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.

InFuze® Transfer Paper “Well Above” the Competition, Customers Say

For Fort Myers, Fla.-based Bella Signs and Designs, the key to great dye-sublimation output is a high-quality transfer paper that minimizes ghosting — the shadowing effect that commonly happens during a dye-sub transfer.

Earlier this year, we brought the dye-sublimation market four new LexJet InFuze® transfer papers created for specific applications with a microporous ink-receptive coating that provides exceptional performance. Our LexJet InFuze® Apparel Dye Sublimation Paper was just what Bella Signs and Designs was looking for.

“We look for a high-value paper with a tacky surface to ensure minimal ghosting,” says Bella’s Jennifer Fineran. “We also look for a paper that has a quick ink drying time. The InFuze® paper worked very well, as it has reduced the amount of ghosting we have experienced. The quality of the tacky surface is well above that of other paper brands we have used.”

Dye-sub printed t-shirt from Bella Signs and Designs, using LexJet InFuze® Textile Dye Sublimation Paper and Epson SureColor F6200

Bella uses dye-sublimation transfer technology for printing onto polyester t-shirts with Florida-centric fishing and fun-in-the-sun designs.

“In the past, we have outsourced all of our dye-sub printing needs,” Fineran says. “Since purchasing our own printer (the Epson SureColor F6200) and using the InFuze® paper, it has greatly increase our production rate of dye-sub projects.”

Bella offers its customers a wide variety of digital printing services, including vehicle and boat wraps, signs of all kinds, custom apparel and promotional products. The team has used dye-sub specifically for the shirts.

“Dye-sub is definitely becoming more and more common since it provides bright colors and a soft print that is not heavy on the shirt,” Fineran says.

LexJet InFuze® is available in four options:

LexJet InFuze® Multipurpose Dye Sublimation Paper for flexible fabric or rigid substrates, like mugs, promotional items and banners

LexJet InFuze® Textile Dye Sublimation Paper for flexible polyester fabrics for fast fashion, sportswear, banners and soft signage

LexJet InFuze® Apparel Dye Sublimation Paper for elastic-type textiles, like moisture-wicking, quick-dry performance sports apparel

LexJet InFuze® Rigid Substrate Dye-Sublimation Paper for metal panels used for wall art, table tops and high-end photo art

Create Vivid, Lasting Outdoor Graphics with ChromaLuxe EXT

Last year, LexJet unveiled a full suite of dye-sub products, including printers, transfer papers, heat presses and ChromaLuxe aluminum photo panels. In order to be keep up with the increasing popularity of dye-sub technology, we recently added an exterior product to the mix: ChromaLuxe EXT Extended Life Metal Prints.

The UV-resistant coating on this product significantly reduces fading, is easy to clean and resists graffiti, chemicals, weather and scratching. ChromaLuxe EXT panels are versatile and can be used to create vivid outdoor exterior art displays, photographic directional signage and tabletops. The outdoor durability is guaranteed to last for two years for photographic prints and three years for signage-based graphics.

It also works great for long-term indoor applications where there is excessive exposure to direct sunlight.

All ChromaLuxe panels pair well with LexJet InFuze™ Rigid Substrate Dye-Sublimation Paper for exceptional transfer quality.

For more information on the new ChromaLuxe EXT photo panels and other dye-sub opportunities, call your LexJet sales specialist at 800-453-9538 and download this flyer.

Now Available at LexJet: FLEXA SUBLIMAX 170 & 170T Heat Calender for Dye-Sub Printing

We’ve added an integral piece of the dye-sublimation puzzle to our line-up: both the FLEXA Sublimax 170 and 170T (with table) are now available. These heat calenders offer an oil-heated drum design that ensures temperature uniformity for thermic transfer, resulting in high-quality and long-lasting printed fabric.

With three operating modes, the Sublimax 170 is suitable for high production (roll-to-roll), single piece (Sublimax 170T only) and “reactivation and fixing” of sublimated colors already printed directly on fabrics.

Versatile applications include:

  • Curtains and interior decorations such as cushions (high-volume)
  • Sports shirts and garments
  • Promotional items
  • Exhibition stands and shop decorations
  • Fashion, bags, purses
  • Flags

For more details, download this information sheet or watch the video above and call a LexJet representative at 800-453-9538 for personalized assistance.

5 Printing Trends to Watch in 2018

Welcome to 2018! As we begin the new year, we take a look at what’s hot now in wide-format printing and what’s going to gain traction in the coming months. Our team provided insight on what they see as the growing trends for 2018, so we can help you be prepared with the media and equipment you need to meet your customers’ evolving demands.

1. Digital Keeps Growing: During the past two decades, we were at the forefront as digital took the lead in the graphics, photography and signage markets. Now, we’re watching digital printing make new inroads in industries that range from décor to flexible packaging. In the same way digital printing made signage faster and more customized than technologies of the past, we’re going to see that advantage work for short-run, super customized, more quickly produced fabrics for applications such as signage, upholstery, drapery, bedding, accessories, fast fashion and much more.

Kornit Allegro roll-to-roll digital fabric printing system

Because digital allows a file to print directly to a substrate without expensive plate setup, short- or even micro-runs are a whole new possibility for fabric, specifically. With these shorter run possibilities, we anticipate more fabric printing here in the U.S., rather than mass production off-shore that equates to tons of inventory on shelves here. One-off digital printing means your customers no longer need to stock all that inventory from overseas.

Sub Shots: Making Great Artwork More Affordable

The evolution of SubShots by Dye Hard Sublimations over the past few years is a story that epitomizes the growing capabilities of inkjet and dye-sublimation printing. The team started out dye-sub printing uniforms for lacrosse leagues, but with new products and technology, they’ve begun to evolve into photography reproduction and décor applications and even Christmas ornaments.

“We had every intention of doubling-down on apparel, but once we got the equipment and printable hard surfaces, like ChromaLuxe metal photo panels, we thought: Why don’t we just produce really great, vibrant pictures on ChromaLuxe?” says Sean Calvillo of SubShots. “We think we make good artwork more affordable.”

Cavillo says his team is currently curating more photographic content from professional photographers, and customers can choose from a library of images and order metal or wood prints through SubShots ecommerce site. They also offer customized work for commercial interior design, such as the aerial shot divided into multiple ChromaLuxe metal panels, pictured above.

While the art/photography side of their business gains momentum, SubShots hasn’t veered to far from its sporting beginnings. With the purchase of an Epson SureColor P8000 44-inch aqueous printer from LexJet, SubShots was able to start producing complementary graphics, like life-size wall cutouts of athletes, like the lacrosse player pictured.

“We’ve augmented the metal pictures with LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric to create wall decals to keep with our sports roots,” Calvillo says. “We want to be the one vendor who can do both.”

The creative team has also been working with ChromaLuxe for customized holiday gifts. “We have a photographer customer who was taking the pictures she shot during a session and dye-sub printing them as double-sided ornaments,” Calvillo says.

The SubShots team became a LexJet Blue Business member, and Calvillo says the shipping program has been a game-changer. “LexJet’s personalized service combined with the free shipping program and your competitiveness on price is why you guys are always my first call,” he says.