Good, Profitable Business: Custom Inkjet Wall Murals for Home Décor

Printing custom wallpaper for home and office decor

“It’s good, profitable business,” says Bill Barley, owner of Bill Barley & Associates, Lexington, S.C. That “good, profitable business” to which Barley refers is custom wall murals printed on a variety of materials for home and office décor.

In the project pictured here, Barley chose to print this original mural by David Hedges to LexJet TOUGHcoat 3R DuPont Tyvek. Barley discussed using an adhesive-backed product, like Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric, with the client, but the client was more comfortable using professional wallpaper hangers to apply the Tyvek.

“The job went really well. The LexJet Tyvek material is dimensionally stable. When you wet the back of it and put the paste on it, it doesn’t swell like a lot of wallpaper products do. The wallpaper professionals told me that they’ve had problems with similar murals on conventional wallpaper material swelling, which makes it very difficult to match up the panels,” says Barley.

The artwork was commissioned specifically for this project. Barley planned for Hedges to paint the initial artwork at one-third the size of the final mural.  Barley digitized it and Hedges finished the details using Adobe Illustrator.

The images were brought up to full size with Genuine Fractals and then cropped in Photoshop. “I did the cuts full size in Photoshop so I could get pixel-to-pixel matching with no overlap on the final panels,” says Barley.

The panels – four 34″ x 6′ vertical panels for the bar mural, one 3′ x 5′ panel for the car/theater image and three 36″ x 10′ panels that would comprise the top border – were printed through the ImagePrint RIP on Barley’s Epson Stylus Pro 9880.

“As far as the material printed, it was excellent. The material holds color well with good color matching. I printed out a sample and checked the color balance on it and then printed the job. I didn’t have to re-print anything,” says Barley. “It’s a permanent installation in an upscale home, which is one of the reasons they wanted to hang it like wallpaper. There will be cabinetry and a marble counter built around it to finish it off.”

More than 100 Educational Videos Now at LexJet’s YouTube Channel

YouTube educational videos for wide format inkjet printingLexJet’s YouTube channel has been the go-to destination for professionals in the wide format inkjet printing industry, photographers who print in-house, fine art reproduction companies and others involved in inkjet printing with new educational and how-to videos covering a wide range of topics – from printer setup and workflow to demonstrations of new products – at

LexJet’s YouTube channel currently hosts more than 130 videos divided into nine featured playlists: Canon iPF Printers and Workflow, Epson Stylus Pro Printers and Workflow, HP Printers and Workflow, Education, Product Demonstrations, Onyx RIP, Display Hardware, Infinium and Around LexJet.

“Most of LexJet’s videos are produced based on customer requests for help with troubleshooting various print processes, from developing and preparing a wide format job in the software to finishing the graphic once it’s printed,” explains Sean McGettigan, LexJet’s video production director. “Though our customer specialists are here to provide free and unlimited product and technical support, the videos are an excellent supplement to our services.”

The Printer and Workflow playlists for Canon, Epson and HP include printer setup videos, how-to videos for printing through various applications (like Photoshop, Illustrator and PDFs), troubleshooting and demonstrations of various printer functions, like properly loading media and ink.

The Education, Product Demonstration and Display Hardware playlists include how-to videos on a number of subjects, like how to coat canvas, how to use Sunset Stretcher Bars for canvas wraps and step-by-step banner stand assembly.

The Onyx RIP playlist shows users how to use the Onyx RIP to maximize efficiency and color output in the wide-format printing process. The Infinium playlist shows how the industry’s first transportable and conformable print material can be applied to a range of substrates, from leather to wood, and the Around LexJet playlist gives an inside view of LexJet’s unique culture at its offices in Sarasota.

According to McGettigan, viewership at LexJet’s YouTube channel increased by more than 1,000 percent in 2011 over the previous year, and plans are in progress to continue this growth curve by introducing five to ten new videos per month in 2012.

For more information and to stay updated on the latest technologies and products for wide format inkjet printing and how to use them, go to

Warning! Look Before Leaping with Lion

Compatibility issues with Mac Lion OS 10.7The warnings are rolling in from various graphics software developers about incompatibilities with the new Mac operating system, Lion 10.7. As with any new OS release there are legions of detractors and supporters. Either way, it really doesn’t matter, because it’s the new OS and eventually the din of software punditry will die down as Mac users migrate to Lion 10.7.

However, if you’re making the leap you’ll need to check in with your software vendors to find out what the compatibility issues are at this point. For instance, ColorByte, developers of the ImagePrint RIP used primarily for photographic and fine art printing, released a statement that Versions 8 and older of the software are not compatible. A new version, 9 to be exact, is expected to be released next month and will be compatible with Lion. If you purchased Version 8 after April 15 the upgrade to the Lion-compatible version will be free.

Software compatibility issues with Mac Lion OS 10.7Large-format production RIPS – like ONYX and Wasatch – are immune since they only run on a PC. However, if you have a large-format production RIP on a Mac, expect issues and even complete incompatibility. Once again, check with your software vendor for specifics.

If you’re printing through the printer driver, make sure to touch base with the manufacturer of your printer. Canon for instance, has a list of updated driver releases for its line of large-format printers, which you can find here. For Epson, click here, and for HP, click here.

Adobe has issued a list of compatibility issues for its suite of products, including Acrobat, Illustrator, Lightroom and Photoshop. Click here for the full list of issues.

If you run into any problems, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538, and they’ll run down the issue and find an answer for you as quickly as possible.

How to Print from a PDF with an Epson Stylus Pro Printer

The workflow for printing a PDF from Adobe Reader with an Epson Stylus Pro printer is a little bit different than the typical workflow used in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Unlike printing from either Photoshop or Illustrator, printing directly from a PDF does not allow you to use an ICC profile with an Epson printer.

How to print from a PDF to an Epson printerWithin the Epson driver you can only select a media type, so you have to select one that’s closest to the media you’re printing to. For example, if you’re printing to Sunset Photo eSatin Paper you would want to select Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper (260) in the driver. If you’re at all confused about which media type to select, you can always consult with your LexJet customer specialist (800-453-9538).

In the videos below you will learn the workflow for printing directly from a PDF to an Epson Stylus Pro Printer using a Mac or a PC, in that order: