Top 5 Wallcovering Trends for Digital Print Providers

By now, you’ve likely looked into adding décor printing into the offerings you provide your customers. And wallcovering is a vital link in that chain. You’ve got lots of products to choose from, including the HP Latex-certified Vescom Wallcoverings, available from LexJet.

Vescom is known for its consistency and elegant finishes, plus installers prefer this Type-II-certified vinyl media, which has a non-woven backing that makes installation using standard techniques a breeze.

We asked our friends at Vescom for some tips on how wallcovering trends are evolving this year. Here are five of the top digital wallcovering trends they’re seeing for 2019:

  1. THE 5th WALL

Not satisfied with just decorating four walls, designers are increasingly covering the ceiling of a room to bring in the “other” wall as part of a more visually unified space and one that will stand out among the crowd. Vescom Matte has a non-woven backing that installs easily with common adhesives and installation techniques.

  1. FLORALS

Florals have made a comeback, but forget your grandmother’s wallpaper, today’s florals are more sophisticated and dramatic with a nature-themed feel done in a modern aesthetic. Vescom Tabby adds a soft warmth to a floral design.

  1. METALLIC

Go Hollywood with metallic wallpaper that adds an element of luxury and glamour. Vescom Metallic Sand provides a subtle shimmer for an ultra-modern look.

  1. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S WALLPAPER

Faux finishes continue to be the rage, from brick and stone to bamboo and grass, digitally printed wallpaper lets you create an artificial pattern without the cost and hassle of the actual material. Vescom Polster is a natural texture that emulates materials such as stucco, brick or stone.

  1. ROOM WITH A VIEW

A large-format photo mural makes a stunning statement, creates a visual escape and is perfect for windowless spaces, conference rooms and lobbies. Vescom Matte has a smooth surface and prints high-resolution photos and imagery.

Give a LexJet print specialist a call at 800-453-9538 for more ideas on how digitally printable wallcovers can help you create one-of-a-kind projects for your customers.

Good, Better, Best: Wallcoverings

When it comes to digitally printable wallcoverings, you’ve got more options today than ever before. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make — do you want a self-adhesive, a pre-pasted water-based application, or a traditional wall paper paste job? And what kind of finish is your customer looking for? A basic satin for a temporary mural … or a glamorous gold metallic? You’ve got these questions, and we’ve got a few answers to get you started.

In this edition of Good, Better, Best, we’re looking at three different wallcoverings for various applications and installation needs. LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric, HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper and Vescom Digital Wallcoverings all track around the same square-foot price, and they’re all latex- and/or solvent-compatible, so they won’t need an extra protective coating, unless you decide to add it. Each one could be the “best” answer depending on the application, but we approached this ranking in terms of longevity and variety.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric

GOOD: LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric. This is a customer favorite for temporary wall murals. Just like the name suggests, it’s a two-step process. Print it and stick it, thanks to the pressure-sensitive adhesive. With a clean, sheen finish, colors really pop on Print-N-Stick, and the fabric texture makes it easy to handle and the special adhesive is very forgiving — making it simple to reposition it and fix installation mistakes. If carrying inventory is an issue for you, Print-N-Stick is also a great solution to stick to windows, metal, wood and even floors.

HP PVC-Free Durable Wall Paper

BETTER: HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper. This HP product is formulated to pair with latex inks, which work together to create a scrub- and scratch-resistant surface that stands up to high-traffic areas, like hotels and restaurants. It also carries multiple environmental certifications, including the Type II as well as  FSC®, REACH and UL GREENGUARD GOLD, which make this odorless, mold- and mildew-resistant wall paper a great choice for sensitive environments like schools and hospitals. The wall paper is finished with a pre-pasted glue that can be installed with a simple water technique. Watch this video to see how easy it is to install and remove.

BEST: Vescom Digital Wallcoverings. We offer a glamorous line of finishes in the Vescom line, such as Matte, Leather, Felt, Lay and the award-winning Metallic Sand. These finishes offer versatility in décor style and visual impact – from subtle, elegant finishes to eye-catching, dramatic wall murals.  The high-end vinyl wallcoverings meet stringent environmental standards and work well for corporate or commercial spaces, as well as residential. They’re compatible with latex, solvent, eco-solvent and UV-curable inks, giving you the option to use your preferred print technology.

To learn more about wallcovering options, contact a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538.

