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.

Variety Is the Key for Photo Finishing Options

If you’re celebrating National Photo Month along with us, now’s a good time to consider all the options you have to offer a variety of photo finishes to your customers, such as canvas wraps, photo panels, self-adhesives and face-mounted acrylics, just to name a few.

Canvas Wraps. “When we talk with a photographer, we let him know more of what he can offer to his customers — more than what the customer is asking for,” says Aaron Friedman, owner and CEO of Signarama in Santa Rosa, Calif. “It’s an added value that means more money for the photographer, and his customers get the photos they want, ready to hang on the wall.”

Assembled GOframe stretcher system

At his busy shop, Friedman recently added the GOframe stretcher bar system to his canvas wrap production. Being located in wine country, a lot of his customers are looking for wine-related décor canvas wraps, like the one pictured above.

“The GOframe has done very well for us,” says Friedman, whose team used to hand-stretch all their canvas. “It’s way easier, faster, more efficient and requires less labor.”

Using an HP Latex 300 series printer, Friedman’s shop can print up to 60-inch canvases and meet his photographer customers’ demands for great photo quality, bright color and a consistent wrapped finish with clean edges. “They come in and ask for museum quality final product, and this canvas gets pretty close,” Friedman says. “Plus, it’s half the cost of an archival canvas.”

To discover more canvas options, download The Colorful World of Canvas.

Photo Panels. As an alternate to canvas wraps, LexJet also offers LexJet Sunset Professional Photo Panels that provide a quick and easy way to finish a photo that’s ready to hang. Simply print onto a photo paper, such as LexJet Sunset Photo Canvas Paper 230g, and remove the adhesive on the face of the photo panel and press the photo in place.

With black-trimmed edges and pre-drilled holes in the back of the panel, they’re ready to hang with a clean, modern look. To see how easy they are to assemble, watch this video.

New York Film Academy photography student portraits

Print-N-Stick. For a larger-than-life option, LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric delivers photo-quality images that can be blown up for giant portraits, like those created by students from New York Film Academy, or even entire wall murals. As a less expensive and less cumbersome way to display their end-of-term work, the students printed their final portraits on Print-N-Stick, peeled off the liner and stuck them on the wall.

“The profile was great, and the color was really true, so that’s what we completely switched over to,” says David Mager, chair of the Photography Department.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric is a super-versatile product that can be applied to walls, windows, metal and even floors. It’s smooth finish and high quality inkjet coating delivers the richest colors compared to other self-adhesive, printable fabrics in the market.

Sunset Photo Metallic Paper face-mounted to one-inch acrylic

Face-mounted to Acrylic. Another eye-catching photo finishing option is face-mounting to acrylic, which the creative pros at Bumblejax have perfected. After printing the photo on LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper, Bumblejax adheres it to the acrylic using LexJet CrystalClear Permanent Adhesive.

“We really see an incredible ‘pop’ from the Sunset Metallic Paper when it is face-mounted to acrylic, especially in a gallery setting with proper lighting,” says Bumblejax’s Corey Dwinnell.

Read more about Bumblejax’s success here.

Video: Berea Printing Reviews Sunset Canvas

In the video above, Berea Printing’s production manager, Phil Crawford is “returning the favor,” something he does on a regular basis through his YouTube channel, The Promo Video.

Berea Printing Sunset Canvas“I’ve done several product reviews; it helps with our YouTube rankings and they’re informative. I spend a lot of time looking on YouTube looking for products and services. YouTube is a great resource. This is a way to give back and help someone else figure out something. It’s a way of returning the favor,” says Crawford.

Berea Printing, based in Berea, Ohio, just south of Cleveland, has been in business since 1967. Crawford joined the company in 1997 and has seen it transition from analog offset to a fully digital shop, both on the commercial side with three Konica 8000s, and the wide format side with the HP Latex 25500 Printer.

In addition to traditional commercial printing applications like catalogs and brochures, the company specializes in specialty printing for marketing and promotions. Wide format printing is an integral part of that specialty mix.

“We create a lot of marketing products. Wide format printing has come in handy for us to create specialty items and interesting products because our customers want something unique and eye-catching,” says Crawford. “Our dominant wide-format product is LexJet Simple Adhesive Vinyl SUV, which we use as a poster material on foam board. It’s the most consistent vinyl we’ve tried… hands-down.”

Regarding this review of Sunset Production Gloss Canvas SUV, Crawford says: “We’ve tried a lot of canvas materials, and the canvas Erin Krcmar [Crawford’s LexJet rep] sent me was clearly the best material. Most of the canvas material we’ve tried, if you rubbed it or looked at it wrong, the ink would fall off of it, and when you stapled the canvas, it would tear, which was a big problem. This stuff is great, and it’s inexpensive.”

Profitable Print Applications and Innovations at Free Canon Workshop

Canon LexJet Printing Workshops
Hey! What’s that? It’s the entry into Canon’s showrooms where you’ll see the latest innovations in cameras, printers, camcorders, projectors and more when you attend the free printing workshop at Canon’s HQ in Melville, N.Y., on Oct. 22.

