New Lower Price for Premium Archival Matte

LexJet Premium Archival Matte has long been a favorite among artists and photographers producing everything from exhibition prints to fine art reproductions to high-end framed photos.

And now, we’re announcing a lower price point on the only true archival matte paper in its class. If you’re looking for a matte paper that, unlike other leading brands, won’t yellow and is acid-free and ph-neutral, choose LexJet’s best-selling Premium Archival Matte. It’s the same great product we’ve produced for years, now at a lower price.

We’re so sure you’ll love printing, laminating and displaying it that we’ll give you the same 30-day money-back guarantee that we offer on all of our products.

Call your LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 to learn more about new pricing for LexJet Premium Archival Matte paper.

Q&As with Mad Mike about LexJet’s Year End Sale

LexJet Year End Sale

LexJet’s Mad Mike responds to some great questions about LexJet’s Year End Sale (YES!), which ends on New Year’s Eve, aka December 31. See his responses in the videos embedded below, and make plans to stock up on a variety of products with savings of up to 70 percent.

Products on sale include fine art papers, photo papers, display films, laminates, backers, banner material, canvas, and other specialty inkjet materials for any application imaginable, including…

  • Up to 60% off solvent/low-solvent/UV-curable/latex inkjet media
  • Up to 70% off aqueous inkjet media
  • Plus, up to 80% off a range of products not included in the “official” list, which you can find when you click here and scroll down just a bit

Call a LexJet printing expert at 800-453-9538 to find the YES product that’s right for you and stock up for 2015. This sale ends December 31, and is available by phone and at lexjet.com.

The Connection between Print and Capture with Steven Katzman

This Miserable Kingdom
LexJet caught up with Steven Katzman during his presentation of This Miserable Kingdom at the State College of Florida in Bradenton. Click on each of the images in this post for the full-size version. Photos by Billy Elkins.

We recently caught up with Steven Katzman, a decorated photographer whose work could be best described as documentarian. However, there’s no one word that can describe his work, which, while straightforward, requires thought, introspection and interpretation from the viewer of his photography.

This Miserable KingdomKatzman’s most recent project, This Miserable Kingdom, is no different. The project documents the surviving members of the Pojoaque Pueblo people of Pojoaque, New Mexico. Katzman’s photography captures the essence of the Pojoaque Pueblo in 21st Century America while evoking their ancient past through their near extinction as a people.

In the short excerpt in the video embedded below from our conversation with Katzman about This Miserable Kingdom and the exhibition held at the State College of Florida in Bradenton, Jan. 31 through April 2, he discusses the importance of his relationship with LexJet during his move from analog to digital printing. Later, we’ll air the full story behind this exhibition – his thought process, the history of the Pojoaque Pueblo and how he captured the striking images – as well as his ongoing work on this project.

This Miserable KingdomIt was during this transition from analog to digital that Katzman was running into issues with inkjet printing, specifically metamerism on glossy inkjet papers. Metamerism is no longer an issue thanks to better printer and ink technology, but it was one of Katzman’s hurdles early on.

“Metamerism wasn’t a problem with matte papers, so I was always using various fine art papers, but I didn’t get the same Dmax as luster and glossy substrates,” explains Katzman. “Being born and raised in the analog environment – wet processing doing my own black-and-white printing – my primary print medium was KODAK ELITE Fine-Art Paper, a fiber-based paper that had the most silver in the industry.”

Then, as Katzman notes in the video, he found LexJet and began working with Alex Ried, who would use Katzman as a sounding board for new inkjet papers that sought to emulate what Katzman was missing from the darkroom.

This Miserable Kingdom“Time goes by and Alex came to me with some paper he wanted me to try, which would eventually become known to the market as Sunset Fibre Elite. It was nice; it resembled the paper I had used in the past. Now, almost everything I print is on Sunset Fibre Elite,” says Katzman. “The reason I use the paper is not only for the qualities it has inherently to digital output, but how closely related it is to the finest silver halide papers once widely used in the industry.”

Ultimately, Katzman looks for a paper that “doesn’t get in the way of the image,” as he puts it. Metamerism was definitely getting in the way, and he needed a medium that would bring out the tones of images – both subtle and stark – that are one of the hallmarks of his photography.

