New Graphtec Cutter Included with EPSON SureColor Print & Cut

Graphtec recently discontinued the FC8600-130 series cutter, which was part of the EPSON SureColor S80600 and S60600 Print & Cut systems. The new FC9000-140 (54-in) will replace it both in the print and cut packages and as a stand-alone cutter.

The new cutter offers improved application software as well as a user-friendly control panel. Other features include:

Create stickers, decals and more!
  • Auto paneling to prevent skewing in long-length jobs
  • No PC needed with USB accessibility
  • Improved registration marks work with specialty media, including holographic/reflective
  • Barcode system allows for continuous cutting
  • Y-axis compensation has been added to correct the distortion of media

The FC9000 plotter can be used in a variety of printed applications, including stickers, decals, window signage, and heat-transfer apparel.

To learn more about the new FC9000 cutters or the EPSON SureColor Print & Cut series, contact a sales specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Marabu Launches New, More Durable and Versatile Liquid Laminates

For more durable outdoor print protection and more versatile applications, Marabu has announced three new options for water-based liquid laminates. These advanced formulas represent the latest advancements in water-based coating technology with UV inhibitors, and extend the life of the prints while enhancing image quality. The ClearShield brand also boasts a new look and logo!

The three products include:

  • ClearShield Select a new formula, available in gloss, semi-gloss and matte, that provides excellent chemical and scratch resistance on a wide range of printed products, like vinyl, banners and rigid substrates. It’s ideal for roller or spray equipment application.
  • ClearShield Select for StarLam is the ClearShield formula, but with a lower velocity for use with roll-to-roll liquid laminators like the StarLam 1600R on digitally printed vinyl, banners and fleet graphics.
  • ClearShield Professional Transit is designed for the most demanding applications. This two-part system provides the ultimate scratch and abrasion resistance, which is ideal for truck tarpaulins and inflatables.

To learn more about these water-based liquid laminates, connect with a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538 today.

Canon Announces New Mail-in Rebates on PRO-Series Printers

Starting today and through March 20, 2020, you can get up to $1,000 cash back on the purchase of a qualifying Canon PRO-Series printer:

  • $1,000 mail-in rebate on the 60-inch Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6100, great for fine art reproduction and large posters.
  • $800 mail-in rebate on the 44-inch Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4100, the most popular printer in the Canon family is perfect for photography and fine art.
  • $300 mail-in rebate on the 24-inch Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2100, which has the smallest footprint of the three printers but offers the same wide color gamut for photos, fine art, and posters as its larger siblings.

If you are looking for more information or are ready to purchase, contact a printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

For Flexibility, Privacy & Design, Squid Delivers for this Texas Printer

Phillip Cole, sales manager at Thomas Graphics Inc. in Austin, Tex., is always looking for unique products to offer his clients. Once he heard about Squid Textiles, a new self-adhesive window fabric that offers privacy, reduced heat and glare from the sun, and the opportunity to create customized graphics, Cole knew it would be a great addition to his product line.

In October, while attending Printing United, Cole stopped by the S-One booth because the Squid demonstration caught his eye. “LexJet had some on display and the print really leaped out at me,” he says. “It looked so unique, which is the type of product I like to lead with to differentiate my company from my competitors.”

Moon image printed on Squid Chalk

With such a unique product, Cole understands that a variety of applications is important. “I went to the website to show some examples of what can be done. One striking image was of the moon. It’s a die-cut circle that looks dimensional, but it’s not,” he says. “Then I showed the client an image of a tree on an office window. I knew it would get the client’s attention, and it did.”

Working closely with his client, they came up with three different graphics to use on two different Squid colors. For a layered tri-colored graphic that is meant to provide some privacy for a conference room, they chose Bone. “You can see parts of the chairs below the graphic, (pictured at top) but you can’t see the table. The amount of privacy is perfect,” Cole says.

The client wanted something simple for two of the half walls that still allows some visibility but doesn’t feel enclosed. Using an EFI printer, they chose to use Rock and use white ink to create the images of the Texas capitol building for one hallway and their logo for another. “In the pictures, you can still see people in the background, but you can also tell how much privacy the product provides,” Cole says.

Texas capitol printed with white ink on Squid Rock

Privacy wasn’t the only feature that caught Cole’s attention. “I like the unique ability to print on it because that’s what we do, and it opens up lots of ideas on how it can be used,” he says. “There’s more than just privacy to this product, the design component is important.”

After the installation was complete, the client mentioned to Cole how well the Rock blended with the flooring. “It’s nice to have the flexibility of various colors to blend with the environment of the application,” he says. “It’s nice to have a solid color as a base for consistency. A different printer or technology might hit a different color.”

