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 Paper print labs.
What are the important features of a greeting card inkjet printer?
- Reliable paper feed - greeting card papers require a printer with a well designed, reliable paper feed.
- 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.
Important note - With the exception of the TS9521C below, inkjet printers do not print greeting card sizes without borders. If you have a printer other than the TS9521C, your cards will have a margin around the outside, typically 1/8" to 1/4".
Street Price: $599
The replacement to the top selling Canon PRO-100, the PRO-200 is another "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. All Red River Paper greeting and note cards are compatible with the Canon PRO-200.
- 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
- Effectively none
Street Price: $199
This is the first inkjet printer specifically designed to print borderless 7x10 (folds to 5x7) greeting cards! It features four dye-based photo inks and one pigment black for document printing. It can also prints 12x12 sheets without borders. Red River Paper Supports all TS Models with Printer Color Profiles.
- BORDERLESS 7x10 (folds to 5x7) capability
- 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
- Max paper width 12"
- Supports various types of media from 4" x 6" to 12" x 12"
- Connectivity - USB 2.0, ethernet, wireless
- Four color - four dye-based ink tanks plus pigment black for documents
- 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. li>Thermal print head can burn out with heavy use
Canon TS Series Printers TS9120
Street Price: $99-$149
We're so pleased that Canon again offers a small, rear fed, desktop photo printer. The Canon TS series fits a number of needs - photo printer, scanner, and greeting card printer - that many of you ask us about. All of the TS printers offer very good photo quality and consistent card stock feed. As with any printer, when you get to the heaviest papers, expect to feed them in one sheet at a time. Choose a TS if you want to print cards but are not planning on huge volumes. Red River Paper Supports all TS Models with Printer Color Profiles.
- Remarkable print speed
- Very good photo quality - Choose the TS9120 for best color gamut
- Ink economy meets Red River's expectations
- Good and consistent paper feed
- ChromaLife 100+ ink system
- Small platform, scanner, copier are bonus features
- Smaller ink tanks mean more replacements. Please note ink cost still in line with our estimates.
Important note - The printers on this page (and basically all inkjet printers), with the exception of the Canon TS9521C, cannot print borderless cards. Your cards will have a margin around the outside, typically 1/8" to 1/4".
Why not include an Epson in the list?
Epson printers offer remarkable photo quality, color gamut, and reliability. They do not, on the whole, make printers that consistently feed heavy, thick, or specialty papers in card sizes. If they do, any models that satisfy our requirements will appear on this page.
Why not include an HP in the list?
HP makes fine photo printers but the paper feed system does not support cardstock paper or any paper over 11 mil thickness. Additionally, HP has removed the custom paper size feature from the Windows driver. This locks Windows users from popular greeting card sizes. If you have an HP and have successfully printed on Red River Paper greeting cards, we would love to hear from you via our Support Center.
Paper feed, print speed, and print quality are all top considerations when picking a printer for cards. Always pick printer with a top loading paper tray. Do not choose a printer that only loads from a front paper cassette. It won't work for card stock.
A popular question 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. The great news is that paper, ink, and envelope cost less than $1.00 for most papers.
Printing inkjet greeting cards is a big part of what makes inkjet printers especially useful. Red River Paper feels that photographers and artists should create a line of cards from their work. At minimum they are powerful marketing pieces. They can often be sold for $5 each at art fairs or festivals.
Red River Paper is the Definitive Source of Inkjet Greeting Cards
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.
Try Before You Buy
Order a Greeting Card Sampler today and find your favorites