Using Baryta Papers to Achieve Black-and-White Excellence

For Wonderwall Studio in Austin, Texas, the presentation is as much of an art process as the creation of the artwork itself. The company prints and finishes a variety of images from photographers and artists around the world, and a key focus is choosing the right media to print to. The master printers at Wonderwall print to paper, canvas, wood, metals, mirrors and acrylic frames and boxes, to name a few.

Grand Central StationCompany co-founder and 20-year artwork printing pro Joseph Garcia says he mass-produced artwork in the past, but today his team focuses primarily on high-end art. To stay true to the artist’s or photographer’s work and deliver it in a variety of applications, working with quality substrates is paramount.

For black-and-white image printing, Garcia says he relies on Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta 325g and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308g, both currently available at reduced pricing from LexJet. This image of Grand Central Station, at left, was printed on the Baryta paper.

Print-N-Stick Bonds with Anti-Bullying Program, UNIFY

unify still
Robert Charles Photography used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric to make their anti-bullying statement.


Edward and Robert Zemba, brothers and owners of Robert Charles Photography in East Longmeadow, Mass., know what bullying looks like. They both saw it firsthand growing up.  Now, with children of their own and many high school senior clients who visit their studio, they felt compelled to partner with those students to launch the anti-bullying campaign, UNIFY, Unique iNdividuals Inspiring Future Youth.

The program included a fashion show held in late April with a variety of high school-aged children of various backgrounds, shapes, ethnicities and physical abilities making their way down the runway. The event, sponsored by dozens of local companies and attended by more than 400 people, raised funds to support anti-bullying efforts and educational programs at area schools.

“This was an outreach project with high school seniors to encourage awareness,” says Robert Zemba. “The fashion show was wrapped around celebrating diversity. In the show, we had performances that really told the story about bullying and how kids work together to overcome bullying.”

With the students, the Zembas created the video below to promote the event and deliver the group’s message:

During a performance at the fashion show and in the video, which focuses on name-calling and “labeling,” the Zembas printed various words on LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, a removable self-adhesive product. The words were stuck on and later removed from one of the kids to emphasize using positive labels rather than hurtful ones.

IMG_0018Prior to the event, the Zembas created an 80-inch-by-100-inch wall display, also printed on Print-N-Stick, that was installed at Enfield Square Mall. The display, pictured at left, was made up of four 42-inch wide images that were printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 9900 44-inch printer, a recent addition to the Robert Charles Photography studio, purchased from LexJet.

“We came up with a display that was very powerful and very well received,” Robert says. “The best part was that the folks at the mall very concerned about a ‘wallpaper display’ — was it permanent? But we explained that the Print-N-Stick would come right down with no residue left behind. Once we showed them the product, they said, ‘Oh wow, that’s great!'”

The addition of the large-format Epson printer, Robert says, has provided increased flexibility to do more in-house printing. “To be able to print 44 inches wide is a game changer for us,” he says.

The UNIFY video and program have received attention across the country, the Zembas say, and they’re working on spreading the message further and planning the 2016 fashion show event.

“We are big believers in giving back,” Robert says. “And this was a way to give back to the kids we work with and inspire them and let them know they’re not alone.”

unify hands

Printing Historic Art for the Historic Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown

Otesaga Resort Hotel Decor by Creative Interior Imagery

When you hear (or read) “Cooperstown,” the first thing that comes to mind is the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in this historic New York village.

Printed Decor by Creative Interior ImageryHowever, Cooperstown is steeped in American history far beyond baseball, not the least of which is its most famous son, James Fenimore Cooper, who penned the classic America novel The Last of the Mohicans (the town is actually named after his father).

Given the rich history of the area it was entirely appropriate for the historic Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown to enrich its interior décor with reproductions of fine art housed at the Fenimore Art Museum.

The hotel, which was established in 1909, turned to Creative Interior Imagery to faithfully reproduce the fine art pieces in the guest rooms and bathrooms. Creative Interior Imagery produced a total of more than 800 framed prints ranging from 13″ x 22″ to 20″ x 32″ for the Otesaga Resort Hotel.

Creative Interior Imagery Fine Art ReproductionCreative Interior Imagery is known for its ability to take a project from conception to completion, providing end-to-end capabilities from high-end photography and scanning to printing, finishing and installation, all in a tightly-controlled, color-calibrated system.

