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You are here: InfoCenter » Inkjet Tips » Best Inkjet Printers for Greeting Card Printing

 

Best Inkjet Printers for Note Card Greeting Card Printing

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What Inkjet Printers are best for greeting card printing?


With so many inkjet printers available, your choices for a good greeting card printer are better than ever. But, for the serious amateur or pro photographer with print production in mind, the field of good printers narrows considerably. From our experience, a number of key factors come together to make a reliable, high quality greeting card printer. Most manufacturers have at least one printer that fits the bill. The printers in this article have been selected based on hours of printing experience in the Red River print labs.


What are the important features of a greeting card inkjet printer?

  • Speed - you don't want to wait around all day for a run of 100 cards
  • Color and detail - most greeting cards feature photos or artwork that need true color reproduction
  • Product quality - how long will the printer run before you have to buy another?
  • Ink economy - you need to keep overall costs down to maximize profit and minimize overhead.
  • Robust paper transport mechanism - many greeting card stocks (especially from Red River) are thick and heavy and require a printer that will feed each sheet consistently

Below are the top inkjet printers Red River recommends for greeting card printing.

 


Canon PRO-100

Street Price: $399 - Rebates often available

This is the hot rod of greeting card printers. Great color reproduction, robust paper transport mechanism, and compatibility with all Red River inkjet papers make these printers good for greeting card production. An excellent choice if you want to expand into larger print sizes.

Pros Cons

 

  • Speed - outstanding speed even at top quality level
  • 8 color dye inks - outstanding color
  • Compatibility - works with almost all Red River inkjet papers
  • Paper feed - consistent feeding of all Red River stocks

 

  • Thermal print head can burn out with heavy use

 


Canon ip8720

Street Price: $250

This printer is a larger version of Canon's 5-color printers like the MG6320. As such, it has the same features as its smaller cousins that we recommend for card printing. We include the iP8720 on the list because Canon appears to be phasing out their rear top tray small desktop printers in favor of front feed models. Since the front feed paper feed design is bad - poor feed consistency, no ability to use heavy specialty media - we are forced to stretch our parameters. The iP8720 meets our criteria for a good all-around card printer.

Pros Cons

 

  • Speed - You can expect excellent speed with design and photo prints
  • Good color quality - recommended that you use ICC profiles for the best possible output
  • Very reliable paper feed system
  • 13" wide printer carriage.
  • Supports various types of media from 4"x6" to 13"x19"
  • Connectivity - USB 2.0, ethernet
  • Four color - four ink tanks plus an extra black for text printing jobs

 

  • 5 color system - Canon has discontinued low cost six color printers.
  • Smaller ink tanks mean more replacements. Please note ink cost still in line with our estimates.

Epson Artisan 1430

Price: $299

The Artisan 1430 is basically the 13" version of the Artisan 50. This printer uses six individual tanks featuring Claria dye ink. The Artisan feed system seems better able to handle card stocks - a big plus. We like dye inks because they offer outstanding color and compatibility with basically any inkjet card stock you can find. The Epson Artisan 1430 is compatible with all Red River greeting card stocks. Read More Here

 
Pros Cons

 

  • Dye inks - great color
  • Six Color 13" Wide - This printer meets our color saturation requirements easily.
  • Good Price
  • Ink economy - meets or exceeds Red River's expectations for ink cost per card

 

  • Speed - a little slower than the competition in price class
  • Feed mechanism - could be a little more robust for heavy cards
  • From online reviews - some problems with ink tank recognition has been reported on forums and reviews. Red River Paper hears about this problem rarely. Epson is good about replacing any "bad" ink tanks rapidly.

Get these Canon models before they are no longer available.

Canon MG6220
Canon MG8220

Street Price: $130

Please note the MG series printers have been discontinued so supply will be limited at retailers.

Pros Cons

 

  • Remarkable print speed
  • Good color quality - recommended that you use ICC profiles for the best possible output
  • Ink economy meets Red River's expectations
  • Great paper feed system
  • ChromaLife 100+ ink system

 

  • 5 color system - Canon has discontinued low cost six color printers.
  • Smaller ink tanks mean more replacements. Please note ink cost still in line with our estimates.

 

Why not include an HP in the list?

HP makes a fine inkjet printer. The problem that we consistently see regards the HP paper feed system. These printers do not feed thick Red River card stocks on a consistent basis. In addition, we have reports that making and using custom paper sizes in the HP print driver can be inconsistent. Getting it right on the first or second try is a challenge. If you have an HP and have successfully printed on Red River pre-scored greeting cards, we would love to hear from you via our support center.

Summary

If you want to make great looking greeting cards, and lots of them, you need a printer that will handle the work and make you look good. Fortunately, inkjet technology is amazing and offers many choices for the professional and serious amateur. Remember to think quality, speed and paper compatibility when choosing a printer. Most often, these printers will use dye based ink. If you want your greeting cards to last many years (15 and above) you most definitely should consider a pigment inkjet printer from Canon or Epson.

A big question we often answer is "How much will it cost to print my cards?". After extensive printing and calculations on ink usage, Red River Paper produced a cost per card chart that you can see here. We looked at the average size of a greeting card image and made assumptions for ink usage including ink for text printing. The chart has proved to be a good reference point for customers.

Printing inkjet greeting cards is a big part of what makes inkjet printers especially useful to professional photographers. Red River Paper feels that pros should at the minimum, print thank you cards for clients. Adding custom cards to your packages adds not only profit, but mini marketing pieces with your logo on the back!

WHAT'S NEXT

The Best Inkjet Card Stock - Best Prices Too!

Ink, paper, and envelope cost less than $1.00 per card. What a deal! Red River Paper sells the best inkjet stock pre-cut and scored ready to use for card printing.

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Try 12 different inkjet note cards for $12.99 with FREE SHIPPING!

 

About Red River Paper

Inkjet paper from inkjet paper experts. Red River was founded in 1997 and has over 40 years experience in fine papers. We hand pick fine paper from mills around the world and bring them to our plant in Dallas, Texas. From here, we convert the paper to various sheet sizes and rolls, as well as add special features available only from Red River. We offer wholesale direct pricing, and the convenience of over 30 different inkjet papers under one roof. Red River Paper invests the time and money to understand and test the latest inkjet technology from Epson, Canon, HP, Lexmark and others so you do not have too. Our client services representatives are well versed in our products and inkjet printing, and can give our clients helpful advice on which Red River papers will suit their needs.

 

 

 

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