Plotter printers

Get Photo-Quality Prints With a Large-Scale Colour Plotter Printer

As with most printing technologies, the quest to find the ultimate large-scale colour plotter printer capable of producing impeccable photo prints has become increasingly prevalent, and high-resolution colour is a core of consideration. Across many distinct sectors like architecture, graphic design, and photography, the demand for high-fidelity imagery is at an all-time high. This makes it all the more integral that professionals know what needs to be considered during the selection process for picking a colour plotter printer to purchase for large-scale photo-quality printing.

This article will take you on a deep dive into large-scale colour plotter printers, meticulously examining and comparing their features, specifications, and performance metrics to ascertain which printer truly stands out to deliver unparalleled photo quality prints for specific customers. Through rigorous analysis and insightful comparisons, we aim to provide professionals with ample guidance, helping them make informed decisions about where to make their printer investment. We seek to ensure that your chosen colour plotter printer not only meets but exceeds expectations for exceptional image reproduction in photo prints.

Understanding What Is Meant By Large-Scale Colour Plotter Printers

When looking for a large-scale colour plotter printer, you are selecting three different qualifications. First, large-format printers can produce larger prints, including posters and rolls of paper, photo paper, and other printing options. Comparing the scale involves comparing the width of paper the printer can handle.

Colour printers use either dye or pigment-based inksto achieve a range of possible colours and nuanced colour refinement. The level of colour detail, accuracy, and crispness will define the quality of your print.

Plotter printers are unique in their precision, achieving a higher resolution, finer detail, and crisp images compared to other printer types.

Printer Significance in Photo Printing Applications

When it comes to high-quality photo printing, a large-scale colour plotter printer is ideal for posters, fine art display pieces, advertising banners, and efficiently printing arrays of smaller high-detail campaigns or artwork.

How to Compare Key Features and Technical Specifications of Large-Scale Plotters

Comparing large-format plotter printers, you should look at the dpi (dots per inch), a wide colour gamut (more colour nuance), advanced colour accuracy, and precise detail accuracy. You may also compare the width and materials the printer can use as a medium, the ease of use, and the overall photo quality of printed work.

Investigating Comparison Points and Criteria to Weigh Out When Choosing a Large-Scale Colour Plotter

Assessing Print Resolution

Print resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi). Most standard wide-format printers achieve around 300 dpi, while plotter printers can achieve upwards of 1200 dpi. This provides extreme precision and high-resolution printing.

Impact on Photo Print Quality

When it comes to high-detail photos, dpi resolution matters a great deal. Plotter printers can print photos with four times the level of detail in each photo print compared to typical wide-format printers.

Impact on Photo Detail and Sharpness

If you want sharp, crisp details and the ability to make out the smallest nuances in your photos, then considering a plotter printer's dpi resolution is essential.

How Print Resolution Is Offered Across Different Large-Scale Colour Plotter Printers

Most plotter printers provide 300 dpi resolution, which is considered high-resolution printing. The highest resolution of large-format colour plotter printers can reach 1400 dpi, with 1200 dpi considered ultra-high-resolution.

Evaluating the Printer's Colour Accuracy

For colour photo prints, the quality and accuracy of colour is of paramount importance. Whether you are an art studio, creating colour-nuanced design charts, or precisely branded advertising images, colour accuracy should be a primary decision-making factor in choosing your large-format colour plotter printer.

How to Achieve Accurate and Vibrant Photo Prints

A large-scale colour plotter printer must have an advanced colour management system, a wide colour gamut, and the ability to custom-calibrate colours to exactly match those of the design for vibrant, detailed, and highly accurate colour printing.

Colour Management Systems

With printers, colour management systems translate colours into numerical data to aid the printer in accurately reproducing the colours conveyed through a digital design.

Colour Gamut

The colour gamut represents the total range of colours that a printer's ink or toner system can achieve. Naturally, the best photo-quality prints come from plotter printers with the widest colour gamut, which allows for extremely nuanced differences in colour.

**Colour Calibration **

Colour calibration allows your printer to reproduce colours with greater accuracy with consideration for the particular printheads, ink or toner, and paper type being used rather than a close approximation with the exact same settings with every printing.

Examining Colour Accuracy and Reproduction Capabilities in Large-Scale Colour Plotters

Look for printers known for their wide colour gamut, and investigate their built-in software for colour management and colour calibration.

**Exploring Media Compatibility and Flexibility **

Consider the size and types of media (paper, card, rolls, fabric, etc.) that the large-scale colour plotter printer can work with. Wide format printers often accept rolls, but not all can handle the same range of printing media.

