LexJet’s Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl is the answer when you need a repositionable adhesive-backed vinyl for wrapping trucks, buses or walls. The 2.4-mil glossy-white vinyl has an air-egress release liner that enables air to escape as the graphics are installed, eliminating trapped air pockets that cause wrinkles and bubbles, and because it’s repositionable, misaligned graphics are easily repaired.
We’ve heard a lot of big numbers being thrown around about this year’s ISA International Sign Expo. This year’s attendance topped 20,044, which is the largest crowd for ISA in 10 years, and the largest that the Orlando show has ever seen.
LexJet was one of 600 exhibitors in the 200,000-square-foot trade show floor. Also, our 50-foot-by-24-foot carnival themed wall graphic, complete with Ferris wheel and roller coaster printed on LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, was the largest mural ever displayed inside the ISA show.
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.
Illustrating history can be tricky, but that’s why you leave it to consummate professionals like Triad Creative Group, Brookfield, Wis., which specializes in producing brilliant displays for museums and trade shows.
Triad Creative Group won the bid to provide graphics for the Wade House Visitors Center and Carriage House shortly after the opening of the 38,000 square foot facility in Greenbush, Wis.
The specifications for the 18 wall murals depicting horse-drawn apparatus and their use throughout history originally called for prints produced with eco-solvent inks. Triad Creative Group took that specification to the next level with the purchase of an HP Designjet L26500 latex inkjet printer from LexJet.
“We had been in conversations with Kara Work [Triad’s LexJet customer specialist] about upgrading to the HP latex printer. I discussed latex-based prints on vinyl as a way to meet the specifications with our designers and this project pushed us toward purchasing the printer. It was such a huge job it virtually paid for the printer,” says John Toth, project manager for Triad Creative Group.
Toth was looking for something economical, that would image well and would be simple to work with at the installation site. Work recommended LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl laminated with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate.
“It’s a very nice material; it’s very forgiving on a multi-panel project like this. You need the ability to stick it down and pull it back up, which this allowed us to do with its air-egress liner. The color gamut and imagery looks incredible. All the archived photographs that we scanned and put into use with Simple Flo really popped,” says Toth.
Most of the murals, which ranged from 8′ x 10′ to 12′ x 15′, were applied to wood frames with primed MDF faces offset from the wall, another was applied to Sintra and a few were applied directly to the walls. “The Simple Flo adhered beautifully to all the surfaces. It was also easy to trim, so I was very pleased with how it performed,” says Toth.
Mural application began in February and the rest were installed as the exhibits were finalized throughout the museum, with the final wall mural applied last week. It was essentially a year-long project as plans were made and Triad scanned and touched up the historical photos that would be used.
“The photos weren’t in great condition, so we had to re-touch them in Photoshop. Depending on the location within the museum, each area has its own color designation. They’re all grayscale images, but a duotone was applied based on the color scheme of the area in which they were installed. The reddish ones, for instance, were tied to a firefighting theme,” explains Toth.
Triad also used LexJet Sunset Velvet Rag SUV for the donor wall that Toth says was a nice complement to the overall project.
“Kara was very helpful with finding the right media for this project. She is awesome, not just from the sales end, but from a technical support aspect. She’s very knowledgeable about media for different applications. She’s always been there for us,” adds Toth.
Alex Garcia, owner of New Wave Sign Co., Miami, recently encountered one of those rush jobs so common to wide format graphics production, particularly in the vehicle graphics niche. Fortunately for Garcia, he had access to everything he needed at his fingertips.
“The customer had a show scheduled in California and needed a trailer wrap in 48 hours. Thankfully, I had a new roll of LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl and told them I could do a partial wrap instead of a full wrap,” recalls Garcia. “And, since LexJet is able to deliver products to us so quickly I can turn a rush job like this around without having to charge extra. I was low on ink and fortunately I was able to call the order in to LexJet and I got the ink right away.”
Garcia was able to print right away, sending the design he created to his Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 low-solvent printer, then laminating the Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl with Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate (2.4 Mil).
“The truck was white so I incorporated that white space into the design. The printed area is a line that’s about 52 inches tall that grows into three vertical panels. I also printed out the logos that were placed in the white space and contour cut them on my Summa cutter,” explains Garcia.
Though this was not a “full wrap” by definition, meaning that the graphics were not applied around the edges of the back and front of the trailer, it sure looks like a full wrap. Garcia and his team began applying the printed panels at 2 a.m., working through the wee morning hours to complete it in time.
