I sell calendars online. I print them thousands at a time using offset printing at a local printing company. I'm considering printing them myself using a digital wide format printer - but I'm concerned that the quality won't be "good enough."

I'm looking at buying HP Designjet 1055CM because it's only $1K on craigslist. It says color prints at 600dpi (Black is 1200dpi).

How does 600dpi compare to offset? Where can I find images to compare?

(I'm considering switching to digital because I get lots of requests for custom designs. I'm limited by offset, I have to print 1,000 at a time, it seems. But I often don't sell all 1,000. Therefore I can't afford to offer more designs for sale, unless I print them one at a time)

2 Answers 2


Offset printing uses imagesetters and plate makers which range in DPI from 1200 up to 4800. (average being in the range of 2400dpi)

While you can get decent quality output from end user printers, they simply never compare to offset printing. Disregarding the dpi, there are other factors such as ink vs toner vs wax.

You might also want to check into reviews for such printers. In my experience Xerox or Okidata are great for short runs with great color. But they don't always hold the same color through a long run well. Whereas HP printers hold the same color great for long runs, but the color is not always wonderful to start with.


Although the question is quite old you should take into account that the DJ1050 was already over 10yrs old at the time you asked. Inkjet printers are great for small volume high quality prints but only if you're looking at fine art printers like Epson Surecolor or DesignJet Z-series.

Nevertheless, you don't want to produce calendars with roll media ;-)

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