Soft Signage Options for All Printer Technologies

Recent reports show that the demand for soft signage has seen double-digit growth in the last few years. That means you need options to create fabric banners, signs and exhibit graphics that work with the equipment and printer technology you own.

And while some fabrics may cost more for, say, trade show booth graphics, the upsell to your customer is that they can use fabric graphics more than once, and they’re less expensive to ship and stand up to traveling better than heavier, easily damaged options.

Let your customers know that the higher cost buys them easier installations that are foldable, reusable and even wrinkle resistant. Plus, they look more high-end and will drape more elegantly than vinyls or films they’ve used in the past.

So, in effort to make soft signage and printable fabrics more accessible to you, we’ve collected a list of products, based on printer type and application to streamline your search:

Latex

EnduraFab Textiles

Fabric solutions for Latex printers have hit the market in recent years, including the EnduraFab line of products, which are finished with a proprietary coating made specifically to work with Latex inks, while providing durability and a soft hand to the fabric. EnduraFab Stretch is a great option for SEG frames (or sew-less frames like SignComp). Check out this video review from HP’s Timothy Mitchell on how EnduraFab performs on Latex. For hanging banners and other indoor soft signage, try HP Light Fabric, for brilliant prints that stand up to creasing and wrinkling — now available at a reduced price.

Aqueous

LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth

You don’t need dye-sub to create great-looking fabric signage. You can get it done with an aqueous printer and the right printable textiles. For everything from banners to backlits to signage, LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth is a lightweight option that is finished with a coating that will hold high levels of ink saturation and maintaining its water resistance. One of our customers says: “The cloth is very durable! The fabric holds the colors well, and can easily be folded to fit into convenient packaging for transport. Any creases or wrinkles can be quickly reduced with a light ironing upon arrival.” For a slightly heavier, versatile fabric, consider LexJet FlexTek 170g, an aqueous-compatible, budget-beating option that can be finished with either grommets or sewing, and works indoors our out. It also works well as an alternative to canvas, and wraps easily on stretcher bars.

Solvent/Eco-Solvent

We’ve got the versatile LexJet FlexTek SUV 200g in a solvent-compatible version, as well. Great for outdoor projects, and a cost-friendly option for banners and gallery wraps. For a lighter-weight option for backlit displays or trade show graphics, check out LexJet Poly Select Light SUV. The tight weave and satin finish give it an elegant finish that looks great in retail spaces or even for décor items.

Dye-Sublimation

Teardrop flags.

Tried-and-true printed fabric results are traditionally achieved with dye-sub, and now we offer Fisher Textiles in wide-format widths. We’ve got a full portfolio of Fisher Textiles to choose from for a variety of projects, but we wanted to highlight 4019 Nirvana BOB for its award-winning soft knit fabric that’s coated with a black backing, so you get the lightweight fabric with excellent opacity and flame resistance certification. If you’ve got requests for the popular teardrop flags, there’s no better option than Fisher Textiles 1701 Primary Flag.

For even more fabric ideas that match your printer technology, call a LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 and grow your soft signage business, too!

HP’s Timothy Mitchell: EnduraFab Stretch “Excellent” for Sign Frames

If you’ve got customers demanding fabric solutions for retail signage or trade show displays, HP’s “Latex Czar” Timothy Mitchell suggests EnduraFab Stretch for great performance on HP Latex printers as well as excellent scuff and scratch resistance.

“This was the first company to come out with a truly durable latex textile,” he says in the video above. When building its durable textile portfolio, HP was looking to improve scuff and scratch resistance, as well as improved performance on the latex printers.

The EnduraFab Textiles family of products include a proprietary coating that ensures they print seamlessly on the latex and maintain a soft hand-feel while also standing up to multiple washings. The 100% polyester warp knit fabrics are specifically designed to be used with HP’s third generation latex inks.

The EnduraFab Stretch option, which is also available in a fire retardant option, has a one-directional stretch that’s ideal for easy installation into SEG frames. It is also acoustically rated for Sound Absorption and Noise Reduction when paired with acoustic foam or boards.

“This would be excellent, for example, in a sign frame,” Mitchell says. “Using a SignComp frame where you are going to stretch it into a frame or sewing in the SEG gaskets.”

Watch the video about for all the details and possible uses for EnduraFab Stretch. Call a LexJet representative at 800-453-9538 to learn more about the EnduraFab line and how it can help you grow your retail and trade show offerings.

To see how EnduraFab was used in an over-sized SEG frame to create décor in an office setting, watch the video below.

A Cutting-Edge Update for Visit Sarasota County’s Visitors Center

The space dedicated for Visit Sarasota County’s visitor center started as a pretty blank slate — crisp white walls with high ceilings and lots of potential. The Visit Sarasota team asked LexJet to add some creativity with the possibilities of print. And we took it from floor to ceiling … and beyond.

Since we knew that desktop and bookshelves would be covered with colorful brochures and maps, we opted for a subtle watercolor print for the wallcovering. We chose Vescom Polster wallcovering with a slightly textured surface that provides the natural look and feel of stucco. And because this Type II PVC vinyl wallcovering is Class A fire rated and meets EPA requirements for low-VOC emitting products, we knew it would be a safe option for the busy visitors center.