Get the Most Out of Your Aqueous Printer

Are you using your aqueous printer to its full potential? From canvas prints to temporary outdoor graphics, your aqueous printer is the utility player every profitable printshop needs. We’ve put together some applications and media suggestions to help you get the most out of your printer:

Décor: If you are considering décor applications, you may have thought an aqueous printer limited your capabilities, but, in fact, you can print plenty of décor applications, including wall art and wall murals. LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas is a customer favorite for photo prints or fine art reproductions. It can also be easily stretched for canvas wraps, like the GOframe system. If you are looking for wall murals, decals or window graphics, try LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, an easy-to-use and apply option that’s forgivable and repositionable during installation. Check out our Digital Décor Printing Line Card for more aqueous options, as well as many others.

Soft Signage: One of the fastest-growing trends in the market is the transition to soft signage using fabric rather than rigid vinyl or polyester films for POP displays, banners, framed graphics and even trade show booths. The advantage to fabrics like LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth or LexJet FlexTex 170g is that they are easier and lighter to ship, image nicely and can be used for indoor or temporary outdoor applications. With soft signage textiles, you’ll need some easy finishing techniques — watch this video for quick tips on using a hot knife for perfectly finished edges.

Outdoor Banners: When it comes to outdoor advertising and event signage, LexJet TOUGHcoatTM Water-Resistant Polypropylene and  TOUGHcoatTM ThriftyBanner are two of the most popular products. Both products are easy to handle, offer scratch- and water-resistance, and a bright white point which means vibrant prints, even in outdoor weather. Need more outdoor aqueous options? Check out this blog for more ideas and applications that will look great and stand up to the elements.

Still unsure how you can use your aqueous printer to expand your market offering? Call one of our specialists at 800-453-9538 or visit us at LexJet.com.

Shift Your Focus on Wide-Format with LexJet at SGIA 2018

As a print service provider and business owner, you know it’s critical to keep your eye on what you do best, while also smartly diversifying your business with new offerings for your customers. Gone are the days that we can get by on banner prints alone! Thanks to ever-evolving print technology and media offerings, new opportunities exists in décor, textile printing and even outdoor graphics.

When you start to shift your focus on what you’ve always done in wide-format printing to what you can do in the future, you’re sure to see a boost in your bottom line and discover new and exciting markets that will delight your customers. Check out these three key ways to grow your business and if you’re headed to SGIA Expo in Las Vegas, Oct. 18-20, be sure to stop by booth 1185 to learn more from our print specialists:

LexJet Flex Tek

Increasing your profits: As a customer-focused supplier of printers and media, we’re always on the lookout for the best products at the most advantageous prices for print service providers. We’re seeing some exciting offerings in outdoor signage, and we’ve brought those to market this year. We partnered with Avery Dennison to provide a full line of exciting vinyl products for a huge variety of applications. We’ve also launched LexJet Flex Tek, a PVC-free, recyclable, non-woven technical fabric that can be used as either a banner or a non-cracking canvas for gallery wraps. Print service providers should be excited about dual-action products like this, and we expect to bring more environmentally friendly, versatile products to market in the coming months.

Mastering new markets: If you’re a print service provider and you’re not at least sticking your big toe into the décor market, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. We’ve seen a wide array of exciting finishes and designs introduced into our wallcovering lines that are compatible with latex and solvent. But even if you operate an aqueous printer, you can also get in on the action. Décor doesn’t stop on the walls – it includes canvas prints, fine art reproductions, photo enlargements, textile printing and so much more. Dye-sub printers have more options than ever, thanks to advances in outdoor metal panels, like those from the ChromaLuxe EXT line.

EnduraFab Textiles

Answering customer demand: If there’s one thing we’ve been hearing from end users it’s that they want more printed fabric! This started in the soft signage arena but has quickly expanded into trade show graphics as well as décor. PSP’s customers love fabric because it drapes elegantly in retail environments and can be easily swapped out by any employee. Fabrics used for trade show exhibits also quickly pack up and ship for less than films or vinyl. Screen printers cornered the market on printed fabrics for decades, but with the advances in latex-compatible textiles, we’re seeing gorgeous results in specially formulated fabrics for elegant, lightweight, easy-to-handle modern signage.

To discover products in each of these areas and to learn how to shift your focus on wide format and expand you’re offering, visit LexJet’s SGIA Expo booth 1185. We’ll be featuring the latest print technology and helping you to tie it to your customers’ applications.

