Zines are the go-to option when you are looking to unleash your creativity and thoughts. You can paste in pictures, add stickers and cuttings while jotting down your opinions on a topic. The process is similar to magazine making, minus all the difficult and boring parts. One does not have to worry about competing with others or fret out about editing.
Are you confident enough about showcasing your work to the world? Do you want to display your artworks, photography, activism, or other skills?
If you are considering printing out your work for distribution, you need the best printer for zines! Allow us to help you look for just that!
What To Consider Before Buying Printer For Zines?
As printers cost a lot, it is best if you invest in all the right features from the beginning. This way, you will not need to spend on another printer to complete other tasks. Trips to internet cafés and libraries will also be reduced.
If you are looking for a zine printer, here are some things that you need to check in on.
Inkjet Or Laser Printing Technology
The printing technology is the first thing we look at while purchasing a printer. Laser and inkjet printers are the most common types of printers, and they each serve a different purpose.
Inkjet printers are the ideal choice for photo printing. They use liquid inks that are either dye-based or pigmented and manage to give excellent output quality. Unfortunately, such printers have slow printing speed but manage to spit out extremely high-resolution works. Hence, if your zine is based majorly on photographs or artworks, then you should look into inkjet printers.
On the other hand, laser printers are mostly suitable for printing written documents. They offer sharp and crisp texts that are easy to read and identify. A big benefit of laser printers is the amazingly high printing speed. It will quickly churn out your work while making almost no noise. So, when printing zines based on literature or activism, which consist of written things, it is best to use a laser printer.
A printer’s speed will affect your productivity. It will also determine how much time is taken to get all the copies of your output.
If you intend to make thousands of copies of your zines, choosing a printer with high speed is important. However, if you are going to print only a few hundred copies, you need not put too much effort into finding a printer with good printing speed.
Having said that, some of us impatient folks like to get our work done quickly. So if you are restless like me, do not hesitate to get a high-speed printer even if you are printing only a few copies.
When printing out zines that are mostly filled with text, you need not care much about the resolution. This is because low resolutions do not cause much damage to the sharpness of your text.
Zines consisting of photographs, artworks, and colorful headings require a high-resolution printer. A good resolution ensures good quality, and this will determine how your audience sees your work.
Multi-Purpose Or Single-Purpose
Many people make their zines by hand. They will use markers to draw colorful headings, paste pictures from newspaper cutouts, and add stickers. Later on, the zine is scanned in to form a soft copy that can be printed out. Some will use a copier to get copies directly.
A multipurpose machine will help you do this easily. You can copy, scan, and print – all from your home!
The duplex printing feature will enable printing on both sides of your paper at once. This decreases the burden on refeeding and thus, saves time. Other features like an automatic document feeder will also make large volume printing tasks easier for you.
5 Best Printer for Zines Reviews
1. Canon Pixma TS6320 Wireless All-In-One Photo Printer
Compared to the former printers in the series, this printer is an upgrade. Users of the Canon Pixma TS6320 have boasted about the exceptional quality output that it provides. Texts are made sharp and crispy, while every shade of color in the images is emphasized.
One of the biggest advantages of this printer is its compatibility. You can print using laptops, Macs, Android smartphones, iPads, etc. In addition, cloud printing is supported, allowing you to easily scan in a soft copy of your zine to the cloud apps.
Compared to all the other printers on the list, the Canon Pixma TS6320 Photo Printer is the fastest. It will quickly churn out your zines without affecting the quality – all thanks to the five individual ink cartridge systems. However, this also manages to be a drawback as the cost per page is increased.
Overall, the printer is small with a dimension of 14.9 x 14.2 x 5.6 inches, so it takes up very little space. In addition, paper width is automatically detected, which reduces the trouble of having to alter settings. The only lacking in terms of paper handling is the absence of an automatic document feeder.
- A 1.44 inch OLED display is present that lets you comfortably maintain the workflow.
- Five individual ink cartridges are present, so you won’t have to replace them all if one runs out.
- An auto-expandable tray makes paper handling easier for you.
- Voice commands can be given to wirelessly handle tasks.
