Quick Tip: How to Hand-roll Liquid Coating

If your next print is going to be exposed to the elements or needs extra handling — like wrapping it on stretcher bars — you’ll want to add a protective layer of coating to keep that print looking sharp for a longer duration. This is especially true for images and graphics output on an aqueous printer.

Liquid coating is a cost-effective option for print protection, and is especially handy for canvas prints that need to be gallery wrapped. Check out the video above to see how easy it is to get a consistent, even application of liquid coating that looks great and lasts.

At LexJet, we’ve got the most comprehensive line of print protection products from the brands you know and love: Marabu ClearShield and Sunset. Check out our Print Protection page and browse through out “Water Based Liquid” coatings to see all the options for everything from canvas and photos to signage and wallpaper.

Opt for a gloss option to bring out the density in blacks and a matte finish to cut down on glare. We’ve also got options for anti-graffiti and transit graphics.

A few more hand-rolling tips:

  • When rolling, opt for a high-density white foam roller to help reduce bubbling — these come in a variety of widths for your needs
  • When rolling on the coating, opt for two thinner coats, rather than one thick one
  • Overlap your coating in a few passes, but not so many that the coating becomes tacky or bumpy
  • Small bubbles should dissipate, but if you get larger ones, try blowing on them to remove them
  • Rinse your roller until the water runs clear, and you’ll be able to reuse your roller for about six months

Not sure which coating to choose? Give us a call at 800-453-9538 for some expert advice.

GOframe Stretcher Bars Easily Turn Memories into Art

With Father’s Day, graduations and summer upon us, now’s a good time to create gallery-wrapped prints that make wonderful gifts and turn fond memories into beautiful art pieces using the Goframe 1500 Pro kits, available from LexJet.

Whether you’re looking to print on Sunset Select Matte Canvas or one of the new FlexTek fabrics – available in 200g SUV and 170g aqueous versions – the GOframe stretcher bars will easily turn your photos into works of art. According to LexJet Sales specialist, Matt Bailey, his customers love working with the GOframe bars.

“They are very user-friendly, but if needed, we have ‘how-to’ videos available that show step-by-step instructions. Even though we have other bars, the GOframes are the most popular with my customers,” Bailey says.

Aside from being easy to use, the Pro Series GOframe stretcher bars offer adhesive strips and archival glue to ensure proper adhesion and the reusable corner braces are perfect to keep on hand for future gallery wrapping projects.

The next time you want to create a memory worthy of being displayed in a museum, try the GOframe 1500 Pro kits or call 800-453-9538 and talk to your LexJet specialist for additional information. To see how easy it is to use the GOframe system, watch the video below for step-by-step instructions.

Order Early — Summer Holidays Are Coming!

When you’re not firing up the barbecue and lounging in your flip flops this summer, we know you still want your printing supplies on time. Please keep in mind that UPS observes certain holidays throughout the year, too, so you’ll want to plan for your order shipments accordingly.

This summer, UPS will observe the following days:

  • Memorial Day – May 28, 2018
  • Independence Day – July 4, 2018
  • Labor Day – September 3, 2018

For a full schedule of UPS U.S. 2018 holidays, visit UPS.com.

If you have any questions about orders or shipments, please call LexJet at 800-453-9538.

Prints That Win: Back Alley Beauty

When Chicago, Ill.-based photographer Michael Novo attended a destination wedding as a guest several years ago in Monte Carlo, he captured a brilliant shot of the bride on the stairs with a point-n-shoot camera. Everything was perfect: the lighting, the composition, the ambiance and of course, the bride. Excited about his newly discovered talent, Novo came home from Monte Carlo and immediately purchased nicer equipment. However, as he started delving deeper into the world of photography, he realized that perfect shots don’t just happen.

“I learned that I couldn’t rely on the light to just be right. I had to create the perfect lighting. I got lucky before, having the right lighting and right setting,” Novo says of his initial foray into professional photography.

After treating it as more of a hobby and dabbling a bit, he decided to show his work to some trusted friends in the industry. They offered some constructive feedback and suggested that he take classes and compete. Novo started working with a bog-box studio with two additional local area photographers, doing 40-50 wedding per year. Initially, he was hired as the third photographer, eventually moving up to second, and finally earning the Lead photographer position. Although he was gaining experience with the studio, the much-needed training was still elusive.

