A Sparkling Inkjet Alternative for Gallery Wraps, Wall Murals and Décor

Printing gallery wraps on vinyl
Gallery wrap printed on dreamScape Bling and wrapped on LexJet Sunset Stretcher Bars.

The term “bling” is normally associated with clothing and jewelry. As Serena Williams puts it, “It’s a lot of bling to play with. You got to have the bling.”

Be that as it may, Jeff Behlmann, owner of Behlmann Digital, Florissant, Mo., has found a use for bling in a different context. Behlmann’s bling is Bling, an inkjet printable wallcovering medium by dreamScape from LexJet.

Bling has metallic particles embedded in the base film that gives the wallcovering an unmistakable shine. Behlmann has used Bling for wall mural projects ranging from casinos to photography, each designed to catch people’s eyes and draw attention to the message and imaging.

“We printed about 5,000 square feet of wall murals on Bling for a casino. They wanted metallic ink, but we used Bling as an alternative solution. We printed just enough white ink with our UV-curable flatbed so it would still shine through,” explains Behlmann. “It was a repeating pattern and it turned out really slick. When we showed them the proofs they liked it a lot, especially when the light hit it.”

A closeup of the seamless edge of the Sunset Stretcher Bars and the bling of dreamScape Bling.Behlmann adds that they typically print Bling on a Roland low-solvent inkjet printer; the light coating of white ink just worked best for the casino project based on the effect they were after.

Since Behlmann Digital started working with Bling, they’ve experimented with different colors and patterns, laminates and applications. Though lamination is not required, Behlmann says it’s fairly typically for the material to be manhandled during installation, so they use a gloss laminate in those cases. As opposed to a matte laminate, a gloss laminate will retain Bling’s qualities.

“You can print any type of image on it, but it seems you need areas where the color’s knocked out to get the Bling effect. There was a really cool underwater shot of a turtle swimming in a colorful reef. We thought it would look really sharp, but it didn’t because there were too many dark colors,” says Behlmann.

Printing gallery and museum wrapsBehlmann has also experimented with Bling for gallery wraps. Though heavier and thicker than a typical canvas used for gallery wraps, Behlmann reports that it works well, especially when stretched on LexJet Sunset Stretcher Bars.

“We created samples in-house to show what the Bling looks like stretched on frames. The Sunset Stretcher Bars are such a neat system and are very easy to use. They’re beveled so that you don’t see the outline of the wood. I’ve seen other frames that are just a flat piece of board someone might make in their garage so you see that inside edge an inch or so in,” says Behlmann.

CBS Outdoor and Titan Approved MetroMark Transit Vinyl Available in 62-Inch Widths

Transit advertising graphicsDesigned for outdoor transit applications and CBS Outdoor and Titan approved, MetroMark Transit Vinyl will be available in 62-inch widths at LexJet in mid-June, but you can pre-order the product now. This is good news since bus posters are typically 30 inches wide, so you’ll have less waste when you print two-up. Other sizes include 54″ x 150′, 54″ x 20′, 54″ x 300′, 64″ x 150′, 64″ x 300′, 64″ x 300′ (six-inch core) and 64″ x 750′.

“We love using MetroMark. It was easy to profile, prints consistent and reliable with great image quality, it applies quickly, and removes without heat. MetroMark has all the right features at a great price,” says Keith Bernard, owner of Road Signs Inc., Sarasota, Fla.

MetroMark Transit Vinyl is designed for outdoor transit applications like bus kings, queens and tail posters. It’s a 3.5-mil opaque, flexible vinyl with a matte finish, compatible with solvent, low-solvent, UV-curable and latex inks. The vinyl can also be layered if need be.

It can be used for temporary transit advertising programs. With a one-year removable adhesive it’s easy to take off and swap out at the end of the program. And, at around 22 cents per square foot, it’s an economical way to get your customer’s message across in transit.

For more information about MetroMark Transit Vinyl, as well as LexJet solutions for a variety of applications, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.

New Environmentally Friendly Display Films for Solvent, Latex, UV Curable Printers

Sustainable and economical inkjet display filmDeveloped for print shops looking for sustainable, economical and high-quality inkjet display media, LexJet introduces two new PVC-free, phthalate-free display films optimized for solvent, low-solvent, latex and UV-curable printers: LexJet PVC-Free Display Film (12 Mil) and LexJet PVC-Free Display Film (18 Mil).