2. Epson Expression Photo XP – 8600 Wireless Color Photo Printer
With a higher printing resolution than the Canon Pixma TS6320, this printer will provide you with exceptional output. In addition, sheets of a maximum size 8.5 x 14 inches can be printed upon giving you a wide array of options to choose from for zine printing.
Although the printer promises to be user-friendly, many customers have complained about invalid serial numbers. Some even got bombarded with error messages to the point where they had to return it.
Despite some difficulties, the Epson Expression Photo XP – 8600 manages to get good reviews from zine printers. Many customers have tagged it to be “just right for photo enthusiasts” due to the output provided by combining 6 ink cartridges. The printer is especially suitable for printing zines that consist of photographs and artwork.
When it comes to connectivity, the printer doesn’t back down. A strong and secure wireless connectivity is provided that will let users connect their PCs, laptops, and phones from their seats. It is also compatible with all types of surfaces (you can print directly on CD!), which means you can utilize whichever type of paper you want for zine printing.
- A voice-activated printing service is available that will make your tasks easier.
- It has an amazing printing speed that will print pictures within 10 seconds.
- Borderless zines can be printed as the page is within the dimensions 8 x 10 inches.
- You can print directly from a memory card or USB drive.
3. Canon imagePROGRAF PRO – 300 Wireless Color Wide-Format Printer
With over 84% five-star reviews, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO – 300 manages to be a customer favorite. If you were pleased by the 5 or 6 ink cartridge systems used by the other printers, prepare to be baffled by this printer which uses 9! This widens the color gamut and thus, maximizes the print quality of your zines. Photographs, texts, artworks, etc., are all displayed as seen on screen.
Another thing that I cannot help but gush about is user-friendliness. A 3 inch LCD screen is held on the printer’s front section, which helps you detect the ink levels. This will let you order ink cartridges before they end and print your zines without being interrupted. Clogged nozzles are also automatically detected, and you also need not worry about switching to black ink.
One of the drawbacks is that the printer adds a high initial purchasing cost and ink price to your expense. Users have to spend a lot but simply put, that is the money you need to contribute in exchange for receiving an excellent quality. The extremely slow printing speed is yet another disadvantageous factor.
- Has a 9-color ink system that emphasizes every color in your photos.
- Nozzle recovery system decreases the need for frequent maintenance.
- Skew correction ensures that all prints on your zine are angled properly.
- 3 inch LCD monitor makes navigating tasks easier.
4. Epson Expression Premium EcoTank Wireless All-in-One Supertank Printer
The Epson Expression Premium EcoTank Printer stands out in the list with its brilliant ink bottles. These can last as long as 30 ink cartridges would, letting the user save tons of money. As if that were not enough, the replacement ink bottles are also very budget-friendly and will cost you 80% less than the usual ink cartridges.
To start with, users are provided with ink bottles from the Epson brand. These generously filled bottles promise to provide 14000 black and white prints and 9000 colored prints. So you can print a few batches of zines without having to pay for any ink at all!
The Epson Expression Premium EcoTank Printer lacks flexibility in comparison to the other printers on the list. Users are not provided with an automatic document feeder, and several complaints have been made regarding the paper detection. Besides that, it is not the best printer on the list when it comes to printing colored images. In other words, it is mostly suitable for printing zines that are mostly text-based.
Customers who have brought the printer have left reviews praising the easy setup process. A CD is given, which can be used to install the software and help you run the printer.
- 5 color inks provide outstanding quality zines.
- The inks provided at the beginning will free print several colored prints.
- Replacement ink bottles are inexpensive and thus, save your money.
- Supports borderless printing.
5. Epson SureColor P700 13 – inch printer
Although the UltraChrome PRO 10 ink does not last too long due to the small tank size, they manage to leave superior quality prints. In addition, 10-channel Micro Piezo AMC printer heads are used to provide detail and assign colors to each section of the page. This makes them perfect for printing photographs, artworks, and colorful headings.
The Epson SureColor P700 is extremely flexible and can be operated using nearly all times of devices. Macs, iPhones, iPads, laptops, PCs, and tabs can all be used to send print commands and handle workflow.
One drawback with this printer, though, is the lack of multifunctionality. Unlike all the other printers in the list, this cannot be used to scan in soft copies of handmade zines or copy them. People have also complained about the printer only using 80% of the ink cartridges and then troubleshooting.
