MadMen Creative Gets Crafty with Latex Printing

Lafayette, Ind.-based MadMen Creative was the first print service provider in Indiana to operate latex printing technology. “We started with the L25500, then moved to the L26500 and now we have a Latex 365,” says production manager, Javin Rusco.

Working with each incarnation of latex printer has given Rusco the ability to experiment with different types of media that are not typically considered “printable.”

“I’ve worked with an etched glass non-printable product that, because it’s meant to be used as cut vinyl, works well with HP latex print and cut,” he says.

With 25 years of printing experience, Rusco understands that some products will take more effort to create a printable surface.

Rusco wanted to try something new for a car wrap, so he chose a metallic gold cut vinyl and printed black graphics onto the gold, leaving the final image with gold highlights.

“I used a non-printable wrap vinyl, but I had to really clean it,” he says. “I used a 90% isopropyl alcohol solution to remove the surface contaminates to print on it, but it worked. Since latex ink isn’t 100% opaque, there was an ‘under glow’ to the [printed] image when the sun hit it.”

While his techniques aren’t for the everyday, faint-of-heart print operator, Rusco and the MadMen team pride themselves in developing out-of-the-box creative solutions for their customer requests.

“We’ve done a lot of this kind of work for customers and often, they’ve never even heard of printing on etched glass or gold vinyl, until we recommend it to them,” he says.

Printing on cut media with latex is an experimental process since there are no set profiles or settings. As with any new media, LexJet recommends reaching out to the manufacturer for optimal print conditions, or chat with a LexJet pro for guidance. Call us at 800-453-9538 to learn how to expand your latex printing capabilities.

Don’t Miss These August Rebates

Back to school season is here! Time to upgrade your printer and take advantage of these instant and mail-in rebates.

Don’t forget about our monthly webinars:

 This month’s rebate highlights include: Canon is offering up to $1,200 back on the purchase of an imagePROGRAF PRO-SeriesHP is offering $4,000 LOI savings on the Latex 570; instantly save on the newest additions to the Epson family: SureColor Production Edition P10000PE, P20000PE, and SureColor S-Series Print-&-Cut.

HP Latex Printer Instant Rebates, valid through August 31

  • HP Latex 115, 54-inch printer: $1,200 when you by 2 units; $1,700 when you buy 3 units
  • HP Latex 115 Print & Cut: $1,200 when you by 2 units; $1,700 when you buy 3 units (can mix and match Latex 115 and Latex 115 P&C when purchasing 3 units)
  • HP Latex 315, 54-inch printer: $1,000
  • HP Latex 335, 54-inch printer: $1,000
  • HP Latex 365, 64-inch printer: $3,000; 1-year free Flexi RIP included with purchase

Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part Two – Using the Counterweights and Take-up Reel on Your HP Latex Printer

Printing panels for trade shows can keep a latex printer and a production manager busy, but there is one tip from HP Latex Specialist Timothy Mitchell that can help lighten the load a little: use the counterweights.

“There are a couple of key pieces to successfully panel printing with the 300 series latex printer,” Mitchell says of the counterweights. If you’ve never used them, they could still be on the dancer bar for the newer 300 series printers. For the older models (310, 330, 360), you may need to contact HP Support to order a set.

When panel printing, it is more efficient and accurate to reduce the tension on the media. The dancer bar adds tension and adjusting the counterweights on either end of the bar allows you to increase or decrease the tension, depending on the media thickness and material.

Another important tool to use properly is the take-up reel. Many people may not know that there is an option to wind the graphics inside or outside.

“If you go inside, there is a little less tension than if you go outside. I usually judge it by the media,” Mitchell says.

Much like adjusting the counterweights, winding media inside or outside depends on the media.

Watch the video above to see Mitchell discuss his tips and tricks for the counterweights and take-up reel. If you have an older 300 series printer, you can contact HP Latex Support.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about printing with latex, contact a LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Hit the Books with August Webinars

It’s hard to believe, but August is when people start thinking about “back to school,” so don’t miss these free learning opportunities with teachers from Canon and HP. John Stevens, one of the industry’s leading latex specialists will talk about the benefits of bringing HP Latex technology in-house. Later in the month, Pete Wright, an award-winning photographer, will discuss software and applications for the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-Series printers. Attend one of the webinars and receive additional savings with the purchase of a qualified printer. Sign up today because space is limited.

