HP – Take it Back! Ink and Media Recycling Initiatives

Did you know that your HP inkjet cartridges can be recycled? What about your HP recyclable media printed with OEM HP inks? Do you know how easy it is to participate in the program? Read on for answers to all these questions.

HP has been involved with product recycling for over 25 years and utilize the materials in a “closed-loop” process, which means cartridge materials returned are created into raw materials used in the production of future cartridges. This program is easy to follow: simply drop off the original HP inkjet cartridges off at a collection location or ship them to HP by requesting shipping labels.

The HP media recycling program can be used with many of the recyclable Technical and Graphics or Sign and Display products. To be properly recycled, any printed graphics sent in must have been printed using HP printers and HP OEM ink. HP will send you labels and packing instructions for eligible products once you have completed the request. Then it’s as simple as taking it to a UPS drop-off location or handing it over to a UPS driver.

Whether you are participating in the HP Supplies Recycling or the Free HP Large-format Media Recycling, HP has made it easy for you to recycle some of your most frequently purchased products, which means less waste piling up and more raw materials available for production of new products.

If you have questions about either of these recycling initiatives or to replenish any HP products, call 800-453-9538 and speak with a LexJet rep today.

How EnduraFab™ Can Help You Break Into New Markets

If you’re looking for new revenue streams — and who isn’t? — consider how the latex-compatible EnduraFab™ Textiles product line can help you reach new customers or expand the services you provide to your current clients.

The key to selling printable fabrics to your customers is focusing on the benefits of these products and how their versatility and ease of use can help your customers achieve their project goals. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits your customers will love:

Lightweight and easy to transport: Since they are fabric, EnduraFab™ products are much lighter weight than vinyl and can easily be folded and carried without creases and wrinkles, making it a great option for trade shows or traveling exhibits.

Durability: These 100% polyester warp knit fabrics are specially treated with a proprietary coating that makes them latex-compatible while still maintaining a nice hand feel. With latex technology, the images have great longevity and color reproduction that lasts. These fabrics have also passed wash testing as well under normal wash cycle conditions.

Versatility: EnduraFab™ products can be finished in a number of ways — stitched to create pole pockets, finished with silicone edging for framing or simply trimmed with scissors for short-term signage that doesn’t fray along the edges.

Knowing this, where can you attract new customers? Consider retail shop owners who like the elegant drape of a fabric sign, versus a vinyl banner that looks like it belongs outdoors. EnduraFab™ Frontlit is a great option for soft signage or tableskirts. Also, many retail outlets prefer SEG frames that can be easily swapped out. EnduraFab™ Stretch finished with Keder Tape or a gel edging is so easy to use that any retail staff person could make a sign switch in a matter of minutes.

Think about facilities where fire retardant properties are important, such as schools, malls and healthcare centersEnduraFab™ Frontlit FREnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier FR and EnduraFab™ Stretch FR all meet the flammability standard for NFPA 701, 2015 Edition (Test 1, Small Scale) and require heat set for desired print durability.

SEG-framed EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier is a great option for modern, clean office or home décor that’s heavier weight and resistant to scratches and scuffs. Check out the video below to watch EnduraFab in action as a dramatic spa décor art piece.

April Webinars: Learn Now, Save Now

Getting a new printer is one way to increase profitability – by way of improved speed or adding new technology to your toolkit. Ensuring you have made the right printer choice is another. Attend one of these webinars, conducted by industry specialists, to learn about some of the most popular printer technologies on the market.

These interactive sessions are perfect for finding the right printer to meet your workflow demands. As a bonus for attending, you will receive additional saving when you purchase a qualified printer.

HP Latex Webinar: Join us for a webinar on HP’s Latex printer technology on Tuesday, April 17 at 11 AM ET. When you attend this webinar, you’ll save $1,000 on an HP Latex 315 Print & Cut Bundle or HP Latex 335 Print & Cut Bundle; or save $3,000 on an HP Latex 560 or HP Latex 570. SIGN UP NOW

Canon PRO-Series Webinar: Join us Thursday, April 12 at 11 AM ET to discover the latest advancements in Canon printers. Attendees will receive an additional 5% off their PRO-Series printer purchase. SIGN UP NOW

If you’ve got questions, our LexJet printer specialists can help. Give us a call at 800-453-9538.

Guest Blog Part II: 5 Steps to Large-format Photography

Billy Elkins

Guest blog by Billy Elkins

Large-format photography is a five-part process. In the last blog, I talked about communication being key. We will cover the five-part process and then walk through a real-world scenario that will show just how important that is.

1. Communication with the client. Ask the client how and where the photos will be used. Try to visit the location, if possible. What is their vision? Are there any restrictions to size or are there any obstacles in the way? It is our job as the photographer to gather this information.

2. Communication with the printer. Ask the printer to go over the specifications that they need from the images. Will they be building the final file? What size and type of files do they prefer? Will they be providing proofs to client before printing?

3. Create the image. You need to satisfy the clients needs, but within the specifications of the printer. Any time that all three — you, client and printer — can be together to discuss the details of the project the better.

4. Printing. My background is in large-format printing and I have seen and worked with many types of output devices and media. It has helped to give me more insight into what my photo will ultimately turn into. Having an understanding of the printing devices helps in not only image capture but preparation of the final files may differ depending on the type of output device. This part is just as important as understanding the camera, lens, and software used to create the image. Often this part is overlooked by many photographers.

