output A1 prints at resolutions of up to 2,400 dpi using four CMYK inks. It comes with a stack of connectivity options, and its space-saving design is a big plus point for smaller studios. Other models in the DesignJet range support more ink colours or larger-format output, with recommended retail prices ranging from £948 to well over £10,000.
02. Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6400
Canon has a strong track record in graphics work, and puts a good chunk of its profits back into R&D. The imagePROGRAF series boldly promises "perfect proofs", with sizes ranging from 17 to 44 inches and street prices ranging from £780 to around £10,000. The iPF6450 sits in the middle, with a 24-inch print bed and 12-colour Lucia EX pigment ink. The next model up, the iPF6450, also comes equipped with a 250GB hard drive.
03. Epson Stylus Pro 4900
Epson’s Stylus Pro 4900 is a leader when it comes to colour consistency and accurate colour matching, with its 11-colour UltraChrome HDR inks achieving 98 per cent Pantone coverage. With its 17-inch print bed, it isn't as large as the other printers covered here, but the SureColor product range to which it belongs includes models up to 64 inches with recommended retail prices ranging from £974 to over £18,000.
Illustration: Ciara Phelan