This Miserable Kingdom“Photographers will use different types of surfaces, from canvas to fine art papers, but that’s not my vision and not how I want my images to be seen. I want an edge in detail. Whenever you use a semi-gloss paper that resembles the air-dried of an analog paper you’re getting the maximum resolution off those pixels,” explains Katzman. “To use a material that would diffuse that because of some atmospheric impression you want to add upon the scene goes against how I was brought up in terms of my own influences: Ansel Adams, Group f/64, and particularly Edward Weston. That’s why I’m using this paper. The way I present the digital image is the same as the way I presented it 20 years ago, and as far as that translation, it’s seamless. I have to output it, and I have to output it on Sunset Fibre Elite.”

Though fairly dogmatic about his use of Sunset Fibre Elite to adequately portray the reality of his photography, Katzman is adamant that he’s not making a blanket statement about the right medium to use for photography in general.

This Miserable Kingdom“Not one material supports all images. I’ve used Sunset Photo Metallic on traditional images and it provided a different interpretation of what I was trying to capture. On these different elements you have subject matter, the technical aspect and the material. If the material interferes with the first two, then as a photographer, you’ve failed to bring all three together and minimized the impact of what you’re trying to say. I don’t want that articulation to be diminished by the texture of the material. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but for this photographer, I don’t want it to get in the way of the reality I’m capturing,” explains Katzman.

This Miserable KingdomFor This Miserable Kingdom Katzman was looking for that “wow factor,” with print sizes of the two dozen or so images featured in the exhibit at the State College of Florida ranging from 24″ x 36″ to 44″ x 80″. The range of print sizes maximized the range of his 44″-wide Epson Stylus Pro 9900 inkjet printer.

“All of the sudden when they see that image, they question what it is and how it was made: of course it’s a photograph, but maybe it’s not, but it can’t be a painting, because the colors are so vibrant and their point of reference is a smart phone capture, drug store prints or the family album. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell them it was a photograph,” says Katzman. “With the PhaseOne IQ180 digital back I used and the Sunset Fibre Elite at those sizes I’m gaining so much information about what I’m documenting it adds another layer of reality to those who are going to look at that particular image. That’s the layer of reality where people are confused. That hyper sense of reality is very important to me, and at the same time it’s something the viewer is unaccustomed to.”

Registration for Free Inkjet Printing Workshop in Texas Ends Friday

Wide Format Printing Workshop“It was large-format printing in a nutshell: from fine art and photography to posters to banners,” says Bill Szcepaniak, who attended the free hands-on printing workshop sponsored by Canon and LexJet held this past week in Irvine, Calif.

The next free workshop is being held next week, Tuesday, Aug. 20 to be exact, in Irving, Texas. Registration ends Friday, Aug. 16, and there’s limited space, so if you’re interested in elevating your large-format inkjet printing, boosting profits and expanding your market, call a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 and sign up by the end of the day Friday.

The workshop provides an overview of inkjet printing for a variety of fine art, sign and display and photography applications. It features a close examination of Canon’s printer technology and software, with operational and efficiency tips, followed by in-depth information on working with photo papers, fine art papers, canvas, films and vinyl, including hands-on demonstrations of various techniques.

You’ll find out what makes each inkjet material tick and how to finish, present and apply them. Moreover, expert presenters from Canon and LexJet will guide you through the most profitable, unique and saleable applications you can accomplish in your market.

For instance, you’ll learn all about canvas from start to finish: how the inkjet coating, material composition and finish impact the printed image, followed by guidelines on coating and stretching canvas, and the most profitable applications.

When you attend the workshops you’ll also receive a $50 gift certificate from LexJet, inkjet media swatchbooks, special printer and inkjet media promotions, printed samples and other giveaways. A continental breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

To sign up for the Irving, Texas workshop, and if you have any questions, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.

Invested in Art at Editions Limited

Studio EL artwork for health care environments
Studio EL provides unique original art and design services for health care, hospitality and corporate environments on a variety of materials, including alternative materials like acrylic, aluminum and sustainable bamboo.

 

When attempting to describe Joanne Chappell’s 45-year journey from art student at Indiana University to owner of an influential, enterprising and constantly evolving art publishing business based in the San Francisco area, “investment” is a word that captures the core of what made that journey a success.

Editions Limited and its affiliated companies – Studio EL and Drybrush Graphics – are the culmination of Chappell’s early investment in the art world. That initial investment in time, money and passion has paid off, not only for Chappell and the 31 team members at Editions Limited, but more importantly it has paid off by bringing original art to more people and introducing hundreds of artists to a wider audience.

