Choosing a printer for art prints

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
logan ross Regular Member • Posts: 440
Re: Choosing a printer for art prints

luepc wrote:


I'm starting my career as a professional illustrator and, until now, I've been ordering prints of my artwork at my local print shop. However, I've encountered a few issues with this, especially the high prices for both scanning and printing and the fact that it can take 1-2 weeks to get a single print ready.

I already have a decent scanner, but recently I've been looking for a printer to do my own art prints at home. I've also read a few threads in this forum about this matter, but I'd like to have some additional advice to make some decisions.

I still don't have a high volume of sales, so I'd like to prepare a wider range of illustration sizes and customize my printing, to have more products available with a wider price range. An A3 printer would suffice, I think, and if I needed a much better or larger print, I'd order it at a print shop.

I'm aware that cheaper printers won't give me what I need regarding color accuracy, but I also didn't want to spend a thousand (or more) on a new printer, as I still don't have much income. Both Canon Pixma Pro-100S and 10S have caught my eye. As far as I know, pigment ink offers better quality and durability to the prints, so I suppose Pro-10S would be the one to choose. However, I was a bit confused with the reviews I found for that model, and I got the idea that there are more people preferring Pro-100S over 10S.

Another thing I'm concerned about is the calibration factor. I have a display that covers 75% AdobeRGB, so I was hoping that I could find some settings that could help me "calibrate" my display with the printer output through some trial and error, without also having to invest in an actual calibrator, at least for now.

Could someone give me some more insight into these matters? Would you recommend any of the Pixma Pro stated above? Or are there other similar printers, also with ICC profiles available to download, and compatible with Canson printing paper? And do you think a calibrator is something really necessary at this point or is it something that I could think about at some other time?

Thank you in advance!

I have both the Pro 200 (dye ink) and the pro 1000 (larger version of the pigment ink pro 300). One is not better than the other. I select printer based on the paper and the paper based on the image (smoothness/texture/warmth/weight).

For anything that is glossy, without a doubt, the pro 200 results are preferable. For example, Pictorico High Gloss White Film, makes the most astonishing glossy prints with dye, but are dull and lifeless when printed with pigment. For mattes, I tend to use the pro 1000 (but have begun experimenting with the pro 200 for the deeper blacks and richer colors). For barytas and other “satin in the middle” papers, it really depends on the paper. Some, like Ilford Gold Fiber Silk are designed specifically for pigment, and don’t print very well on Dye. Others, like those from Hahnemhule are designed to work with both dye and pigment, and my tests have shown that it simply varies by paper, and the only way to know is to test. Canon semi-gloss and luster work equally well on dye and pigment as a further example.

BTW, I have a fully managed workflow, use paper manufacturer provided Media type profiles, and professionally made (by Chromix) color profiles for each paper for each printer. I am very comfortable in saying that I have eliminated variables, and that my results are solid. I maintain a spreadsheet of my paper results, so that it is easy to select the right paper/printer combo for a particular image.

Finally, short of selling prints where “100 years” is a necessary selling point, I no longer find the longevity issue to be a factor in selecting a pigment vs dye printer. Today’s dye printers are far better than older ones, and I have 15 year old dye prints, printed largely on Pictorico high gloss white film on Epson printers, that are displayed without glass, and look as good as they did back then. If I need to reprint in 30 years, I will 😀

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