Go Latex and Print Earth-Friendly

While opting for latex print technology is a great choice to add versatility and more market opportunities to your business, it can also open up another highly effective selling point: Environmentally friendly print options. Here are four products that are specifically made for latex (or latex-compatible) that will make your customers feel good about their next print project:

HP PVC-free Durable Suede Wall Paper

FOR DÉCOR: HP PVC-free Durable Suede Wall Paper was designed specifically for HP Gen 3 Latex Inks to create beautiful, customized wallcoverings that are Type II compliant without a top coat, so they can be used in sensitive environments like healthcare settings or schools that are also subject to lots of wear and tear. The wall paper also meets sustainability standards with FSC certification, which ensures the product comes from responsibly managed forests; and Greenguard Gold certification, which ensures it is safe for use around sensitive populations, like the elderly and children. These attributes can lend a hand to building designs being considered for LEED certification points, which scores the healthy environment for commercial buildings.

FOR RETAIL: The all-new HP Durable Backlit Fabric, pictured above, is another latex-compatible option that answers the demand for a lightweight fabric for backlit signs, but also ensures extra safety, thanks to approved fire certifications (B1 and NFPA 70). The fabric is also REACH compliant, which regulates and ensures the safety of chemicals used to create products and their potential impact on human health and the environment.

FOR SOFT SIGNAGE: Specifically designed and coated for latex printing, EnduraFab Frontlit FR is another fabric solution for a variety of applications, including indoor signage, tablecloths, drapes and SEG frames, to name a few. PSPs and their customers can rest assured when using EnduraFab Frontlit FR, thanks to it passing NFPA 701 flame retardant standards under fire test conditions.

FOR HIGH-VOLUME POSTERS: PSPs running industrial HP Latex printing now have the all-new LexJet Satin Poster Paper 200g, a PVC-free option with a paper base that’s coated for durable, water-resistant prints that won’t bleed. PVC-free options are beneficial because they do not contain harmful chemicals that can be found in some vinyl materials. PVC-free materials have been growing in popularity in Europe and in the décor market, and is becoming a hot topic in signage, too. Plus, this poster paper is recyclable after use, making it an attractive option for some customers.

To learn about more environmentally friendly media options, give us a call at 800-453-9538.

Digital Décor Printing Goes Beyond Wallcoverings

A lot has been said over the past few years about the opportunities in digital décor printing … and most of them have been focused on wallcoverings. And while we love a good digitally printed wallcovering as much as the next guy, we wanted to take a moment to focus on other opportunities in decor printing … beyond wallcoverings.

Take a look at some of these inventive, imaginative projects our customers have done using a variety of ink technologies and media types. And the next time someone asks you to print a wall project, consider pitching them on some custom print jobs off the wall.

TABLES: Opportunities are almost limitless for both surface and object printing. Take, for instance, the tabletop creations by Jamie Birch, who used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric and LexJet Crystal Low Tack for sports-themed customized tables. Want to keep them looking good? Our friends at Fredrix used Fredrix 575 Tempo Canvas top coated with Marabu coating and mounted to a puzzle board and routed into circles to create these branded coasters.

 

 

 

 

 

WINDOWS: Create customized decorative prints on either the window itself or shades to block the sun. Window shades can be created with a variety of products, such as LexJet Poly Select Medium, EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier or HP Light Fabric. To add some privacy or a graphic element to the window itself, try LexJet Simple Grip Backlit, which can be seen from either side of the window and is enhanced by artificial or natural light.

 

 

 

 

 

LAMPS: A little punch of color can go a long way to enhance a room. Lamp shades have become a favorite among digital printers, using products like LexJet Sunset Textured Fine Art Paper 310g and finishing it with a UV coating for extra protection. Retailers like Lamps Plus give customers a variety of pattern and color combinations so they can create their own one-of-a-kind look.

 

 

 

 

 

PILLOWS: These are just two examples of how you can add some major customization to your throw pillows with a latex printer, courtesy of Fredrix, using Fredrix Natural Raw Canvas, and HP, featuring the versatile HP Light Fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

PRINTS: So, technically these prints go on the wall, but offer a decorative option if adding wall paper or a mural isn’t an option. We love all types of hanging wall art including acrylic-mounted prints, floating canvases, wrapped canvases, framed photos and ChromaLuxe panels. There’s something for everyone and every ink technology in our product mix!

 

 

What You Need to Know Now About Digitally Printed Fabric

It’s nearly impossible to work in the print industry and not have heard about the expanding interest in digital textiles. Although digitally printed fabrics make up only 2% of the entire textile marketing, it’s a fast-growing technology. It’s expected to grow from a $14.2 billion industry in 2016 to a $33.4 billion industry by 2021, according to Keypoint Intelligence.

That’s more than doubling the opportunity in five short years. And it could grow even more, with big players like Amazon and Home Depot both entering the textile game in 2018.

As a print service provider, what does that mean to you? More material options with ever-advancing technology, more solutions to offer to your customers and more ways to grow your business. Here are four key points to know now about digitally printed fabric in the wide-format market.

Printers Prefer the Latex Fabric EnduraFab™ Textiles. Here’s Why!

When EnduraFab™ Textiles hit the market last year, the line of fabrics was one of the first latex-compatible options available to the industry. Throughout the year, print service providers have told us that EnduraFab™ not only offered a much-needed latex solution in the market, but it also outperforms its competitors.

