There are so many amazing free and low-cost posters available out there (check out our Free Printables collection for lots of cool options). The problem is actually getting them printed out to post in the classroom or school hallway. That’s why some schools have invested in large-format printers as a resource for teachers. They’re pricey, but when you do the math, there’s a good chance your school can actually save money in the long run. Here are some of the top models to consider.
General Large-Format Printer Tips
- Though you won’t want to make a poster printer your only printer, it’s good to know that most of them accept multiple paper sizes, all the way down to standard letter-size paper. This gives them much more versatility.
- Large-format paper is available in sheets or rolls. To get the most bang for your buck, choose a model that can use either so you can print banners as well as posters.
- Many printers today use software to check the ink cartridges you’re using. Most of the models shown here require you to use ink made specifically by the brand. Always figure refill costs into your budget considerations.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves! Also note that prices listed here are subject to change.)
When the conversation turns to poster printers on the WeAreTeachers Principal Life group on Facebook, the VariQuest Perfecta® series is a popular favorite. There are two sizes available, one that prints posters up to 24 inches wide and one up to 36 inches. VariQuest also offers design software to help you get the most out of your large-format printer. The company works directly with schools, and even has a resource page to help you find funding for your equipment request.
Price: VariQuest doesn’t offer pricing on their website, so contact them directly for more details.
Make things simple with HP’s DesignJet T630 series. Simply send your print job through using the 1-Click system. The printer selects the correct paper type and takes care of the rest! This poster printer model is available in 24- and 36-inch widths, and it comes with the stand.
Price: $1,499 for 24-inch width; $2,199 for 36-inch width
If you’re short on funds (and space), this HP model is a solid choice. You don’t get lots of bells and whistles like a stand, fancy touchscreen, or design software. What you do get is the ability to print images in color at up to 24 inches wide (and as long as you want when you use a roll of banner paper).
If you want to be able to hang your posters and other materials outside without laminating them first, you’ll need to step up to a large-format poster printer that uses water-resistant pigment ink. Canon’s model does just that, and it prints up to 36 inches wide. It also comes with its own creative software included. See it here on Amazon.
If you regularly need images larger than 36 inches wide, size up to the HP DesignJet Z9. It boasts the same easy-to-use features as other models in the DesignJet range, with the ability to print up to 44 inches wide. It prints quickly, uses nine-color ink cartridges, and produces high-quality results.
Need massive poster-printing capability? This model can handle it. It accepts paper rolls up to a whopping 64 inches wide (that’s over five feet!). The print quality is outstanding, using a nine-color pigmented ink set that produces professional results for photos and artwork. As you might guess, this supersized machine comes with a supersized price. For art schools or those that need oversized graphics frequently, though, this one might be worth the investment.
When quality matters more than size, consider this option from Canon. Though the maximum print size is 17 x 22 inches, it offers edge-to-edge professional-quality results. It uses 11 colors of ink, each replaceable separately, to produce true-to-life images. This is the type of poster printer you need for showing off student artwork, or for top-notch photo displays.
If you’re exhausted by the idea of sorting out everything you’ll need with your large-format printer, you might want an all-in-one package like this one from Bright White Paper Company. They’ll help you select the right model for your school, and also include simple design software, affordable ink cartridges, and lifetime support.
Price: Contact Bright White Paper Company for pricing