What They’re Saying: “The HP Films are Good Quality and They Look Great”

Over 30 years ago, Tony Evans saw his childhood dream come true when he opened Evans Graphics in Monessen, Pa. “I lettered my first fire truck in 1985, and I started my business four years later,” he says. “Ever since I was a little boy, it was my dream to work with fire trucks, and I would say that now, around 80% of my work is on emergency vehicles.”

Throughout the years, Evans has changed the way he creates the graphics for his clients. He’s always wanted a printer, but he wasn’t spending enough outsourcing his printing to make it worth it. When he realized he was paying as much as $1,000 a month to have another shop print his graphics, he purchased an HP Latex 115.

“I wanted to give my customers prints that mimicked gold-leaf lettering, but I couldn’t do it without a printer,” he says. “Having a printer in-house saves my customers money, saves me from outsourcing, and it allows me to be more creative with what I can do.”

Once he got the printer installed, Evans knew he would need some material for commercial jobs and non-reflective products. Although he’d never purchased from LexJet before, he reached out to sales specialist Trey Kelly who was happy to talk to him about the HP Adhesive Vinyl line.

“I print with a lot of reflective material for the emergency vehicles and I use the HP Clear Gloss Cast Overlaminate,” he says. “The cast laminate is unbelievably awesome! It has a nice high gloss, with no silvering, and it cuts beautifully. It enhances the characteristics of the reflective vinyl and makes it a little easier to handle.”

Reflective Vinyl with HP Gloss Polymeric Overlaminate

Sometimes, certain jobs will call for a little thicker laminate and that’s when Evans chooses HP Gloss Polymeric Overlaminate. “Some trucks have roll-up doors and I have to trim between every slat and for those jobs, because the Polymeric is a little thicker, it makes it easier to use,” he says. “These are flat surfaces, so it works great.”

When he’s not working with reflective vinyl, Evans uses HP Prime Gloss CP and HP Prime Gloss Air GP for various projects like signs and stickers. “I used the Prime Gloss GP last year on a cargo van and I see that van around town all the time and it still looks great,” he says. “The CP, which doesn’t have the air channels, I use for labels. Since they get cut and handled by multiple people, I don’t want the air channels to possibly cause the label or sticker to separate from the backing.”

However, it was his recent experience with the HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP that really got him fired up. Combining the conformable Optimal with the cast laminate, Evans set out to install a ‘supergraphic’ on the side of a minivan for a local pest control company. “I wasn’t sure if the Optimal would conform well because it’s not a cast film. Wow! It was great,” he says.

Panel vans have recessed areas where rear windows would be in passenger vans, and Evans thought those recesses may require the use of the heat gun to soften the vinyl during installation. As it turns out, he didn’t need to warm it up. “Everything went on without a heat gun,” he says. “The entire application, including the gas filler door. I mean, the van looks like it came that way.”

HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP with HP Clear Gloss Cast Overlaminate

It’s not just the ease of installation that Evans loves about the vinyl. Because he’s working with the HP printer and inks, HP adhesive vinyl, and the HP laminates, he’s using quality products and getting quality results. “It prints beautifully, it cuts and weeds easily,” he says. “The HP films are good quality, they take the ink well, and they look great.”

Adding the printer last year has not only allowed him to expand his customer service and his creativity, but it also has kept him busy, especially as things started to slow down earlier this year. “With the work that I do, primarily emergency vehicles, I’m staying busy through COVID. Having the printer made me essential. I’m busier and more profitable than I’ve ever been,” he says.

If you are interested in learning more about the HP latex printers or HP Adhesive Vinyl, contact a sales specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

LexJet brandUP: Supporting Ringling College Students’ VR Game at SXSW

South by Southwest, or as it’s more commonly known, SXSW, is a convergence of creatives across the interactive, film and music industries held annually in Austin, Texas. Marketers exhibit brand roll-outs and new products and applications to attendees.

One brand activation at the 2019 festival featured a group of talented students from Ringling College of Art + Design. About 35 students, studying graphic design, game art, illustration, motion design and business of art and design, launched “Wet Dog Corp.” a futuristic, arcade-style virtual reality game that takes the player through various levels where dirty dogs on conveyor belts are waiting to be cleaned.

“Wet Dog is a zany, fun VR dog washing game that some of our Game Art seniors made in collaboration with Flight School. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to debut the game at SXSW at their Gaming Expo,” says Jamie DeRuyther, a Game Art and Virtual Reality Development faculty member at Ringling College. “It really kind of blossomed into this really, really amazing marketing campaign.”

To attract people to the VR game, the Ringling team wanted to personalize and brand as many eye-catching items as they could. From water bottles to banners to vehicle decals, the Wet Dog logo was everywhere. “It’s real-world stuff with real clients in a real product in real time,” says Jeff Schwartz, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Tallie Malka, majoring in business art and design with an emphasis on marketing, stresses the importance of brand identity. “Branding this company [Wet Dog Corp.] and promoting what we’re doing is what I want to do for a career,” Malka says. “Every touch-point that these people have, they know our brand. That’s why we have branded water bottles, branded everything.”