Panels printed on EnduraFab Frontlit Premier

A large curved wall was just begging for a show-stopping graphic. Using EnduraFab Frontlit Premier latex-printable textile, we printed five hanging panels that created the quintessential Sarasota sunset family portrait.

Our most exciting print project paired canvas wraps with augmented reality. We printed a half dozen canvas wraps with images that photographers captured around the Sarasota area. Using our proprietary augmented reality app for smartphones or tablets, a video would play when the device was held in front of the canvas wraps.

The canvas wraps included images of beach scenes, paddle boarding, shopping and more areas of interest for visitors. We chose Fredrix 777VWR Vivid Matte Canvas with a smooth texture that delivers highly detailed photo reproductions.

Watch the video above to see how it all came together for the Visit Sarasota County group and their open house, which celebrated the new space.

New Exhibit Takes Flight with Floor-to-Ceiling Murals

When the design team at Field Museum in Chicago wanted to create an exhibit with the few James Audubon’s artifacts they had on-hand, they decided to give it a big treatment with floor-to-ceiling murals of reproductions of Audubon’s illustrations.

The exhibit idea started with an original over-sized book by Audubon, a 19th century naturalist and painter who dedicated his life to studying and documenting all the birds of North America. His bird expertise and illustrations are world-renowned. Field Museum had a few birds represented from the book as well as pages from one of Audubon’s sketch books. With only a few items on-hand, but a desire to showcase them, Nel Fetherling, supervisor of graphic production, worked with her design team to come up with a creative approach for the small exhibit.

The images in the book had been photographed years ago, and Fetherling was able to access the files. “I said: ‘Let’s do wall paper,'” she says. “We wanted to do something really, really big.”

Fetherling had used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric for smaller jobs and thought it could work as a wall mural, as well. “Because we use aqueous inks, I knew I couldn’t print true wallpaper, so I used this product instead,” she says. Her team printed six 14-foot x 75-inch wall murals as well as one for the entryway (pictured at top).

“The colors were so brilliant,” Fetherling says. “Our designer was skeptical, but after we printed it, she said the colors were almost better than the actual illustrations. It’s just such a nice white to print on.”

Fetherling handled the installation herself, requiring a scissor lift and a bit of trial and error. “I was thankful that it was a little bit forgiving,” she says of the ability to reposition or remove Print-N-Stick. “We have had other products that weren’t quite as successful going through the printer — and the colors were not as good. This is better than other products we’ve used with an adhesive back.”

She says Print-N-Stick’s versatility has everyone talking about what they could use it for next, since it is a viable alternative to a solvent or latex vinyl that she could not print in-house on her two Canon PRO-Series PRO-4000s.

“The Canon PRO-4000 and Lucia inks are very nice,” she says, with her team relying on the printers for everything from educational panels to artwork to event posters and much more. “Our designers were amazed at quality of prints coming out of the Canons. And we liked that we can get a two-roll thing on the Canons to switch out papers quickly.”

To learn more about the Audubon exhibit, visit Field Museum. To learn more about LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, call a LexJet rep at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Consider Earth-Friendly Eco-Solvent Inks

As your customers’ and the industry’s attention continues to turn toward sustainable and eco-friendly print options, and with Earth Day right around the corner, it’s a good time to consider eco-solvent inks. Epson’s UltraChrome™ GS3 ink offers an alternative that addresses those concerns while also providing the print speed, durability and excellent color precision you demand from your solvent printer.

The new technology offered in Epson’s GS3 inks solve one of the biggest annoyances of solvent-based printing: the 24-hours needed for out-gassing. These inks will dry quickly and allow printers to add lamination when needed on the same day. And while the production speed of the Epson SureColor S-Series printers are a huge benefit for high-run projects, the GREENGUARD Gold certification adds another major benefit: Environmental responsibility.

GREENGUARD Gold is a nationally recognized certification that ensures that the tested product is safe to use in sensitive environments like schools and hospitals because they emit low chemical emissions while also complying with the State of California’s Department of Publish Health Services Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350. This gives designers and architects an edge to earn credits toward a LEED Green Building Rating — a big help when choosing canvas wrap materials and wallcoverings. The UltraChrome GS3 inks also meet the French-VOC A+ Class criteria for low chemical emissions.

Because Epson’s GS3 inks meet these stringent requirements, there is also no need for special ventilation or air purification required when operating the Epson SureColor S-Series printers.

“We’ve heard more and more from our print service provider customers that eco-friendly is in high-demand,” says our OEM product specialist, Shauna Malgieri. “I expect to see more sustainable products to come from our manufacturing partners this year, so stay tuned!”

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Don’t Miss Our ISA Show Special on Fisher Textiles

If you’re attending ISA Sign Expo later this month in Las Vegas, be sure to swing by Fisher Textiles’ booth #4017 to learn more about these award-winning dye-sublimation textiles.

Formerly only available in grand-format sizes, we’ve partnered with Fisher Textiles to offer nine fabrics in 61-inch or smaller rolls. You can only purchase these smaller Fisher Textiles rolls at LexJet!

LexJet ISA Show Special:

When you purchase any roll of 61-inch-by-100-foot Fisher Textiles fabric from LexJet, you’ll get 50% off your choice of one roll of LexJet InFuze dye-sub transfer papers:

Please call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538 to learn more about this show special, available April 23 to May 1.

Discover the full line of wide-format-compatible Fisher Textiles fabrics, available exclusively at LexJet:

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