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.

Museum Wall Murals Made Simple

Triad Creative Group Produces Wall Murals for a Museum
Triad Creative Group printed historical wall murals on LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl laminated with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate. Triad applied subtle duotones to the images to complement the general color scheme of each exhibit.


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.

Museum Wall MuralTriad 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.

Museum Wall MuralsOnce the printer was selected, installed and ready to go, the next step was choosing the right material.

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.

Inkjet Printed Wall MuralsMost 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.

Donor Wall Graphics
The donor wall consists of LexJet Sunset Velvet Rag SUV applied to 6mm Sintra with 1/4″ glass stood off the image an inch. The glass has second-surface vinyl lettering. The portrait panel is Sunset Velvet Rag applied to Sintra.

“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.

Printing Custom Trailer Graphics in a Flash


Printing and installing trailer graphics

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.”

Moving on Faith and Vision at Lizza Studios

Moving to a new studio space
Lizza Studios' new space in Forty Fort, Pa. Lizza was recruited by the building's owner, David Koral, to bring an extra splash of panache to the 130,000 square-foot multi-use building.

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.

Printing custom elevatory graphics
The Lizza touch can be found just about everywhere in the new building. Here, it's art reproduced on Photo Tex and applied to the interior of one of the elevators.

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.

Printing window graphics
Lizza Studios printed the window graphics for the patio outside the fine dining establishment Canteen 900 on Simple Perforated Window Vinyl (60/40).

“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.”

Moving to a new buildingLizza 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.

Printing decor for buildings“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).

Making an Impression, Leaving a Trail at Muddy Feet Graphics

Advertising with bus graphics

Muddy feet certainly do leave an impression and the muddier the feet the more impressions you leave. That’s Todd Dofflemyer’s philosophy, figuratively speaking of course, where the mud his company gets its feet dirty with is the diversity of products it offers its customers.

Dofflemyer, owner of Muddy Feet Graphics in Harrisonburg, Va., has an extensive history in the commercial printing world; he was instrumental in bringing one of the world’s largest commercial printers into the digital world from analog back in the 1980s. When he struck out on his own less than two years ago, he combined his experience in innovation with a studious view of trends in the graphics market that has helped Muddy Feet Graphics grow quickly in a short time.

Advertising with fleet graphics on vehicles
Muddy Feet Graphics used Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, laminated with Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate for an easy and ecomonical fleet project.

“We call ourselves a graphics company and not a sign company since we can put a logo on just about anything,” says Dofflemyer. That’s why printing t-shirts is an important component of Muddy Feet Graphics’ business. Though it represents only about 20 percent of the company’s production, it feeds the large-format graphics and sign side of the business and vice-versa.

Muddy Feet Graphics does not screen print, but instead goes direct-to-shirt with an AnaJet direct-to-garment inkjet printer. This process allows short, on-demand, custom runs that t-shirt printing has been trending toward over the past few years.

“I’d rather find a hundred people who need ten shirts, rather than ten people who need 100. People don’t want to keep a lot of inventory and potentially waste shirts, so we can customize their order so they don’t keep as much in stock,” says Dofflemyer. “When someone comes in to pick up a banner they see us making t-shirts and vice-versa, so the more things you have that are similar but not the same, the more opportunity you have.”

Another area where Muddy Feet Graphics is making inroads thanks to its logo-on-everything approach is vehicle graphics. Vehicle wraps have been slower to arrive on the scene in Virginia than hot spots like California and Florida, but once local customers saw the advertising value of it, more jobs began to roll into the shop.

“If it’s $2,500 for a vehicle wrap and you spread it across four years, the average lifetime of a fleet vehicle, it comes out to about $50 per month. Then, compare that cost and the overall effectiveness of a moving billboard to other media with less visibility and the price is easier for the customer to accept,” explains Dofflemyer.

Another trend that Dofflemyer has noticed and responded to is the more temporary nature of the requests that come through the door. For a recent bus wrap, Muddy Feet Graphics used a removable vinyl for the body of the bus and LexJet Simple Perforated Window Vinyl (60/40) for the windows.

