Get the Most Out of Your Dye-Sub Printer

Adding a whole new technology to your wide-format toolkit can be daunting, but the versatility you gain with dye-sublimation transfer printing can open all new opportunities. With the Epson SureColor Production printers, you can get into it with an initial investment starting around $7,ooo for the F6200 ($14,000 for the F7200 and $25,000 for the F9370) for a 44- or 64-inch system. Once you’re up and running, the creative and money-making possibilities are only limited to your imagination.

Dye-sublimation transfer is particularly favored for textile printing since the ink from the transfer adheres into the fabric, rather than sitting on top of it, as it does with other ink technologies. Once sublimated, the ink won’t crack, fleck or scratch off, making it an ideal option for knitted textiles, particularly high-performance athletic wear. (Bonus: Dye-sub fabrics are also washable!)

Metal photo panels by ChromaLuxe, available at LexJet

In addition to garment fabric, textiles printed for soft signage perform extremely well with dye-sub transfers. Backlit displays, tradeshow graphics and flags are two of the top applications for dye-sub, as they fold and travel easily and are cheaper to ship than films or vinyl often used for similar signage.

Dye-sub is a great complement to your other wide-format printers, allowing you to get into high-demand print products like the popular metal photo panels, ktochkees like coasters, cups and more, and customized décor, like pillows, window blinds and upholstery.

In addition to the printer system, you’ll also need transfer paper. The LexJet InFuze line provides four transfer papers for all needs, including textile, apparel, rigid substrate and multi-purpose. You’ll also need a heat press to sublimate the image to your final substrate. LexJet offers a full line of options, from a 16×20-inch table-top swinger heat press for small jobs, to a 112x48x53-inch heat calendar machine.

If you’re ready to master the world of dye-sub, visit our LexJet.com/dyesub page to learn about more applications and watch some of the how-to videos to learn all the ways to make dye-sub work for you and your business. Here’s a quick look at how to create an all-over print for t-shirts:

Top 5 Hottest Launches of 2018

Looking back on 2018, we’ve seen a lot of much-needed innovation, as well as power-house collaborations. Our top five launches of the year answered customer demand for versatile, cost-effective, application-driven solutions across the board in the wide-format market. If you haven’t tried these new options, what are you waiting for? The year’s almost over!

Fabric transferred using InFuze transfer paper

LexJet InFuze® Dye-Sublimation Papers — Adding to our dye-sub portfolio was a top priority for our customers who were bringing this new technology to their tool kits. We created the fresh InFuze brand, and brought to market four high-end, competitively-priced transfer paper options that our customers couldn’t refuse:

Outdoor signage transferred to ChromaLuxe EXT

ChromaLuxe EXT — Another important product line for our dye-sub customers is the stunning ChromaLuxe metal photo panels, a high-demand item. This year, ChromaLuxe introduced its EXT line, geared toward extended outdoor use — something dye-sub wasn’t able to achieve previously. The EXT innovation won ChromaLuxe an SGIA Product of the Year award, and it’s not hard to see why. Check out this story about how the panels were used as wayfinding signs for Felts Audubon Preserve.

AveryxLexJet — In one of the wide-format industry’s biggest news stories of the year, LexJet partnered with Avery Dennison, adding more than 200 calendared and cast vinyl, film and laminate products to our product line. Now, LexJet customers have access to all the vehicle and fleet wraps, wall films and so much more.

LexJet Flex Tek used for banners

LexJet Flex Tek — One thing so many print shops struggle with is inventory space, that’s why we love all-in-one media products like LexJet Flex Tek 170g for aqueous printers and LexJet Flex Tek SUV 200g, compatible with eco-solvent, latex and UV-curable inks. This non-woven technical fabric is lightweight and easy to use, making it a go-to option for hanging banners, retractable banners and even wrapped canvas.

HP Vinyl + Overlams — What the world needs now is a line of vinyl products that work well and are priced right. That’s what we delivered with the massive launch of the new HP Vinyl line of products.

We brought them big time with our 2018 SGIA Expo booth, where the colors were bright and installation was a breeze. But don’t take it from us — listen to what customers have said:

HP Vinyl for walls
  • “The colors are truer than with my previous material and the gloss is more vibrant.”
  • “We did an install onto a gym wall mat and it went on without a hitch! The rigidity of the material and the strength of the backer lead to a smooth installation.”
  • “My guys love the HP. They grab it for every application they can use it on, and they tell me that the air-release component is the best they’ve ever used.”

Now that you know all the hottest launches of 2018, stay tuned to this blog to discover the trends you need to keep an eye on in the New Year!

SGIA Recap: Connecting Customers to the Latest Innovations

Looking back at the 2018 SGIA Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we can’t help but recognize all the innovation and exciting launches the show had to offer to the 22,000-plus attendees of the show. The chatter in the LexJet booth focused on major trends like augmented reality, printable fabric and the launch of the HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminate line.

“A lot of people were looking for fabric — and not just for dye-sub, but for latex and solvent, too,” says Nichole Danzig, LexJet sales representative. “I also had someone who owns a music company looking for an acoustic-rated printable fabric — and we happen to have the EnduraFab, which just received acoustic rating.”

Using AR to visualize banner prints.