Media Types

  • Paper
  • Photo Paper
  • Butcher Paper
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Cardstock

Media Sizes

Large format printers typically measure size by either paper size or roll width, measured in inches.

Roll Widths

  • 11"
  • 17"
  • 18"
  • 22"
  • 24"
  • 30"
  • 34"
  • 36"

Paper and Poster Sizes

  • 21"x18" — Arch B
  • 15"x22" — Half-Size E1
  • 18"x24" — Arch C
  • 24"x36" — Arch D
  • 30"x42" — Arch E1

**Supported Media Weights Supported **

Media weights have different notation rules based on the type of media

Paper weights

  • 50 lb — Lightest used for documents and softcover books
  • 70 lb — Used for comic books and catalogues
  • 80 lb — Used for magazines and large textbooks
  • 100 lb — Used for children's books, comic book covers, and brochures

Cardstock weights

  • 65 lb stock — Business cards
  • 80 lb stock — Posters
  • Photo paper weight
  • 20-60 lb

Features for Handling Specialty Papers and Substrates

Plotter printers often have special features to handle non-standard paper and substrates. This may include a media roll, and there may be an apparatus to ensure the media maintains the correct tension level for smooth, accurate printing.

Media Options in Various Large-Scale Colour Printers

Consider the media options available for each large-scale colour plotter printer you investigate compared to the types of media you will need for your work and future projects. Each large-scale colour plotter printer is unique. Some are better for many types of paper, while some are better equipped for more exotic media like vinyl and foam.

Other Factors to Consider

What else should you consider when comparing large-format colour plotter printers for your photo-quality prints?

Ink Technology Options

Look into whether your printer uses a dye-based or pigment-based ink system. These respond to media in different ways and need different levels of maintenance.

Post-Printing Features

Post-printing features may include folding, cutting, collating, lamination, binding, and even more, depending on the printer.


Lamination is when your pages are sealed in a plastic sleeve that is melted closed around the printed media for protection.

Built-In Trimming

Built-in trimming can automatically cut off margins or separate individual prints on a larger page with perfect precision.

Software and Workflow Integration

Consider whether your printer's software neatly integrates with the software already used in your workplace.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Tools

With digital asset management (DAM), you can keep an archive of print files and graphics.

What Are the Best-Rated Large-Scale Colour Plotters Out There?

The HP DesignJet Z9+ Pro 44-in Printer is a high-performance, professional-grade printer designed for photographers, artists, and graphic designers who demand exceptional quality and precision. It delivers high-definition prints with fine line detail, sharp contours, and vibrant colours thanks to its six-ink system, HP HDNA printheads, and HP Pixel Control technology.

The printer also offers enhanced efficiency and higher printing speeds, along with ultimate security features to protect your work. With its Adobe PDF Print Engine, you can achieve clear and accurate reproduction of PDF files. Additionally, the dual roll option, fast media handling, and embedded spectrophotometer enhance productivity and ensure consistent colour reproduction.

The HP DesignJet Z9+ is a high-performance, dual-roll printer designed for professional photographers, artists, and graphic designers. It features a vertical trimmer that can reduce post-processing labour time by up to 20%. The Z9+ also delivers exceptional print quality with its 6-ink system and Adobe PDF Print Engine. Additionally, it offers fast printing speeds, making it ideal for high-volume printing environments.

The HP DesignJet Z6 24-in PostScript® Printer is a professional-grade large-format printer designed for high-quality printing on a wide range of media. It features a 1200 dpi resolution and uses 300 ml ink cartridges for vibrant, long-lasting prints. The printer can handle single and dual rolls of media up to 24 inches (0.61 m) wide and can print on plain, coated, or glossy media up to 0.8 mm thick. It has a wide colour gamut for accurate and vivid colour reproduction. Connectivity options include Ethernet and USB, and the printer comes with software integration for easy setup and operation.

What to Consider Before Making Your Large-Scale Colour Printer Purchase

Follow these steps to choose the best large-format colour plotter printer to achieve the photo quality prints your business needs.

  1. Evaluate your project requirements and desired print output.
  2. Check printer manufacturer's reviews and reputation.
  3. Evaluate current and future printing needs against scalability.
  4. Assess the total cost of ownership, budget constraints and the ROI.
  5. Consider printer lifespan.
  6. Seek input from stakeholders.
  7. Consider financing options or leasing programs.

Reach Out to HP With Your Plotter Printing Needs

When you're looking for expert assistance to find the perfect colour plotter printer or assistance with a plotter printer you have purchased, don't hesitate to reach out to HP with questions or concerns.

Download our eBook now and discover how innovation is streamlining workflows, producing prints of unmatched quality and increasing IT efficiency like never before.

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