This project was Cole’s first experience with Squid, and the install went relatively smoothly. “It’s easy to install, but we did have a little issue with small, intricate cuts because it is a fabric,” he says. “We found a way to make it work and the client was happy with the results.”

Squid Textiles originated in Europe and was introduced to the U.S. market at Printing United last year, exclusively through LexJet. Getting in on the ground floor is exciting to Cole and his team and he knows the addition of Squid will lead to new business as well as additional business from current clients. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that this is one of the first Squid installs in the country,” he says. “This product helped us get our foot in the door for other work.”

If you are looking to branch out into new markets and are interested in learning more about Squid, call a LexJet sales specialist today at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Make 2020 the Year You Reach Your Profit Goals

As the last decade was wrapping up, we began looking at 2020 as being full of possibility. But we’re not too naive. We know today’s print service providers are faced with lots of challenges, such as rising wages and benefits costs, pressure to enter new markets, a thin workforce of available, skilled workers and more. So we decided to take a look at two areas where LexJet can help, not just as a materials provider, but a business partner as well.

At the SGIA/Napco Research Key Industry Trends & Insights Research presentation during Printing United, we learned a lot about these challenges. While nearly every sector in the print industry saw growth in sales (yay!), the increase in profits didn’t match up. How could that be? Perhaps investment in equipment, wage increases (and more to come), lost productivity, training up staff in new market segments, or maybe you were paying too much for the wrong products.

One of the startling revelations was PSPs who stated they were “so busy, we don’t have time to figure out what would be profitable.” Yikes! So let’s look into two current, major pain points and see how we can help.

Adding a New Product Line or Entering a New Market

You can diversify the products and services you’re offering your customers, but let’s look at some smart strategies. While it may seem like everyone is jumping into vehicle wraps, ask yourself if you’ve got the proper print technology, installers with experience and product lines you trust. If not, that’s a steep climb before you get out of the red. If you are set up to tackle vehicle wraps, consider starting with simpler applications, such as box trucks, before you get into intricate designs like sports cars.

Inkjet Canvas Decor by MyPix2

Another supplemental market that may have a quicker ramp-up, in terms of production, is décor. This segment covers a pretty wide gamut of applications, from canvas prints to wallcoverings to windows treatments. If you’re in the wide-format space now, you likely have equipment that you can use to expand into décor printing. For instance, if you have an aqueous printer, many materials exist for you to print wall art, such as canvas wraps, fine art reproductions or portraits. Wallcoverings and window graphic materials (like Squid) are decor focused, and can be printed on solvent or latex print technology. Dye-sub printers used for fabric open a new door for upholstery, drapery and more. Your capital expenditure may include finishing tools or machinery, so scope those out and plan accordingly.

Some growing interest in customized décor printing include hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities and corporate offices, so consider customers you already have in these spaces and market your new capabilities to them!

Combating Material Costs

Another ongoing pain point is material costs. This is always top-of-mind for all of us here at LexJet, as we launch new or next-generation products. We are constantly looking for ways to pass on savings to our customers.

One strategy is to opt for multi-purpose, quality products. When you opt for a “Swiss Army Knife” product, you save on inventory space and production set up time as well as costs savings, much of the time. One such material is FlexTek 170g, also available as FlexTek SUV 200g. FlexTek is a budget-beating, non-woven technical fabric that works in a variety of applications, including wall art, banners and canvas wraps. It can be finished with grommets or it can be sewn or wrapped or folded. It’s recyclable and has a long shelf life — talk about an inventory win-win!

Our print specialists at LexJet can also help you fine-tune your materials and supplemental products that fit into your budget and help your profits soar! Call us today at 800-453-9538.

Visit Our Redesigned Sunset Print Awards Website

The next time you log on to the Sunset Print Awards website, you’ll notice some changes. The sleek new appearance makes it easier for photographers to learn about the prestigious Sunset Print Awards as well as local print competitions offering the award.

Other updates include:

  • Easier navigation
  • Better views of past winners
  • Easy access to the blog for all the latest Sunset news
  • Interviews with winners
  • Recommended Sunset branded media

What hasn’t changed are the benefits to district and local winners or the top three prizes awarded at the International Photographic Competition. Each winner receives a customized crystal trophy, a lapel pin, and a free pack or roll of Sunset Media, while the three IPC finalists receive engraved trophies and cash prizes.

If you are involved in a local PPA group, camera club or other photography organization that has a minimum of 150 printed entries and would like to include the Sunset Print Award in your competition, have your chairperson register today.

This year, we will be presenting awards to the 2019 IPC winners at Imaging USA in Nashville. If you are attending later this month, be sure to stop by the IPC Display and pick up some information about the 2020 Sunset Print Awards.