We Joined the Printing United Convergence!

Last month, the LexJet team joined our parent company, S-One, to host a comprehensive booth at Printing United in Dallas, with the theme Media Matters. At LexJet, we know how important it is to pair the right media substrate with the right printer for the right job — every time.

This year, SGIA partnered with NAPCO to create Printing United, which celebrated the convergence of printing segments that aren’t so segmented any more. Many printers are expanding their offerings into signage, décor, commercial and packaging.

Squid window graphic demonstration

With this industry-wide convergence going on, some print service providers are struggling with juggling too much, according to industry experts. During the Key Industry Trends and Insights Research Breakfast, SGIA’s Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi discussed pain points for companies that are affecting the bottom line, such as rising wages and benefits costs, shortage of skilled personnel, workflow inefficiencies and cost of materials.

To help PSPs make smarter material purchasing decisions, we showcased a number of innovative, versatile products available exclusively at LexJet, including:

  • Squid, the innovative new self-adhesive textile for window graphics in retail, healthcare, residential and corporate spaces.
  • HP Grip Matte Polymeric Air, a high-tack, aggressive adhesive-backed vinyl for rough surfaces and low-energy plastics.
  • Fredrix Metallic Gold Canvas, the 2019 SGIA Product of the Year – Media – Textile – Canvas, along with its Metallic Pearl counterpart.
  • Sunset SUV Fine Art Paper 210g, the new-to-market option for large-volume fine art décor printers looking for a cost-conscious option that also has on-point quality.

If you couldn’t make it to Printing United, you can still experience our booth. Please check out the video below. Our print specialists are also available at 800-453-9538 to answer any of your questions about making smarter materials purchases or focusing on the segments you specialize in.

LexJet brandUP: Wheels Up at Suncoast Jeep Festival

In the LexJet brandUP tradition, we supported a community event with wide-format printing and dye-sub transferred graphics of all types to highlight event activities and direct foot — and vehicle — traffic for the second annual Suncoast Jeep Festival at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in Sarasota, Fla. (Watch the video above to see all the activity and printed projects.)

The Festival is a gathering of Jeep lovers from all around Florida who convene for two days of fun that includes obstacle courses, relay games, kids mini-Jeep courses, a Tug-O-Jeep competition, food trucks and a vendor area with Jeep styling options to trick-out your ride.

Even though there’s a saying that Jeep stands for “Just Empty Every Pocket,” somewhere between the lift kits, bumpers, lights, winches and other modification options, these folks were digging deep to help charities, too. A major purpose for the event was supporting organizations focused on mental health, first responders, veterans and children in need.

“The Festival is a gathering of vendors and community and enthusiasts to raise money for charities,” says Billy Elkins, the Festival co-director and designer for this year’s event graphics. “We decided this year that we were going to take it up a notch across the board. We got a lot of new activities and we also wanted to step-up all of our signage and take advantage of all the stuff that’s available to us in the graphic world today.”

That stuff includes things like panoRama Walk & Wall textured self-adhesive material that marked the finish line for the Tug-O-Jeep competition; HP Print & Cut and HP Adhesive Vinyl for event decals and mini-Jeep graphics; and Fisher Textiles for outdoor flags in the Jeepers Midway.

“This was a highly branded event, and we wanted to take it to the next level, and we were able to do that with all of the graphics we had,” Elkins says.

Visit Suncoast Jeep Festival to learn more, or call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538 to learn how LexJet products can enhance your next event.

Temporary Solutions: Have Your Walls Your Way

Not all wallcoverings are the same — and that’s a good thing! While sometimes a customer may want a long-lasting wall paper, chances are they are looking for a more temporary solution for company brand messages, home décor or trendy retail spaces. Digital print technology makes customizing the visuals simple. The right media will make installation — and removal — quick and easy, too.

Printed Photo Tex used in place of tiles on this kitchen backsplash

At LexJet, we offer a wide range of wallcovering options, from glossy vinyls to satin fabric textures with just the right amount of adhesive backing to stay on the wall … til you customer changes his or her mind.

Here’s a look at several of our most popular temporary wallcovering media options:

Photo Tex – Opaque (Solvent) is a 95% opaque fabric that won’t shrink, wrinkle or rip, but it will come down from a wall without any residue left behind. The matte finish makes it a good choice for residential spaces, and it will stick to any non-porous flat surface. The detailed print quality makes creating a faux finish a breeze (see kitchen backsplash photo). It’s also available in an Aqueous version.

Avery Dennison’s MPI 2600 Series Wall Film, pictured at top, offers scuff resistance that holds up in busy areas. The films also offer a variety of textures for extra interest, like canvas, crushed stone or stucco. Create quick, customizable wall decoration with easy installation and removal.

LexJet Simple Flo Vinyl Wrap offered awesome branding for Scorch Fitness

LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl is a favorite of both printers and installers, with a glossy white finish with an ultra-conformable calendared adhesive backing for easy handling. As one customer says: “It produces great image quality and the air-egress liner makes it extremely easy to work with.  This is a great go-to product for all types of different applications.”

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric is a customer favorite not only for its ease of use when creating an accent wall or an entire room, but it’s one of our most versatile products that can be used on walls, windows, floors and even metal (like elevators). It’s been Class A, ASTM E84 Fire Rated and provides a higher ink saturation for richer colors. It’s also available for Solvent printers.

HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP used on an accent wall in an office setting

HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP is a great vinyl that’s optimized for Latex printers, and priced just right. This newer product is quickly becoming a customer favorite for its ease of use, consistent results and budget-friendly price point. “The print quality is great, profiles are set, and I don’t have head strikes or color issues as compared to my other products,” says one customer. For similar results in a matte finish, try HP Prime Matte Air GR.

