Best Printer for Colour Accuracy


New Member
I design catalogues and magazine adverts in Adobe InDesign, and export to PDF before printing.
I've got an ageing HP LaserJet 8550n at the moment, which I'm looking to replace. The main problem I have with this printer is the colour accuracy, which does not always match what we get back when we send a job to press.

I'd like to get your recommendations for a high quality, professional A3 printer that provides excellent colour accuracy and consistency. A reasonably quick start-up/calibration time would also be a bonus.

My budget is up to £4,000.

Thanks in advance!
The only way you'd get a perfect press match is by having a proof from the press itself. You won't match litho with a digital printer.
You could get a small plotter maybe as an extra for colour matching certain parts? We have a small Epson plotter that we use for colourmatch proofs - they are as close as we can get colourwise. Have you got everything calibrated correctly? If you don't a new printer won't help much! Only thing about the plotter is it's not good for regular printing. Our canons that we use for proofing are pants at tints, so we'd use the epson to make sure the colour's right and works. (But not to print the whole job) could you work things this way?
The only way you'd get a perfect press match is by having a proof from the press itself. You won't match litho with a digital printer.

Thanks for the reply.

I realise it's never going to be 100% accurate due to differences in the printing process and paper types, etc. But as I have the budget for a new printer, I'd like to get the most accurate colours possible.

I'd never thought of using a plotter in this context. Could you explain why that would be better than the alternatives? I'd prefer to have an all-in-one solution rather than having to buy and support two separate devices.

I never need to print particularly high volumes - the biggest job is likely to be a full colour print of a 60 page catalogue. More often, it's a single page at a time to check colours before going to press.
It'd be great to have an all in one that had great colour capabilities! I don't know if there are such printers out there within budget. It just works quite well for us as our big canons aren't great at colour matching, especially when it comes to tints and things like that. The reason we use the plotter is because we can get such good colour match (as good as you can without it being press) as for some of our customers this is very important. Plus we can output on some great quality paper and do a few posters too! It can be expensive to run something like a 60 page catalogue, we tend to use it for a few pages at a time, or for something that large, take a few key colour pages and output those. If I did need a 60 page, it'd probably be run out on our Nexpress (BIG digital printer).

Someone else may be able to suggest an all in one alternative that does great colour for matching, I've not heard of one but that doesn't mean there isn't one out there. Just sharing how we do things here! :icon_smile: