Ideas to Help Your Community and Print for a Good Cause

During this time of social distancing, there are ways that local print shops can help members of the community. Creating graphics, updating and refreshing old graphics, and helping with décor renovations are great ways to help small businesses, as many non-essential companies and organizations are closed.

If you’re looking for inspiration and ways you can help, check out our collection of LexJet brandUP stories:

When Cat Depot moved to its new location in Sarasota, Fla., volunteers taped pictures of cats to the windows and displayed operational hours on regular office paper that had to be replaced often. Because the non-profit organization relies heavily on volunteers and donations, eye-catching graphics were not a priority. That’s when the idea of LexJet’s brandUP was born. A group of LexJet summer interns visited Cat Depot to see what type of graphics were needed and what media would be required. To replace the taped images on the front windows, the interns selected Simple Perforated Window Vinyl 70/30, to help with the interior and exterior doors, they chose LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, and to help with some temporary signage, LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric was the perfect solution.

The owners of Average Joe’s Grooming were looking to add some puppy love to their new space and make it more functional. Installing LexJet Simple Perforated Window Vinyl (70/30) on the windows reduced glare to benefit the groomers while passersby were greeted with a welcoming image of a larger-than-life dog. To liven up the interior walls, the team printed smiling dogs and cute cartoons on HP PVC-free Durable Smooth Wall Paper and LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric.

Felts Audubon Preserve is perfect for bird and nature enthusiasts. It is tucked away among the neighborhoods of rural Palmetto, Fla. Unfortunately, vandals damaged the signs that were originally designed and donated by a local Boy Scout troop. As a brandUP project, LexJet donated ChromaLuxe EXT metal photo panels with graffiti and fade-resistant properties that stand up to vandalism as well as the tough Florida sunshine. We partnered the ChromaLuxe panels with LexJet InFuze® Rigid Substrate Dye-Sublimation Paper and used the Geo Knight Digital Knight 20×25 Jumbo Swinger for the transfer process.

If you are printing for essential businesses or charities in your community, we’d love to hear your story. Call us at 800-453-9538 and let us know how we can help.

LexJet brandUP: Supporting Ringling College Students’ VR Game at SXSW

South by Southwest, or as it’s more commonly known, SXSW, is a convergence of creatives across the interactive, film and music industries held annually in Austin, Texas. Marketers exhibit brand roll-outs and new products and applications to attendees.

One brand activation at the 2019 festival featured a group of talented students from Ringling College of Art + Design. About 35 students, studying graphic design, game art, illustration, motion design and business of art and design, launched “Wet Dog Corp.” a futuristic, arcade-style virtual reality game that takes the player through various levels where dirty dogs on conveyor belts are waiting to be cleaned.

“Wet Dog is a zany, fun VR dog washing game that some of our Game Art seniors made in collaboration with Flight School. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to debut the game at SXSW at their Gaming Expo,” says Jamie DeRuyther, a Game Art and Virtual Reality Development faculty member at Ringling College. “It really kind of blossomed into this really, really amazing marketing campaign.”

To attract people to the VR game, the Ringling team wanted to personalize and brand as many eye-catching items as they could. From water bottles to banners to vehicle decals, the Wet Dog logo was everywhere. “It’s real-world stuff with real clients in a real product in real time,” says Jeff Schwartz, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Tallie Malka, majoring in business art and design with an emphasis on marketing, stresses the importance of brand identity. “Branding this company [Wet Dog Corp.] and promoting what we’re doing is what I want to do for a career,” Malka says. “Every touch-point that these people have, they know our brand. That’s why we have branded water bottles, branded everything.”

The students of Ringling and the professionals at LexJet joined together in a collaborative effort to design the graphics, choose the right media, and print the images needed for the project.

LexJet provided the media and offered tips to create many of the large-format printed assets for the experience including banners, displays, vehicle graphics, target boards and water bottles. Here’s a peek into how the students brought Wet Dog Corp. to life:

  • Because the team set up outside, they chose HEYtex Mesh for the eye-popping graphics printed on 60/40 pattern, providing see-through visibility.
  • Easy-to-read graphics printed with LexJet Production Display Film SUV were displayed with banner stands and strategically placed throughout the booth, providing directions and hints to gamers. This durable film was selected because of its excellent image quality and water-resistance.
  • Vehicle branding is one of the easiest, but most important marketing opportunities. The Wet Dog team rented a van for the event and created temporary door and hood graphics using HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP. This calendared vinyl offers a gray, repositionable adhesive and is perfect for fleet and flat-paneled vehicle graphics.
  • In addition to the VR game, a carnival-style game was created with images of dogs printed on HP Prime Gloss Air GP and then installed on backboards. The calendared vinyl with a gray, permanent adhesive is a print service provider’s best asset. This versatile product can be used for indoor and outdoor signage, menu boards, stickers and decals, and many other applications.
  • Using the HP Latex 335 Print and Cut, labels were printed on HP Prime Gloss CP allowing the students to personally brand the water bottles in the booth, on demand. The calendared vinyl with clear adhesive is perfect for stickers, decals and other graphics on clear or light-colored substrates.

The Wet Dog Corp. experience garnered over 900 visitors in a single day. To see more about this successful brand activation as well as see the products in action, click on the video above.

If you are interested in these or other products from LexJet, give us a call at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com, today.