To learn more about wallcovering options, both temporary and permanent, call a LexJet pro at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com/wall-murals.

Add Some Sticking Power with New HP Grip Matte Polymeric Air

Most installers and print service providers know there are just some surfaces that make the installation of vinyl graphics seemingly impossible. Now there’s a solution: HP Grip Matte Polymeric Air, the newest addition to the HP Adhesive Vinyl family.

Grip Matte Polymeric Air features a high-performance, calendered vinyl with a high-tack, clear permanent adhesive. “If you’ve had graphic-failure on low- or no-VOC paints, textured low-surface energy plastics or powder-coated paint surfaces, Grip is the perfect solution,” says Mitchell Bonine, LexJet national accounts sales specialist.

Like the Prime Gloss and Prime Matte Air GP and the Optimal Gloss Air GRP, the new Grip has an air-release liner for bubble-free application. “The Prime is definitely the most versatile of the products and Optimal is great if you are installing over rivets, but if you are having difficulty adhering graphics to certain surfaces, Grip can help you with those applications,” says Bonine.

This latest addition expands the HP Adhesive Vinyl portfolio, giving PSPs even more ways to create cost-effective, eye-popping graphics and continue to remain competitive without sacrificing quality.

For more information on HP Grip Matte Polymeric Air, contact a LexJet sales specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com

HP Adhesive Vinyl: ‘The Colors are Amazing’

About a year ago, William Roll opened a Signarama franchise in Dothan, Ala., and he’s been growing ever since. Working with an HP Latex 365, Roll and his team create vinyl signs, car wraps, box trucks, yard signs, etc. As a franchisee, Roll was given a pallet of a variety of adhesive vinyl products to kickstart his business. “Those products made things difficult,” he says. “We were redoing jobs over and over.”

Roll reached out to his LexJet sales specialist to see if he could help find a solution. That’s when he first heard about HP Prime Matte Air GP and the Matte and Gloss laminates. “We got a sample roll and did some color calibrations on it,” he says. “The colors are amazing, and it makes us look good. It’s important for a new shop to work with good products.”

The versatility of the product has also helped Roll keep his expenses down, another key to success for a new shop. “We use it for yard signs now because it’s cheaper. I can have the guys use the Graphtec and cut a square, adhere it straight to the yard sign,” he says. “You don’t have to lay it out, face tape it or anything else. It saves time and makes the project more cost-effective.”

While he has a rack full of vinyl, he narrows the selection to just a few products. “We use HP almost exclusively. I have two types of perforated vinyl and we use Avery 1105 for car wraps, but the rest is HP,” Roll says. “If it’s not backlit, we’re going to use it first.”

The wide color gamut is important to Roll and his customers, but another reason he and the team enjoy working with HP vinyl products is because they are easy to install. “We do our own installations. This stuff is the easiest stuff to lay down. It’s probably got the best air-release out of all the products we use,” he says. “The learning curve with HP is excellent.”

Roll had a project in the winter when conditions were less than ideal, and the HP products installed easily. “It was extremely cold, and our guys were on a lift 20 feet in the air. We were afraid it wasn’t going to stick because it was freezing, but we got it done,” he says. “It still looks amazing today.”

Whether creating yard signs, menu boards and food trucks or decorating his store for Christmas, Roll has discovered the versatility of the HP Adhesive Vinyl line keep his customers happy. “It doesn’t matter how cheap a product is, if your customers aren’t happy, it’s expensive. Our customers love the results when we use HP.”

For more information on HP Adhesive Vinyl products, call a LexJet sales specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

A Welcome Addition: HP Clear Gloss Cast Overlaminate

Late last year, LexJet introduced the HP Adhesive vinyl line to the industry at SGIA and the response from customers has been fantastic. Earlier this year, HP Prime Matte Air GR was added to the portfolio. It offers the same imaging quality as the Prime Matte Air GP, but with a gray removable adhesive.

Increasing variety to its overlaminate line, HP announced the addition of Clear Gloss Cast Overlaminate earlier this month. “The new cast laminate is a way for print service providers to see an increase in profitability on box trucks with rivets as well as fleet graphics,” says Tiffany Liashek, National Accounts specialist. “The new overlaminate provides significant cost savings to comparable products. As much as $200 per roll, in some cases.”

Partnering HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP with the new cast laminate, gives PSPs have a total graphics solution for around $0.92/sf. Liashek eases concerns of mixing the calendered Optimal with the cast laminate. “If the laminate is a higher quality vinyl than the printed vinyl, you can mix it. But you never want to use a calendered laminate on a cast vinyl. That’s when shrinkage and edge curl can occur,” she says.

In the past, when an installer heard “calendered vinyl,” he expected that product would be lower quality when compared with cast vinyl, but manufacturing and adhesive technology have improved. “The terms ’cast’ and ‘calendered’ should now be thought of as the way the film is made, not an indicator of quality,” Liashek says. “With calendered film now offering the same or better durability, finish and appearance as many cast films, the only remaining factor is the cost.”

Often, customers want to know which laminate is right for them. To help them choose, Liashek asks some important questions: “To make sure that I offer the right solution, I ask where the graphic will be displayed? What is the temperature like? Is there a lot of sunshine? Is it a vertical or horizontal surface application?” she says. “How they answer these questions will determine if they should consider a cast overlaminate.” The HP cast overlaminate offers protection against abrasions, heat and UV rays, and is extremely conformable. It also adds longevity to underlying graphics, with 10-year durability.

With the newest addition to the portfolio, PSPs can provide high-quality, durable results at a reasonable cost. “Any experienced installer can use calendered vinyl, and he knows when it will be more economical,” Liashek says. “That means an educated consumer can save a lot of money without sacrificing quality.”

Call a LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com to stay up to date with the latest information on additional products to the HP Adhesive Vinyl portfolio.