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!

 

LexJet’s 2018 Holiday Hours

With the holidays upon us, we want to make sure you know our shipping schedule so you can plan your on-hand inventory for the rest of the year:

  • Thanksgiving – LexJet will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23
  • Christmas – We will be closing at Noon ET on Monday, Dec. 24 and closed Christmas Day, Dec. 25
  • New Year’s – We will be closing at Noon ET on Monday, Dec. 31 and closed New Year’s Day, Jan. 1

As always, you can order online during the holiday hours, but please note that any orders placed online will not ship until the next available business day.

The holidays are peak season for UPS, which can mean extended lead times for ground shipping. You can find the UPS year-end shipping schedule HERE.

If you have any questions, please call us at 800-453-9538 or visit us online at LexJet.com.

#Fredrix150Canvas Winners Announced!

We’re excited to join Fredrix to announce the winners of the Fredrix 150th Anniversary social media contest! All of these creative printers sent us images of canvas prints in various stages of completion. We love the variety in images, colors, finishing and more!

  • Spartan Printing Press
  • George S. Kelley
  • Frame By Frame
  • Jack Paton
  • Art City Frame Co
  • Bluebird Imaging
  • Daniel G. Walczyk
  • Pugbully Studio

Each of these winners will receive a roll of Fredrix Print Canvas of their choosing — that’s $4,000 worth of U.S.-made canvas! (If your name is listed above, please email us with your contact information so we can help you redeem your prize. Include “Fredrix Contest” in your email subject line.)

To see all the entries in the contest, just search #Fredrix150Canvas on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Thank you to everyone who participated and posted images! Your work is inspiring! Click on the pictures below to view the entire image.

 

LexJet Named a 2018 Digital Output Top 50 Readers’ Choice

Once again, LexJet has been named to Digital Output’s Top 50 Readers’ Choice list! Every year, Digital Output magazine uses its lead generation system to determine reader interest in vendors and products, based on editorial content and advertisements.

“We’re so honored and appreciative to be included again in this prestigious list of industry leaders,” says Dean Lambert, LexJet Vice President. “Our focus on introducing innovative products, connecting and collaborating with our customers and developing our sales team and industry relationships has surely helped Digital Output’s readers recognize us year after year.”

Featured in the November issue of the magazine are three LexJet products released over the past year:

  • LexJet Flex Tek 170g, a PVC-free, multi-functional non-woven technical fabric that can be used in a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications, such as canvas wraps or banners.
  • LexJet InFuze Multipurpose Dye Sublimation Paper, a medium-weight transfer paper with a microporous coating that is ideal for a wide range of sublimation substrates, such as mugs, promotional items, banners, skis or snowboards.
  • Fredrix 558 Raw Canvas Natural, an attractive alternative to typical polyester fabrics, with an extremely soft, authentic hand feel compared to other digitally printable canvas media.

“These products answer the call for many customers who are looking for versatile, high-quality media products,” Lambert says. “We’ve also launched some other very hot products, including a line of HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminate products. We’ve also made some major alignments with world-class manufacturers, including ChromaLuxe, with its award-winning outdoor products, and EnduraFab, which just received acoustic rating for several of its textiles. We believe this upcoming year will bring even more exciting launches and innovations!”

SGIA Recap: Connecting Customers to the Latest Innovations

Looking back at the 2018 SGIA Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we can’t help but recognize all the innovation and exciting launches the show had to offer to the 22,000-plus attendees of the show. The chatter in the LexJet booth focused on major trends like augmented reality, printable fabric and the launch of the HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminate line.

“A lot of people were looking for fabric — and not just for dye-sub, but for latex and solvent, too,” says Nichole Danzig, LexJet sales representative. “I also had someone who owns a music company looking for an acoustic-rated printable fabric — and we happen to have the EnduraFab, which just received acoustic rating.”

Using AR to visualize banner prints.

Prior to the show, we partnered with Big Picture magazine to create a print ad that included augmented reality in its October edition. In our booth, we showed how our AR app can help print shops visualize equipment, such as printers and cutters, in their shops. Plus, they can use the app to display how certain signage will look in a space, and they could “look inside” our display walls to see how they were constructed.

“Several dozen people got to experience the AR app developed specifically for the show, and the response was overwhelmingly positive,” says Jason Nelson, who heads up augmented reality for LexJet’s parent company, S-One. “People were very enthusiastic about the potential of AR, the ease of using the experience we developed and the opportunities this technology could create for their company.”

Digitally printed fabrics from Kornit.

We were thrilled to feature some great, cutting-edge products from our partners, including the award-winning, printable metal panels at ChromaLuxe and high-end wallcoverings at Vescom, and we ventured out to the creative booths by Kornit, Palram, Fredrix and HP.

“I was really blown away by the fabric selections and the quality, and how big the crowds seem to be around them, especially for apparel,” Danzig says.

SGIA was a great opportunity to continue discussions about LexJet’s focus on customer intimacy. “A lot of people responded well to the fact that we help them with every aspect of their business,” Danzig says. “We help them with market trends, consolidate inventory, keeping cost down — we’re not just selling them products.”

LexJet’s Matt Bailey and Brian Feeney demonstrate the GOframe stretcher bar system.

Fellow LexJet sales specialist Matt Bailey agreed: “I had one guy ask me the best way to sell dye-sub to his customers, in regards to the ChromaLuxe metal panels, which is a really great question,” he says. “You have to focus on the quality. Sure, you can get a UV print on metal, but the quality is not as good as dye-sub to metal. You have to think of it as a piece of art.”

We showcased two major launches from our partners at HP, including the competitively priced HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminate line of products as well as the SGIA Product of the Year, Textiles-Canvas award-winning HP Recycled Satin Canvas.

“The price point was big with the vinyl,” Bailey says. “They couldn’t afford not to consider it. Those savings will really add up over the course of the year. If you’re buying by the pallet, you’re going to save a ton.”

If you missed SGIA, give us a call at 800-453-9538 to learn about all the top launches and product trends we featured.

 

SGIA Expo Show Specials Extended!

Last week was the final SGIA Expo before it morphs into Print United next year, and we have to say: You went out with a bang! We wanted to keep the party going a little longer by extending our show specials on the all new HP Adhesive Vinyl line.

If you were at the show, you saw the new HP products in action on the large divider walls in the LexJet booth. The dizzying optical illusion graphics were definitely a conversation starter!

We’ve got a limited supply of the following products, so call 800-453-9538* to get them at these super-low prices while supplies last:

Get 1 roll of these vinyl or laminate products for $99 (or 1 of each for $198):

You can learn more about the HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminate line at LexJet.com. While you’re there, check out the HP Vinyl Decision Guide, which will help you discover the recommended vinyl and laminate products for your next project. The vinyls work great on a variety of applications, such as trailers and box trucks, outdoor signage, transit vehicles, labels/decals, POP and trade shows or indoor windows.

If you have any questions on how HP Adhesive Vinyl or Laminates can help grow your business, give us a call at 800-453-9538.

*Offer available for call-in orders only; while supplies last; one roll of a vinyl and laminate per customer