Creating Cohesion with Fabric Banners

Fabric Banners for an Event

Tasteful, decorative and informational: three words that describe a fabric banner project completed by Dale Stokes and Lory Tubbs, graphic designers at the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, La.

The Health Sciences Center holds various events, welcoming students, faculty, administration and the public into the center through the main atrium. At this most recent event, the coordinator wanted to match the tablecloths at the various information tables and present a cohesive look.

Consulting with his LexJet customer specialist, Joshua Crissman, Stokes used LexJet Poly Select Heavy fabric, printing the banners on a Canon iPF8000S.

“We were trying to put a little color in it, and the only real option was to hang something over the first floor handrail above the ground floor of the atrium. The fabric has a real nice weight about it and hung flat and didn’t blow around too much,” explains Stokes. “Our client was super-satisfied with them, and everyone who came through the event, including faculty members and department heads, complimented the pennants and asked where they were printed.”

Toni Thibeaux of LSU Health Sciences Center created the overall concept, including the layout of the banners, what they would say and the color scheme.

Stokes also printed welcome signs with photos of students on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Polypropylene that were placed in retractable banner stands.

It was a fairly simple project, and Stokes says the fabric-printer combination worked quite well, reproducing the PMS colors from the tablecloths, ensuring a consistent and cohesive visual program for the event.

“When they found out we designed and printed them, they were surprised. They’re used to seeing our medical presentations and scientific posters, but they don’t think of us creating room décor,” adds Stokes.

Better Together: 20% off Quick-Change Banner Stand and Blockout Inkjet Fabric

Banner stands and inkjet fabricStarting today and ending on Dec. 31, save 20 percent on both the Expand M2 retractable banner stand and LexJet Poly Select Blockout Fabric when you purchase them together.

These two new products are the perfect combination for all kinds of displays, including point-of-purchase, trade show graphics, backdrop graphics, presentations, and more.

The Expand M2 retractable banner stand, which comes with a lifetime warranty, allows you to change out graphics quickly and easily without tools in less than a minute. It accommodates a 33 7/16″ width and the telescoping pole is adjustable from 63″ to 88 5/8″ high.

LexJet Poly Select Blockout Fabric is a 14-mil bright-white polyester fabric with a blockout layer that provides 100 percent opacity. Compatible with aqueous and latex inks, the fabric lays flat, minimizing edge curl and making it easy to work with in production.

The water-resistant coating provides exceptional imaging quality with a wide color gamut and higher ink saturation for rich, brilliant, eye-catching color.

This promotion is not available online, so contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 to take advantage of this limited-time offer.

Try before You Buy: Pick up Your Free Fabric Swatch Book While Supplies Last

Selecting fabrics for inkjet printing applicationsInkjet printable fabric is an excellent alternative for a variety of graphics applications – including banner stands, table drapes, point of sale, trade show, backdrops and special events – but picking one can be tricky. Each has its own feel, texture and weight, so that’s why LexJet is offering its customers free swatch books of its popular line of Poly Select fabrics while supplies last.

The swatch book includes un-printed samples of the Poly Select Aqueous and SUV (compatible with solvent, low-solvent, UV-curable and latex) lines.  Each swatch is 3″ x 4.5″ and appears in the order shown on the inside front cover of the book…

LexJet Poly Select Light: Weighs in at 155g, is 7.5 mils thick and with its tight, barely discernable weave it’s ideal for reproducing colorful, finely detailed high-end images and designs.

LexJet Poly Select Medium: Combines the tight weave of the lighter fabric with additional durability and thickness (12 mils).

LexJet Poly Select Heavy: It’s 13 mils thick, 230g and lays nice and flat so it’s easy to work with in production. Plus, it’s glare resistant for consistent viewing in any lighting situation.

LexJet Poly Select Light SUV and LexJet Poly Select Heavy SUV: The solvent/low-solvent/UV-curable/latex compatible versions have similar qualities as the aqueous versions, but are more durable for outdoor displays.