A Cutting-Edge Update for Visit Sarasota County’s Visitors Center

The space dedicated for Visit Sarasota County’s visitor center started as a pretty blank slate — crisp white walls with high ceilings and lots of potential. The Visit Sarasota team asked LexJet to add some creativity with the possibilities of print. And we took it from floor to ceiling … and beyond.

Since we knew that desktop and bookshelves would be covered with colorful brochures and maps, we opted for a subtle watercolor print for the wallcovering. We chose Vescom Polster wallcovering with a slightly textured surface that provides the natural look and feel of stucco. And because this Type II PVC vinyl wallcovering is Class A fire rated and meets EPA requirements for low-VOC emitting products, we knew it would be a safe option for the busy visitors center.

Panels printed on EnduraFab Frontlit Premier

A large curved wall was just begging for a show-stopping graphic. Using EnduraFab Frontlit Premier latex-printable textile, we printed five hanging panels that created the quintessential Sarasota sunset family portrait.

Our most exciting print project paired canvas wraps with augmented reality. We printed a half dozen canvas wraps with images that photographers captured around the Sarasota area. Using our proprietary augmented reality app for smartphones or tablets, a video would play when the device was held in front of the canvas wraps.

The canvas wraps included images of beach scenes, paddle boarding, shopping and more areas of interest for visitors. We chose Fredrix 777VWR Vivid Matte Canvas with a smooth texture that delivers highly detailed photo reproductions.

Watch the video above to see how it all came together for the Visit Sarasota County group and their open house, which celebrated the new space.

LexJet brandUP: A ChromaLuxe EXT Print Project That’s Really for the Birds

Felts Audubon Preserve is a hidden gem, tucked away among sprawling neighborhoods in rural Palmetto, Fla. Whether you’re a novice birder or an avid twitcher, Felts is the perfect place to visit when you want to unplug and see some of the spectacular species of birds and butterflies Mother Nature has to offer.

The Preserve land once belonged to Otis and Anita Felts, who owned and operated a family-run dairy farm. When Otis died in 2002, the family wanted the land to remain natural and free from future development, so the Felts family donated the 27-acre parcel to the Manatee County Audubon Society.

The property is beautiful and serene today, but back in 2002, it was in rough shape, and any improvements were always completed by volunteers. There are still no paid staff members at Felts, and original member Don Bansen remembers the first major project: volunteers cleared more than 300 tires out of the lake. “Everybody was covered in mud, it was a mess,” he says.

While tires in the lake no longer pose a problem, one issue occasionally plagues groundskeeper Fred Allen: vandalism. In the past, volunteers witnessed graffiti and spray paint on signs or broken display cases. Membership Director Lucette Wombacher believes mischief increases a little when school lets out for the summer.

“Everything is made possible by volunteers. They help keep the grounds looking good and Fred is instrumental in keeping the trails neat, so birders can walk through,” says Wombacher. “It’s important to have something that resists damage so we can stay focused on clearing invasive plants and trails rather than cleaning vandalized signs,” she says.

To make it easier for the volunteers at Felts, Heather Reece from LexJet suggested ChromaLuxe EXT metal photo panels with graffiti and fade-resistant properties that stand up to outdoor elements. The panels offer a glossy white finish, which makes them perfect for art and photo reproductions. The 0.045-inch metal panels have been tested to last three years or more outdoors without fading.

LexJet brandUP: Scorch Fitness Focuses on Goals in a Big Way

When faced with a giant, blank wall, many business owners would simply choose a wall paper pattern, install it and call it a day. But Scorch Fitness, located in Sarasota, Fla., had a better idea: Why not create a customized wall mural to inspire their members to achieve their goals?

“The purpose of this mural was to … use it as a reminder to our members of why they’re here,” says Liz Lowe, Scorch co-owner and head coach. Paired with the break-through design of the mural, goals are printed in big, bold letters … “I want to be healthy,” “I want to sweat my butt off” are just two of the shared objectives that are reinforced every day.

“This wall behind us has totally changed the dynamic of the energy within here,” says fellow co-owner and founder, Ryan McDonald.

The team at Now That’s a Wrap printed the mural on LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, and finished it with a UV coating for extra durability.

Watch the video above to see how it was done and how it’s impacted the Scorch Fitness team and their clients.

LexJet brandUP: Café Décor Redux, Honoring Marc Chagall’s Vision

When Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Fla., decided to renovate its café, the designers wanted to pay homage to painter Marc Chagall’s dreamy vision of life and the quaint French town where he spent his final years. The redesign was timed with the gardens’ exhibit, Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams.

Known as the “City of Arts,” Saint Paul de Vence attracted artists of all types with its charm. The town’s Colombe d’Or Hotel & Restaurant was the inspiration for Selby Garden’s cafe revamp.

The café’s original wall décor included a series of framed botanical prints in dark, heavy frames. The re-design team removed the dated-looking prints and opted for a full wall mural, with a subtle backdrop of Saint Paul de Vence, France, overlaid with carefully selected Chagall quotes that captured his sensitive and introspective insights.

Working with print service provider, Now That’s a Wrap, the Selby team chose to cover the interior and exterior walls with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl and Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV laminate. The team also mimicked Chagall’s stained glass work by printing extra-saturated graphics on optically clear vinyl with an over-laminate, all mounted to plexiglass.

Watch the video above to see how the café’s new look came to life.