Art for Hospitals by Studio ELEditions Limited began in 1969 when Chappell started a high-end art gallery in Indianapolis after organizing art shows for non-profits and teaching art for several years.

About ten years later, Chappell moved her gallery to San Francisco’s financial district. Her new location dictated to some degree the direction Editions Limited would ultimately follow.

“Because we were in the heart of the financial district we had corporate people walking in and wanting us to help them find artwork for their companies. We started looking for artwork that would meet their needs, and in doing so we shifted away from residential applications,” explains Chappell.

Editions Limited in Emeryville, California
Editions Limited operates from a spacious historic building in Emeryville, Calif. Pictured in the upper left inset from left to right are Todd Haile, Joanne Chappell (with Hugo the dog) and Meghan Faulkner.

Editions Limited eventually ended up in its present space in Emeryville, Calif., a 100-year-old brick building with high ceilings and plenty of space to house the design and printing operations.

Today, Editions Limited focuses on creating poster art for the masses. Studio EL, which was launched about seven years ago, is focused on creating custom print-on-demand (POD) art for health care, hospitality and corporate environments. Drybrush Graphics, which launched about ten years ago, provides limited edition (250 and less) signed and numbered custom reproductions to a more exclusive audience.

Essentially, Editions Limited covers the gamut, from the narrow niche served by Drybrush Graphics to the less narrow but custom niche served by Studio EL, to the wider consumer market served by the company’s poster publishing arm.

Art on Aluminum at Editions Limited
The exterior of Editions Limited’s building features banner artwork on aluminum by Stephen Donwerth.

Though Editions Limited is the flagship operation from which everything else flows, Studio EL has been the company’s fastest growing and most dynamic component. It was created to meet the demand for high-end yet economical art specifically designed for each location in which the artwork is placed.

“Studio EL is a collection of fine art archival prints that are custom tailored to each project. The sizing, substrate and finish are determined by the client while the artwork is sourced by us,” explains Chappell. “I brought in a different team for cutting-edge, trendsetting art. The Studio EL team works with an amazing amount of artists and it’s usually a collection of limited edition fine art prints or utilizing some of the art from our poster art collection.”

Even with more than six million images from which to choose, the Studio EL team will source new artists and photographers to ensure a perfect fit for their clients. Moreover, Studio EL prints to practically every medium, including fine art papers, canvas, aluminum, wood, glass, acrylics, wall coverings and even mirrors.

Print Room at Editions Limited
The print room at Editions Limited.

Though each market sector with which Studio EL works – be it health care, hospitality or corporate – has its own general style, each individual project varies considerably. Artwork for the health care market, for instance, is typically designed to take patients out of what is usually a stressful environment and transport them to soothing and exotic locales.

“In the hospitality business it’s more site specific; what coordinates with the furnishing and design of the room, plus something that ties into the geographic area. Editions Limited is a bit more of a mainstream look whereas Studio EL has a different aesthetic, possibly a bit more of a fine art feel in steyle, with subject more cutting-edge to eclectic that are perfect for site projects,” says creative director Todd Haile.

Hospitality Art by Editions Limited
For this hospitality project, Studio EL used a combination of alternative materials and LexJet Sunset Textured Fine Art Paper.

Studio EL utilizes a fleet of printers, including two Epson GS6000 low-solvent printers, three Epson 11880s and an older Epson, which is used primarily for proofing necessary in offset printing. The trick for the digital department has been to ensure quality and color calibration across the various print platforms, from offset to giclee.

“This company is over 35 years old and the business model for many years was primarily offset posters. Since the addition of giclee printing we’ve got it to the point that the calibration and profiling is dead-on. We’re so much more efficient now,” says Haile. “A lot of our customers request some of our poster images for on-demand applications. They’re used to seeing the poster interpretation of a specific image and we wanted to make sure that we’re resembling that with inkjet so we’ve worked hard to profile and calibrate everything consistently.

Hospitality Fine Art by Studio ELWhat that means practically, says Haile, is limiting the inkjet printers for those poster-to-giclee projects since inkjet allows a much wider color gamut. “The very nature of the Epson printers is that they produce color that’s much richer than what you get from offset so you end up having to limit them somewhat when you make that transition. You get this rich, almost pastel chalky texture to an aqueous inkjet print that’s luscious compared to an offset print,” he says.

The low-solvent printers are used primarily for canvas reproductions. Haile explains that printing on satin canvas with low-solvent inks negates the need for post-production coating since the ink and canvas surface bond with each other and provide more protection than output from a standard aqueous printer.