Pop up trade show display printed on EnduraFab™ Stretch at TPM, Inc.

We caught up with Dustin Batson, the Color Lab division manager at TPM, Inc. in Greenville, S.C., where his team produces a wide variety of event displays, banner stands, site signage, interior décor printing and more. The market demand has changed in recent years, he says, to soft signage, rather than rigid display boards that were used in the past.

“We use EnduraFab™ Stretch for trade show pop ups and the EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier for all of our backdrops,” Batson says. “There’s less cost in shipping, and easy changability with SEG panels — you just simply pull out the insert from the frame and replace it. For trade shows, it makes more sense and is less cumbersome.”

For Eduardo Aceves Hernandez, electronic publishing specialist at the Document Solutions department at the University of Texas at Austin, the ease of travel with EnduraFab™ is a huge win. “People kept asking for things they could fold and take to conferences,” Hernandez says. “In response, we shopped around, and EnduraFab™ was the solution. Customers have been really happy so far.”

Hernandez prints EnduraFab™ on an HP Latex 360 64-inch printer for his university customers, which include everyone from the athletic department to school administrators who need event signage, trade show displays, thesis exhibits and banners. When these items were printed on vinyl media, they had to be rolled up and shipped or carried in tubes to avoid creasing — “they were really a hassle to carry on a plane,” he says.

A fabric poster printed on EnduraFab™ at the University of Texas at Austin

EnduraFab™, however, can be folded and stowed in a suitcase. “It just hangs really well, and displays well,” Hernandez says. “And it’s not going to crinkle. So you get simplicity with good quality.”

Batson says the ease of use is definitely a bonus, and the print quality is strong, too. “It holds very vibrant color,” Batson says. “And the color tends to hold better and you get less crocking than other materials.”

Finishing EnduraFab™ is easier and more reliable, too, Hernandez says. “With thicker fabrics, fraying was an issue,” he says. EnduraFab™ finishes so cleanly, he says they don’t have to sew the edges. “We even mounted one graphic to a foam board and it looked good, too.”

The EnduraFab™ Textiles line is available exclusively through LexJet, and includes six options in a variety of sizes:

  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit: Lightweight fabric with excellent drape for table skirts, SEG frames and soft signage.
  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit FR: Frontlit fabric that meet the flammability standard for NFPA 701, 2015 Edition (Test 1, Small Scale) and require heat set for desired print durability.
  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier: Heavyweight fabric for retail signs, SEG frames and indoor banners.
  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier FR: Frontlit Premier fabric that meet the flammability standard for NFPA 701, 2015 Edition (Test 1, Small Scale) and require heat set for desired print durability.
  • EnduraFab™ Stretch: Lightweight fabric with one-directional stretch, providing installation flexibility and ease particularly for SEG frames and geometric trade show displays.
  • EnduraFab™ Stretch FR: Stretch fabric that meet the flammability standard for NFPA 701, 2015 Edition (Test 1, Small Scale) and require heat set for desired print durability.

Year in Review: The 11 Biggest Product Launches of 2017

As we look back on the year that 2017 was, there’s no denying that our customers are branching out into new areas and looking to offer their customers better performing, more cost-effective wide-format solutions. At LexJet, we strive to stay in-step with those demands. Our 2017 product launches brought to market everything from new outdoor banner materials and high-end fine-art paper options to all new technology portfolios and exciting, versatile media for multiple applications. Let’s take a look back at the changes 2017 brought in media products and equipment advances:

NEW MEDIA:

A Glossy, Opaque Banner: Many of our aqueous printer customers were requesting a glossy version of our ThriftyBanner, so we answered with LexJet Gloss Blockout ThriftyBanner. Not only does the gloss finish add extra pop to graphics and photos, it also eliminates the need to add a gloss laminate when requested, making it a one-step, cost-effective option. The 100% opaque blockout adds another unique feature for one of our most popular launches of 2017.

ClearShield SoftFeel Low Melt laminate applied to a menu.

Print Protection Portfolio: If you’re looking for any type of print protection, LexJet is the go-to source. We relaunched some products and added many new items to our Print Protection portfolio, which includes thermal laminates, water-based liquid coatings, UV liquid coatings and pressure sensitive laminates. This line includes nearly 70 options from the best brands in the industry: Marabu, ClearShield, Sunset, EnduraCoat, MaraShield and LexJet. If you need to protect a print in any application, our Print Protection page is the place to start.

Finish Soft Signage Fabrics Like the Pros

With the heavy retail season upon us, you’re likely getting more requests for fabric banners and displays these days. Retail outlets often prefer the elegant, lightweight drape that fabric signage offers, as opposed to vinyl, for instance, for banners, hanging signage, table skirts and more.

LexJet Poly Select Medium used for hanging posters.

However, when it comes to fabric signage, finishing needs can vary from fabric to fabric, since some cut cleanly and others may fray. Watch the video above to learn how to test your fabric, and which ones can simply be trimmed with a knife versus those that need a tool such as a heating knife to keep the weave from unraveling.

We offer a wide range of printable fabrics for a variety of print technologies:

For Aqueous

HP Light Fabric used for retail banners.

For Latex

For Solvent

A popular finishing option for printed fabric signage is pole pockets. Watch the video below for a fast, easy and professional result: