Need Advice on a Printer! I want to make merchandise from home, archival quality, any tips?

  • I am looking for advice from anyone who prints merchandise at home on a small to mid-sized scale for sale. I have looked around at printer options but am a bit overwhelmed. I know for prints I need something that uses archival paper/ink so it doesn't fade, but beyond that I'm at a bit of a loss.

    The type of merchandise I am hoping to make would be stickers, prints, and postcards, mostly.
    Not sure how realistic doing all of these things on one printer would be, but I've been saving up money and am close to ready to make that purchase.

    I know @Jake-Parker mentioned that he uses, or used to use, an epsom of some sort, I believe a P5000, but he did mention recently on a podcast having issues with it. So I was wondering what everyone else out there uses to create quality merchandise.

    I have looked up lists of printer options for these purposes, but the lists all differ and reviews are not from illustrators or people who show at conventions, so I was hoping to find more career-specific advice from folks around here.

    Or, is it more economical to just continue to make orders through a print shop?

  • Hi @Kasey-Snow, I bought a Canon Pixma Pro 10s to do my smaller prints at home. It's an amazing 10 pigment ink printer and has both gloss black ink and matt black ink so doesn't have to clean itself when switching between the 2. Prints up to A3+ (13 x 19 in). Probably one of the best things I've ever bought. Cost £450 with a set of ink cartridges and loads of free museum archival paper. The posh gorgeous paper I buy is Hahnemuhle Photo Rag.

    A set of 10 Canon ink cartridges is around £110. It loves to guzzle the ink. Still cheaper than a print shop though. And if you're selling prints its just part of production costs. So the idea is the printer will start paying for itself! I love making prints as it's great for getting colour palettes right and seeing your work on paper. Though you do have to factor in the cost of making mistakes, which a print shop wouldn't charge you for. And consider space too. A3 printers are huge - 27 in x 15 in (dormant) and 34 in (in action).

  • @sigross I was looking into the Pixma Pro 10 just a couple days ago. Those are sold out everywhere online in the U.S. right now and I'd guess that'll be the case for a while with COVID-19 disrupting a lot of production/shipping. It's too bad because the model looks great for what I need.

  • I have the Canon pro 100 and I love it. Also does 13x19 and it makes beautiful prints.

  • @akpcreates That's a shame. I saw a pre-owned one on US ebay -
    Worth checking out the new Epson P700 printer. That's similar to the Canon Pixma 10s, more expensive though -

  • Thanks for the tips, all! It sounds like the Cannon Pixma Pro is the way everyone is leaning. I'll certainly look into it!

  • SVS OG

    ![0_1596339002789_B529203B-EF46-4240-8695-1999E5FE56E6.png](Uploading 100%)
    This is what jake had on his website for printers. I probably need to invest in a archival printer too. The epson that I have is the eco tank one from Costco. It works great and the ink last a while. And I print a TON of stationary.

  • @Whitney-Simms Sorry, that image isn't loading for me for some reason, but I'll go look on his website.
    And that's good to know! Stationary is one of the things I'm hoping to maybe get into on a small scale, might I pick your brain about that sometime? Or if you have any quick do's and don'ts, that would be swell too.

  • SVS OG

    @Kasey-Snow anytime!!!

Log in to reply