Beyond Vinyl: Discover the World of Latex Printing Applications


Backlit crop

You’ve asked for the educational tools to help you discover the opportunities that latex printing can provide. Today, we’re introducing our Latex Applications page, a one-stop online page that offers business-building ideas and explores the many creative uses and benefits of latex-printable products.

While many of our business partners rely on vinyl products for banners, billboards, outdoor signage and more, all of those applications — and many more — can be printed on latex-compatible media that’s less costly, easier to use and environmentally friendly.

Outdoor-Signage-04-24-15_01Throughout our Latex Applications page, you’ll find quick overviews and images of the products in use paired with short educational videos and direct links to purchase pages.

In the videos, LexJet product guru Jeff Leto talks about the industry’s latest emerging trends, product highlights, installation suggestions, terminology definitions, and lots of easy-to-understand tips for getting the most out of the media in different environments.

You’ll also learn how the products can be used in a variety ways while helping you save time and money, and how to relate those benefits to your customers.

Visit the Latex Applications page and call a LexJet latex printing expert at 800-453-9538 to learn more.

Clearly a Good Idea: LED Backlit Conference Room Graphics that Pop

Printing backlit graphicsLEDs (light-emitting diodes) have made it a lot easier to create backlit signs. Simply put, the little diodes pack a punch.

Back in the day, and not too far back, the only viable LED color for sign lighting was red. Improvements in the technology have yielded brighter and more consistent whites, and the price has gone down significantly.

Add LEDs to a well-made thin-panel plexiglass-faced sign cabinet, hide the power source, print a vibrant image and you’ve got the perfect interior sign. Lou Fiore, owner of Speedway Custom Photo Lab in Daytona Beach, Fla., put this winning combination together for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, also based in Daytona Beach.

Backlit displays with LEDsFiore bought the panel from Tec Art Industries, Wixom, Mich. The panel has a cover sheet of plexiglass that can be removed so the graphic can be easily placed inside. The graphic is taped along the top edge and allowed to hang. Then, the cover sheet is attached with eight stainless steel standoffs.

“Tec Art was extremely helpful with the specifications and manufacture of the panel. It arrived here in a huge crate and worked right out of the box,” explains Fiore. “I printed the graphic on LexJet Premium Solvent Backlit Gloss on my Epson GS6000 64″ low-solvent printer. The LexJet backlit material prints a nicely saturated image and the extra thickness of the material makes it easy to handle such a large graphic.”

Fiore adds that the customer’s electrician created a hidden panel for the power supply so that no wires are visible, providing a clean, professional look in the university’s conference room. The power supply is 12 volts and the estimated power consumption is about 80 watts.

The LED lighting is housed on the top and bottom horizontal edges. The edges are also chamfered at 45-degree angles to help provide the edge lighting effect.

“There’s no adhesive involved because they’ll change it out every few months and all we have to do is tape a new backlit graphic inside. The only thing we had to do was make the hanging cleats for it. You lift it up, it comes off the wall and you put it back up on the cleats so that it’s flush against the wall,” adds Fiore.

Check out the New Media and Adhesive Application Tools at LexJet’s Website

Find the right inkjet product for the application with this web filterA couple of months ago the developers behind LexJet’s Laminates & Coatings and Backers filters at that allow you to find the best product for the application in just a handy click or two have developed new filters for LexJet Media and Mounting Adhesives.

Currently, only LexJet Media and Mounting Adhesives are filterable, but the development and product management teams are working on filters for OEM media as well.

So, for instance, if you go to the filter at the left side of the LexJet Inkjet Printable Media page, go below the Ink Type filter and check Aqueous, wait for it to load, and then check Backlit where you’ll get three results: LexJet 7 Mil Absolute Backlit, 7 Mil AquaLight Backlit and Water-Resistant Satin Cloth.

You could also check the Media Type if you’re looking for a specific material that’s also used for backlit applications, like Fabric. However, the beautiful thing about the filter is that once the results are filtered it leaves only the Media Types available based on the other criteria – Aqueous and Backlit in the example above.

For adhesive applications, go to the LexJet Mounting Adhesives page and filter by Applications and Permanence (Removable or Permanent). For example, if you check Tradeshow and Permanent you’ll get five results from which to choose.

Of course if you need help with anything, even after you’ve narrowed it down, a LexJet customer specialist is available to help right away between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET (800-453-9538), and you can use the Live Chat feature at the website as well.

P.O.P., Display and Print Ideas at the Shopper Expo: LED Lighting

Lighting point of purchase displays with LEDsCHICAGO – While the weather outside here is frightful, brand managers, marketing and advertising firms, and others developing and deploying in-store retail marketing programs huddle inside Navy Pier to find out the latest at the Shopper Marketing Expo.

LexJet is here in Booth 720, sharing our expertise and insight on producing eye-catching, effective promotional and branding programs with large-format inkjet printing. One lucky attendee will also walk away with a Canon iPF8300 inkjet printer. Not a bad deal at all.

Lighting backlit cabinets with LEDs
Inkjet graphics for an in-store display backlit with LEDs by LEDCONN. LED lighting is a great opportunity for large-format print providers.

Speaking of wide-format printing, in addition to the usual mix of display hardware, there are some notable developments in LED technology you ought to know about for lighting alternatives. Two companies – LEDCONN and Louisville Lamp Co. – are showing their LED lighting products for edge-lit and backlit large-format graphics.

For years, LEDs have been steadily gaining acceptance as an alternative lighting source, particularly in the sign industry for lighting channel letters. Just a few years ago, the only economically viable LED light source was the red LED. Since then, white LED costs have plummeted while the quality has gotten significantly better.

Inkjet printed graphics lighted with LEDs
At the Shopper Marketing Expo in Chicago, Louisville Lamp Co. showed how inkjet-printed graphics can be edge-lit in acrylic.

Moreover, LED lighting is much easier to install and service, it’s longer lasting and is more energy efficient than traditional lighting sources like fluorescent bulbs. For large-format print providers this is fantastic news because it will help sell more backlit projects to end-use customers.

LED providers like LEDCONN and Louisville Lamp have been working on viable solutions for backlit cabinets and appear to have been successful. LEDs can be used to provide different effects, from a more typical backlit to edge-lit and other halo-lit applications. And, since LEDs are tiny and compact, the cabinet profile is much slimmer, for an elegant, screen-like display.

Printing guru and Color Cossack, Tom Hauenstein, he of the infamously awesome LexJet Great Output Tour, said the one thing to look out for with LED lighting is that it’s cooler/bluer than other light sources. Therefore, it’s recommended that you test and experiment with images on the light source to see how they shift and adjust accordingly. Also, you might be able to request a warmer version of the LEDs from the manufacturer or supplier.

Other companies in the industry, like Sylvania and SloanLED, have been concentrating on the larger outdoor backlit cabinets and very close to revolutionizing this part of the sign industry as they did with channel letters (it’s estimated that most channel letter installations are now done with LEDs rather than neon).

Now is an excellent time to look into LED lighting as part of your large-format print services. The qualities and benefits of LEDs, as well as their novelty and eco-friendly aspect, provide additional opportunity and profit potential

Tomorrow, look for a Shopper Expo wrap-up on the “path to purchase,” how that path is changing with Internet media and smart phones and what it means to you.