Call a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 to pick one up before we run out, and here are a few posts that show how LexJet Poly Select fabrics are being used in the field:

Short Term Promotions with Punch at Colonial Beverage

Lighting up a Room with Inkjet Printed Fabric Window Shades

Fabric Fanatics: Creative and Colorful Fabric Applications by FBIS

Achieve Exceptional Image Quality on LexJet’s Three New Fabrics

LexJet has introduced three bright-white fabrics for producing exceptional image quality on soft signage and décor projects. The fabrics are designed for use with printers that use solvent and UV-curable inks and can be used to create display graphics that are easy to pack, ship, and store.

Until July 16, get 20% of your first order of one of these exceptional fabrics. Contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538 to place your order or to request a sample book with swatches of each fabric.

LexJet Linen SUV is a mid-weight 100% cotton fabric with a classic weave that adds a hint of artful texture to printed displays. Weighing in at 205 g/m² and measuring 13 mils thick, this bright-white fabric can be used to produce non-glare signage on a surface that looks like a fine linen.

LexJet Linen SUV is ideal for dozens of applications including table skirts, POP displays, store signage, décor, curtains, and backdrops. LexJet Linen SUV is available in 36- and 54-in. roll widths.

LexJet Poly Select SUV is a heavy, wrinkle-resistant, 100% polyester fabric with a uniformly tight weave that adds a visually pleasing, glare-reducing texture to indoor or outdoor graphics. Weighing 255 g/m² and measuring 13 mils thick, this bright-white fabric produces brilliant colors and provides the lay-flat properties required for use in banner stands and many other forms of trade-show graphics, store signage, and POP displays.

This fabric is ideal for murals, window displays and banners. LexJet Poly Select is available in 36-, 54-, and 64-in. roll widths.

LexJet Poly-Light FR SUV is an elegant, lightweight, fire-retardant polyester with a very tight, barely discernible weave. Measuring 6 mils thick and weighing 130 g/m², it combines a nice, silky feel with the smooth, bright-white surface needed to reproduce colorful, finely detailed images and designs. It drapes beautifully and meets the flame-resistance standards that many building codes require for fabrics used in public spaces.

LexJet Poly-Light FR SUV can be used for table skirts, backdrops, backlit displays, POP displays, store signage, trade-show graphics, and banner stands. LexJet Poly-Light FR SUV is available in 36-, 54-, and 64-in. roll widths.

Kem McNair Creates Custom Surfboards as Wall Art

A well-crafted surfboard is a work of art—especially when it’s embellished with images that evoke the awesome power and beauty of nature that surfers experience while riding the waves.  That’s why surfer/artist/photographer/musician Kem McNair of New Smyrna Beach FL came up with the idea of creating limited-edition Surf Artboards. Each Artboard incorporates a giclée reproduction of one of McNair’s surf paintings and is custom-manufactured by McNair himself. The boards can be ordered through Kem McNair’s website ( along with limited-edition canvas prints and posters of some of the thousands of paintings, illustrations, and photographs McNair has created over the past 40 years.

Kem McNair combines his surfboard-manufacturing experience and art talents to reproduce his paintings on wall-art replicas of longboards. Shown here: Shane Smith helps with some of the fiberglass work.

Kem McNair started surfing when he was a child, and is so passionate about the sport and the surfing culture that he has built his career around it.  He has won regional and East Coast championships, surfed and photographed waves in exotic locations all over the world, and worked in a surfboard manufacturing studio.

Since he began painting surfboards in the mid-60s, he has airbrushed and hand-painted over 10,000 surfboards and created thousands of surfing-related T-shirt designs and illustrations.  Recently, some of his watercolor and oil paintings were accepted for inclusion in a regional juried art show. Plus, he shoots photographs of local surfers—primarily in the inlet where he continues to surf as often as possible.

