Video: 3 Steps to Installing Large Tiled Wall Graphics

If you’ve got a large graphic to install on a wall, we’ve got three words for you: measure, mark and you’ll become a master. If you follow the three phases of wall graphic installations outlined in the video above, you’ll find that putting up your next tiled wall graphic can be a breeze.

When installing the massive wall mural for Scorch Fitness, the professionals at Now That’s a Wrap show us how using LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl with its self-adhesive air-egress release liner is a vital choice, making installation and repositioning easier to manage.

For any wall graphic, some of the special tools you’ll need are masking tape for registration marks, a hand-held squeegie and a release liner knife, to name a few.

Check out the video now to learn how prep, planning and placement can, with patience and care, help you become a wall murals master, too.

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!

Church’s Sleek New Student Center Gets an Old-Time-y Touch

6 FInished
Clear Lake Press installed this custom drawing as a backdrop to this meeting area in St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center in the Minnesota State University Campus’ student center. Photo credit: Clear Lake Press

 

With all of the creative minds and customization options in the large-format and graphics world these days, there’s no reason not to give a new building a little extra personality.

That certainly was the mindset for St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center on the Minnesota State University Campus with its newly constructed student center in Mankato, MN.

Completed in the fall of 2014, the center’s interior spaces were blank canvases — ideal for custom graphics and finishing touches to give the center a welcoming and friendly feel. One area of the new space, a sleek, circular counter set up for group chats and snacks, was a perfect place for a personal touch.

Eric Erickson's original drawing that was scanned into Photoshop and enlarged 750 percent. Photo credit: Clear Lake Press
Eric Erickson’s original drawing that was scanned into Photoshop and enlarged 750 percent. Photo credit: Clear Lake Press

Working with Clear Lake Signs of Waseca, MN, a division of Clear Lake Press, staff at St. Thomas More and Eric Erickson, Clear Lake’s pre-press systems administrator, graphic designer and artist, put their heads together to come up with some large-format graphics ideas for the blank wall behind the counter.

At first, the thought was to enlarge a photo as the backdrop, but as Erickson chatted with the church leadership, a new idea emerged.

“As we were discussing the details, it evolved into a custom art piece with a lot of elements relevant to their history and who they were and their mission,” Erickson says.

He took pencil to paper and started sketching. An old-fashioned, Irish pub theme emerged with a pencil sketch of a wooden bookshelf, a brick wall, Fr. Paul Halloran lifting his glass and a series of taps named after the nine virtues found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The books, photos and trophy drawn into the bookshelf all have special meaning to the church and its members.

The original drawing was 25-by-29 inches, which Erickson then scanned in at 1200 ppi and enlarged 750 percent. He added color to the logo and printed the image on four 44-by-150-inch panels onto LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric using his Canon imagePROGRAF printer. Clear Lake Press’ diverse services include web and sheet-fed presses, interior and exterior signs, vehicle decals and wraps, banners and all types of fabric applications.

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Clear Lake Press’ large-format expert Tonya Wittman helped with the installation of the mural, printed on LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric. Photo credit: Clear Lake Press

“I had used Print-N-Stick on smaller projects. This is our largest Print-N-Stick project to date,” Erickson says. “I like it because of the white point of the paper – there’s very little show-through of the wall color underneath it, the vibrancy of color and the fact that it’s repositional. This project itself isn’t really a repositional application, but if they ever want to take it down, the Print-N-Stick won’t damage the wall underneath it.”

While it took the Canon only about a half hour to print each panel, Erickson and Clear Lake Press’ large-format expert Tonya Wittman spent the better part of a day installing the panels in the new fellowship hall.

“It was one of those projects, when it started, I was extremely nervous about it,” Erickson says. “All of those nerves were laid to rest as we were installing it. People would walk in and comment how much they loved the different elements and style of it and everyone was just so amazed by it.”

Next up: St. Thomas More and Clear Lake Press have more projects in store to complement this project and the previously completed exterior and interior signage for the building. Erickson says they’re working on a 12-foot mural of teen’s faces in St. Thomas More’s game room.

Clear Lake Press Prints Nostalgic Office Décor

Wall Mural by Clear Lake Press

Eric Erickson, prepress systems administrator for Clear Lake Press, Waseca, Minn., loves LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, and is sticking it everywhere to give customers and prospects a bigger-than-life visual of what they can do with the printable adhesive-back fabric.

The nostalgic photo above was applied at the offices of Clear Lake Press to illustrate the eye-catching displays that can be easily and economically created in similar settings. Erickson has also created visuals in various forms and formats for other environments, like cubicle and bedroom walls.