Prior to the show, we partnered with Big Picture magazine to create a print ad that included augmented reality in its October edition. In our booth, we showed how our AR app can help print shops visualize equipment, such as printers and cutters, in their shops. Plus, they can use the app to display how certain signage will look in a space, and they could “look inside” our display walls to see how they were constructed.

“Several dozen people got to experience the AR app developed specifically for the show, and the response was overwhelmingly positive,” says Jason Nelson, who heads up augmented reality for LexJet’s parent company, S-One. “People were very enthusiastic about the potential of AR, the ease of using the experience we developed and the opportunities this technology could create for their company.”

Digitally printed fabrics from Kornit.

We were thrilled to feature some great, cutting-edge products from our partners, including the award-winning, printable metal panels at ChromaLuxe and high-end wallcoverings at Vescom, and we ventured out to the creative booths by Kornit, Palram, Fredrix and HP.

“I was really blown away by the fabric selections and the quality, and how big the crowds seem to be around them, especially for apparel,” Danzig says.

SGIA was a great opportunity to continue discussions about LexJet’s focus on customer intimacy. “A lot of people responded well to the fact that we help them with every aspect of their business,” Danzig says. “We help them with market trends, consolidate inventory, keeping cost down — we’re not just selling them products.”

LexJet’s Matt Bailey and Brian Feeney demonstrate the GOframe stretcher bar system.

Fellow LexJet sales specialist Matt Bailey agreed: “I had one guy ask me the best way to sell dye-sub to his customers, in regards to the ChromaLuxe metal panels, which is a really great question,” he says. “You have to focus on the quality. Sure, you can get a UV print on metal, but the quality is not as good as dye-sub to metal. You have to think of it as a piece of art.”

We showcased two major launches from our partners at HP, including the competitively priced HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminate line of products as well as the SGIA Product of the Year, Textiles-Canvas award-winning HP Recycled Satin Canvas.

“The price point was big with the vinyl,” Bailey says. “They couldn’t afford not to consider it. Those savings will really add up over the course of the year. If you’re buying by the pallet, you’re going to save a ton.”

If you missed SGIA, give us a call at 800-453-9538 to learn about all the top launches and product trends we featured.

 

ChromaLuxe Panels for Décor: Personalization Is Always in Style

As the year starts to wane, décor magazine editors often start compiling chic trends anticipated for the upcoming year. However, for some designers – like Nate Berkus – a trend that is always relevant is individuality and personal style. In an interview with Atlanta Magazine in 2017, Berkus said your space “should remind you of the people you love and have loved, or the places that you’ve been or wish to go.”

What better way to follow Berkus’ advice than helping customers decorate their homes with meaningful art pieces created from images of family members or important places? With ChromaLuxe Aluminum Photo Panels or ChromaLuxe EXT, you can turn family portraits and vacation pictures into personalized art décor.

ChromaLuxe panels utilize dye-sublimation technology, which means the image is sublimated into the panel, so it is protected from indirect sunlight and other environmental factors indoors, while ChromaLuxe EXT panels have additional UV protection when the artwork is displayed in the outdoor elements.

With multiple display options available, ChromaLuxe prints make great housewarming or wedding gifts, are perfect décor for family reunions and provide a little piece of home for students who are looking to brighten up the drab walls of a college dorm room or apartment.

If you are interested in learning more about how to create dye-sub art, or any of the components of the process, including ChromaLuxe Aluminum Panels, Epson F-Series printers or LexJet InFuze paper, visit LexJet.com/dyesub or call 800-453-9538 and speak with one of our specialists today.

Tradeshow Trends: How to Standout in a Crowd

There was a time when walking around a tradeshow was quite monotonous, not much creativity in the messaging or use of products from designers. Everyone was using flat graphics printed on paper – laminated for protection and glare-reduction, of course – displayed on a banner stand or two.

Times, audiences and products have changed, which means that tradeshow designers had to keep up with the demands of more sophisticated crowds. According to Statista, tradeshows are still one of the top activities for business-to-business marketing, generating nearly $13 billion in revenue in 2016.

If you’ve attended a tradeshow lately, you may have noticed that companies are building fully functional worlds on their plot of land on the convention floor. The reason for such a dramatic shift in attention-grabbing designs is because more than 80 percent of attendees are directly involved with purchasing decisions, according to Statista’s report.

Access to current print technologies such as latex and dye-sub allows for booth designers to expand their storytelling ideas, given such limited space and narrow window of time to capture the imagination of the attendees and draw them into the booth.

Many LexJet customers are using a variety of products and applications for tradeshows and we’ve included some of their favorites when it comes to producing show-stopping, conversation-inducing booths:

  • ChromaLuxe dye-sub aluminum panels boast beautiful photographic images to create décor or custom table tops where visitors relax and enjoy the artistry of the booth.
  • Graphics produced with latex-compatible EnduraFabTM textiles are lightweight and easy to install. EnduraFabTM Frontlit can be used to create banners or table skirts, or use EnduraFabTM Stretch in an SEG frame as an alternative to acrylic cardholders.
  • For soft, backlit graphics, HP Durable Backlit Fabric is another lightweight solution that creates crisp photographic images using latex technology.
  • The Avery Dennison MPI 2600 Series Wall Films can add texture and life to the temporary walls that dominate the tradeshow floor with graphics printed on eco-solvent or latex printers.

If you are looking for new products to explore, call your LexJet sales specialist at 800-453-9538 today.

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.