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.

Good, Better, Best: High-Volume Canvas

For print service providers expanding their operations into high-volume wall décor printing, we offer a wide variety of canvas options for any price point. Today, we’ve gathered three latex/solvent options for our latest installment of Good, Better, Best.

When choosing a canvas for large runs, look for media that delivers consistency not only in color reproduction, but in how it performs when stretched and folded for gallery wraps. These three options, Sunset Production Satin Canvas SUV, priced at $0.45/sq ft; Fredrix Tempo 575SMJ Semi-Matte Canvas, priced at $0.75/sq ft; and Sunset by Fredrix Satin Canvas SUV, priced at $0.99/sq ft, will get the job done quickly. Because they’re built for latex and solvent ink technology, they don’t require a protective layer of coating, so you can print, wrap and deliver all in the same day.

GOOD: Sunset Production Satin Canvas SUV. For a cost-effective option that looks and feels like a higher-end canvases, this 100% polyester material is ideal for high-volume runs that still deliver outstanding print production. With a 2-over-1 poly-cotton weave and no optical brighteners, this U.S.-made canvas became a fast favorite among customers as soon as it hit the market, giving them a high-performing option for price-competitive jobs. “Customers come in and ask for museum quality final product, and this canvas gets pretty close,” says Aaron Friedman, owner and CEO of Signarama in Santa Rosa, Calif. “Plus, it’s half the cost of an archival canvas.”

BETTER: Fredrix Tempo 575SMJ Semi-Matte Canvas. This poly-cotton blend is a lightweight option with a 1-over-1 weave that also performs consistently for high-volume jobs. Because it is topped with a thick coating layer, it has more bulk and texture, but keeps the cost point low. The semi-matte finish is optimal for photo reproduction, making Tempo 575 a great choice for modern-looking décor applications.

BEST: Sunset by Fredrix Satin Canvas SUV. For large runs, printers can agree that print consistency is key. That’s what you get with this bright-white poly-cotton blend that delivers truer colors on a heavily textured base. The bright-white canvas with 2-over-1 weave and a pH-neutral base stretches and finishes easily.

“The consistency that comes out of the box never changes with this canvas. Plus, it’s very durable while stretching, which is a very big problem we’ve run into with other products, where the ink will rub or crack on the creases,” says Rachael Zaudke Wilkins of A-R-T & Associates in Atlanta. “It holds a really great line and has fantastic print quality. I’ve tried other products, but this really met our price point for our clients.”

 

Captured on Canvas: Memories & Moments That Last

When Kathy Ogg first became a mom 23 years ago, she soon realized she wouldn’t be returning to work as she once knew it. Instead, photographing and printing pictures of her kids, now age 4 through 23, became a hobby, then a passion, then a whole new career.

Five years ago, with her original Canon imagePROGRAF 8400 printer, she started Re:Image Printing, perfecting the art of using photos not only taken by professional photographers, but amateurs who were capturing family moments on their cell phones, as well.

A customer’s candid image captured on canvas.

“I’ve worked with a lot of families who thought that Facebook would be the way to store all their pictures and they got rid of their originals,” Ogg says. “But then they realized that once they’re on Facebook, the photos are tiny.”

So Ogg helps families determine which photos would work best as prints on either photo paper or canvas wraps. She’s now upgraded to the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 and is a loyal user of Fredrix 777VWR Vivid Matte Canvas and LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas.

Often, potential clients shy away from canvas wrap prints because they think they need a professional photographer in order to get professional prints made. However, Ogg says, “I’m trying to teach people that cell phone pictures do print really well now — I can blow them up to 24×36-inch canvases. You just have to ask yourself: Does that picture do something to your heart? If so, then it’s worthy to print to a canvas and put on your wall.”

Memories aren’t only photographs. This recipe card is forever remembered on a canvas print.

Ogg moved from Indiana to Winter Garden, Fla., a few years ago, where she now runs a print and canvas wrap shop. When testing the media that she prints to, she looks for consistent results, vivid, accurate colors without a lot of texture and handling without cracking in the corners when stretched on canvas bars.

She’s opted for the canvas wraps because she finds the finished look to be “timeless,” unlike frames that can go out of style and glass that can stick to — and ruin — the printed image. She tops the canvas with a coating for extra protection — gloss coating for landscape images and colors that need a lot of “pop” and satin for family photos.

“Some professional photographers think there’s no way that canvas can reproduce their colors,” she says. “But I just say – why don’t you let me show you. Between the printer and the Fredrix or LexJet canvas, I can guarantee the quality.”

Ogg has also been experimenting with LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, a removable repositionable self-adhesive product that delivers great image quality, as well.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric used for a nursery room mural.

“Print-N-Stick is the most fun material I’ve ever printed to,” she says. “I love how versatile it is, and it will stay up as long as I want it to. It’s truly removable without peeling paint or damaging the wall behind it. It feels more like fabric and really adheres to the texture of the wall.”

Ogg uses Print-N-Stick mostly for her children’s room murals, but is starting to offer it to her customers, too. Between the fun wall murals and canvas wraps, her own home is a reflection of what she can create for clients’ homes. “There’s a reason behind every picture hanging up on my wall,” she says. “I walk in and I’m home — I’m happy and at peace.”

