When we think of printed jobs for outdoor use, our minds tend to turn to banners. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — there’s lots of bread-and-butter to be had in banners. However, advancements in inkjet printable materials give us endless ideas for creative applications that can stand up to the elements … and have a little fun, as well.
Building Team Spirit with Outdoor Floor Graphics
For this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the clever minds at American Visual Brands helped their client, the Tampa Bay Lightning get the word out all over the Tampa Bay community. They chose panoRama Walk & Wall, available at LexJet, to create 200 floor graphics to be installed along the Tampa Riverwalk and on the sidewalks of the neighboring communities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
“We were looking for a non-slip product since it would be used outdoors,” says Cristina Cubas of American Visual Brands. “They would be exposed to the weather and applied to concrete, so it needed to be non-slip for people running or walking. I worked with our LexJet rep, Ramiro Torrez, who suggested Walk & Wall.”
PanoRama Walk & Wall is easy to use, with no lamination required. The textured vinyl is slip-resistant certified and can be repositioned or removed with no adhesive residue left behind. Cubas said they used an Océ Arizona large-format UV printer for the 200 graphics.
The graphics served as an ongoing reminder of the Lightning’s participation in the playoffs, and were installed for about a month. “They certainly could have lasted longer,” Cubas says of the graphics. “They weren’t faded or peeling off at all. We could have gotten a few more months out of them.”
Surf’s Up with Photo-Enhanced Surfboards
A handful of years ago, West Palm Beach, Fla., photographer and surfer Tony Arruza discovered a way to combine his two passions.
“I got an email from LexJet with a story about an artist who was making prints of his paintings and putting them on miniature surfboards,” Arruza says. That’s when he contacted his LexJet sales representative to get a sample of 3P Universal Light fabric to see if it could be printed, applied to a functioning surfboard and sealed with resin.
“To our amazement, it worked fantastic. It didn’t smear or run; it laid flat and didn’t buckle,” Arruza says of his test. Turns out, he was in the process of having a new surfboard made, so he bought a roll of the fabric and collaborated with the manufacturer to enhance his surfboard with the 7-foot print.
“I was surprised at how beautiful it looked,” he says. “The colors were vibrant, but even better yet, once we had the resin covering it, the photo just came to life.”
The fabric, a 100% polyester, didn’t add a lot of additional weight to the board, so it’s not weighed down when used in the water. “I didn’t want it to be a wall hanging. I wanted it to be functional,” Arruza says.
Arruza’s new project has blossomed into an exhibit that will be on display later this year, in which he partnered with renowned surfboard shapers to create 15 unique boards featuring his photography. He’s also published a book about the project, he says. The exhibit will be on display at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council starting Dec. 1, 2016.
Two Ways to Drive Home Messaging with Outdoor Graphics
Neil Buchelt of Advanced Imaging in Lisle, Ill., has become a big fan of LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, which he’s used on everything from door signage and wall murals to truck and trailer wraps to stickers for craft beer kegs.
“I love the product,” he says. “It’s hugely versatile.”
Buchelt says Simple Flo is his go-to for all sorts of wraps, and had some fun with it on a golf club, which he covered with a Pabst Blue Ribbon logo. “It was kind of a joke,” he says. “I only golf once in a while, and people like to give me a hard time about it.”
Because LexJet Simple Flo is an ultra-conformable adhesive-backed vinyl with an air-egress release liner, it can be applied to moderately curved surfaces and adheres well to rivets and corrugations without wrinkles or bubbles, as shown on the driver, at left. But we’re not guaranteeing that it’s going to improve Buchelt’s game.
Like Buchelt, Brian Kreps of Western Illinois University chose LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl to finish a trailer used for the alumni association’s tailgating parties. “It was very easy to install,” Kreps says. “The Simple Flo works well if you need to pull it back to redo it, and the crispness of the images is really amazing.”
Read more about his project here.