The students of Ringling and the professionals at LexJet joined together in a collaborative effort to design the graphics, choose the right media, and print the images needed for the project.

LexJet provided the media and offered tips to create many of the large-format printed assets for the experience including banners, displays, vehicle graphics, target boards and water bottles. Here’s a peek into how the students brought Wet Dog Corp. to life:

  • Because the team set up outside, they chose HEYtex Mesh for the eye-popping graphics printed on 60/40 pattern, providing see-through visibility.
  • Easy-to-read graphics printed with LexJet Production Display Film SUV were displayed with banner stands and strategically placed throughout the booth, providing directions and hints to gamers. This durable film was selected because of its excellent image quality and water-resistance.
  • Vehicle branding is one of the easiest, but most important marketing opportunities. The Wet Dog team rented a van for the event and created temporary door and hood graphics using HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP. This calendared vinyl offers a gray, repositionable adhesive and is perfect for fleet and flat-paneled vehicle graphics.
  • In addition to the VR game, a carnival-style game was created with images of dogs printed on HP Prime Gloss Air GP and then installed on backboards. The calendared vinyl with a gray, permanent adhesive is a print service provider’s best asset. This versatile product can be used for indoor and outdoor signage, menu boards, stickers and decals, and many other applications.
  • Using the HP Latex 335 Print and Cut, labels were printed on HP Prime Gloss CP allowing the students to personally brand the water bottles in the booth, on demand. The calendared vinyl with clear adhesive is perfect for stickers, decals and other graphics on clear or light-colored substrates.

The Wet Dog Corp. experience garnered over 900 visitors in a single day. To see more about this successful brand activation as well as see the products in action, click on the video above.

If you are interested in these or other products from LexJet, give us a call at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com, today.

For Wall Graphics, HP Adhesive Vinyl Saves Money & Improves Results

Tyler Birch of Atchley Graphics in Columbus, Ohio, was browsing the LexJet website looking for an alternative to his current vinyl and laminate solution that would still be compatible with his Latex 360 and 570 printers. That’s when he found the HP Prime Gloss Air GP.

“I called Dave [Grotkiewicz], my LexJet sales representative who is very knowledgeable and helpful, especially with new products. We discussed the product and he sent me a roll to try,” Birch says.

With a mission to provide quality and value to his customers, Birch is selective about the products he uses. “It’s about peace of mind and long-term value,” he says. “You don’t want someone coming back in two years because their graphic failed or they had a bad experience. It comes down to the materials that you use, and the people who are printing, laminating and installing.”

Birch looked at what he was paying for his current materials and realized he could save as much as $100 when buying a roll of each vinyl and laminate. Because it’s not just about saving money, he needed to see how well the product would image. “The print quality is great, profiles are set, and I don’t have head strikes or color issues as compared to my other products.”

Birch wears multiple hats at Atchley — “As a press operator, I knew the product was doing its job, just like Dave told me it would,” he says.

He also finishes projects, which includes laminating graphics or working with print & cut. “The Prime laminated great with the HP Polymeric Overlaminates and the print and cut capabilities are also excellent,” he says. “The adhesive is a little different. It’s a bit harder, which means you won’t see gray adhesive poking out of the edges of a cut application.”

Not only has the new HP Adhesive Vinyl line helped Birch improve his output, but it also helps ensure his customers are benefiting from the increase in image quality and the decrease in cost. “HP Prime Air really helps us provide value to our customers and at a price point that makes us competitive, which is great since we are a small shop,” he says.

With many more projects lined up, Birch is excited to try other products as well, including HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP – a high-performance product that offers a gray repositionable adhesive – and the new Prime Matte Air GR, which offers a gray removable adhesive.

To learn more about the HP Adhesive Vinyl products, visit LexJet.com or call one of our sales specialists at 800-453-9538 to find out which solution is right for your next project.

HP Adhesive Vinyl Case Studies: ‘The Easiest I’ve Ever Used’

Shannon Norwood of Fullmoon Graphics in Athens, Tenn., has been making graphics for race cars for more than 22 years. Recently, his LexJet sales representative, Dave Mayer, told him about the new HP Adhesive Vinyl products. “At first, I was hesitant to switch,” Norwood says. “I’d never had any complaints, but nobody ever said anything about the other stuff I’ve used.”

That’s not the case anymore. “I have one driver who usually installs his own graphics,” he says. “After I switched to the HP vinyl, he called me and wanted to know what material I’d used to print his images. I was initially worried. Usually, nobody asks. I asked him why and I knew I’d get a straight answer from him because he’s very blunt. He said ‘I love it! It went on so easy, it almost falls on. It’s the easiest I’ve ever used.’ I was glad to hear it.”

