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.

Discover the All-New ClearShield™ Thermal Laminates

LexJet is excited to announce our new, comprehensive line of thermal laminates under the ClearShield™ brand, available exclusively through LexJet. We’ve got 20 new products in a variety of sizes, thicknesses and finishes for a range of applications from menus and posters to banner stands and trade show graphics.

menu for blogClearShield™ brand highlights:

  • Variety of thicknesses from 1.7 mil to 15 mil
  • Finishes include luster, matte, smooth, glossy, textured and opaque
  • Thermal laminates work perfectly on any microporous coated paper/polyester
  • Better low-melt products at a 30- to 50-percent cost reduction

“With our expanded line of print protection products, we’ve got our customers covered with the largest variety of thermal, liquid and pressure sensitive products available on the market,” says product specialist, Kara Work. “With our new SoftFeel thermal laminates, we can offer printers the option to produce customized, shorter runs with a zero-glare, non-textured, soft velvety feel that they could only get with high-volume graphic finishing in the past. These are optimal for menus, luxury packaging and fine art prints.”

Visit our LexJet Print Protection page to learn all about the new ClearShield™ brand as well as liquid and pressure-sensitive coatings and laminates, and discover all the ways that We’ve Got You Covered.

How-to Video: Face-mount Prints to Acrylic

One of the most popular finishing techniques for a clean, modern look for prints and photos is face-mounting the image to acrylic. It’s a technique that’s been perfected by printers such as Bumblejax for images and graphics displayed in homes, commercial buildings, retail spaces and more.

Check out the video above for step-by-step instructions and helpful hacks on face-mounting like a pro using photo-quality media and a double-sided adhesive. In this video, we chose LexJet 11 mil Blockout PolyGloss for its excellent color reproduction, lay flat finish and gray backing for extra opacity. We face-mounted it with the all-new LexJet CrystalClear Permanent Adhesive (see complete project supply list below).

This Trailer Is Game-Day Ready, Thanks to LexJet Simple Flo

The fans and alumni of Western Illinois University sports are committed to their school spirit. Just take a look at the trailer project put together by the school’s visual production center.

The trailer is used for alumni tailgating and needed a fresh look, so the production center’s graphic designer, Brian Kreps, called his LexJet rep, Joe Pudlo, who suggested LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl to get the job done.

Good Will Printing, Laminating and Recycling

Recycling inkjet media and laminates

Excess scraps of media and laminate films generally end up in messy piles destined for the trash. Some people go the extra mile and recycle their printing leftovers. David Wiggins, photographer and owner of Wiggins Photography in Ridgeland, Miss., found a way to take recycling to another level.

Wiggins uses LexJet Performance Textured Polypropylene Laminate (5 Mil) to protect his prints. “We use the product based on Michael Clementi’s [Wiggin’s customer specialist at LexJet] recommendation that it will give our in-house prints the maximum protection and longevity.” This particular laminate includes a clear plastic release liner that is removed upon application and subsequently thrown away.

“I was interested in recycling, and I noticed the clear plastic liner was similar to what is found in gift baskets.” says Wiggins. “I took some samples to a local flower shop and they were thrilled to use it.”

Wiggins recently donated about 1,000 feet of release liner. “We’re still working on a way to use the liners in our packaging. It’s just a little thick, but perfect for flowers,” Wiggins adds. “We have a great history with the florist, so she was very receptive to the idea. The 24-inch liner is perfect for flowers and small gift baskets.”

Wiggins will continue to donate his release liners to the flower shop. “Any time we can recycle a product we feel good about it. We just hope that once the individuals receive their flowers or basket, they will take the next step and continue the process either through re-use or placing it in the recycle bin.” says Wiggins.

Wiggins and his wife have been satisfied customers of LexJet and Michael Clementi’s since 2004 and 2006, respectively. “Michael has been great; he’s very helpful. LexJet has been our source for paper and ink – and we’re very pleased with product ordering and shipping.”

Printing the American Flag in all its Glory

Printing an exhibit for a museum

“It looks like the American flag exploded in this room,” says Molly Engquist, curator of exhibits for the Siouxland Heritage Museums in Sioux Falls, S.D. But that’s the point of the exhibit now on display at the Old Courthouse Museum, which is one of two museums the Siouxland Heritage Museums operates (the other is the Pettigrew Home & Museum).

Museum exhibit signs and graphicsThe backbone of the display, which is a visually-intensive fact-filled exploration of the history of the American flag, are two pop-up display booths printed on LexJet 10 Mil Opaque Display Film and finished with a 10 mil textured matte laminate.

Our department tries to make history pretty so that it’s more fun to learn. The display was so crisp and clear, even though we used a matte laminate because of the gallery lights. Everyone who’s seen it so far has been very pleased with it,” says Engquist. “We found LexJet when we were looking for the right print material to use on the pop-up booth. Erin Krcmar [Engquist’s customer specialist] has been very helpful.”

The prints were applied to the display booths with magnets in five vertical panels, three in the middle and two end caps. Lamination was done by Express Copy and Printing in Sioux Falls since Engquist doesn’t have a laminator. The fact that both the printable material and the laminate are 10 mils each helps guard against de-lamination for a more durable display.

Creating graphics for museumsThe two main pop-up booth displays are flanked by a combination of retractable banner stand graphics and framed information panels.

Durability and portability were two of the most important qualities Engquist was looking for in the print materials and hardware used for the exhibit. When the exhibit has run its course at the Old Courthouse Museum it will be sent to county libraries and smaller museums that don’t have the budget or resources to create their own exhibits.

The exhibit opened on Flag Day, appropriately enough, and is called Symbol of Freedom: The American Flag. The museum received a grant from the Daughters of the American Revolution to create the exhibit, which will make a lasting impression at the Old Courthouse Museum and throughout Minnehaha County.