The Epson SureColor P700 supports borderless printing, proving to be very useful for photo zine printing. Paper handling is made easier thanks to the paper trays, and you can also insert paper rolls when necessary. Mechanized and manual cutters are also present, which can be used to cut through these paper rolls and provide output in the required size.
- UltraChrome PRO 10 ink provides stunningly detailed prints.
- Supports printing on paper of varying thickness, with the highest being 1.5 mm.
- Prints made using the printer can last for two centuries or more.
- A size that is 23% smaller than its predecessors allows it to easily fit into places.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do I Print A Zine At Home?
- If you have designed an ezine, then you should save it as a pdf file on your computer. Handmade zines, on the other hand, need to be scanned to form a soft copy.
- Navigate through your desktop to open the saved file and press on the print icon. This will open the print dialog box on your screen.
- Alter the settings according to your zine. For example, fix the orientation of your page, enable auto two-sided printing if needed, set the printing quality, and change the paper size and type.
- With all the necessary changes made, check the Print Preview. If it matches your expectation, go ahead and click on the Print button.
2. What Paper Is Good For Zines?
The answer depends on the type of zine you wish to make. Anything consisting of colorful pictures will pair nicely with pages with a glossy finish. On the other hand, black and white images or text documents are more compatible with matte or satin finishes.
Your paper’s size should also be determined according to the size of your file. Squeezing in your files or enlarging them are not plausible options. They will hinder your work’s quality.
3. How Much Does Zine Printing Cost?
The answer to this question varies depending on several factors. Firstly, the type of page you use will affect the cost per page. As you already know, some pages are costlier than others so remember that while purchasing. Besides that, the amount of ink used will also play a role in determining your zine’s printing cost.
Many crafters have also pointed out that increasing the number of copies will decrease the rate per zine. Hence, it is best to print out a huge amount in one go.
4. How Do I Print My Own Zine?
You can easily print your own zines by using a printer. Printing cafes can be visited or you can simply use a home printer if you have one. Firstly, you should save a soft copy of your zine in pdf or jpeg format. You can then print them out after altering the necessary printer settings. If your printer supports duplex printing, then do remember to enable that option to make life easier. While using a simplex printer, you will have to turn over the printed pages and refeed them to have both sides printed at once.
5. What Are Zines Used For?
Zines are used to put forward a person’s thoughts, skills, and opinions. They were started by science fiction enthusiasts, but nowadays, you can make zines to reflect all sorts of talents. People will try to advertise their artworks, music skills, literary abilities, poetry writing skills, etc. You can also use zines to bring several important issues to light. They are thus, used by minorities to talk about political issues, inequality, racism, and several other topics. Activists will also use them to talk about global warming, the pay gap, etc.
6. What Makes A Good Zine?
Superior quality zines should be able to properly portray the maker’s intentions. It should show off their skills using flamboyant colors and well-written texts.
A good zine should also be made with the intention to showcase creativity. Anything that is manufactured for profit will lack originality and not be expressive. Such zines seem unappealing to the audience as they will not be able to enjoy your work and thoughts.
7. How Do I Make A Zine For Free?
Zines can be made for free using photo editing software. Applications like Photoshop, Canva, Gimp, etc., are available where you can create a blank image. The dimensions of the page can be typed in per need, and then, you can use all the tools for editing. Images saved on your personal computer can be pasted on and you can insert text boxes to add captions and writings.
Zine makers can also download free digital papers from sites like Pinterest and work on them. A huge range of fonts are available for writing and clip arts can also be stuck.
8. How Many Pages Should A Zine Have?
There is no limitation set on the page numbers when it comes to zines. This is because only the maker can determine the contents, page numbers, and other decisions. Different people will go for different pages, but usually, zines or fanzines are meant to be short. So, people usually do not exceed over eight pages. Try to reflect all of your creativity, thoughts, and talent upon these pages and make the zine look appealing!
Looking for the best printer for zines can get tough. So, we tried to make the process a little easier for you with this article. All the important features that you need to keep in mind have been mentioned, and honest reviews have been written. So, take some time to thoroughly read about each printer’s properties and choose the right one for you!
With all the necessary information relayed, the time has come to bid you goodbye. Have a fun time printing!