The best art printers range from the affordable models that can be used in the home for many tasks to dedicated printers for artists that have been developed specifically for art prints and large projects. The best printers for artists offer everything from LCD screens and Wi-Fi support to roller feeds for gallery-quality prints on the best paper and specific art ink subscriptions.
For best results, you'll want the best printer for art prints capable of better colour reproduction and clarity than the average office printer. Ideally, it will use pigment-based inks, because dye-based inks don't look as good. From my experience, you'll also want the option of printing in larger formats, and on heavier, fine art media.
To help you out, I've gathered together the best art printers for home and studio use today. These cover a range of budgets, and include everything from premium machines to cheaper models and even a fun portable printer for immediate results. If you need to compare or need a printer for other uses, then read our guides to high end printers for professional work and the best black and white printers. Also, scroll down for an FAQ on all you need to know when considering buying one of the best art printers.
An excellent all-rounder, the Epson EcoTank ET-8550 offers affordable running costs thanks to its efficient ink tanks, swift and easy set-up, and 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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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 overall art printer
The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is the best art printer you can buy today. It really is a special printer that does everything you need, and does so with affordable running costs as one ink tank prints around 3,400 pages (it comes with enough ink to get you started too).
The EcoTank ET-8550 is easy to set up and supports Wi-Fi, USB and Ethernet connectivity, and a mobile app enables you to manage prints and ink orders. It's the quality of the photo and art prints that really impresses, unlike standard printers that use CMYK the EcoTank ET-8550 also makes use of grey and deep photo quality black ink for prints that have real impact.
The model recommended here is the ET-8550 which prints wide format 13" x 19 inch photos, though there is a slightly cheaper model, the ET-8500, which only prints 8.5 x 11 inch pictures. The ET-8550 supports A3 prints, too. 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 professional art printer
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. 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.
This is a relatively speedy printer, too. It goes up to A3+ and even larger; it'll also do panoramic prints up to 990cm wide. It 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 art works. 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 a photo printer 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.
Another great value art printer
For the price – sub $200 / £200 – the Epson Expression Photo XP-970 represents excellent value for money. It can print up to A3, features scan and copy functions and comes with an excellent app to control all of your prints and ink orders. As well as standard paper formats it features a rear tray for special or heavier paper stock.
The results are excellent, its six-colour printing process offers deep and rich colour pigments and while not the fastest it does print at a decent pace – black and white photos have a 8.5 ppm speed. It's compact but a little heavy for a smaller machine, but once set up and in place you won't mind.
The only real downside to this printer is the cost – while it's a well-priced printer for the quality it offers, the Epson Expression Photo XP-970 only supports Epson ink cartridges, which are expensive. It will also churn through ink too, so beware running costs are a little high. However, if you're printing 10-30 photos a month you'll be fine, anything above this and you may need to look at a more costly printer with lower running costs.
Best all-round art printer
If you're mainly looking for an all-round office printer, but are likely to need the occasional art print, then the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is worth checking out.
Its main A4 tray is ideal for loading with ordinary paper for office work, while its rear feed can handle A3+ and heavier media for producing good-looking art prints. So you're able to do a lot in one machine, which makes for a good buy if you're not looking for a dedicated art printer.
With six dye-based inks, you'll get decent colour reproduction and contrast, although not at such high quality as other printers on this list. On the plus side, this printer is compatible with Epson's XL cartridges, which helps keep running cost low. I'd also suggest signing up for Amazon Dash Replenishment, which means printer will automatically order new cartridges for you when ink is running low.
Best art printer for A2
The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 prints at up to A2, and does panoramic prints up to 1.2m, which makes it the best art printer for large projects.
It offers superb colour reproduction and sharpness via a set of 12 pigment-based Lucia Pro ink cartridges, with an additional chroma optimiser for giving work on glossy paper a smooth top coat. It'll produce an A2 print in around six minutes. And thanks to the high-quality inks the results are stunning, especially when using matte and fine art media.
This is by no means the cheapest art printer on our list. But if you want big, beautiful prints of your artwork, then it will do an exceptionally good job. As a designer, pro crafter or artist looking for quality the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 ticks a lot of boxes, and if you're successful will likely pay for itself in the long run.
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.)
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.
How we choose the best art printers
Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
When we sit down to weigh up the pros and cons of the best art printers, we're thinking about all the same things we encourage our readers to think about.
The most obvious aspect are the results, which we judge through our own reviews as well as customer reviews online. We look at how far the ink goes, how expensive the ongoing running costs are and, of course, the initial cost of the printer itself. Then there's the maximum paper size and any added tools to help render your art physically.
Also important is to consider the sound and volume of a printer; many creatives use home offices or studios, and so it's important to make sure whatever printer you buy isn't disruptive and obstructive.