A Brave New World for SunTrust Park

When the Atlanta Braves moved into their new home, SunTrust Park, this April, they had a lot of blank walls to fill in offices and throughout the stadium. They turned to the corporate design experts at A-R-T & Associates in Atlanta to produce a one-of-a-kind series of canvas prints.

The artwork, supplied from the Braves’ archives, included a variety of baseball and ball-field imagery, both current and historical, with everything from wide-lens captures of an entire crowd to extreme close-ups of equipment, like mitts and grass.

“Some of my favorite pieces were old tickets, when tickets were cool and interesting little works of art,” says Rachael Zaudke Wilkins, who runs the print operation at A-R-T. “We enlarged some of them to 24-by-72-inch prints.”

Speedy Canvas Wraps Are on a Roll with GOframe

You can stretch professional-level canvas wraps faster than all get out with the GOframe PRO system, available at LexJet. In the video above, we take you step-by-step through the process, which takes just minutes, unlike traditional canvas wrap procedures.

You’ll need:

  • GOframe Starter Kit: Includes 4 Reusable Corner Clamps, Archival Glue and an Edge Trimmer
  • Stretcher Bars: Shown here are 16” x 20” GOframe PRO stretcher bars that come with tensioners and U-shaped fasteners for the corners
  • Hammer, utility knife and straight edge

When you prepare your print, add a 2.5-inch bleed on all sides before printing. We recommend printing on LexJet Sunset Reserve Matte Canvas or LexJet Sunset Reserve Gloss Canvas for great canvas wrap results. Be sure to install GOframe on a smooth surface when the canvas is print-side down to avoid scratches.

The GOframe Starter Kit and Stretcher Bars are prepped to help you wrap canvases in no time. The reusable corner clamps make positioning accurate, and the bars are finished with adhesive on two sides for easy installation. The kit also comes with a bottle of archival glue for extra adhesion.

Follow the step-by-step instructions in the video to learn how to align your print, finish the corners and place U-shaped fasteners and tensioners to create a gallery-worthy wrap.

Variety Is the Key for Photo Finishing Options

If you’re celebrating National Photo Month along with us, now’s a good time to consider all the options you have to offer a variety of photo finishes to your customers, such as canvas wraps, photo panels, self-adhesives and face-mounted acrylics, just to name a few.

Canvas Wraps. “When we talk with a photographer, we let him know more of what he can offer to his customers — more than what the customer is asking for,” says Aaron Friedman, owner and CEO of Signarama in Santa Rosa, Calif. “It’s an added value that means more money for the photographer, and his customers get the photos they want, ready to hang on the wall.”

Assembled GOframe stretcher system

At his busy shop, Friedman recently added the GOframe stretcher bar system to his canvas wrap production. Being located in wine country, a lot of his customers are looking for wine-related décor canvas wraps, like the one pictured above.

“The GOframe has done very well for us,” says Friedman, whose team used to hand-stretch all their canvas. “It’s way easier, faster, more efficient and requires less labor.”

Using an HP Latex 300 series printer, Friedman’s shop can print up to 60-inch canvases and meet his photographer customers’ demands for great photo quality, bright color and a consistent wrapped finish with clean edges. “They come in and ask for museum quality final product, and this canvas gets pretty close,” Friedman says. “Plus, it’s half the cost of an archival canvas.”

To discover more canvas options, download The Colorful World of Canvas.

Photo Panels. As an alternate to canvas wraps, LexJet also offers LexJet Sunset Professional Photo Panels that provide a quick and easy way to finish a photo that’s ready to hang. Simply print onto a photo paper, such as LexJet Sunset Photo Canvas Paper 230g, and remove the adhesive on the face of the photo panel and press the photo in place.

With black-trimmed edges and pre-drilled holes in the back of the panel, they’re ready to hang with a clean, modern look. To see how easy they are to assemble, watch this video.

New York Film Academy photography student portraits

Print-N-Stick. For a larger-than-life option, LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric delivers photo-quality images that can be blown up for giant portraits, like those created by students from New York Film Academy, or even entire wall murals. As a less expensive and less cumbersome way to display their end-of-term work, the students printed their final portraits on Print-N-Stick, peeled off the liner and stuck them on the wall.

“The profile was great, and the color was really true, so that’s what we completely switched over to,” says David Mager, chair of the Photography Department.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric is a super-versatile product that can be applied to walls, windows, metal and even floors. It’s smooth finish and high quality inkjet coating delivers the richest colors compared to other self-adhesive, printable fabrics in the market.

Sunset Photo Metallic Paper face-mounted to one-inch acrylic

Face-mounted to Acrylic. Another eye-catching photo finishing option is face-mounting to acrylic, which the creative pros at Bumblejax have perfected. After printing the photo on LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper, Bumblejax adheres it to the acrylic using LexJet CrystalClear Permanent Adhesive.

“We really see an incredible ‘pop’ from the Sunset Metallic Paper when it is face-mounted to acrylic, especially in a gallery setting with proper lighting,” says Bumblejax’s Corey Dwinnell.

Read more about Bumblejax’s success here.