Discover the All-new Fredrix Metallic Canvases at WCAF

Our friends at Fredrix are on-hand in booth #239 at WCAF this week at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. To discover one of the most exciting recent advances in canvas options, be sure to check out Pearlescent and Metallic Gold while you’re there.

These first-of-their-kind canvas products were developed for latex and solvent printing, and they’ll be available exclusively in the U.S. at LexJet soon!

The Pearlescent option adds glamour and elegance for wedding, engagement and baby portraits. The Gold canvas create eye-catching retail signage and displays that will grab attention.

In the past, solvent and latex printers attempted to create the same look using mylar wallcoverings since an effective metallic canvas wasn’t available for them. Now, these medium-textured, cotton-polyester blend canvases make it possible with reliable results and easily wrap around stretcher bars.

So be sure to stop by booth #239 at WCAF to learn how these new canvases can put the “wow” in your prints. And stay tuned to LexJet to get updates on the canvas availability.

 

Top 5 Wallcovering Trends for Digital Print Providers

By now, you’ve likely looked into adding décor printing into the offerings you provide your customers. And wallcovering is a vital link in that chain. You’ve got lots of products to choose from, including the HP Latex-certified Vescom Wallcoverings, available from LexJet.

Vescom is known for its consistency and elegant finishes, plus installers prefer this Type-II-certified vinyl media, which has a non-woven backing that makes installation using standard techniques a breeze.

We asked our friends at Vescom for some tips on how wallcovering trends are evolving this year. Here are five of the top digital wallcovering trends they’re seeing for 2019:

  1. THE 5th WALL

Not satisfied with just decorating four walls, designers are increasingly covering the ceiling of a room to bring in the “other” wall as part of a more visually unified space and one that will stand out among the crowd. Vescom Matte has a non-woven backing that installs easily with common adhesives and installation techniques.

  1. FLORALS

Florals have made a comeback, but forget your grandmother’s wallpaper, today’s florals are more sophisticated and dramatic with a nature-themed feel done in a modern aesthetic. Vescom Tabby adds a soft warmth to a floral design.

  1. METALLIC

Go Hollywood with metallic wallpaper that adds an element of luxury and glamour. Vescom Metallic Sand provides a subtle shimmer for an ultra-modern look.

  1. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S WALLPAPER

Faux finishes continue to be the rage, from brick and stone to bamboo and grass, digitally printed wallpaper lets you create an artificial pattern without the cost and hassle of the actual material. Vescom Polster is a natural texture that emulates materials such as stucco, brick or stone.

  1. ROOM WITH A VIEW

A large-format photo mural makes a stunning statement, creates a visual escape and is perfect for windowless spaces, conference rooms and lobbies. Vescom Matte has a smooth surface and prints high-resolution photos and imagery.

Give a LexJet print specialist a call at 800-453-9538 for more ideas on how digitally printable wallcovers can help you create one-of-a-kind projects for your customers.

Get the Most Out of Your Dye-Sub Printer

Adding a whole new technology to your wide-format toolkit can be daunting, but the versatility you gain with dye-sublimation transfer printing can open all new opportunities. With the Epson SureColor Production printers, you can get into it with an initial investment starting around $7,ooo for the F6200 ($14,000 for the F7200 and $25,000 for the F9370) for a 44- or 64-inch system. Once you’re up and running, the creative and money-making possibilities are only limited to your imagination.

Dye-sublimation transfer is particularly favored for textile printing since the ink from the transfer adheres into the fabric, rather than sitting on top of it, as it does with other ink technologies. Once sublimated, the ink won’t crack, fleck or scratch off, making it an ideal option for knitted textiles, particularly high-performance athletic wear. (Bonus: Dye-sub fabrics are also washable!)

Metal photo panels by ChromaLuxe, available at LexJet

In addition to garment fabric, textiles printed for soft signage perform extremely well with dye-sub transfers. Backlit displays, tradeshow graphics and flags are two of the top applications for dye-sub, as they fold and travel easily and are cheaper to ship than films or vinyl often used for similar signage.

Dye-sub is a great complement to your other wide-format printers, allowing you to get into high-demand print products like the popular metal photo panels, ktochkees like coasters, cups and more, and customized décor, like pillows, window blinds and upholstery.

In addition to the printer system, you’ll also need transfer paper. The LexJet InFuze line provides four transfer papers for all needs, including textile, apparel, rigid substrate and multi-purpose. You’ll also need a heat press to sublimate the image to your final substrate. LexJet offers a full line of options, from a 16×20-inch table-top swinger heat press for small jobs, to a 112x48x53-inch heat calendar machine.

