Streamline Your Inventory to Save Time and Money

Many print service providers have a fight on their hands for prime real estate known as “roll storage.” If you have limited space, you know how difficult it is to find room for the different products that you keep on hand for everyday use and the specialty products that are taking up space and collecting dust.

Keeping the right products on hand to reduce inventory will help you save money and storage space. When looking to consolidate, it is important to make sure you select versatile products that will meet the needs of the applications your customers request most often.

Take a look at your current inventory. Do you have different products stocked to create indoor signage, outdoor signage, die-cut stickers, fleet graphics, clear window graphics and to laminate? If so, consider finding products that allow you to streamline your inventory, which means you have fewer rolls to organize, an easier workflow and ensures you have the right product for the right project.

If you have been looking for ways to reduce your print shop inventory by using versatile products, the HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminates line that was introduced at SGIA last October is a good place to start. A roll of HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP can produce a variety of signage and fleet graphics as well as stickers, while HP Matte and Gloss Polymeric Overlaminates are printable, which means they can be used as protection and when customers request graphics on a clear backdrop.

Noting the importance of having a multipurpose product, William Roll of Signarama in Dothan, Ala. says that his team loves the new HP Adhesive Vinyl line of products. “They grab it for every application they can use it on,” he says. With a high-quality, versatile product in the print shop, you can meet the demands of your customers as well as the needs of your team.

If you would like additional ideas on how to consolidate your print shop inventory or have questions about the HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminates, contact one of our sales specialists at 800-453-9538 or visit us at LexJet.com.

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.

Top 5 Hottest Launches of 2018

Looking back on 2018, we’ve seen a lot of much-needed innovation, as well as power-house collaborations. Our top five launches of the year answered customer demand for versatile, cost-effective, application-driven solutions across the board in the wide-format market. If you haven’t tried these new options, what are you waiting for? The year’s almost over!

Fabric transferred using InFuze transfer paper

LexJet InFuze® Dye-Sublimation Papers — Adding to our dye-sub portfolio was a top priority for our customers who were bringing this new technology to their tool kits. We created the fresh InFuze brand, and brought to market four high-end, competitively-priced transfer paper options that our customers couldn’t refuse:

Outdoor signage transferred to ChromaLuxe EXT

ChromaLuxe EXT — Another important product line for our dye-sub customers is the stunning ChromaLuxe metal photo panels, a high-demand item. This year, ChromaLuxe introduced its EXT line, geared toward extended outdoor use — something dye-sub wasn’t able to achieve previously. The EXT innovation won ChromaLuxe an SGIA Product of the Year award, and it’s not hard to see why. Check out this story about how the panels were used as wayfinding signs for Felts Audubon Preserve.

AveryxLexJet — In one of the wide-format industry’s biggest news stories of the year, LexJet partnered with Avery Dennison, adding more than 200 calendared and cast vinyl, film and laminate products to our product line. Now, LexJet customers have access to all the vehicle and fleet wraps, wall films and so much more.

LexJet Flex Tek used for banners

LexJet Flex Tek — One thing so many print shops struggle with is inventory space, that’s why we love all-in-one media products like LexJet Flex Tek 170g for aqueous printers and LexJet Flex Tek SUV 200g, compatible with eco-solvent, latex and UV-curable inks. This non-woven technical fabric is lightweight and easy to use, making it a go-to option for hanging banners, retractable banners and even wrapped canvas.

HP Vinyl + Overlams — What the world needs now is a line of vinyl products that work well and are priced right. That’s what we delivered with the massive launch of the new HP Vinyl line of products.

We brought them big time with our 2018 SGIA Expo booth, where the colors were bright and installation was a breeze. But don’t take it from us — listen to what customers have said:

HP Vinyl for walls
  • “The colors are truer than with my previous material and the gloss is more vibrant.”
  • “We did an install onto a gym wall mat and it went on without a hitch! The rigidity of the material and the strength of the backer lead to a smooth installation.”
  • “My guys love the HP. They grab it for every application they can use it on, and they tell me that the air-release component is the best they’ve ever used.”

Now that you know all the hottest launches of 2018, stay tuned to this blog to discover the trends you need to keep an eye on in the New Year!

Our Top Window Graphics Tips

Window graphics have come a long way from the corner gas station. And while those bottling and promotional graphics are still in high demand, using window space to apply signage and brand messaging or even create a sense of privacy have inspired a new batch of window graphic materials for ease in installation and replacement. Here are a few of our top window graphic tips:

To Perf or Not to Perf?

Perforated window graphic film, such as LexJet Simple Perforated Window Vinyl (70/30), allows you to print on 70 percent of the surface, while 30 percent of it is tiny perforations, or holes. This allows for excellent image reproduction and shading coming into the window from outside, while people inside the building can still see out the window, through the perforations. Since this product is mounted outside, we suggest LexJet’s Optically Clear Cast Laminate for extra protection. Window perf is also available in 60/40 vinyl.

VIDEO HOW-TO: No-Sew, Silicone-Free Frame for Fabric Graphics

Silicone-edge frames have grown in popularity in recent years as the ideal option for framing lightweight printed fabric used for signage or room decoration. Yet, using silicone requires sewing, and not every print shop has access to a machine … or a seamstress.

Which is why we’re excited to offer a sew-free, silicone-free option for easy print installation that anyone can do. It not only helps print shops, but makes it easier for your customers, too, who need to ask employees to switch out seasonal graphics, such as in a retail environment.

In the how-to video above, we used EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier to print our graphic with a one-inch bleed. This latex-compatible fabric is a perfect choice, thanks to its thickness and tooth, which work well with the patented grip strips in SignComp’s Front Load Soft Signage Frame. The EnduraFab™ textile has also recently been acoustically rated for sound absorption to help reduce room noise.

To see how quickly and easily these two products work together, watch the video above. You’ll also need a squeegee, like this option from Avery, available at LexJet.