If you still need a free SGIA Expo pass, we’ve got you covered! To register for your free pass from LexJet, click HERE and follow the instructions.

Epson S-Series Printers: Don’t Miss Out on Décor Opportunities

In the everchanging world of POP and temporary signage, there is a niche market that many print service providers have missed: décor. If you have an EPSON SureColor S80600, you know the color gamut is unlike any other printer available in the solvent market. With 98.2% Pantone coverage, color-critical art reproductions and wall décor are as easy to produce as banners and signage.

When it comes to creating the perfect art piece, it’s not just about the printer. These days, many people want their home décor to offer the same sophisticated ambiance of a fine art museum. To recreate that look, Print Service Providers turn to a printable canvas, such as EPSON GS Canvas Gloss and GS Canvas Satin, that can be quickly and easily finished with stretcher bars for the perfect, personal masterpiece.

With the introduction of the Epson S-Series printers came the debut of reformulated GS ink. The quick-drying UltraChrome GS3 inks don’t require a protective coating, which means PSPs can offer a quick turnaround on the production of these high-end requests – turning an idea into gallery wrap in one day.

The ability to work with a print immediately is important, especially with time-sensitive jobs. Josh King of Sacramento Giclee says that using his S80600 has improved his turn-around time. “We used to have to print one day, let it dry for a day, spray coat it one day, and let it dry before we could stretch it. Now, with the SureColor printer, within an hour, I can stretch a canvas,” says King.

Of course, what is a masterpiece without a perfect showcase? Having canvas prints professionally wrapped can be an expensive endeavor, which is why many of LexJet’s clients are using GOframe Stretcher bars to create gallery wraps for their customers.

The purpose of décor is to add warmth to a space. By creating personalized art pieces for your clients, you are not only offering them a print, you are helping them turn a house into a home.

Our All-time Top Wallcovering Prep, Print & Installation Tips

Any time you’re covering a wall floor-to-ceiling it’s a big job. But with some insider tips and the right products for the job, you can break it down into a manageable task. Here are some of our all-time, most helpful tricks and tips for seamless, professional wallcovering printing and installation:

Do Your Pre-Work: Before you can even think about hitting “go” on your printer, be sure you’ve got your site under control. These means doing a site visit ahead of time, testing the wall surface and taking photos and wall measurements (here’s a handy app, Photo Measures, that makes that job easier). Once that’s under control, you can begin creating tiles that you’ll print. Check out the video on this blog for more pre-printing tips and how to set up your tile files.

Know When to Go Short-Term: This isn’t your grandma’s wall paper, and chances are your clients won’t be planning to leave it on the wall for the next 30 years. There are so many options on the market today for short- to long-term wall murals for a multitude of applications. For a low-cost, temporary solution that can be cleanly removed, there’s no better option than LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric. It’s available for aqueous– and solvent-compatible technologies. Check out this video to learn how we covered a 26-foot wall for less than $2 per square foot.

Understand the Big Picture: If you’re using photography for a customized wallcovering, the photo itself needs to be technically correct to work when it’s printed in a larger-than-life size. We got all the insider tips on photographing for wide-format printing from pro photographer, Billy Elkins. Check out this airport wall mural installation project that he created images for … and all the background on how he made it come out just right.

HP PVC-free Wall PaperMeet Your Client’s Environmental Needs: If you’ve been asked to cover a wall in a sensitive environment like a school or a healthcare facility, the best option for the job is Type II compliant HP PVC-free Durable Wall Paper in Smooth or Suede. This line of wallcovering is engineered to be used with HP latex inks and don’t require top coats to maintain Type II compliance. Unlike some solvent options, this latex-compatible option doesn’t put off odors or fumes that must be degassed before installation. It also meets FSC- and UL GREENGUARD GOLD standards, so it helps designers achieve LEED certification. And because it’s pre-pasted with adhesive, it goes up easily with little more than a water bottle and a sponge. Check out this video to learn how.

Create a Beautiful Finish: Just because it’s made from a digital print and maybe it won’t be installed for decades doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Our line of customizable wallcoverings, LexJet Premium WallPro™ comes in a variety of elegant finishes to create one-of-a-kind, eye-catching walls. The Premium WallPro line includes a variety of finishes, such as smooth, gold or silver metallic, mylar and linen textures that work beautifully in any residential or commercial space with contemporary or traditional décor.

If you’re looking for more tips on creating unique wallcoverings for your customers, give one of our LexJet pros a call at 800-453-9538.