“We washed the truck really well so that the white areas would really shine and to make sure the installation went smoothly. However, it was a challenge because we were wrapping in really cold weather, which is unusual in South Florida, even this time of year. We used a propane torch and heated the whole side of the truck to make the application surface warmer and kept the material in a car with the heater on to keep the graphics at room temperature,” says Garcia. “We love the Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl because it images nicely, it’s economical and it applies easily.”
Faith can move mountains, but can it move a two-ton custom-built Cruse Scanner? Bob Lizza, owner of Lizza Studios, thought so and the results – a successful move – reinforced his faith.
But this isn’t really about moving a Cruse Scanner from one location to another, or even faith, per se. It’s really about vision: the vision of David Koral who recruited Lizza Studios to move to his eclectic location in Forty Fort, Pa., just outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and the vision of Lizza Studios.
Years ago, Koral bought an old cigar factory, all 130,000 square feet of it. As the owner of UbU Clothing, the space was a perfect fit for manufacturing. It was also the perfect fit for a diverse range of commercial and residential tenants, from a fine dining establishment (Canteen 900) to doctors, lawyers, a yoga studio, lofts, and the fine art powerhouse Lizza Studios.
Lizza Studios effectively completes the space, bringing fine-art sensibility and the ability to brand and decorate it with a variety of inkjet materials from LexJet.
“I have found great use for the sticky papers Bob uses, like window treatments, door poles and elevator graphics. His ability to take images and reproduce them on all sorts of things is an incredible experience for me; it helps put my madness on the walls,” explains Koral. “I found an old album of photographs of this building prior to starting the work on it ten years ago, and he blew them up and put them on canvas. They’re clean and clear. People are coming from all over the East Coast corridor.”
The timing was perfect. Lizza loved his studio in rural Pennsylvania, but wanted to simplify his product offering and get closer to the East Coast action. It was Lizza’s combination of faith and vision that sparked the move following a discussion with Koral about bringing Lizza Studios into the fold.
“Dave is such a visionary and such a great guy. He has placed a flourishing oasis in a desert. Our space is spectacular, and we’re moving to this building to be one of the finest fine art sources in the Northeast. He found me and talked me into moving here, and once I got down here and saw what he was doing, it was clear that it needed to be where we moved,” explains Lizza. “Now I’m seeing the bigger picture of what we can bring to the Northeast related to fine art – from sculpture to paintings – and making that a real experience for people to come here with all walks of life.”
Lizza adds that their previous location was a hindrance of sorts for attracting high-end clients from the Northeast corridor and big cities like Philadelphia and New York City. Moreover, Lizza says it was time to concentrate on what really differentiates Lizza Studios: incredibly detailed and spot-on fine-art reproduction. Framing and other peripheral services would be left behind, while the scanning and printing equipment would travel to the new location.
“The biggest lesson for me was to keep an open mind. I was able to move to an area closer to the action and really get rid of the services that really weren’t going to fit the mold of what our business really is, rather than sticking with rigidity to an old decision,” says Lizza.
Ultimately, says Lizza, it boiled down to working with the right partners, from Koral down to the vendors Lizza chooses to work with, including LexJet.
“LexJet has been an amazing part of it all; they’ve given us all the leeway we need because they’re so focused on customer service, and LexJet products are the best because of the way the company does business,” says Lizza. “When I can call at 5:55 in the afternoon on a Thursday to get canvas the next day because I need the weekend to get it done, the customer service is in place to get it done with distribution centers everywhere. It all fits together.”
As far as the physical move itself, the most important component was safely transporting the two-ton, custom-built Cruse scanner. As usual, Lizza had faith that he would find the right people to do it, though the initial mover dropped out at the last minute.
“Moving the scanner was monumental. It’s a two-ton piece of equipment and there’s a risk that something will go wrong. There might be 100 scanners in the world like this, but this was custom built by hand; I have three lenses on my scanner, giving me a bit of an edge,” explains Lizza. “We thought we had a moving company in place, but they backed out because they had fear. We ended up finding someone just down the street from our new location who stepped in. They were flawless; we moved that scanner in four hours.”
Of course it took about four days to put it back together, and there was all the other printer equipment that needed to be moved – Lizza Studios’ Epson Stylus Pro 11880, 9900 and the low-solvent GS6000. Lizza plugged in quickly and soon made his mark all over the building with murals printed on Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric, LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, and Simple Perforated Window Vinyl (60/40).