In this case, the Fenimore Art Museum scanned the original artwork and provided Creative Interior Imagery with the files, which were printed on Sunset Velvet Rag 315g on the company’s Epson Stylus Pro 11880 and Epson Stylus Pro 9900 wide format inkjet printers.

“They wanted a premium-quality archival paper for the high-end artwork. Based on that, we used the Sunset Velvet Rag: it’s been much more consistent for us than other similar fine-art papers,” says Keith Tomkins of Creative Interior Imagery. “We use it quite a bit for high-end artwork, and we’ve been getting very consistent results with it. People like the look, texture and feel so it’s been a very good product for us.”

How Corporate Apparel and Printing Streamlined Screen Printing with Inkjet

Oberon Printing, based in River Falls, Wis., recently acquired a local screen printing shop to expand the company’s capabilities and product offerings. Adding the new division, Corporate Apparel and Printing, gives the company’s customers a full range of print and promotional products from which to choose.

LexJet Instant Dry Clear Polyester
Corporate Apparel and Printing, a division of Oberon Printing, River Falls, Wis., found a large-format inkjet solution to boost the quality of its acetates used for burning screens for screen printing with crisp renditions on LexJet Instant Dry Clear Polyester.

“When the corporate apparel business came up for sale it really fit well with everything else we do. We were missing that piece, so it helps us fill out our portfolio and provide our customers with more options, like printed apparel,” says owner Rob Payne.

The trick was to bring the screen printing process up to the level of print quality Oberon has built for its inkjet applications, which includes everything from commercial graphics to fine art and photo printing.

The answer was simple: find a better way to make film negatives and positives so that the screens created in the four-color screen-print process would burn clean and true.

“The old way of doing photo negatives and positives was using laser technology. The screens weren’t very dense and black and the exposures were low-quality, plus a lot of the emulsion would stay in the screens after we washed them out,” explains Payne. “We tried clear acetates on our Epson Stylus Pro 9900 to create color separations, but the optical sensors on the printer would not read the presence of the film.”

Carey Masera, Payne’s printing specialist at LexJet, recommended LexJet Instant Dry Clear Polyester as a possible solution.

“With the Instant Dry Clear Polyester the printer picks up the slight blue tint of the film right away; it doesn’t have any issue seeing it. The clarity of the ink deposition is just beautiful; the blacks are super dense. It’s instant-dry, so we don’t we have to worry about smudging or streaking like we would with other inkjet acetates we tried in the past,” says Payne. “The quality of our final product has improved tremendously because everything is so crisp and black. It has really impacted our process, not only in our quality, but in our speed out the door. We couldn’t be happier.”

Payne adds that they often had to print two or three acetates for one color separation and line them up to get the density needed to burn the screen. With Instant Dry Clear Polyester, Payne says they only have to print it once and it’s ready.

“Carey helped us a lot with just this product recommendation. He’s the only one who really follows up and seems interested in our business. We don’t get that level of service from other vendors, and we’ve been very happy with LexJet in general,” adds Payne.

The majority of the screen printing at Corporate Apparel and Printing is done on t-shirts, hats, jackets and other apparel, with a smattering of high-volume banner and poster printing, as well as the more industrial application of printed circuit boards.

Operation Curb Appeal with Perforated Window Graphics at Legacy Nissan

Legacy Nissan Perforated Window Vinyl

Legacy Nissan took the next step with big, bold graphics that brand, taking a successful project inside its showroom, previously profiled here at the LexJet Blog, and translating it even bigger and bolder outdoors.

LexJet Aqueous Perforated VinylThe scale and challenge of the project expanded significantly to 629 square feet of graphics on three different outside window areas adjacent to each other – 493.5″ x 103″ on the front of the showroom, 229.75″ x 103″ on the set of windows to the left of the showroom and 227.75″ x 103″ to the right.

“This was a much bigger project, and it was not simple because I don’t have a RIP program and I’m doing everything in Creative Suite to lay it out and make everything fit just right,” says Legacy Nissan’s Missy Reid. “I measured each window panel individually, then measured the panes that separate the windows to accommodate for the negative space. Getting that to match up was tough, but I work with a group that installs window tint all the time and they made it a lot easier. I only had to re-print one panel that I messed up. I allowed for a lot more spoilage than that, so it worked out really well.”

