We Went Cruisin’ with FrameWorks Miami at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo

It was a tough job, but our team was up for it. They packed up mid-week and headed over to Miami to check out the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center. What they found was endless opportunities for wide-format print applications!

Fun cruise decor displays at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo

More than 2,850 attendees attended the inaugural Cruise Expo to check out the growing needs for new, innovative products for new cruise ship builds and even more so the refurbishment of existing cruise ships.

“This event is something that we’ve needed,” says Antonio di Nenno, Lead Architect, MSC Cruises. “The market is changing and for the interiors industry, there’s nothing like this!”

Of course, trade shows in our industry are always full of the latest trends, and this show in Miami didn’t disappoint! We learned that 20 to 30 million people travel on cruises every year, a stat that’s grown 6% in the last few years.

FrameWorks Miami’s colorful stand

Like we’ve learned in digital printing, cruises are becoming more and more customized, rather than the “one-size-fits-all” approach. Themes like music, food, fitness and sports are really fine-tuning the cruising experience. And that translates to the need for more and more customized décor, graphics and signage, which is where wide-format PSPs can find some amazing opportunities.

LexJet customer FrameWorks Miami, which specializes in fine art printing and framing wanted to make a splash — almost literally — with their Fish Market & Fruit Stand exhibit during the Expo. We partnered with them to used ChromaLuxe metal panels in a super creative way. Using dye-sub technology, FrameWorks Miami created whimsical samples with fish and fruit prints that were cut to various shapes.

“From sardines, snapper, mahi to any type of fruit you can imagine, they had it,” says LexJet sales rep, Vince Bejar. “They even printed their own butcher paper to wrap up the samples for their potentials clients to take back with them to show off their state-of-the-art digital printing solutions. The attention to detail shown in their booth design & execution was seriously outstanding, especially since they created nearly everything in-house.”

We’re excited to see where cruise ship decor takes us in the near future. Printers looking to branch out into decor printing — like wallcoverings and wall art, such as canvas wraps — will find a ton of opportunities when working with this sector. Give us a call at 800-453-9538 for more ideas.

Soft Signage Options for All Printer Technologies

Recent reports show that the demand for soft signage has seen double-digit growth in the last few years. That means you need options to create fabric banners, signs and exhibit graphics that work with the equipment and printer technology you own.

And while some fabrics may cost more for, say, trade show booth graphics, the upsell to your customer is that they can use fabric graphics more than once, and they’re less expensive to ship and stand up to traveling better than heavier, easily damaged options.

Let your customers know that the higher cost buys them easier installations that are foldable, reusable and even wrinkle resistant. Plus, they look more high-end and will drape more elegantly than vinyls or films they’ve used in the past.

So, in effort to make soft signage and printable fabrics more accessible to you, we’ve collected a list of products, based on printer type and application to streamline your search:

Latex

EnduraFab Textiles

Fabric solutions for Latex printers have hit the market in recent years, including the EnduraFab line of products, which are finished with a proprietary coating made specifically to work with Latex inks, while providing durability and a soft hand to the fabric. EnduraFab Stretch is a great option for SEG frames (or sew-less frames like SignComp). Check out this video review from HP’s Timothy Mitchell on how EnduraFab performs on Latex. For hanging banners and other indoor soft signage, try HP Light Fabric, for brilliant prints that stand up to creasing and wrinkling — now available at a reduced price.

Aqueous

LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth

You don’t need dye-sub to create great-looking fabric signage. You can get it done with an aqueous printer and the right printable textiles. For everything from banners to backlits to signage, LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth is a lightweight option that is finished with a coating that will hold high levels of ink saturation and maintaining its water resistance. One of our customers says: “The cloth is very durable! The fabric holds the colors well, and can easily be folded to fit into convenient packaging for transport. Any creases or wrinkles can be quickly reduced with a light ironing upon arrival.” For a slightly heavier, versatile fabric, consider LexJet FlexTek 170g, an aqueous-compatible, budget-beating option that can be finished with either grommets or sewing, and works indoors our out. It also works well as an alternative to canvas, and wraps easily on stretcher bars.

Solvent/Eco-Solvent

We’ve got the versatile LexJet FlexTek SUV 200g in a solvent-compatible version, as well. Great for outdoor projects, and a cost-friendly option for banners and gallery wraps. For a lighter-weight option for backlit displays or trade show graphics, check out LexJet Poly Select Light SUV. The tight weave and satin finish give it an elegant finish that looks great in retail spaces or even for décor items.

Dye-Sublimation

Teardrop flags.

Tried-and-true printed fabric results are traditionally achieved with dye-sub, and now we offer Fisher Textiles in wide-format widths. We’ve got a full portfolio of Fisher Textiles to choose from for a variety of projects, but we wanted to highlight 4019 Nirvana BOB for its award-winning soft knit fabric that’s coated with a black backing, so you get the lightweight fabric with excellent opacity and flame resistance certification. If you’ve got requests for the popular teardrop flags, there’s no better option than Fisher Textiles 1701 Primary Flag.

For even more fabric ideas that match your printer technology, call a LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 and grow your soft signage business, too!

Fisher Textiles Now in Wide-Format Sizes – Only at LexJet

LexJet is excited to announce that it will offer eight Fisher Textiles dye-sublimation fabrics, sized for wide-format printers. Previously available for grand-format printers, this is the first time these world-renowned, award-winning fabrics have been converted and distributed for wide-format applications.

LexJet will carry a variety of Fisher Textile products in 61-inch widths by 100-foot rolls for a multitude of applications, including trade shows, SEG frames, retail signage, back drops, home décor and furnishings, soft signage, backlit graphics, banner stands, table covers and more.

“At wide-format widths, these trusted, well-known and proven-to-perform dye-sub fabrics from Fisher open the door to the benefits of wide-format applications, such as smaller runs, one-off prototypes, quicker turn-around and customization, which is in higher demand than ever,” says LexJet VP of Sales, Justin Lehman. “With the success of our LexJet InFuze dye-sub transfer paper last year, we are seeing fast-growing, high-margin possibilities with dye-sub technologies for our wide-format PSPs.”

Products Now Available:

These fabrics round out LexJet’s dye-sub portfolio of products, which includes Epson printers and inks, InFuze transfer papers, ChromaLuxe metal photo panels and heat presses from Geo Knight and FLEXA.

For more information about Fisher Textiles or the possibilities of adding dye-sub technology to your business, call a LexJet pro at 800-453-9538.

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.