Prints That Win: Randy McNeilly’s Triple Crown

In November, Shelby, N.C., photographer Randy McNeilly celebrates 40 years in photography, a true milestone in the industry. Over the years, he has seen many changes when it comes to the art of capturing and conveying a story with images. Through all the changes, McNeilly, who won three regional Sunset Print Awards in the PPA Southeast District this year, believes the biggest change was the switch from darkroom to digital.

“Classic” by Randy McNeilly

McNeilly was prepared for this inevitable transition, as he was already doing his own work in a color lab. McNeilly says “digital didn’t increase my workload,” because he had always been so hands-on every step of the way, from capture to completion.

He takes pride in focusing on portrait and in-studio work, because he feels there is an emerging trend of more photographers going outside the studio, vying for the unique exterior setting. McNeilly estimates that “about 90 percent of my work is still in the studio, and I feel that there is less competition” because many other photographers concentrate on exterior settings, while he works with the clients who still cherish the look and feel of a cozy, studio photo shoot.

Two of his winning Sunset Print Awards, “Classic” and “Military Intelligence” show McNeilly’s portrait prowess. His third, “Heavy Metal,” is a study in machinery details.

“Heavy Metal” by Randy McNeilly

McNeilly was profoundly influenced by late portrait photographer and educator Dean Collins. Early in his career, McNeilly was purely a commercial photographer, but shifting to studio photography about 10 years into his craft once he discovered the work and teaching of Collins.

“I really believe that he grasped the concept of photography,” he says of Collins. McNeilly also names Florida photographer, Thomas Kelly, as someone who has helped shape his passion for the world of portrait photography.

Getting into the mind of a client and learning which story is begging to be told is important to McNeilly. Before each photo shoot, he spends time with his client and learns about their lives. It is during this consultation where the ideas and narration begins, ending with the client being presented with a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, a story told through a photo rather than words.

“Military Intelligence” by Randy McNeilly

The image “Military Intelligence” commemorates the retirement of a communications director for Air Force One. Knowing that this gentleman was an intellectual, he used the bookcase as the perfect backdrop, paying close attention to such finite details. “I thought it would be a nice touch to have him reading The Art of War, by Sun Tzu during the session,” McNeilly says of the open book in the image.

For printing, McNeilly chose LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper 300g for color prints “Classic” and “Military Intelligence,” but decided upon LexJet Sunset Fibre Elite 285g for his black-and-white winner, “Heavy Metal.”

A Easier Way to Apply Textiles to SEG Frames

Our partners at Banner Ups have discovered an easy way to finish textiles in silicone edge graphics (SEG) frames, with the new LexJet Adhesive Backed SEG Keder Tape. This aggressive peel-and-stick adhesive makes SEG frame finishing less complicated, with no sewing, heating or additional equipment required (and the staff to run it)!

The application of Keder Tape is quick: Just peel off the release liner to expose the adhesive; stick Keder Tape onto the fabric; tuck the taped fabric into the SEG frame, and press it into place for a taught, secure finish. We had great results using Keder Tape with EnduraFab Textiles as well as HP Light Fabric. This product has gone through extensive testing and demonstrated long-term durability needed for SEG frames.

Insider tip: Since the tape is repositionable before your firmly adhere it, place it lightly on the back of the graphic and align it to the frame. Reposition it if needed without damaging the graphic (another benefit of not sewing it). Once it’s positioned correctly, firmly press the adhesive onto the textile, and then place it into the frame.

For more details, download this Keder Tape Instructions flyer and call a LexJet representative to learn more about textile printing and finishing.

Thesis Exhibits Get Graphic with LexJet Print-N-Stick

When designer Nathan Lambert of Full Color, Inc., a professional printing lab in Dallas, needed to put together his master of arts thesis exhibit along with a handful of his peers, he opted for an easy-to-use product that would work on all surfaces, floor to ceiling.

“For these big final presentations, we used LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric everywhere,” Lambert says. “We printed all the wall graphics, and used it for floor graphic and pedestals, too.”