Both are rigid polypropylene films with a satin finish and are offered in two different thicknesses to provide greater application flexibility. They are designed as economic and environmentally-friendly alternatives for applications like retail displays, trade show graphics, point-of-purchase and point of sale displays and retractable banner stand displays.

The PVC-free, bright-white base is manufactured to ensure excellent image and color reproduction. And, since the polypropylene base does not curl and stays flat, straight and true all the time, production is quick, easy and efficient.

For more information about the new PVC-free films and to order, contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

A Printer Service Network Worth Checking Into

Large format printer service, repair and serviceAbout two years ago, graphics industry veterans Bob Flipse and Glenn Robb started a new printer service network called GrafxNetwork. Now in its third year, the network of independent service technicians has grown to more than 25 service locations across the U.S.

GrafxNetwork services mainly entry-level to mid-range solvent printers – including Roland, Mutoh, Mimaki and HP Designjet solvent – as well as Mimaki and CET UV-curable flatbeds, depending on the location and the technician.

Flipse describes GrafxNetwork as the hub of the network for independent service contractors. As he explains, “As opposed to a single independent technician who doesn’t have the benefit of our infrastructure and is running around doing support with a phone in one ear and having to do paperwork nights and weekends, we have a full staff here to do that for him so that he can concentrate on the customer.”

GrafxNetwork maintains an online work order system with detailed equipment histories so the technician knows exactly what happened during the last service call, alleviating any potential confusion during subsequent visits, says Flipse.

Flipse adds that GrafxNetwork carries full General and Professional (Error and Omissions) liability insurance for the protection of both the customer and the service technician, as well as a service warranty.

“If there’s a problem with the service, we bite the bullet and take care of it,” says Flipse, “And, we maintain an extensive parts inventory to ensure the right parts on-site during the first visit.”

For more information about GrafxNetwork and its locations, call 888-335-5914 or go to www.grafxnetwork.com

LexJet’s 2012 Product Reference Guide Now Available

Inkjet printing materials and equipment catalogLexJet customers will receive the 2012 Product Reference Guide over the next week or so in the mail, if they haven’t already. Keep this handy guide by your desk as a year-round reference tool to find the right product for the project.

“The Product Reference Guide I received last year was what drove me to LexJet in the first place. It’s nicely laid out and easy to browse, with pictures of printed applications using the different materials and all the specifications and pricing information we need as we work on new projects,” says Rick Hillbrand, owner of Cottrell Printing in Centennial, Colo.

The 40-page guide includes specifications and pricing on:

  • LexJet, LexJet Sunset, Hahnemuhle and EPSON aqueous media
  • Sunset Stretcher Bars, Sunset Pro Photo Albums and Sunset and ClearStar coatings
  • LexJet, General Formulations and HP solvent, latex and UV-curable media
  • LexJet laminates, adhesives and backers
  • Canon, Epson, HP and LexJet inks
  • Canon, Epson and HP printers

To view the catalog now, click here. If you weren’t a LexJet customer in 2011 and would like to receive the free printed guide, click here. And, if you have questions or need help with anything, call a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.

YouTube HowTo: How to Apply Wall Graphics with Photo Tex

How to apply inkjet printed wall muralsPhoto Tex is one of the most popular inkjet print materials available at LexJet, and for good reason. It’s versatile, easy to install and just as easy to remove, leaving little to no residue behind after it’s removed.

Though it can be used on a variety of surfaces, and has been, from windows to sign boards, it’s most common application is for wall murals and die-cut decals applied to walls in a diverse range of environments and applications, including convention center graphics, room décor, restaurant art and corporate lobby graphics.

Photo Tex comes in two flavors: One which is compatible with aqueous printers and another compatible with solvent, low-solvent, latex and UV-curable printers. Call a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 to find out more and for information about the full slate of LexJet’s wall graphics solutions. Also, be sure to check out the free white paper, Increase Revenue by Offering Wall Murals.

In the video below, video production coordinator Sean McGettigan, he of the multiple talents, shows how easy it is to apply and remove Photo Tex, as well as the best method for application…