 

The free printing workshop that’s being hosted at Canon U.S.A.’s new headquarters facility in Melville, N.Y., on Tuesday, Oct. 22, will feature an in-depth look at profitable print applications.

A bonus for attendees of the free workshop is the opportunity to get an exclusive look at Canon’s latest innovations in consumer and professional equipment, including:

  • Consumer products: PowerShot and EOS cameras, VIXIA High Definition camcorders, and PIXMA photo and business printers
  • Professional products: EOS digital SLR cameras, Cinema EOS cameras, HD camcorders, and the full lineup of Canon’s EF, cinema and broadcast lenses
  • Photo gallery: Features Explorer of Light images, each tagged with information about the Canon camera and printer used to create the capture and the output
Canon LexJet Printing Workshop
The Large Format Printers showcase at Canon’s HQ in Melville, N.Y.

And that’s not all… Canon’s headquarters showrooms also feature innovations in projectors, production printers, Canon’s Mixed Reality System (combines the virtual world of CGI with the real world), scanners, and more.

The free printing workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 22, and will cover print applications relevant to your market with application demonstrations, surefire production techniques to increase efficiency and profitability.

Workshop attendees will also receive a $50 gift certificate from LexJet, inkjet media swatchbooks, special printer and inkjet media promotions, printed samples, and other giveaways.

The number of attendees each day is limited, so please contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 to learn more about the workshop or to register to attend at Canon headquarters in Melville on Oct. 22. Registration ends on Friday, Oct. 18.

Inspiration and Practical Application Info at Digital Art Creation Magazine

Digital Art Creation MagazineYou can never have enough information, even in the Information Age. Digital Art Creation, which is a quarterly online publication, is filled with content that includes photo and post-capture techniques, printing and post-printing tips, and a variety of other subjects of interest to photographers, designers and graphic artists.

Digital Art Creation is free for the read-only edition at the website: www.digitalpaintmagazine.com. Simply fill out an opt-in email form at the home page and the link to the quarterly publication will be sent to your mailbox. A read-only version is hosted on the site and downloads are available for $4.99 per issue.

The September issue is scheduled to be ready around September 15. Back issues of Digital Paint Magazine – the precursor to Digital Art Creation dedicated primarily to digital painting – can also be found at www.digitalpaintmagazine.com.

Here are some highlights from Digital Art Creation to catch up on from the past year (click on the publication date to access the full content)…

February 2013: Profiles of artists from the 2013 Digital Art Summit, including Darrell Chitty, Thom Rouse, Marco Bucci, Paul Tomason, and many more.

December 2012: Canvas Wrap Details, Old Master profile Picasso, Using Drawings as a Management Tool by Victor Lunn-Rockliffe, Digital Printing Alternative Surfaces: Recycled Plastic by KathyAnne White, and more.

October 2012: Gallery Wrapped Canvas Prints by Ralph Cooksey-Talbott, Woody’s Smoke Brushes by Woody Walters, Old Master Rembrandt by Nadia Lim, Printing on Silk by KathyAnne, video marketing, an interview with Miklos Foldi and Peter Nagy, and more.

And there’s more when you go to www.digitalpaintmagazine.com/blog/magazine-back-issues.html.

Vote Early, Vote Often (for LexJet) in the Readers’ Choice Top Product Awards

Best inkjet products of 2012The election season is not quite behind us yet with the announcement today that voting is now open for Wide-Format Imaging magazine’s Readers’ Choice Top Products Awards.

Vote for products that have caused excitement in the industry and have been a valuable asset to our business over the past year, such as these LexJet products, which have been nominated as 2012 Top Products…

Sunset Fibre Rag 335g was designed for photographers and art reproduction companies looking for the high-end air-dried look and feel on a 100 percent cotton rag base for printing with the latest aqueous inkjet technology from Canon, Epson and HP. It has a subtle gloss finish and a very subtle textured surface with no optical brighteners, though it has a very bright neutral white point.

Sunset Production Matte Canvas was developed as an economical yet high-quality and consistent inkjet-printable canvas for larger production runs. Engineered for the latest inkjet printers, it is a bright-white, water-resistant 100% polyester matte canvas with the look and feel of a traditional 2-over-1 weave for all types of art and décor applications. It also works flawlessly with coatings like LexJet Sunset Gloss Coating and LexJet Sunset Satin Coating, either sprayed or rolled on.

LexJet Poly Select Blockout Fabric is a 14-mil bright-white polyester fabric with a blockout layer that provides 100 percent opacity. Compatible with aqueous and latex inks, the fabric lays flat, minimizing edge curl and making it easy to work with in production. The water-resistant coating provides exceptional imaging quality with a wide color gamut and higher ink saturation for rich, brilliant, eye-catching color.

You can vote from now through Feb. 15 for products in a variety of categories, from wide-format flatbed printers and wide-format media, to laminating equipment, inks, RIP software and scanners. Go to https://2013wfitopproducts.questionpro.com/ to vote, and keep an eye out for LexJet’s products under the Fabric & Textile and Fine Art categories.

Winners will be announced at the ISA Sign Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, April 3-6, and will be featured in the April issue of Wide-Format Imaging magazine.