Throughout the exhibit hall, Lambert and his peers put together elaborate displays that featured topics like color therapy, gender identity, mobile fresh markets and superhero archetypes. Lambert’s thesis discussed the benefits of contemporary middle school uniforms.

For his exhibit, he covered stationary walls with white-on-black text graphics, while mobile walls carried bright imagery along with informative text. He used Print-N-Stick to cover two pedestals holding manikins wearing uniforms that were dye-sub printed. Full Color utilizes Epson and Kodak printers to get the jobs done.

“When we got the Print-N-Stick from LexJet, we did some test printing,” Lambert says. “For a bunch of designers, it was like giving us a toy to play with. We were able to get some really cool stuff out of that material.”

His team used a Graphtec cutter for some of the more complete exhibits. “That made our lives really easy,” he says. “We used some technology we hadn’t used for our regular work.”

For this job, Lambert used an Epson SureColor S80600 to print 200 linear feet of Print-N-Stick. “We were so blown away with the color,” he says. “LexJet sent us the color profile to use with Onyx software — we were just blown away with how vibrant everything was. As a designer, that’s pretty awesome for us.”

In previous years, taking down printed graphics was a challenge, as many adhesives would remove the paint, as well. ” Everyone got excited by how wonderful the quality and colors, and how it came down without damaging wall,” Lambert says. “This product would be awesome to use in a home — like a child’s bedroom or the living room where you want to put something cool on the wall.”

HP Announces Additional Cash-in & Trade-up Opportunities

In addition to previously announced rebate and trade-in promotions, HP is now offering up to $3,000 cash-back on a new HP Designjet Z-series printer. If you purchase an HP DesignJet Z6200 42-inch, HP DesignJet Z6600 60-inch or an HP DesignJet Z6800 60-inch printer by Oct. 31, 2017, and trade in your current, qualifying large-format printer, you will be eligible to receive cash-back.

Save an additional $500 with the purchase of a qualifying HP Care Pack at the time of your printer purchase.

For eligibility, HP requires submission of motherboard or formatter board of current printer.

Quick-change Retail Graphics? You’ve Got Options

Retail promotions can change in the blink of an eye, which means you need a quick turnaround for replacement graphics that make an impression. Since the graphics could be applied by anybody from the summer intern to a pro installer, it’s important that the products are easy to handle and properly protected.

Check out some of these proven applications that offer alternatives for displaying retail images, especially when the project requires speed, protection, easy removal and, of course, high quality:

Clearly, There Are Alternate Ways to Display Images: If you have been looking for new ways to display your graphics, why not turn your posters into instant window graphics? With LexJet CrystalClear-X Removable Adhesive, you can front-mount graphics with bubble-free ease. If your plans change within the first 12 hours of application, you can reposition the graphics up to 10 times. There is no residue left behind, making removal a breeze. LexJet CrystalClear-X Removable Adhesive can be used with images you are already creating on aqueous, latex, solvent or eco-solvent printers.

Try 1 Roll of LexJet TRIBUTE Satin Photo Paper at Volume Pricing

We’re excited to announce the new LexJet TRIBUTE Satin Photo Paper 240g, a high-performance, heavyweight paper available at a production price.

With a high-quality photo base that stands up to any other photo paper benchmark on the market, LexJet TRIBUTE is the go-to option, priced right for high-volume printers.

For faster and easier handling, this heavyweight 9.5 mil, resin-coated photo paper dries instantly, making it ideal for nearly any application, from point of sale and signage to trade shows and photo reproduction.

“Once again, LexJet is shaking up the market with the high-quality TRIBUTE photo paper at rock-bottom volume pricing,” says Dean Lambert, LexJet Vice President.

When purchased by the pallet, LexJet TRIBUTE is reduced in price by nearly 30% at $0.20 per square foot (compared to $0.32 per square foot for single rolls).

SALE! For the next 30 days, we’re offering a single roll of TRIBUTE at the pallet price ($0.20/sq ft). Call-in orders only. Give TRIBUTE a try* by calling LexJet today at 800-453-9538 and learn more about this new aqueous-compatible photo paper.

*Offer valid until Oct. 14, 2017; while supplies last; one roll per customer