HP Latex Webinar: Join us for the free HP Latex printer technology webinar on Tuesday, August 13, at 11 AM ET. Attend and you will save $1,000 on an HP Latex 315 Print & Cut Bundle or $2,000 on HP Latex 335 Print & Cut Bundle, or save $3,000 on an HP Latex 560 or $4,000 on HP Latex 570. SIGN UP NOW

Canon PRO-Series Webinar: Join us Tuesday, August 27, at 11 AM ET to learn about the features of the Canon PRO-Series printers and software, and print applications. Attendees will receive an additional 5% off their PRO-Series printer purchase. SIGN UP NOW

Sign up online or call one of our printer specialists at 800-453-9538 for additional information.

Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part One – When to Use Platen Covers

If you’ve recently purchased an HP Latex Printer, there are some important tools you may not be using that can make printing a little easier: platen covers, counterweights, butterfly edge guards, and spindles.

In part one of our four-part series, we’ll discuss when to use platen covers.

Long, unattended runs on the latex printer is a great way for print service providers to complete large projects while staying on schedule with short runs or quick custom jobs. However, some PSPs experience issues when continuous runs are printed on fabric.

Because the media is porous and a heavier ink load is required (185-200% coverage), condensation can build up between the fabric and the platen and stain the image.

Timothy Mitchell, HP Latex Specialist, says that the platen covers, which are included with the Latex 365 or 500 series, are made specifically to reduce the condensation during these runs.

“These are there to prevent the accumulation of condensation and creating a discolored stain,” he says. “If I’m going to run an entire roll for a trade show, I will put these on because I am going to run continuously, and it will create a lot of moisture and the felt [on the platen cover] is necessary.”

Watch the video above to see Mitchell discuss the proper times and ways to use the platen covers. If you have an older 300 series printer, you can contact HP Latex Support.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about printing with latex, contact a LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

What They’re Saying: HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP – ‘It Really Shines’

Husband and wife team Rick and Connie Rhind Robey are the owners of SpeedPro Imaging in Silver Spring, Md. Recently, the SpeedPro headquarters in Denver asked for volunteers to test one of the new HP Adhesive Vinyl products from LexJet. The Robeys responded and brought in a roll of HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP and HP Gloss Polymeric Overlaminate.

The first project they created with the Optimal and Gloss laminate was a wall mural. “Wall graphics can be tricky with the new paints,” Rick says. “We did a test with the Optimal and it was a go. It went up well and stayed up well. It was a great start.”

“We’ve been using another product, but it’s kind of pricey. The Optimal has the same characteristics and maybe even a little better holding power,” says Rick. “I’ve been using it [Optimal] based on what the 40C can do: vehicle decals, flat surface, even subtle rivets. One customer was so thrilled, he’s sending us another job.”

While the Optimal is perfect for walls, vehicle decals, and other outdoor signage, there was an opportunity to use it in an unorthodox manner in Rick’s hometown of Kensington, Md. Some of the stores in the downtown area planned a storefront-style appearance on the back of the buildings.

Local artists were commissioned to create art that would decorate these “storefronts” and Rick and his team printed the artwork on Optimal, laminated it with Polymeric Gloss and installed it to hide storage space from street view. 

“I loved the high-quality look of the images. Each section was designed by a different artist. It’s important that the final piece looks great and the artist loves it. It really shines in the high-end market place,” Connie says.

The artwork has generated a lot of interest on “Antique Row” in the quaint downtown area. “The pieces have garnered a lot of attention, it speaks to the work of the artist, the work of the printer and the material,” she says. “With this job, there’s no marketing message to hide behind. It’s showcasing art. And this product really shines.”

Connie, who is also the Marketing Director, says that they are delighted to have a product like this for customers. “It’s fun to find a product that we like so much. We are excited to use it moving forward.” Rick agrees, “the graphics go on and stay on. That’s important. We’ve gained a lot of confidence in the product and will recommend it to other SpeedPro locations.”

If you are interested in trying any of the products from the HP Adhesive Vinyl portfolio, give us a call at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.