As a graphic designer, you may have faced the need to scan some designs either to work with, save or share. Having a reliable high-resolution scanner can help with this problem.
However, picking one may not be that straightforward. There are a lot of things to consider. Here, we can help you find the best scanners for graphic design.
This device should be able to cater to most of your needs efficiently and still produce good results. To do this, it should have a good price and great specs.
Comparison Table of Best Scanners for Graphic Design
|Canon LiDE 400||4800||No||No||25.4msec/line (color)|
|Plustek 1180||1200||No||No||15 sec (color)|
9 sec (black)
|Epson Perfection V600||6400||No||No||21 msec/line|
|CZUR ET16 Plus||250||Yes||No||40 ppm|
|Epson Perfection V850 Pro||6400||No||No||6 sec/page (black)|
12-15 sec/page (color)
Why Flatbeds Are Better than ADF/Sheetfed Scanner for Graphic Design
When it comes to graphic design, you have to consider the quality of output you’re getting over the speed at which you’re getting your results.
ADF scanners usually fare better than flatbed scanners when it comes to speed. This is because unlike a flatbed scanner, ADF scanners have a system that automatically feeds the documents to the scanner.
Thus, ADFs are great for speed but they sacrifice a lot of the quality as compared to Flatbed scanners. This can be seen from devices like the Epson FastFoto FF-680W which can scan up to one document every second but can only do so at 300 dpi whereas the Epson Perfection V850 pro discussed here can do much better.
The Dmax rating is used to show the dynamic range that a particular scanner can deal with. This is usually synonymous with scanners that also support film.
Nevertheless, some flatbed scanners have portrayed a high rating of up to 4.0 out of the maximum 5 as you will see from the products below. This just goes to show that with premium flatbed scanners, a graphic designer can get results that scan results that are almost close to those of a dedicated film scanner.
List of Best Scanners for Graphic Design in 2019
- Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 – A Budget Flatbed Scanner with a Decent 4800 DPI Resolution
- Plustek 1180 – Wide Format Scanner with A3 Size Support
- Epson Perfection V600 – A Mid-range Flatbed Scanner with Excellent Photo and Document Quality
- CZUR ET16 Plus – An Overhead Scanner for Books and Large Drawings
- Epson Perfection V850 Pro – A Professional Scanner with High-Quality Optics
1. Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 – A Budget Flatbed Scanner with a Decent 4800 DPI Resolution
Dimensions and Weight
- 7 x 14.5 x 9.9 Inches (HxWxD)
- 6 Pounds
If size and affordability alone are anything to go by, then the Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 is one of the best scanners for graphic design.
Being affordable means that many graphic designers can easily get one. This can be very beneficial, especially for beginners who are not yet ready to spend a lot on an expensive scanner.
As it is small and light, the device can easily be carried around. You won’t have to be fixed in just one place as this lets you work from anywhere.
One area where this device shines most is scanning quality. It supports a 4800-dpi scanner resolution. This can come in handy for a graphics designer who needs to capture a lot of details from a scan.
For connection, this flatbed scanner comes with a USB-C port. This newer USB port lets you connect with many modern devices over a USB cable which not only serves as power but also works for data transfer. This, of course, reduces the luggage a graphics designer would need to carry.
At 300 dpi, the device can scan a letter-sized page in 8 seconds. It may not be as fast as many would hope but it gets the job done nevertheless.
A major drawback of this device is its lack of support for wireless connections and mobile devices. This would have made scanning more efficient.
Read more: Best Legal Size Flatbed Scanners
2. Plustek 1180 – Wide Format Scanner with A3 Size Support
Dimensions and Weight
- 2 x 16 x 2.7 Inches
- 52 Pounds
For a graphics designer who’s work consists of having to regularly make scans of wide-format documents up to A3 in size then this device is a great choice.
The Plustek 1180 can handle documents like blueprints and large designs which smaller scanners fail to accommodate. With a wide format scanner, a graphics designer would not be limited very much by the size of their documents.
The Plustek is capable of scanning an A3 document at 300 dpi in about 9 seconds. Considering the very size of the document, this device is a moderate performer when speed is in question and this can help a designer go through their work faster.
The output quality is not too extravagant. At 1200 dpi scanner resolution, you are sure to get some good quality scans for graphic design.