Window Graphics
Measurement guidelines Legacy Nissan’s Missy Reid created to fit the graphics just right on the largest set of showroom windows (click on the image for a larger version).

Reid used LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl (70/30) printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 9900 wide format inkjet printer. Reid says she printed every graphic panel to the exact measurements of each window panel, rather than leave overlap to eliminate any guesswork when lining them up.

Reid says Operation Curb Appeal, as she tagged it at Legacy Nissan’s blog, was a Mission Accomplished, based both on the foot traffic coming into the showroom and through the response to Legacy Nissan’s postings at its blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Showroom Window Graphics“Before we added these graphics, from the outside looking in it was a little barren. To fix that we used stock images from Nissan of an Altima, Rogue and Pathfinder and built the scene, not to make it look real and fool the eye, but to add the wow factor. We got the nice curb appeal we wanted,” says Reid. “We had some rain, which made me nervous, but it didn’t cause any problem with the graphics. Also, when we added the graphics there was some concern that it would be too dark on the inside since the windows were already tinted, but it didn’t. I expect, based on what I’ve seen so far, that the graphics should be good for six months, if not longer, before we swap them out.”

Let’s Drive: Identity and Privacy with Perforated Window Graphics

LexJet Perforated Vinyl

When Legacy Nissan in London, Ky., built its new showroom a few years back one of the primary design features was glass. Visibility is crucial for car dealers; they want people to see what they’re selling inside.

The only problem with that visibility is, well, visibility. The upstairs conference room above the showroom offers no privacy. The owner of the dealership looked into glass walls with dimmers so they could “tint” the windows for privacy on the fly, but that proved to be too cost-prohibitive.

LexJet Perforated VinylThe solution was perforated window vinyl, which allows you to see out of the windows, but not in. Plus, it offers additional branding, also crucial to car dealers who want to cement their identity, showcase a particular car, or both, at the point of sale.

Legacy Nissan’s Missy Reid turned to LexJet, and the dealership’s personal customer specialist Brian Wilson, for help with the project. Reid says she ordered the wrong type and wrong size of perforated window vinyl the first time around: it was designed for solvent printers (she has an aqueous Epson Stylus Pro 9900) and it was too wide. Wilson promptly set her up with 36″-wide (to fit her printer) LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl (70/30).

“He knows I’m very green working with this material, so he took care of me and steered me in the right direction because that can be an expensive mistake to make. Brian took the guesswork out of it for me,” says Reid. “We’re thrilled with the print quality and it’s holding up nicely. When the customer walks into the showroom, it’s front and center with the car and the logo. This printer is brand new and this was the first time I worked with the perforated vinyl. We’ve been exploring other ways we can use it and we’re finding a lot of different applications.”

The graphics were printed and applied in three different sections: the door, the logo and the image of the Nissan 370Z. The graphics were applied vertically on the door in one panel (34″ x 84 1/4″) after the hardware had been taken off, and the other windows were applied horizontally in two 36″ x 155″ panels and one 16″ x 155″ panel.

“We basically chalked it up and wallpapered it on. We have a team of people who work with window tint and decals anyway, so they’re experienced with that. They didn’t have any trouble at all; everything is aligned and it’s pretty perfect,” says Reid. “We approved the new logo in March, and the conference room canvas is helping us show it off. This is helpful because it provides an inexpensive way to achieve some high-impact wow factor, even though we’re slowly phasing it in everywhere else. It’s much more fiscally and environmentally responsible to launch a visual identity with a display like this than to throw away several thousand license plates and dealer decals.”

Perforated Vinyl on a Windshield
“Eyebrows” for the Nissan Altima printed on LexJet Perforated Vinyl (70/30) touting the Altima’s award for Best Retained Value by Edmunds.

Reid adds that she’s been using the printer for event signage, showroom windows and window stickers at the top of the windshields for what are called “eyebrows.”

“The Altima won an award from Edmunds for Best Retained Value and we put that on every Altima. Because you can see out through it, you don’t even notice it when you’re driving it, so it doesn’t hinder the test driver’s visibility,” says Reid.

Reid adds that they plan a much larger window wrap for Legacy Nissan’s used car building. “We’ll wrap that top to bottom as well because it has a lot of windows,” she says.