5. Installation. You may wonder why that part is important to the photographer? It does several things that are beneficial. If you have never seen an installation go up, it is pretty amazing to watch. This is where all the technical parts come together. To see an image that is merged from many images on a computer screen to see being installed at full size (over 40 feet) is incredible. Seeing how the installers work and put the image together helps me envision the final product as I work on the various steps along the way.

The example below was for a large format installation at the Sarasota International Airport. The client was advertising on the back wall directly behind the baggage claim area. The final installation included wall graphics and 3-dimensional cutouts, as well as 360-degree image wraps around columns. The full wall area was 971” x 103.5”, and the image I needed to create was 415”x 103.5”.

The scope of the job was not very difficult, but I was brought in after the original photographer was not able to provide large enough files. In this case, I was contacted by the printer to see if I could create the image at the size they needed. We went over all of the details and I was given the exact location of what needed to be photographed.

Technical details:

  • Camera – Nikon D800
  • Lens – Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
  • Focal Length – 24mm
  • F-Stop – f/11
  • Shutter – 1/160
  • ISO – 200
  • Frames – 7 overlapping NEF files
  • Final image size – 10830ppi x 5200ppi

The image was merged using Adobe Lightroom CC Photo Merge and then brought into Adobe Photoshop to add some minor effects that the client requested.

I provided a final layered PSD file to the printer so they could make any further adjustments, if needed, for printing. The final print resolution was 32dpi. Yep, 32dpi! Click on the photos below to see how the project came together.

Create a Faux Effect Wall Paper with LexJet Premium WallPro™

We love it when multiple market trends converge — and especially when we can help make them come to life. One recent industrial décor trend, the use of natural materials in interiors such as brick, steel, leather and wood, will continue in 2018 and beyond according to a recent article in House Beautiful Magazine.

Achieving that look by installing new tile or stripping back a wall to brick is messy and expensive. That’s why designers and DIY enthusiasts are turning to faux effect wallpaper. LexJet Premium WallPro™ can be used to digitally print wallcovering with all the style of natural materials in an array of seven realistic looking finishes to complement any design. From wood, to brick or tile, LexJet Premium WallPro™ wallcoverings can create a completely new, realistic texture on walls and may have your customers questioning reality.

Wallcovering printed to look like cork.

We visited Sarasota, Fla., interior retail showroom, Blu Home, where we met owner and interior designer, Chelsea Dunbar, to find out where wallcoverings have been and where they’re going.

Just 10 to 15 years ago, faux painting on walls and columns were all the rage, with painters spending hours creating marble, wood or brick effects with paint. Today, it’s hard for designers to find skilled painters for those jobs. “When the economy crashed, a lot of them left the market,” Dunbar says. Not to worry though, printed wallcoverings are a quick and less-expensive way to “make it look contemporary … and feel high-end,” she says. “Wall paper has gotten so much cooler — and it’s become a replacement for faux painting.”

Digital wallcoverings can make walls look like they’re built from wood.

Digitally printed wallcoverings make the design process faster and easier, too. Print a desired digital file to a richly textured wallcovering vinyl, and apply with traditional wallcovering installation techniques. “This isn’t your grandmother’s wall paper,” Dunbar says. “You can do so much more with it.”

LexJet Premium WallPro™ wallcoverings are a higher grade of vinyl that’s also environmentally cleaner than other products on the market. Suitable for the most sensitive of areas such as healthcare facilities and schools LexJet Premium WallProTM digitally printable wallcovering meet EPA requirements for low-VOC emitting products.

Want more digital décor ideas? Visit LexJet.com/decor.

How to Start Marketing Your Décor Print Services

Deciding to add services like custom-printed wallcoverings and canvas wraps to your business is the easy part. Getting the word out and bringing in potential customers is where the challenge lies. Here are 5 tips to help you get started with marketing décor print services:

  1. Fix your identity. If your operation has always been called a “sign shop,” consider adjusting your business name or adding a new business unit specifically for décor services. Target which services you want to offer (start with one or two) and determine which products you want to print to. Once these are nailed down, the business name and focus will start to fall into place.
  2. Practice and promote. If you’ve decided to add customized digitally printed wallcoverings as your new offering, find a project you can work on as a beta site. Perhaps a restaurant that a friend owns or a business you regularly frequent that could use an update. Offer to print wallcovering for a room for free so you can get real-world experience in terms of the work flow, installation and product performance. When you’ve successfully completed a project, use before, during and after photos on social media and email campaigns to show off your new expertise.
  3. Connect with others. Get to know local interior designers who could capitalize on your new services. Attend networking events and learn about community projects that could allow you an opportunity to show off your work and get free publicity. Focus on collaborating with other professionals who may need the talents of your graphics team to create artwork for canvas wraps or customized patterns for wallcovering — and charge them reasonably for this niche service.
  4. Upsell to current customers. Opportunities are everywhere. If you’ve been creating backlit displays for a retail outlet, ask them if they’re interested in a wall mural to liven up their store. Same goes for restaurants, hotels or corporate accounts that you print signage for. Could they use a fresh accent wall or canvas wraps to add ambiance or elegance to their spaces?
  5. Get your content together. Create a sample book (or web page) of the types of work you can do. Photos with finished applications will go a long way in helping your customers to visualize what you can customize for them.

If you have questions about marketing décor services or success stories to share, tell us about it in the comments below.