Finally, after about two years of event photography, Novo discovered a couple of photographers who drew him in with their style. He attended two separate 5-day workshops with Knoxville-based Bryan Allen. Allen’s Savannah and Knoxville workshops were beneficial in helping Novo learn the artistic aspects of photography. Working with technical specialist Kevin Kubota helped him learn more about the lighting and editing facets of the industry. He continues to work with both mentors and will be joining Kubota for a motorcycle tour through Italy later this year.

Through all of the training, workshops, event opportunities and practicing that Novo has accomplished over the years, the best piece of advice for improving his craft came from Grand Master of WPPI, Jerry Ghionis. The advice? One word: “compete.” As Novo learned when he first started competing, “you really aren’t as good as you think you are, but with each competition, you learn something. About you or the art, or the competitors. You go in against the best of the best. There are no levels, no ‘beginner’ groups. You are immediately tested and pushed to your limits. That’s how you improve.”

His wedding portraits are created to bring out the personalities of his clients, and that’s just what he did with his Sunset Print Award-winning print “Back Alley Beauty.” As a first-time recipient of the prestigious Sunset Print Award, Novo said the opportunity to capture the happy couple as they walked into their nuptials was too hard to pass up. “It’s important they see their style in the images. I’m taking the photos for them, not for me.”

Looking at his body of work and seeing the joy he brings to his clients on their special day, Novo realizes he’s come a long way from that first destination wedding image he captured. For him, it’s not how often one of his images is viewed, it’s about evoking emotion. As for his signature style, he says, “You might view it [an image] often, or you may view it rarely. But you will always feel it.” As long as you feel it, he’s done his job.

12 Winning Reasons to Choose Vescom Digital Wallcovering

You’ve got lots of choices these days when it comes to digitally printable wallcoverings. One of our top brands is Vescom, manufactured by the world’s largest commercial wallcovering company recognized for delivering the best performing products worldwide and for their innovation, design and quality.

Vescom offers one of the “cleanest” vinyl wallcoverings on the market, as well as nine luxurious finishes like award-winning Metallic Sand, Matte, Sand, Leather and others that work in a wide variety of environments like corporate, hospitality or healthcare facilities.

Vescom meets many environmental certifications, making it an ideal choice for healthcare environments.

What sets Vescom digital media apart from the competition? We’re glad you asked:

  1. Product consistency from lot-to-lot
  2. Never stretched, providing a more stable product with no curling
  3. Cleanest vinyl on the market, meeting the most stringent environmental standards (Including California Prop 65 requirements)
  4.  Cotton backing which is stronger than the alternative and easier to install, cutting labor costs
  5. Top coated for longer shelf life than other PVC wallcoverings
  6. Osnaburg woven backing provides dimensional stability and support for high-traffic areas
  7. Customizable widths
  8. Compatible with Latex, UV and Eco-Solvent technologies
  9. Receptive to liquid coating for extra protection
  10.  Installs with common adhesives and installation techniques
  11. Commercial Grade, Class A Fire Rating
  12. Meets EPA requirements for low-VOC emitting products

Ready to get started in — or expand — your digital décor print services? Give a LexJet print specialist a call at 800-453-9538 to discover our extensive decor printing product portfolio and how you can use it to grow your business.

HP Unveils New DesignJet Printers at FESPA Global Print Expo

This week, HP announced the new DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ printers. These printers are designed to offer amazing photo quality with higher print permanence fewer inks, reducing costs and improving manageability.

Available June 1, 2018, the DesignJet Z6 and Z6x10 printers were designed for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and retailers who are looking for an easy way to create high-quality technical and graphics applications. These printers offer security for data and an encrypted hard disk. The crisp, sharp imaging means the fine detail comes through in every print.

For print service providers looking to expand into printing professional photos while continuing to offer indoor and outdoor signage, the Z9+ series – also available on June 1, 2018 – will offer enhanced HP Vivid ink sets, creating high-definition images.

The 44-inch DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ with dual-roll and vertical trimmer are expected to be available in July. These printers will offer the ability to have multiple rolls available for long print runs or the ability to save time by keeping different media types at the ready.

HP also announced the addition of two innovative new products to the Wide Format Media Portfolio:

  • HP Everyday Blockout Display Film with a unique construction of three layers of polypropylene, polyester, and polypropylene film for an added suppleness and superior lay-flat properties. It is a thicker film compared to 100 percent polyester, costs less, and has a coating for dual ink technology.

If you would like more information on any of these new products, call a LexJet sales specialist today at 800-453-9538.