“We used a removable vinyl for the bus project since the message will change regularly, and we used the LexJet window perf because we were having problems with the other window perf we were using.

Printing wall murals for bedrooms
Todd Dofflemyer, owner of Muddy Feet Graphics, says he's found the perfect wall mural material in LexJet Simple WallCal (6 Mil).

No matter how long I let it sit it was transferring to the unprinted area of the window perf and we found the LexJet material applies easier and I don’t have a problem with the ink drying,” explains Dofflemyer. “Now it seems that everybody wants a message that’s tailored to today that could change tomorrow.

You used to see a lot more metal real estate signs, for instance, but you’re seeing more step stakes. In this economy, that house will sit there for awhile so they want to change the message a lot. Everybody needs to be more aggressive so that message needs to change more.”

And that’s good news for everyone in the large format graphics market. Additionally, Dofflemyer has noticed that clients are including a QR bar code on more of their printed pieces to take advantage of smart phone technology. A banner can serve a dual purpose of getting a quick look-at-me message with a QR code that takes the curious to a website with more in-depth information.

“Digital graphics can be distributed in all kinds of ways and we’re finding that more and more of them are simply avenues to your phone,” says Dofflemyer.

With its focus on blending printed and purely digital technologies and being ever cognizant of what its customer base needs as progress makes its forward march, Muddy Feet Graphics is poised to make good on its tagline: Make an Impression, Leave a Trail.

An Almost Infinite Variety at Infinite Imaging

Inkjet printing canvas for corporate lobbies
Copyright IonBond LLC

As its name implies, Infinite Imaging is one of the most versatile digital printers on the eastern seaboard. Based in Portsmouth, N.H., Infinite Imaging’s success is based on its can-do attitude. There is very little, if anything, the company can’t do, especially when it comes to customer service.

“The company started with me and one guy, and now it’s me and 23 others and it’s based almost exclusively on customer service. Everyone talks about customer service, but only a few actually do it,” says owner and founder Bill Hurley. “For instance, I have someone employed just to make phone calls to make sure our customers are happy, and the phone’s not allowed to ring more than three times.”

That’s just the tip of the customer service iceberg at Infinite Imaging, but it speaks to an overall philosophy that has led to its unprecedented growth and success, even during economically trying times.

Case in point is the two projects pictured here for IonBond and Max Edge. IonBond is a company that with an ionization process for coating new metal parts and Max Edge is a fitness center. Both received similar treatments of LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl on cinder block walls. In addition, Infinite Imaging applied simple graphics to the interior walls at Max Edge, and created canvas wraps with LexJet Sunset Reserve Bright Matte Canvas for IonBond.

Printing wall graphics with an inkjet printerThe result was exactly what the customers wanted to promote their products and services. “The Max Edge project in particular came out great. They loved it and it was a treat to install,” says Hurley. “And, when we’re looking for inkjet media, LexJet is our first call because they’re totally responsive to our needs.”

This is an important factor for Hurley since the company has such a wide range of customers and employs a number of digital processes to produce both small format and wide format output. Infinite Imaging dove into wide format back in 1998 when the market was still relatively immature, leveraging its expertise in offset printing.

“The second I saw wide format I knew it would be a huge market. Today, we are one of the largest reprographers in New Hampshire and we do all kinds of digital printing, including the wide format division,” says Hurley.

Inkjet printing wall graphics for a corporation
Copyright IonBond LLC

In addition to an emphasis on responsive customer service, Hurley and Infinite Imaging are extremely active in the community. The company provides automatic discounts to non-profits, for example, to help them print promotions and marketing materials more economically. It’s a good deed and it raises awareness in the community about the quality of Infinite Imaging’s work.

“My company has the products every non-profit needs, which are printed marketing materials – banners, flyers, tri-folds and whatnot – so they always come to us. When you’re active in the community they get to see you firsthand, and they know you’re for real,” says Hurley.