If you’re ready to master the world of dye-sub, visit our LexJet.com/dyesub page to learn about more applications and watch some of the how-to videos to learn all the ways to make dye-sub work for you and your business. Here’s a quick look at how to create an all-over print for t-shirts:

Good, Better, Best: Wallcoverings

When it comes to digitally printable wallcoverings, you’ve got more options today than ever before. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make — do you want a self-adhesive, a pre-pasted water-based application, or a traditional wall paper paste job? And what kind of finish is your customer looking for? A basic satin for a temporary mural … or a glamorous gold metallic? You’ve got these questions, and we’ve got a few answers to get you started.

In this edition of Good, Better, Best, we’re looking at three different wallcoverings for various applications and installation needs. LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric, HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper and Vescom Digital Wallcoverings all track around the same square-foot price, and they’re all latex- and/or solvent-compatible, so they won’t need an extra protective coating, unless you decide to add it. Each one could be the “best” answer depending on the application, but we approached this ranking in terms of longevity and variety.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric

GOOD: LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric. This is a customer favorite for temporary wall murals. Just like the name suggests, it’s a two-step process. Print it and stick it, thanks to the pressure-sensitive adhesive. With a clean, sheen finish, colors really pop on Print-N-Stick, and the fabric texture makes it easy to handle and the special adhesive is very forgiving — making it simple to reposition it and fix installation mistakes. If carrying inventory is an issue for you, Print-N-Stick is also a great solution to stick to windows, metal, wood and even floors.

HP PVC-Free Durable Wall Paper

BETTER: HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper. This HP product is formulated to pair with latex inks, which work together to create a scrub- and scratch-resistant surface that stands up to high-traffic areas, like hotels and restaurants. It also carries multiple environmental certifications, including the Type II as well as  FSC®, REACH and UL GREENGUARD GOLD, which make this odorless, mold- and mildew-resistant wall paper a great choice for sensitive environments like schools and hospitals. The wall paper is finished with a pre-pasted glue that can be installed with a simple water technique. Watch this video to see how easy it is to install and remove.

BEST: Vescom Digital Wallcoverings. We offer a glamorous line of finishes in the Vescom line, such as Matte, Leather, Felt, Lay and the award-winning Metallic Sand. These finishes offer versatility in décor style and visual impact – from subtle, elegant finishes to eye-catching, dramatic wall murals.  The high-end vinyl wallcoverings meet stringent environmental standards and work well for corporate or commercial spaces, as well as residential. They’re compatible with latex, solvent, eco-solvent and UV-curable inks, giving you the option to use your preferred print technology.

To learn more about wallcovering options, contact a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538.

5 Digital Printing Trends Every PSP Needs to Watch in 2019

While we don’t actually own a crystal ball, we did take a peek into the future to see what’s in store for wide-format printing in 2019. The segment will definitely continue to see growth, with banners, vehicle wraps, signage, wallcovering and window graphics rounding out the top five most profitable wide-format applications, according to a recent WhatTheyThink report.

The report outlined some key stats, including the fact that wide-format print is growing at a healthy 6.7% CAGR, jumping from $16.1 billion in 2012 to $22.3 billion in 2017. Nearly 3/4 of print providers say their wide-format print volumes have increased, while over 90% of print buyers say their volumes will hold steady or increase in the coming year.

So with all that potential, we took a look at some key activity that will help drive production and sales. Here are the top five trends every print service provider should keep an eye on as the new year kicks off:

Soft Signage Made Easier. Digital textile printing has been a hot topic for the past few years, but it’s far more than garment and apparel applications, especially for wide-format printers. Soft signage will continue to dominate, taking the place of rigid and heavy substrates for trade shows, high-end retail and backlit applications. Currently, only about 6% of textile products are produced digitally, according to an article in December 2018 edition of Printing News, but experts expect that number to get into double digits within a few years. Fabric manufacturers have been hard at work to develop textiles that run smoothly on wide-format options, such as latex and even aqueous printers. Also, SEG frames are essential for attractive soft signage displays, but have often required a lot of installation set-up, especially sewing the silicone edging onto the finished print. Now, with SignComp’s Front Load Soft Signage Frame, there’s no sewing necessary, especially when using a thick textile that works well with SignComp’s patented grip strips. It’s so easy to use that an employee in a retail shop can easily switch out seasonal messaging whenever needed. Check out this how-to video to learn more.