While creating an efficient and calibrated workflow has been an important contributor to the company’s success, most important has been the consistent presence of a dedicated, professional staff.

“Most of our people have been here 15 years or more. Even during the recession, we kept everyone on board. I think that’s really very important because the art consultants, for example, have very specific territories and people know them, and we’ve been intensely involved in finding art that works in a lot of different situations,” says Chappell. “That’s an area in which we’re unique. We are relentless about finding artists and artwork that fits all these different situations.”

Custom and Unique Interior Décor Creation and Printing at Kahler Photo

Lobby Decor Printed on Canvas
Custom lobby art created by Kahler Photo for the Radisson printed on LexJet Sunset Reserve Bright Matte Canvas, stretched on frames and then set in a floater frame.

 

A photographer by trade, Danny Kahler, owner of Kahler Photo in Minneapolis, has taken those skills and his signature style and applied them to various interior environments, adding printing, framing and installation to the mix.

Printing on Wood Veneer
Kahler printed on maple veneer and applied it Gator Board for a corporate boardroom.

Kahler’s first interior décor project was for a hotel. His sales pitch was to photograph site-specific images that would be used as room art at the hotel. He did the photo shoot in Omaha and the client selected their favorite images, which Kahler then printed for them.

Kahler expanded on that concept, creating and printing public space art, like lobby and conference room artwork for corporate offices, assisted living centers, schools, hospitals and so forth. Since that first big project, Kahler has concentrated on providing only custom décor printing with all the tools necessary to do it right and on time.

“We thrive on custom artwork. I like to give a client, or a designer working with a client, the option to do color abstraction or color replacement images. In this case, you’re basically taking existing colors in the image and replacing them with colors that coordinate with the interior space of a building. Rather than just converting an image to a black-and-white or sepia tone, we’re going beyond that,” explains Kahler.

Printing on Pine Veneer
This was printed on pine veneer, applied to Gator Board and mounted in a floater frame for a local art foundation.

Going beyond that for Kahler means that, in addition to printing on fine art papers, photo papers and canvas, he prints on thin sheets of various materials, like wood veneer and aluminum. For larger substrates, like plywood, acrylic, PVC and Dibond, Kahler contracts the printing to local print shops with flatbed UV-curable printers.

“With our Epson printers we can print on veneer or aluminum, apply contact adhesive on the back and then apply it to another substrate as a backer, like MDF and Gator Board,” says Kahler. “We then select mounting hardware that works well with the existing hardware in the space.  This may be standoff hardware, wire suspension or security hardware.”

Over the years, Kahler Photo has expanded from just printing to providing framing and installation services. Kahler doesn’t do all project installations, such as hotel guest room art, but installs the more unique pieces that require that extra detail.

Pine Veneer Print by Kahler Photo“Adding framing services opened up a lot of doors, because we became more of a one-stop shop; they didn’t have to hire us to do photography and printing and someone else do mounting and framing,” says Kahler.  “No project leaves the studio until we’re happy with it, even if it means that we have to re-do part of it. You put in extra hours if needed to get it right so that the client says it’s more than what they imagined; that’s what it’s all about.”

For the more typical décor printing, Kahler uses LexJet Sunset Reserve Bright Matte Canvas, LexJet Sunset Photo Semi-Matte, LexJet Premium Matte Paper and LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin Photo Paper.

“We started using LexJet papers about a year ago. I talked to Rob [Finkel, Kahler’s LexJet customer specialist] last week about incorporating LexJet fabrics into our production for particular projects,” says Kahler. “We’ve been very happy with the canvas and paper. LexJet products have helped us save money and opened up a wider selection of media, especially for hotel projects.”

Though Kahler has the production system down, he says the photography is the foundation of the business. Most of the décor work Kahler does is renditions of his or other photographers’ work that draw from the architecture and areas surrounding the space being decorated.

Maple Veneer Print by Kahler Photo“I like to explore more deeply into a theme, rather than just capturing an overall shot of a landscape. There are some beautiful landscapes out there, but I like to look deeper at what’s happening under my feet; the small things that people tend to walk by: real interesting elements of nature or architecture in a particular setting,” explains Kahler. “The abstract subject matter is what I like to capture most. Still, it’s important to get many other perspectives. This is why we use many contributing photographers.  Some clients don’t like the abstract nature of a scene and some like the overall scene, so we want to be able to give them the option of a variety of styles.”