For connections, the Plustek makes use of standard USB to transmit the scans to other devices. Its lack of networking features means that connections are somewhat limited. However, the USB provides a stable and reliable connection.
When document size is a huge factor, this device comes up as one of the best scanners for graphic design. It is also reliable, performs well and has good quality output.
Read more: Best Flatbed Scanners
3. Epson Perfection V600 – A Mid-range Flatbed Scanner with Excellent Photo and Document Quality
Dimensions and Weight
- 19 x 11 x 4.6 Inches
- 9 Pounds
This is one of the best scanners for graphic design if what you need is to balance out the value you get from a scanner with the cost paid. For its price, this midrange device offers great performance mixed with good quality output.
True to its name, the Epson Perfection V600 has a scanner resolution of 6400 dpi. This aims at getting the scanned images close to perfection and thus, photos and documents scanned on this device will have excellent quality.
Additionally, the V600 is given a Dmax rating of 3.4. This value shows how much detail a scanner can acquire in a film. At this level, we see that the V600 performs very well making it great for graphic designers who work with films.
The device comes with basic connectivity options. From its USB interface, you can connect the scanner to a computer and get some work done.
Sadly, if you need to scan many graphics for work then being a flatbed scanner, this device will be tedious to use as It lacks an ADF.
Its speed is enough to get some decent work done. If you’re designing something and want a simple unenhanced scanned image at 2400 dpi then you may have to wait for about 35-36 seconds.
Read more: What is Dmax and Dmin dynamic range
4. CZUR ET16 Plus – An Overhead Scanner for Books and Large Drawings
Dimensions and Weight
- 4 x 8.7 x 14.8 Inches (HxWxD)
- 3 Pounds
Overhead scanners like the ET16 plus have a lot of advantages, especially when it comes to the size of the media they can scan.
This scanner is capable of producing amazing scans with the added advantage that it can easily work with books regardless of the curves on the pages of open books. This is great for a graphic designer as you wouldn’t want warped pages distorting the quality of your scans.
Furthermore, this device can scan multiple pages in one go. This can be instrumental if you are scanning related graphical items and need to save time for other projects.
If you’re wondering how it scans, the device uses a 16 Megapixel camera which can capture data from a scanning area measuring about 11.5 x 16.5 Inches. This lets a graphics designer work easily with large documents like A3 sized designs and ensures that good quality images can be acquired, thanks to the 250-dpi scanner resolution.
There are extra features such as added lights that are used to illuminate the documents that need to be scanned. This will let the graphic designer scan even when environmental lighting is insufficient.
This device is also very quick. Rated at 40 ppm, you can rest assured that you won’t take a long time to scan documents.
What makes this one of the best scanners for graphic design is its ability to work with various document sizes and still be fast and produce good quality scans.
Read more: Best Scanners for Historical Documents
5. Epson Perfection V850 Pro – A Professional Scanner with High-Quality Optics
Dimensions and Weight
- 6 x 12.1 x 19.8 Inches (HWD)
- 14 Pounds and 10 Ounces
This is by far the best scanner for graphic design for professionals. It has high-end optics technology that is composed of a dual-lens system with 4800 and 6400 dpi scanning resolutions respectively. This scanner also has a Dmax rating of 4.0. This goes to show that with this scanner, you can capture a lot more detail from films.
Unfortunately, being so expensive would mean that you foresee a positive ROI on your investment.
It has transparency units which will let a graphic designer scan different kind of negatives as needed. Its high pass lenses can pick very fine details in graphic designs.
Scanning at a 2400 dpi resolution will take about 38 seconds on this device. While this does not seem very fast, if you consider the resolution at which the scan is taken, you will find that the output is excellent for graphic design.
Like many other scanners, this device also has support for USB connections to PCs. This lets you easily transfer scanned files to your devices. Unfortunately, the device doesn’t support WiFi or Bluetooth. This is quite discouraging considering its price range.
This is not a cheap device, so it will need a hefty initial investment. But the quality you get from it is worth the cost.
The best scanners for graphic design come in many shapes, sizes and price tags. Some are budget suitable for an amateur, others are highly expensive suitable for studio professionals.
It all depends upon how much details you want to get from your scans. For most, a mid range scanner would do just fine.
In fact, even budget flatbed scanners are suitable for most use cases. Some instances, like working on a large client contract would warrant that you invest in the high end scanner to capture the most colors from your scans.