Recommended printers for Repro Shops, Copy Shops and pay for print.
To earn profits printing signs, posters, banners you need a dependable printer. Both Canon, Encad and Hewlett-Packard make ideal printers for short-run printing of POP (point of purchase, point of sale) signs.
But which large format printer to select for your repro shop/copy shop, pay for print shop? Avoid Epson and Roland since it may take an hour to print a single 36 x 42 inch print at 1440 dpi. You can't make any profit if the printing takes an hour. Worse, no recent Epson can switch ink from pigmented to dye and back again. Yet this is easy with HP or Encad. Downside of Encad is the company is in turmoil for over a year. No new printer (the last two, the Kodak 5260 and a direct to substrate sign printer, failed at the time of SGIA tradeshow last year before they were finished).
If you use a 300 dpi printer then you can see the unattractive dot pattern. Also, these older printers don't have the color quality control as do new printers. Also, a few tips about Encad printers. They may use an excessive amount of ink which makes each print rather expensive. Second, in older models it takes many hours to change the ink from indoor (dye-based) to outdoor (pigmented ink). New models are included.
If you use a 300 dpi printer then you can see the unattractive dot pattern. Also, these older printers don't have the color quality control as do new printers. Also, a few tips about Encad printers. They use an excessive amount of ink which makes each print rather expensive. Second, it takes many hours to change the ink from indoor (dye-based) to outdoor (pigmented ink).
Kinko's selected Hewlett-Packard DesignJet printers (2000, 3000, 2500, 3500 series). Since then time Hewlett-Packard has come out with an even faster printer, the DesignJet 1050C and 1055CM, then the 5000 and now the 5500.
Many of the leading quick-print and sign-shop franchaises come to FLAAR to ask what printer, RIP, and media to select. Encad and HP both offer them special deals, and corporate headquarters recommends one or the other. But the question is, which printer is better for your quick-print or reprographic business? Today (year 2003) Canon enters the picture. The new Canon imageProGraf W2200, W7200, and W7250 printers are more sophisticated than Encad (which has a relatively simple design hardly changed in many years).
For additional information and for help making your decision, ask for the "FLAAR report on signs, posters, banners" (specify whether for indoor signs or outdoor signs in the rain and sun) or for the FLAAR report on "Piezo vs Thermal printheads, fact vs fiction, pros and cons of each kind of inkjet printhead." You can also ask for the report on "Media and Inks for Photo-Realistic and Fine Art Giclee," or "Media and Inks for Sign Printing with Large Format Inkjet."
If this will be your first printer, then we have a special report that holds your hand and leads you through all the basic questions that will assist a first-time buyer of a large format printer. Purchase the FLAAR report on "RIP + Help." This explains what RIP software is, why this is useful, and includes tips, warnings, information, and help for a wide range of matters for a newbie. Here you will really appreciate that FLAAR is based at a university; Professor Hellmuth has plenty of experience writing in a manner that explains what you need, and why.