Give Custom Walls Personality with the Right Wallcovering Product

Gone are the days of choosing from a few wallpaper options that may ­– or may not – match your style and personality. Creating custom artwork for your home or office is one of the new trends for wall décor. From kids’ rooms to board rooms, we’ve rounded up a variety of solutions that are tailor-made for you.

Check out some of the ways our customers added personality and life to their wall mural projects:

Wall Murals That Go with the Flo: If you are doing a project that will be displayed for a few months or several years, LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, with its air-egress liner and repositionable adhesive, makes installation a breeze. When John Toth from Triad Creative Group was tasked with bringing the past to the present, he opted for Simple Flo – laminated with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate (2.4 Mil). For this project, some of the murals were displayed on different substrates, including primed MDF and Sintra, while others were applied directly to the display walls. Toth knew that the applications would be bubble-free due to the air-egress liner and that the repositionable adhesive would allow him to fix any misaligned panels during installation. The wide color gamut of the Simple Flo contributed to the authenticity of the project by bringing out subtle nuances in the historical images.

What Lies Beneath: When you use LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, creating photo-realistic wall murals is as simple as printing the image and then sticking it to the desired area. It’s a popular product with Bradenton, Fla. based Soicher Marin, who works with discerning clients like Ken Gemes Interiors for specialty décor. When a 15-foot by 9½-foot wall mural was commissioned to breathe some life into a conference room, the designers at Soicher Marin knew that the Print-N-Stick would be the best option. The eight-panel graphic, Man Under Water, was installed by Gemes and his team and went up without a hitch. Having a product that is repositionable, removable and re-usable means that it is in high demand for professional and novice installers, alike.

School Murals That Make the Grade: Creating interesting graphics that are durable and environmentally sound can be difficult in areas, like schools and hospitals, that have very specific requirements regarding décor. In such sensitive environments, it is vitally important that products that are Type II (ASTM F793) compliant are used. Such is the case with HP PVC-free Durable Smooth Wall Paper when paired with latex inks. In addition to meeting Type II requirements, the PVC-free wall papers also meet FSC®, REACH and UL GREENGUARD certifications, which is why Pat Walker of 4Walls offers it to business-to-business customers who are looking for a heavy-weight material that is certified. While adding a liquid laminate is often requested for their large jobs, Walker is surprised by the durability of the HP product without the added expense of lamination. Being able to remove extra steps along the way saves time and money and helps 4Walls add value to their clients’ projects.

Is Wall Décor Vexing? Take a Look at Vescom: Unveiled earlier this year, Vescom Digital Media is a true PVC vinyl wall paper that meets multiple environmental certifications, including being phthalate- and formaldehyde-free. With its variety of finishes (nine, to be exact), Vescom is a great option for commercial, educational and medical projects. Mike Speeney of Limitless Walls in King, N.C., is familiar with the variety of wall décor options on the market and uses the Matte finish for his clients because of the minimal glare. Speeney also notes that many of his clients are restaurants – and other public spaces – which often have strict building codes when it comes to wall décor applications. With Vescom being one of the “cleanest” vinyl wallcoverings on the market, it’s an easy choice for anyone who is looking to turn a bland wall into a piece of art.

Prints That Win: Misty Morning

Last November, photographers Kathryn and Gary Meek were vacationing in China, when one misty morning, they spied a junk boat moored to just a little wisp of a dock on the Yangtze River. Even though it was at rest, Kathryn Meek said she was struck by the serenity of the scene. She pulled out her camera and started shooting. One of the images she captured would later become “Misty Morning,” winner of the Sunset Print Award – Illustrative category in the PPA Southwest District.

“It is one of my favorite shots. The trip was a cool experience and I was able to get a really cool shot,” she says.

To properly convey the ethereal feeling of the scene for the print, she used LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper. “It really made the image pop,” she said of the award-winning paper.

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.

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.

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.

Prints That Win: Mother

When Shayna Lohmann first started experimenting with photography as a middle school student, she didn’t expect it to become a possible career option. “I was kind of bad at it when I was in middle school,” she says. “But as soon as I got my first roll of film developed, and it came out perfect, I thought that this is meant to be.”

Lohmann studies photography at the Antonelli Institute in Erdenheim, PA.  Recently, she won the Sunset Print Award for her winning portrait in the Contemporary Portrait category for the Antonelli Institute Print Competition.  Her portrait named “Mother” depicts her own mother looking intently into the lens.

“My mom was sitting there and I thought the whole composition was great in that moment, so I took the shot,” she explains. “It was so raw and powerful, and I think the judges felt that way, too.”

During the summer, Lohmann likes to experiment with different styles and approaches saying, “I have been asking my friends and family to model for me and I pick out the outfits I want them to wear.”

She finds inspiration for her work in vintage fashion magazines and photographs. One of her favorite photographers is Helmut Newton, a successful fashion photographer born in Germany in 1920. “His photos were so stark, but had movement in them,” she says. “They were very natural.”  His work has inspired Lohmann to pursue fashion photography in the future.

“Once I graduate, I want to be a portrait photographer or a fashion photographer,” Lohmann says. “I really like looking through magazines and seeing all of the portraits; I think there’s something that’s special about photographs of people compared to other forms of photography. The emotion you can capture is crazy and amazing.”

Lohmann’s experiences with submitting her work in competitions has been overwhelmingly positive. “I learned that anything is possible,” she says. “You should never doubt yourself or compare yours to other prints because you don’t know what will happen.”