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Old Jan 4, 2007, 9:39 PM   #1
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Hi everyone, I'm new here, and like the bustling community here.

I hope I'm posting this in the right forum, so I'll ask my question and hopefully somone will have some insight:

I am looking for the perfect printer and paper to use for my cartoon-art printouts.

I work as a caricature artist, and have a selection of celebrity caricature/cartoons that I'd like to turn into prints and sell.

My work is done digitally in photoshop, so all colours are digital- no paints or pencils, etc. No scanning of artwork is involved either.

I've been using the HP990cxi inkjet for about 5 years now and have been very satisfied with the results of my prints. I have also been using Likon photo paper (which can be found at dollar stores) and the results are quite amazing for the price.

Unfortunately, a good thing can never last too long- Likon has changed their paper somewhere along the lines, and the quality of the prints has now dropped drastically. A good thing gone by, I guess!

What I'd like to look into now is possibly a new printer which could replace my 990cxi (which is getting older) and now, I guess I need a new line of paper. I refuse to go with the HP/Canon, etc. brands as their prices are just too high for multiple prints.

I'm also open to a laser printer. I would like my new printer to be a wide-format if possible, so I can now print my work at 11" x 14" instead of the 8.5" x 11" that I have been using for years.

What about paper? Does anyone know of any photo paper which is glossy, has great results and is also inexpensive? Unfortunately the Likon brand was a hidden gem in this department and was the only one I have found. Can I still get somewhat glossy, high-quality prints while *not* using photo paper?

Any help on what to do from here would be great. A wide-format, inkjet (or laser) printer would suffice. It's got to be economical as well.

To give you guys an idea of what I mean, you can view my personal webpage which has examples of what I'm trying to print. Here's a direct link to my caricatures section:

www.thepenman.ca

and just click on any celebrity caricature at the bottom of the homepage to view my selection.

If you've ever seen the guys in local malls or markets that sell prints of their celebrity work, then that is exactly what I'm trying to achieve here.



Thanks ahead of time for any help!!

cheers






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Old Jan 5, 2007, 2:23 AM   #2
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Have you priced wide format color laser printers? Graphics like pie charts can look sharper with a laser printer, but most reviews and comparisons say the colors aren't as good or as accurate. For photos on glossy photo paper a good inkjet is better than a laser. I'm not really sure for the kind of graphics you print, but I would think you get better output from the inkjet. Put a couple of your images on a CD and see if someone at an office supply store will let you print it on a color laser.

Where the laser really shines is cost per page. But if you refill an inkjet with good ink it can come pretty close. It is a skill worth learning if you aren't already doing it. I have had very good luck with MIS ink over the years from www.inksupply.com Ink costs are usually higher than paper cost if you use manufacturer's ink.

If I were selling prints I would use an Epson inkjet with pigmented ink. The colors aren't quite as vivid as dye based inks, but it is very close and the prints last a lot longer.

I know it isn't what you were asking for, but you might try my favorite cheap surface for graphics in 8.5 X 11. Office Depot sells Wausau Bright White (96 brightness) 65# index stock. A pack of 250 sells for around seven bucks. After you print, spray it with some Wal Mart clear spray paint. I've tried specialized spray and the clear Wal Mart stuff at a buck a can works as well and dries fast. You can use only a fairly light coating and don't come anywhere near glossy. But the colors really jump out after the spray and the surface is nice.

I was telling a friend about it for a project he was doing and the handiest thing I could find was a newspaper with a color photo. His eyes popped when I sprayed it. I use the spray for all kinds of printing and always have a few cans around.

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Old Jan 8, 2007, 6:30 PM   #3
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hi, thanks for the reply.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"It sounds like an inkjet is the best way for me to go.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I was mentioning all the lost money to a few friends at work regarding ink and photo paper- I'd estimate wasting over a thousand dollars these past few years experimenting with prinitng my work. I'm at the stage whereI'm realizing that I can never achieve a consistency when it comes to prints- there are always differences in papers, inks, etc.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"So someone mentioned the print centres at WalMarts, Blacks, Kodaks, etc. They mentioned that I burn my images to CD, and go to these places that have the do-it-yourself printers there. All I have to do is select their highest settings and glossy paper and I'll get my prints instantly.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Anyone have any experience with this? Can these photo kiosks give me identical (or better) prints than the ones my inkjet is giving me with high-gloss paper?
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Old Jan 9, 2007, 12:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Anyone have any experience with this? Can these photo kiosks give me identical (or better) prints than the ones my inkjet is giving me with high-gloss paper?
They will certainly give you better durability and longevity than prints from an inkjet. I would suppose you will get better quality than from dollar store paper as well. You might not see much difference between the commercial prints compared to good inkjet photos printed on premium manufacturer's paper. But factor in not having to buy a wide format printer and you will probably be dollars ahead for a very long time using commercial services. Ink and paper are probably at least as pricey as having the prints made if you are using manufacturer's ink and premium paper.

Some of the online sites give pretty fast service and good prices. You might find that a hassle if you have dial-up internet service. But if you have broadband you will probably find the service pretty good. I've heard good things about Snapfish and Shutterfly. Others probably have their favorites.


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