5 Printing Trends to Watch in 2018

Welcome to 2018! As we begin the new year, we take a look at what’s hot now in wide-format printing and what’s going to gain traction in the coming months. Our team provided insight on what they see as the growing trends for 2018, so we can help you be prepared with the media and equipment you need to meet your customers’ evolving demands.

1. Digital Keeps Growing: During the past two decades, we were at the forefront as digital took the lead in the graphics, photography and signage markets. Now, we’re watching digital printing make new inroads in industries that range from décor to flexible packaging. In the same way digital printing made signage faster and more customized than technologies of the past, we’re going to see that advantage work for short-run, super customized, more quickly produced fabrics for applications such as signage, upholstery, drapery, bedding, accessories, fast fashion and much more.

Kornit Allegro roll-to-roll digital fabric printing system

Because digital allows a file to print directly to a substrate without expensive plate setup, short- or even micro-runs are a whole new possibility for fabric, specifically. With these shorter run possibilities, we anticipate more fabric printing here in the U.S., rather than mass production off-shore that equates to tons of inventory on shelves here. One-off digital printing means your customers no longer need to stock all that inventory from overseas.

Print to Fabric in One Step with Kornit Allegro

Anyone who has printed to fabric knows that traditional methods include many steps, like pre-treating the fabric, waiting for it to dry, printing, steaming, washing and even more drying time. Our friends at Kornit have streamlined the fabric printing process down to one step: pressing the print button.

Utilizing digital files and its seven-color NeoPigment ink set, the Kornit Allegro print system requires just one operator who can take a digital file to printed fabric in about six minutes; plus, the Allegro outputs 200 square meters per hour to nearly any type of fabric.

“This is a remarkable new system that some of our customers can really use to expand their operation into fabric and décor printing,” says Matt Radauscher, LexJet Enterprise Account Executive. “As consumers and the market seek more on-demand, customizable short-run printing, a system like Kornit Allegro is offering the perfect response.”

The Allegro print technology is ideal for personalized, one-off to high-production of home textiles, fashion, swimwear, and more, and has light- and color-fastness testing lasting up to eight washes. With its patented “fixation on the fly,” Kornit eliminates the need for pre-treatment. “It’s refreshing to see technology that responds to market demand while also eliminating the need for companies to stock massive inventory,” Radauscher says.

The innovative Kornit Allegro’s direct-to-fabric system is the preferred technology for Spoonflower, an online fabric print provider who offers designs for customers with no minimum order. Its fabric production has been so popular that Spoonflower is on its way to purchasing a third Allegro printer. Watch the video below to learn more about Spoonflower’s operation:

Want to learn more about Kornit Allegro? Download this brochure, and give our account executives a call at 800-453-9535.

Dec. 1-31: Save 20% on Your First Vescom Wallcovering Order

For your discerning customers who want high-end, luxurious wallcovering finishes for corporate, healthcare, residential and retail spaces, we’re offering 20% off your first order of any Vescom digital wallcovering finishes throughout the month of December.

Starting Friday, use coupon code VESC20 at checkout, and we’ll take 20% off your first order of Vescom finishes like the soft, lightly textured Vescom Felt, the fine linen emboss of Vescom Tabby, or the SGIA award-winning luster and shine of Vescom Metallic Sand. Visit LexJet.com/Vescom to discover all nine finishes available at LexJet.

All Vescom textures are certified for HP Latex Inks and are considered the “cleanest” vinyl wallcoverings that meet EPA requirements for low-VOC emitting products and are Commercial Grade, Class A Fire Rating, non-phthalate and non-formaldehyde and heavy metal- and antimony-free.

To ensure your get predictable results project after project, Vescom wallcovering is finished with a special top coat that delivers exceptional consistency and a longer shelf life than other PVC wallcoverings on the market. The media is receptive to liquid coating for extra protection, and we recommend Marabu ClearShield Wall Armor.

“Having a product that’s very consistent is a big key for me,” says Mike Speeney of Limitless Walls in King, N.C., who uses Vescom Matte for many customer projects. “The durability is really important so you don’t have ripping or tearing … We try to make sure everything is perfect going out the doors, so when the customer gets it, they go, ‘Wow this is awesome.'”

To learn more about Vescom wallcovering, call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538.

Innovation Inspired Us at SGIA Expo 2017

The weather may have threatened, but that didn’t stop the SGIA Expo from going on! And we were so glad that it did. We found inspiration everywhere we looked around the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. With 600 exhibitors and more than 19,000 people in attendance, the power of printing — on nearly every conceivable surface — could be heard loud and clear.

Walking the show floor, we were thrilled to see some of our partners featuring and launching some great new products. From HP, we we learned about the upgraded HP PrintOS Mobile, which not only helps printers stay on top of printer data, job history, KPIs and service calls, it allows their supplier to track their needs, too. A great tool to enhance those relationships and keep production running right on time.

We couldn’t help but stop in our tracks when we came across the Fredrix Canvas booth, where they made pillows with Fredrix Natural Raw Canvas printed with latex technology, and cool customized coasters fabricated with Fredrix 575 Tempo Canvas and finished with a Marabu top coat. At Fredrix, they are really changing the way we think about printing everyday products.

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.

Vescom Digital Media: Wallcovering Line Now Available at LexJet

For busy print service providers, media consistency is key. And that couldn’t be truer when it comes to printable wallcovering. The print runs are large, and décor-level quality is highly scrutinized. At LexJet, we’re excited to now offer Vescom Digital Media, some of the highest-grade and most environmentally sound PVC vinyls on the market.

A restaurant wall mural printed by Limitless Walls

Early users have been impressed with the production quality and consistency. “Having a product that’s very consistent is a big key for me,” says Mike Speeney of Limitless Walls in King, N.C., which prints up to 40 wall murals a week for commercial clients, designers and architects, and the general public.

“The durability is really important so you don’t have ripping or tearing,” Speeney says. “And, we’ve been using the Vescom Matte because you don’t want a glare with light bouncing back in your face like you would with a gloss finish.”