Cubicle Decor by Clear Lake Press
Clear Lake Press made a cubicle more livable with a view using LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric.

“We’re trying to provide some creative ways of using it, more than just rectangles on walls. You make up something, show it off, and it helps spark ideas for use in their home or business,” says Erickson.

Erickson adds that the unique adhesive, which makes it easy to re-position, remove and re-use is also a big selling point to customers.

“Now that we have offered Print-N-Stick and are showing it off, a lot of people have been asking about it. For instance, we printed some artwork for the Waseca United Way from the front of their brochure. We made a large graphic out of it with Print-N-Stick for use at local businesses to put on their walls and promote the United Way. When they’re done with the promotion, they can peel it off and put it back on the backing paper and hold onto it for future use,” says Erickson.

Printed Wall Graffiti by Clear Lake Press
Wall murals don’t have to be plain rectangles as this cut-out printed wall graffiti illustrates.

For the classic kids’ lemonade stand photo from 1967, Erickson asked the Waseca County Historical Society, a long-time customer, if he could use the photo for their wall. The Historical Society was happy to oblige (with the requisite “be careful with the photo” instructions) and Erickson scanned the original 6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ black-and-white photo.

The photo was scanned with a desktop Epson scanner and brought into Photoshop for touch-up to get the right tone, and blown up to its final wall mural size of 12′ x 8′. The image was printed in two panels on the company’s Canon iPF8300 and applied horizontally with the help of employees Tonya Wittman and Cory Stencel.

Wall Graphics by Clear Lake Press
Clear Lake Press printed this baby room decor with Print-N-Stick Fabric.

“There’s a little bit of an overlap that you can see. This was our first time applying more than one panel and we learned from the experience. Next time, we’ll include an overlap and slice it right down the middle and take off the excess for a clean, exact cut,” says Erickson. “We love the material and the way the bright white point on the fabric reproduces artwork, whether it’s black-and-white or full color. The coordinator at the Historical Society was thrilled with the mural.

Another Promotional Brick in the Wall

Faux Inkjet Printed Bricks Wall Mural

Brian likes bricks. See Brian make bricks… out of Photo Tex PSA Fabric – Solvent Printers from LexJet.

Brian is Brian Rogers, founder and CEO of Spectra Imaging in Louisville, Ky. He recently brought brick indoors to cover the outside of Spectra Imaging’s showroom.

Inkjet Printed Wall MuralThe outside of Spectra Imaging’s building is covered in brick so Rogers wanted to continue that theme inside to give the space more character, instead of just boring painted walls. More importantly, it makes visiting customers and prospects stop and look, and to ask how Spectra Imaging did it.

“We’ve had a lot of people say that when they first glanced at it they thought it was real brick. Then, the more they looked at it they realized that it wasn’t brick at all and wanted to know more about it,” says Rogers. “We’ve sold a lot of wall murals to companies that see it and want it on their walls; not necessarily brick, but once they know we can print any image on the material, then that’s what they want.”

Inkjet Printed Bathroom DecorAnd sometimes they do want brick, like the customer who requested a brick wall mural for their bathroom décor (pictured here).

“It’s great for companies to dress up their offices because they can use any image. And, if a year later they want to take it down, they can remove it without leaving any residue behind or damaging any of the drywall,” adds Rogers.

Ultimately, the interior décor at Spectra Imaging is a powerful sales tool. And what makes it that much more powerful in this case is the print of a seemingly infinite hallway in and amongst the “brick” on the back door of the showroom.

Rogers could have wrapped the door, but chose instead to print the image directly to a big piece of foam board with a flatbed UV-curable printer. Once the door handle and deadbolt were removed, the printed foam board was stuck to the door with double-sided tape.

The longer wall with just brick is 32 feet long and 82 1/2″ high; the shorter wall with the door is about 20 feet long and the same height. Rogers applied the brick graphics on the longer wall in two panels horizontally. The graphics for the shorter wall were applied in three panels horizontally.

“When we created the file we factored in the door and basically cut it out in the file. Then, we printed the top and bottom panels for the left and right side of the doors and a third smaller panel to apply above the door,” explains Rogers. “To make it as seamless as possible we apply it horizontally. A lot of people apply theirs in vertical panels, but even though it’s a little more difficult to apply it horizontally, I don’t like doing it that way because you create more seams. With this project there was only one seam on each wall in the middle of the wall. We also take our time and use two people for the installation. One person holds the roll and starts applying while the other pulls the release liner.”