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.

Video Tip: Easy Pre-Pasted Wall Paper Install and Removal

What if we told you there was a wall paper that you could apply with the aid of a squirt bottle – no glue and no water troughs necessary? HP has created its PVC-free Wall Paper that not only makes installation and removal a breeze, it’s also a great choice for high-traffic and sensitive areas, like hospitals or schools.

Check out the video above to see how easy it is to prep your printed panels and install them using just these tools:

  • Damp sponge
  • Spray bottle with room-temperature water
  • Razor knife with fresh blades
  • Squeegee
  • Metal puddy knife

The video covers preparing the wall and panels with room-temperature water, position and secure the panels in place and trim the excess as needed. You’ll also learn how to remove the wall paper without damaging the wall beneath it.

HP PVC-free Wall Paper is an odor-free, PVC-free alternative to wallcovering that is flame-resistant and provides vivid color and high-definition detail, ideal for wall murals. Not only is it mold- and mildew-resistant, it has multiple environmental assurances including FSC® and UL GREENGUARD certifications and it meets AgBB criteria making it safe for use in homes, hospitals, schools and public buildings.

Available at LexJet, this product is manufactured with two finishes: HP PVC-free Durable Smooth Wall Paper and HP PVC-free Durable Suede Wall Paper.

For more décor tips and tricks, call a LexJet representative at 800-453-9538.

Easy Ways to Start Marketing Your Décor Services Today

Whether you’ve got full décor printing capabilities, or you’re just dipping your toe into this new market, everyone will eventually need to start marketing their services to build business. We sat down with LexJet’s market development pro Rachel Gamberg to learn how to get a décor-focused marketing plan off the ground.

“Based on your equipment and current capabilities, you can identify markets that you can created product lines for and start to segment these groups,” she says. “And if you have plans to invest in new equipment, started thinking about more applications you can offer in the future.”

Intro to Décor Printing: You Already Have What You Need to Begin

Today, we’re kicking off a blog series on how on-demand printers and anyone offering wide-format printing services can jump into an exciting new market within the industry: Décor printing.

Chances are you’ve heard about the booming customizable décor printing opportunities in our industry. With the advances in substrates and printer technology, offering your customers more ways to create one-of-a-kind projects for residential or commercial spaces has become more accessible than ever.

It’s also likely your customers are starting to make requests for projects like wall murals, canvas wraps, floor graphics, customized window screens and even lampshades. In other words, if you can print it, they can decorate with it!

Open House Success: Building Business with the HP Latex Printer at Red River Photo

 

Red River Photo Services Open House
Hey! It’s two captions for the price of one! The headline, image and caption above is from an article about Red River Photo Services and the addition of its new HP Latex 330 Printer that ran in The Journal Record, a local business journal. Red River Photo’s open house generated new business and great publicity.

Red River Photo Services in Oklahoma City recently made the big jump to latex printing with the addition of the new HP Latex 330 Printer from LexJet, supplementing the company’s fleet of Epson Stylus Pro aqueous inkjet printers to expand their offerings and their market.

Owners Leighton and Katrina Kirkpatrick have so far been impressed with the additional capabilities and benefits the printer provides and were eager to share those capabilities and benefits with their market.

Red River Photo Services Open HouseLeighton and Katrina hosted an open house at their facility last night that brought in about 75 customers and prospects. The couple provided beer, wine and a spread of hors d’oeuvres Katrina made for the event, but the big draw was the HP Latex 330.

And, the most important goal of the event was to educate and drive new business through the printer. Leighton reports that they reached that goal. In fact, he was working on an estimate for a new museum print project that was a direct result of the open house.

“Our customers were already familiar with our quality and knew the open house would be a good use of their time, but we also scored some new clients, like museums, which was really important,” Leighton says. “There was also someone at the open house who does a lot of wallpaper projects; he said he will use us, so I think we scored there as well. We’ll follow up with sales calls to LEED architects and show them some of the products, like the HP PVC-free Wall Paper because of its environmental certifications for hospitals and other facilities.”

Red River Photo ServicesLeighton and Katrina printed application samples on various media, including HP PVC-free Wall Paper, LexJet PVC-Free Cling, dreamScape Terralon, dreamScape 15 oz. Suede, banner materials and display films.

“We printed different images on the various substrates so people could see an actual wallpaper design on a wallpaper product as opposed to graphics and photos. We had several different 6×8 tables covered with these samples,” Leighton says.

Leighton also used literature from LexJet about the inks and media and an overview of HP Latex printing technologies and the environment. Along with invitations to customers and prospects, Leighton got more buzz going before the event by sharing a video LexJet produced and customized for Red River Photo about HP PVC-free Wall Paper, both through email and posted on Facebook.

“We sent the video out the day before the open house. We got a lot of response to it, and it was very successful in terms of the introduction of the latex printer’s capabilities. It was very effective and did its job by opening people’s eyes to all the possibilities the printer offers,” Leighton says. “We wanted people to know they can get a great product with the same durability as a solvent-based ink system with great imaging and application versatility. The best part about this printer? Kat and I are excited about it, and we can’t sell something we’re not excited about.”

Did You Know? Application Opportunities for Latex Printing

Did you know that you can create high-quality, durable and profitable wall murals, canvas wraps, and trade show and display graphics with HP Latex Printers from LexJet using a variety of inkjet media, including media for aqueous printers?

HP PVC-free Wall Paper from LexJet for LatexHP Latex printers provide the versatility and durability of solvent inkjet printers, yet produce odorless, environmentally-friendly prints.

HP PVC-free Wall Paper, for example, is GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified, enlarging your potential customer base to include schools, restaurants and other interior environments where VOC emissions are a concern. It’s also very easy to print, install and remove. And, with HP’s WallArt Solution Software, you can design and plan the graphics while easily accounting for obstacles like doors and windows.

For canvas wraps, art and décor, HP Latex Printers offer the versatility to enter this growing and dynamic market? Plus, you can use aqueous canvas inkjet media on the HP Latex Printer to help expand your choices in textures, weaves and finishes.

Canvas for HP Latex PrintersWhen you’re producing canvas gallery wraps, by far the most popular canvas application, you can use LexJet Sunset Stretcher Bars with Fredrix 901SJ Select Matte Canvas for a quick and simple canvas wrap solution. And, if you’re looking for an in-depth primer on canvas production, including coating and finishing canvas, click here to download a free guide.

Trade show, indoor display and banner stand printing is also a snap with an HP Latex Printer. You can tackle virtually any indoor application with a variety of aqueous inkjet media, in addition to a broad range of latex-specific media. Plus, latex printing is ideal for indoor graphics since it’s odorless and emits fewer VOCs than other inks.

Display Printing with HP Latex PrintersAn excellent lay-flat, opaque banner stand material compatible with HP Latex Printers is LexJet 11 Mil Blockout Water-Resistant Polypropylene. If you’re looking for attention-getting, brilliant graphics for pop-up booths, LexJet Clear PreLume HD is an excellent choice. These are just two materials of many from which you can choose to expand your business and your bottom line.

LexJet offers the HP Latex Printer lineup – including the HP Latex 210 61″ Printer, HP Latex 260 61″ Printer and the Latex 280 104″ Printer – as well as a full range of HP and LexJet media compatible with these printers.

If you have any questions about HP Latex Printers and all the applications you can add to your product mix with latex printing, contact a LexJet representative at 800-453-9538.