Sustainability Goes Mainstream. Get ready for a wave of printable media that offers sustainability characteristics that are either recyclable or made from recycled materials, such as the award-winning HP Recycled Satin Canvas, which uses 22 recycled water bottles for every square meter of canvas. These types of products will become increasingly important to your customer base, as many of them will demand more Earth-friendly options. Plus, you’re going to see more major corporate brands, like Kellogg and Kraft-Heinz vowing to use sustainable packaging that will be fully recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Our S-OneLP team is on the case to provide more sustainable packaging films to those printers, as well. In the textile arena, expect to see more natural fiber fabrics and improved pigment inks to accompany them.

Digital Décor Market Expands. As the typical “sign guy” has tip-toed into becoming an all-around décor expert with everything from photo reproductions to canvas wraps to wallcoverings, you can expect to see digitally printed décor options branch beyond retail and hospitality settings and expand into residential offerings. As print providers become more adept at printing décor materials and the materials themselves become easier to handle (think: LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric for wall murals), the opportunities are going to explode, while consumers catch wind of all the possibilities to customize their homes. And not just on the walls — windows become prime real estate for digital décor displays, as do the floors … and let’s not forget the ceilings.

Ecommerce Gains (Even More) Traction. If you’ve been ecommerce shy with your business so far, 2019 may be the year you finally embrace its possibilities. Offering customers the ability to upload their artwork that you fulfill in a variety of print products gives you a huge advantage over your competition. But if you’re wary of starting ecommerce options on your own, consider the possibility of offering fulfillment services to a number of up-and-coming art houses that are partnering with artists to use their original art to create everything from wall tapestries to canvas wraps to notebooks to t-shirts. A few big online names you may have heard of — Ikonick, Society6, Art.com … yeah, they’re all using digital wide-format services. Go grab those opportunities!

Digital Print for All Surfaces. A few years ago while at SGIA Expo, it became apparent that the new directive seemed to be: Print Everything! And while that was supported by a wide variety of print technologies, today, we’d edit it to say: Print Everything with Digital!  We’re seeing every surface covered with printed media, and more and more of those materials are digital wide-format compatible, such as LexJet Sunset Textured Fine Art Paper 310g used to create lamp shades. The key to printing to more surfaces is a wide variety of versatile, all-in-one substrates, such as LexJet Flex Tek, available for aqueous or solvent print technology, and can be used for hanging banners, roll-up banners or even canvas wraps.

Stay tuned throughout the year to discover even more new and innovative products and exciting application opportunities to help you grow your business well into 2020 and beyond!

 

5 Creative & Inspiring 2018 Customer Projects

Every year, we look back on the innovative work our customers have created, and we’re never anything less than amazed. This year has been no different. Take a look back through five of the coolest projects our customers printed for their customers in 2018.

Reproducing Art for a Good Cause at A-R-T & Associates Each year, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Coca-Cola Company commission an art partner to create an original painting that is auctioned during a fundraising event to raise money for the charity, which provides housing for a family while a child is receiving life-saving care at hospitals around the country. This year, A-R-T & Associates won the bid to do the poster printing. Check out how they created this year’s super cool poster using LexJet TRIBUTE Satin Photo Paper 240g. READ MORE

Printer Challenge: Reproduce the 30-foot Painting, African Menagerie Christopher Glassman, general partner at Casual Graphics in Hays, Kan., was asked to reproduce an enormous painting by Brian Jarvi titled “African Menagerie.” The painting, which captures 210 species living in Africa now, was 17 years in the making. It’s been part of a traveling exhibit and Jarvi wanted a more manageable version for smaller venues, as well as prints for reproductions. Check out how the Casual Graphics team made it happen. READ MORE

LexJet Print-N-Stick: Encouraging Students to Explore the World Year after year, LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric continues to be a customer favorite, especially for temporary wall murals. Elementary school teacher Rachel Montisano is thrilled with the results of the images on Print-N-Stick and says that the size and scope of the graphics played a huge part in bringing the environments to life in her classroom, which continue to generate excitement and learning among the students. READ MORE

HP Adhesive Vinyl Case Studies: ‘The Best We’ve Ever Used’ Whenever we launch a new product, our hope is that customers gain the most value possible from it, and the new line of HP Adhesive Vinyl did not disappoint for AlphaGraphics in Rexburg, Idaho, who used HP Prime Gloss Air GP and the Polymeric Matte Overlaminate to create a wall mural that was full of detailed text, spot-on colors, and multiple image depths. READ MORE

Listen Up: Before & After Acoustic Sound Panels + EnduraFab OK, we admit it — we’re suckers for musicians, but that doesn’t take anything away from the cool acoustic panels that Ryan Moore, Vice President of DFMGraphics in Newnan, Ga., made using EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier and Rockwool acoustic boards. You can even hear the difference in the sound files Moore recorded. READ MORE

Do you have print projects that you’d like to share with the LexJet blog? Email us your story!