Question Printer for graphics

Feb 25, 2021
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Hello,
I am looking for a home printer where main focus is sharp and saturated colorful prints (may contain texts which need to be sharp too)

I would like to print posters and graphics for boardgames - a board (the graphic later that would be glued into a cardboard probably), cards, tokens, rulebook...

E.g. https://www.deskovehry.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/arkham-horror-card-game-path-to-carcosa-01.jpg
(I'm aware that ideally/eventually this would be done by a professional service, but I'd still like to be able to produce something near such quality)

It may not be used too often, not daily for sure

Would borderless print be useful here too? Not many printers have it. Probably same case for larger than A4 formats

Multi-purpose would be as a bonus. One can less conveniently "scan" using a phone camera and copy by scan+print after all

Not that important are speed of printing, loudness, per-print cost, these can possibly be subpar

Budget is roughly 500EUR / 550USD, could be less, could be more if there'd be a particular reason

I will gladly provide more info if needed (will edit)
Thank you!
 

hang-the-9

Titan
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robertbhart

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Sep 12, 2012
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I think you'd be better off with some kind of vinyl printer for that kind of thing.

You should print directly onto something glossy which comes with an adhesive layer or you'll have to invest in a laminator.

If you're aiming for professional-looking results, I don't think any desktop printer printing on regular A4 paper is going to cut it. It will probably end-up looking like a 12-year-olds school project.

Given what's going on in the world.... A medium format semi-professional digital printer seems like the kind of thing someone might try to get rid of on Craigslist for very little money. It's worth a quick look....
 
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If you're aiming for professional-looking results, I don't think any desktop printer printing on regular A4 paper is going to cut it. It will probably end-up looking like a 12-year-olds school project.
A quality glossy photo paper on a good photo inkjet printer would likely do a pretty decent job. And it's possible to find some large-format 13 x 19" (33 x 48cm - A3+) printers around this price range. One lower-priced example would be the Canon Pixma IP8720, which is very barebones in terms of features outside of photo printing, but supports 13x19" borderless prints at around $330 or so (in the US, anyway)...


It's a 6-year old design, but I don't think printers have actually changed a whole lot from one year to the next lately. You might want to look around though, since there might be some alternate options with more features available now. I considered getting a wide format printer when shopping for one a few years back, but went with a more standard 8.5x11 (A4) multifunction photo printer instead, as I didn't think the large-format capability would get used often enough to make it worthwhile. For something like a fold-able, cardboard-backed game board, you might also be able to get away with combining a larger number of smaller A4 prints. Do note that borderless prints might not line up perfectly along the edges though, as the edges tend to get cut off slightly when using that feature. And you might want to use something like one of these for cutting out smaller objects like cards precisely...

https://www.amazon.com/Firbon-Scrapbooking-Automatic-Safeguard-Cardstock/dp/B075NYWF5P

And the choice of paper and ink can definitely make a difference in terms of print quality. Generally, the official ink cartridges are going to provide noticeably better results if you are aiming for quality. Colors tend to not be as accurate on third-party inks, perhaps due in part to the printer not being calibrated for them, and they may not hold up as well in terms of smudge and fade resistance either. Though official inks tend to often be a lot more expensive, and you might want to consider print cost if you are making a lot of large prints, as they will probably eat through print cartridges fairly quickly. A 13x19" print would be equivalent to about 10 4x6" photo prints, or 2.5 A4 photo prints, for example. The ink alone might potentially cost a few dollars on a print that size (depending on the printer), plus another dollar or more for a sheet of decent photo paper in that size.

One other thing to consider is that if you are making a large print and want it to appear sharp up close, you will need a rather large source image file to go with it.
 
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Feb 25, 2021
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So I got myself Canon Pixma Pro-200, it has borderless print on plain/photo paper up to A3 and my few test prints on the included few sample photo papers turned out exactly what I hoped for - very sharp and colorful, also the surface looks very solid (as in durable), so if photo or similar paper would be usable (it's not exactly cheap though, but oh well), then maybe it won't even need lamination/coating (though I got myself also a spray for coating)
Thanks again!
 

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