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.

How One Corporate Office Got Super Cool

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Rackspace’s “Hacky sack” room has a playful, modern feel. The mural was printed on dreamScape matte, available through LexJet.

 

Technology companies are often known for their whimsical office spaces, relaxed atmospheres and shake-your-fist-at-convention attitudes. Think: hammocks and giant slides at Google or picnic tables and video games at Zappos.

Rackspace, a global web-hosting and cloud managing firm headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is not one to be outdone. The company purchased the deteriorating Winsdor Park Mall in 2007 and has steadily revamped its corporate offices into spaces with themes like breakfast cereals, toys and movies. The former mall is now known as “The Castle.”

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The “Toy Soldier” room is just one of the toy-related themes found in the “Toy Shop” section of Rackspace’s corporate offices.

Rackspace’s workplace experience team tapped the creative brand imaging and signs experts at Cold Fire to bring their playful vision for The Castle to life.

“We’ve done about 100 rooms so far,” says Chris Jackson, Cold Fire’s founder and president. “They’re trying to create an environment where you don’t feel like you’re in a corporate work environment … to spur creativity and employee engagement.”

The workplace experience team typically comes up with the ideas for each of the sections, Jackson says, and his team then finds the best media to print the wall murals on. He often chooses dreamScape wallcoverings, thanks to the wide variety of finishes that are compatible with his HP Latex 360 printer. The latex capabilities, he says, allows him to print durable, scratch resistant wall murals that do not need to be laminated.

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The Dollhouse conference room.

 

Two of the more recent rooms that Cold Fire has completed are The Dollhouse and The Lodge. The Dollhouse is actually a conference room with wooden furniture centered in a room with murals that look like the rooms of a child’s dollhouse, giving it a nostalgic feel.

The Dollhouse's exterior is visible from the office's cubicles.
The Dollhouse’s exterior is visible from the office’s cubicles.

The exterior of the room is framed by a white fence and a wooden deck that holds a handful of rocking chairs. “The idea is to increase employee morale,” Jackson says. “So you’re not going to the same old mundane work environment every day.”

The Lodge is a smaller meeting room, complete with brick fireplace, tree stump side tables and the mounted head of a wildebeest. The room’s overstuffed, dark brown leather furniture gives it the ambiance of a true lodge — a dramatic departure from some of the other more whimsical rooms.

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The Lodge meeting room.

“They give me the room dimensions and create the graphics from scratch,” Jackson says. “What I do is suggest the media. In The Lodge, the log cabin-like walls were printed on the dreamScape wallcovering with the wood grain texture on it, which is applied with wallpaper paste.”

Jackson says the rooms in the renovated mall are nearly all completely reimagined by the Rackspace team.  But this creative duo’s work isn’t done yet. Cold Fire is currently working on Rackspace’s New York City sales office, with urban wall murals of graffiti and maps.

Popular LexJet WallPro SUV Wallcoverings Updated

LexJet WallPro SUV by York
Change an environment to anything your customer wants with high-quality wall decor printed on LexJet WallPro SUV by York. Photo courtesy Fostergraphs, Decorah, Iowa

LexJet has partnered with York Wallcoverings to update its line of inkjet-printable wallpaper compatible with solvent, low-solvent, latex and UV-curable inks. LexJet Velvet WallPro SUV by York, LexJet Pebble WallPro SUV by York and LexJet Canvas WallPro SUV by York are now available in both 15 oz. and 20 oz. weights.

Applied with wallpaper paste, LexJet WallPro SUV by York is a high-quality, permanent wall mural solution for a range of environments, including homes, corporate offices, healthcare facilities, schools, retail stores, museums, restaurants, hotels and resorts, sports and entertainment venues and more.

“LexJet WallPro printed great; it looked like it did on the monitor to the printer,” says Chris Knight, owner of Deck the Walls, Joplin, Mo., regarding a project the company did for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition using LexJet Velvet WallPro SUV.

LexJet Velvet WallPro SUV by York comes in three subtle textures: Velvet, Canvas and Pebble. Velvet has a smooth, lightly textured surface perfect for high-resolution images and photos. Pebble is best for those who desire a more visible texture behind the image. Canvas has the texture of finely woven canvas for a more fine-art look.

“As the oldest and largest wallcovering manufacturer in North America, York understands substrates from a printer’s perspective. And more importantly, we know what works best on walls,” said Tim Quinn, York Wallcoverings Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “York is proud to partner with LexJet in offering six superior-quality LexJet WallPro items.”

LexJet WallPro SUV by York wallcovering substrates also meet Class A fire-rating standards and EPA requirements for low-VOC emitting products.

The 15 oz. and 20 oz. versions of each are available in 54″ x 20′, 54″ x 75′ and 54″ x 150′ rolls from LexJet’s Nationwide Distribution Center Network.

For more information about LexJet WallPro SUV by York, call a LexJet printing specialist at 800-453-9538.

