Flex Tek for Aqueous Wins on Color, Durability & Price

Earlier this year, we launched LexJet Flex Tek 170g for aqueous printers, and it’s turned into a fast favorite among print service providers looking for a cost-effective, easy-handling option for banners.

Photos: Jackson Beverages, La Grange, Ga.

This lightweight, 100% non-woven polyester is finished with a slight embossed texture that gives it the look and feel of a woven fabric, making it an ideal option for both banners and canvas wraps.

At Jackson Beverages in LaGrange, Ga., it’s become the new go-to for short-term outdoor banners.

“Since our primary use of banner/canvas material is outdoor signage, the two most important qualities are water resistance and physical strength in windy weather,” says Jackson Beverages’ Tom Weeks. “Flex Tek’s coating proved to keep the ink colors bright in foul weather and blazing southern sun.”

The polyester base also adds to its durability. “Although it is quite light and easy to handle, it is considerably more tear-resistant than any other non-woven fabric based banner material I have used,” says Weeks, who often finishes Flex Tek with grommets for easy hanging. “My overall impression of Flex Tek is that it is a very good medium for outdoor banners that will hang for less than a year.”

Photo: Orgill

For Vern Goodner, print services manager at Orgill, price was a big concern. Orgill supplies products to 6,000 hardware stores and dealers in more than 60 different countries. Goodner runs the print shop where he produces hundreds of flyers, posters and more for store displays.

Orgill also hosts a 1 million square-foot tradeshow two times per year, in which the company creates multiple mock stores to showcase the latest hardware goods. In these stores, Goodner makes 200 retractable banners, which he has now switched over to Flex Tek.

“I was looking for something with a bright white that gives an eye pleasing to eye popping color,” Goodner says. “And was as affordable as possible.”

At $0.50 per square foot he’s now considering switching all the tradeshow banners to Flex Tek. Both Weeks and Goodner print Flex Tek on Canon imagePROGRAF wide-format aqueous printers.

LexJet Flex Tek 170g Product Highlights:

  • PVC-free / recyclable
  • Versatile media for wall art, banners, gallery wraps
  • Can be grommeted or stitched and used indoors or out
  • Images look great close-up or at long-range viewing
  • Also available: LexJet Flex Tek SUV 200g, compatible with eco-solvent, latex and UV-curable inks

Trade Show Displays Built for the Long Haul by Graphicolor Exhibits

Durable trade show exhibits
Graphicolor Exhibits (www.graphicolor.com), Livonia, Mich., produced this colorful, durable trade show pop-up display with LexJet Matte Light Block Polyester (12 Mil) and LexJet Elite Textured Coex Laminate (5 Mil).

The secret to creating successful trade show displays that bring customers back for more is durability. After all, as Glenn Braasch, production manager for Graphicolor Exhibits in Livonia, Mich., points out, you can’t control what happens to a display once it leaves your shop.

“We were always looking for something to help ensure that our customers weren’t coming back to replace panels that failed,” says Braasch.

The combination Braasch found to work with the company’s Mutoh mild solvent printer was LexJet Matte Light Block Polyester (12 Mil) laminated with LexJet Elite Textured Coex Laminate (5 Mil).

“We love this stuff. One of the benefits is the white point, which contributes to better color reproduction, but mainly it’s the durability of the 12-mil film with the overlaminate,” explains Braasch. “This combination helped us realize the goal of reducing the amount of re-prints.”

The display pictured here has six center panels and two end caps. For the end caps, Braasch used LexJet Matte Light Block Polyester (7 Mil) with the 5-mil laminate. The thinner material makes it easier to wrap the tight curves of the end caps.

“On any kind of pop up we use the 12-mil polyester with the 5-mil overlam; that seems to be a good thickness for roll-able pop-up panels. When we produce other displays, like retractable banner stands, we use the 7-mil printable material,” says Braasch.

These combinations strike a nice balance: not too thick, not too thin. Braasch uses a standard panel trimmer on a 4×8 table that has a clamping system. “It’s not anything special or secret; it just seems to trim nice, which may also have to do with the fact that we keep the total thickness of panel down so we don’t have to cut it with more than one pass.”