Norwood orders 2-3 rolls a week, using the HP Prime Gloss Air GP with both the HP Gloss and Matte Polymeric Overlaminates, depending upon his customers’ requests. “I used the matte finish for a rust effect on a car and the finish was perfect. After all, you don’t want glossy rust. Some matte finishes are too coarse and when you take pictures at night, there’s a glare.”

Norwood created a faux rust look using HP Matte Polymeric Overlaminate

While he has been getting positive feedback from his customers who install their own work, it’s the person who is doing the printing who is the hardest to please: himself. “It prints much brighter than my last vinyl. My colors seem to pop better. Also, the images don’t have the mottled look,” he says. “My ink goes on real heavy and on other products, it would look like it was puddling. When I print with this on my 64-in Mutoh, the image is completely smooth, no mottling.”

With drivers all over the country, from Blue Ridge, Ga., to Arizona, to Mississippi, Norwood says that all of them tell him the product is a dream to install. “Nearly everyone tells me it almost installs itself, it’s so easy. All of my guys have worked with products from 3M and other brands.”

If you are working with adhesive vinyl and laminates and would like to learn more about the benefits of the HP Vinyl portfolio, call us today at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Timothy Mitchell: HP Adhesive Vinyl Is ‘Top of the List’ for Print & Cut

HP Latex Application Specialist Timothy Mitchell was on the hunt for an affordable, easy-to-use and reliable adhesive vinyl for use in the HP Latex Print and Cut system, and says he’s found the ideal product with HP Prime Gloss Air GP Adhesive Vinyl, available at LexJet.

Mitchell was looking for a vinyl for decals, stickers and other indoor applications, and says, “From what I’ve seen, it prints beautifully on the 500 series; printing beautifully on this 315 for my Print and Cut,” he says. “Nicely done. Recommended – it’s certainly something you would put at the top of the list for the Print and Cut application.”

In the video review above, Mitchell discusses how well the product works with the HP Latex pinch rollers at a variety of speeds and temperatures.

“This runs at the maximum temperature with no trouble from pinch rollers … no issues,” Mitchell says. “Even at maximum temperatures, this is a highly compatible material [for HP Latex]. I can run it at slower and faster speeds and put more ink on it … so my quality range is all the way across the board, and I like that.”

HP Prime Gloss Air GP is one of six products in the new HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminates portfolio.

“This is a nice product, and it prints great,” Mitchell says. “There are a lot of selections within the new Prime category that’s just been released.”

To learn more about the HP Latex Print and Cut system, watch the video below:

HP Adhesive Vinyl Case Studies: ‘The Best We’ve Ever Used’

Last month, the launch of the new HP Adhesive Vinyl products had everyone talking at SGIA. By the sound of it, they’re still talking! For the print service providers who work with calendared vinyl every day, the new line has proven to be an easy and profitable alternative to other major brands.

Whether applying to rigid substrates, wall graphics, outdoor signs or die-cutting for stickers, LexJet’s customers are excited about a versatile product that reproduces images well, is easy to install and is cost-effective:

Sara Smith with Goodyear, Ariz., based Needle Supply Printing, recently purchased the HP Prime Gloss CP to print custom stickers. “The print was very fluid and made the colors pop,” she says. “There is very little deviation from the colors printed to the proof PDFs and the cuts are nice and crisp.” When compared to working with other brands available, she says, “the colors are truer than with my previous material and the gloss is more vibrant.”

William Roll of Signarama in Dothan, Ala., used the HP Prime Matte Air GP, laminated with the HP Matte Polymeric Overlaminate to create outdoor signage. For Roll and his team, the HP products are preferred over other options that are in the print shop. “My guys love the HP,” he says. “They grab it for every application they can use it on, and they tell me that the air-release component is the best they’ve ever used.”

Tyler Birch of Atchley Signs & Graphics in Columbus, Ohio, used HP Prime Gloss Air GP for an indoor application at a local gym. “We did an install onto a gym wall mat and it went on without a hitch! The rigidity of the material and the strength of the backer lead to a smooth installation,” Birch says.

Rounding out the first wave of customer reviews is Mason Ross of AlphaGraphics in Rexburg, Idaho. To create an in-house wall graphic, pictured at top, Ross chose the HP Prime Gloss Air GP and the Polymeric Matte Overlaminate to create a wall mural that was full of detailed text, spot-on colors, and multiple image depths. “The printing quality is just as good, if not better than other products I’ve used,” he says. “Since (LexJet sales specialist) Vince told me about the new HP products, I’ve switched completely from other brands.”

Due to the enormity of the project, with the various relief aspects, Ross estimated the whole install took about six hours; however, he said, “the vinyl installed very smooth and then when it came time to put the vinyl on the wall, that took the least amount of time for the whole project.”

These examples showcase the versatility of the new product line, giving PSPs the ability to condense the number of items kept on hand, freeing up space and reducing costs. If you are interested in trying one of the new HP Adhesive Vinyls, contact your LexJet sales representative at 800-453-9538 or visit us online at LexJet.com.