printers for typework

ovaalk's picture

What is a decent printer for typeproofing nowadays? Are there some classic B/W-lasers, or are the new ones always better?

Pixion's picture


Had just the same question. I use a 600dpi printer which has a 1200dpi optimization, but I think this is just a printer specific 'hinting' thats going on inside the print engine. If I print 10pt size text, with normal paper, I can see the printer 'roping' and 'pixelating' things up.

I was wondering if by using special paper / sheet material, proofreading could be enhanced.

e-Baying a Linotronic is probably a step too far in my case...


ovaalk's picture

There were praises for HP LaserJet 5000 in some old threads. My former job had it and I remember it had very sharp and clean output. I wonder if the 4000 is as reliable? It has smaller sheet size atleast but that's fine with me.

I am on Mac and looking for real 1200dpi monochrome output for under 500USD. Speed doesn't matter. I am sceptical about brand new machines, but also afraid of coming across some compatibility issues with pre-USB/OSX-printers...

I used to have some Minolta-Qms that had dirty output and I don't even know what the real resolution was. The manufacturers don't want us to know such things.

No Linotronic for me either, this time atleast.

Perhaps I should have posted on general discussion...

charles ellertson's picture

Depends on what you are "proofing" for. If it is for the color the type will have when printed offset, I don't know of any. Our old HP 8100 comes much closer than our newer Xerox 5500 (the 5500 is way too dark). But even the old HP is too dark; I use it to print out patch corrections when a publisher is preparing a new edition by shooting tearsheets. It is a pretty good match for this, which means the type it prints is far too heavy to evaluate as type would appear when printed with direct-to-plate offset printing.

On the other hand, if you are proofing for character fit, I guess the highest true resolution you can find would be best. I've given up on laser printres for fine-tuning character fit (for fonts for offset printing).

blank's picture

I've done really well with my cheap Konica-Minolta. HP laser printers are pretty much always classic, although I've never used the sub-$500 models. Xante printers have the best output I've ever seen, but lately they can't manage to keep up with the demand for toner.

Paper makes a huge difference. I see the best laser output on crisp white smooth matte papers, which are of course the hardest thing to find. If you're just using generic copy paper or inkjet paper the tooth will still make 10pt and below look icky.

Votopake paper makes any laser printer output look twice as nice, although it's really hard to find. I've been trying to find a small-quantity supplier lately, when I do I'll let you know.

hrant's picture

> real 1200dpi monochrome output for under 500USD

I recently went looking for exactly that, and found an HP for under $200! It's called the LaserJet 1022. They also have a two-sided-printing version for $400. But people say HP's PS emulation is not so good (although it sounds like outputting your fonts with hinting disabled overcomes the problem).

One word of caution though, and the reason I haven't bought anything yet:
in the end 1200dpi is simply not good enough - you really need 2400dpi.
Ergo: Xante. Expensive.


hrant's picture

Another related thread:


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