Printing Creative Interiors for a Growing Market

Creative Interior Imagery
Creative Interior Imagery brings all kinds of environments to life with a full suite of services, from design to wide format printing and framing.

 

Several years ago, Keith Tomkins started a small printing company in his basement called Zeopix. Business soon blossomed and it didn’t take long for Zeopix to move to a commercial space to better handle the additional work that was flowing in.

Creative Interior ImageryShortly thereafter, Zeopix partnered with Marsico Art & Framing to create a new company focused on the decoration of commercial interior spaces, Creative Interior Imagery, based in West Pittson, Pa. The new company specializes in transforming restaurant, medical, hotel and resort, and corporate environments.

The Zeopix side of the business continues to serve a more consumer, retail group of clientele while business continues to build at Creative Interior Imagery. The road to success was paved by Tomkins’ diverse background as a Navy airplane mechanic, photographer, and hardware and software designer.

“After the Navy, I spent 17 years in Silicon Valley designing hardware and software for companies. This was back in the days when Adobe was a font foundry, and we were working on the first systems that would do some of the things Photoshop does today,” says Tomkins. “One day I went to a local shop that did photo printing. I had some great scans I wanted blown up, so I took them over and got some real crappy prints back. I told him I wasn’t happy with the work, and he told me to take it somewhere else. That’s when I found there was nowhere else.”

Creative Interior ImageryThus a need for quality print work was identified and Tomkins purchased his first wide-format printer, an Epson Stylus Pro 7600 from LexJet. Tomkins says he started printing to support his photography hobby, but word soon got around and printing was dominating his time.

Tomkins soon added a Stylus Pro 4880 and 9900 to keep up with demand. As the opportunity to provide more interior décor printing emerged, Tomkins decided to add an Epson SureColor S30670 to the mix.

“A lot of companies will bid a project and go to one person for art, one for window graphics, one for walls and so forth. We can offer a one-stop solution, and having the solvent printer has allowed us to offer new products and lower our costs on some of our current products, like large canvas prints. For a four-color printer and one in that price range, I’m blown away by the print quality.” says Tomkins. “The solvent printer is being used mostly for vinyl and large canvas items that are more production-oriented. If I’m doing a custom reproduction for an artist or photographer, they want the colors spot-on, so that’s where I use the aqueous printers.”

Creative Interior ImageryTomkins adds that he had been working with Marsico Art & Framing on commercial project over the past few years, but officially began the partnership, and Creative Interior Imagery, in the past year to meet the expanding needs of his customer base.

Marsico Art & Framing brings its expertise in custom framing, art selection, placement and installation to ensure a seamless, consistent, high-quality experience for each of its clients. The list of services at Creative Interior Imagery touches every point of the process, from art consultation to installation, as well as a print treatment for virtually any surface, from floor to ceiling.

Hospital Graphics“LexJet has been a big help in building our business. One of the things I can always count on with LexJet is tech support. I’m a tech guy myself, but there are times that I need to consult with my LexJet sales rep, Michael Clementi, and he can usually get me an answer himself right away. If he doesn’t know the answer he finds someone at LexJet who does and gets right back to me,” says Tomkins. “I also use a lot of LexJet products because they’re reasonably priced and I’ve had very good luck with them. The quality and value is there, and I’m not waiting around for products I need right away; having multiple warehouses is a big thing.”

Pittsburgh in Inkjet-Printed Multi-Media Relief

Fine Art Triptych by Hudson Valley Giclee and Bruce Bleach

This corporate fine art triptych is another colorful collaboration between Jeff Fina of Hudson Valley Giclee and abstract fine artist Bruce Bleach. The pair often team up to bring unique fine art to corporate and other environments.

In this case, Bleach created the overall design, which Fina tweaked in Photoshop and prepared for printing. Fina printed the image on LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas and coated it with Sunset Satin Coating.

Fine Art Canvas Printing“Red and blue are very hard to reproduce, but the red on this canvas is as deep a red as you can get. You typically can’t hit colors like that with canvas since it doesn’t have as wide a color gamut as Sunset photo papers, but the combination of this canvas with the coating really brought out the richness of the colors,” says Fina. “I like LexJet Sunset Canvas much better than any other canvas. It’s easier to work with, easier to wrap and the color gamut is better.”

Once printed and coated, the piece was glued to wood and Bleach cut it out along the lines that Fina included when he prepared the file for print. Bleach also added scored and colored pieces of metal that give the piece more shine and relief, complementing the overall look of the design.

“A lot of artists, and especially Bruce, want to experiment beyond just printing, so Sunset Select Matte Canvas is a really good medium to meet their need to experiment because it’s also durable and easy to finish, especially with the Sunset Coating,” says Fina. “I know someone who left his canvas with the Sunset coating in the snow. I’m not sure why or how it got there, but the canvas was still perfect after that and he never thought in his wildest dreams that would ever happen. So, when you cut around the canvas, there’s no damage to it at all because of the quality of the canvas and the coating.”