The first Surf Artboards McNair produced were hand-painted, 42-in. miniature surfboards that were time-consuming and expensive to produce. But thanks to the wide-format Epson Stylus Pro 7600 inkjet printer he uses and the 3P Universal Light inkjet-receptive polyester fabric that he purchased from LexJet, McNair has discovered that he can scale up the size of each Surf Artboard while keeping the selling price affordable enough for many surfing enthusiasts. Now, he can make the Artboards in whatever size a client might want.

For a client in Colorado, he recently custom-made a longboard decorated with a reproduction of his “Rainbow Tube” painting. At 6 ft., 6 in. long, the Surf Artboard is 2/3 the size of a real longboard and packs a more powerful visual punch than the 42-in. miniature surfboards.

“What made the whole thing work was the fabric I bought from LexJet,” says McNair.  Not only was the fabric more durable than some of the inkjet art and rice papers he had previously tried with his ArtBoards, but “The colors were insanely great!” On the 3P inkjet fabric, the colors didn’t look muted or subdued as they had on some of the inkjet papers that McNair had tried. 

Plus, the polyester material held together nicely when the resins were squeegeed on top of the print. Nor did the inks on the 3P fabric run as they had on some of the art papers.  Even when the print is encapsulated in resin, which is then laminated with fiberglas, sanded and polished, the 3P Universal Light fabric still displays a subtle bit of tooth that makes the finished art look more like a painting than a print. McNair signs and numbers each print before coating it with the clear resin. 

This 78 in. board, which features an encapsulated, signed and numbered reproduction of one of McNair’s paintings, now decorates one of the office walls of surfing enthusiast in Colorado. “It looks like a fine piece of furniture,” says McNair. “It’s highly glossed and polished, like we used to produce boards in the old days.” (

Custom-imaged ArtBoards are just one example of the type of innovative, custom products that you can create with some of the dozens of different inkjet-printable materials available from LexJet. If you have an idea for a new product you might like to create with your inkjet printer, call a LexJet account specialist at 800-953-9538.

“Tell us what you have in mind, and we can recommend some options for getting the job done—including some inkjet-printable materials you might not have considered,” says LexJet account specialist Katie Rizi, who recommended using the 3P Universal Light fabric for Kem’s ArtBoard project.

You can read more about the steps used to create surfboard art in the next issues of LexJet’s Expand and In Focus newsletters. See more of McNair’s artwork by visiting his online gallery at

When you visit Kem McNair’s website, be sure to check out his famous “shark jumping the waves” photograph that went viral online and was featured on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, Inside Edition, and many other media outlets. Some skeptical bloggers speculated that the shark-jumping image was a clever bit of Photoshop trickery. But McNair insists he just happened to be taking action shots of some surfers when he captured a natural phenomenon that he and his fellow surfers at New Smyrna Beach see more often than they might like.

Designing Trade-Show Displays with Your Images

When you exhibit in a basic 10 x 10 ft. booth at a trade show, you only have about 3 to 5 seconds to grab the attention of each attendee strolling the aisles. That’s why it’s better to use a big, eye-catching visual in your booth graphics than multiple lines of small text.

Because trade-show graphics rely so heavily on high-res, high-quality visuals, they can represent a real opportunity for professional photographers who know how to print big.   

Photographer Clark Marten created these multi-panel and single-panel displays with LexJet’s I-Banner Spring Back Banner Stands and Water-Resistant Satin Cloth (

If you already have a wide-format printer in your studio, we can teach you how to use it with LexJet materials and portable banner stands to create free-standing displays for bridal fairs, sports events, seminars, and other gatherings. You can also produce ready-to-go displays and sell them to business clients who hire you to shoot their product images or to seniors, athletes, or executives who want attention-getting ways to display their portraits.  

LexJet knows a lot about trade-show graphics because that’s how we got our start. In 1994, LexJet started selling new combinations of materials that could help exhibit producers fabricate more durable inkjet-printed trade-show graphics and exhibits. We continue to sell dozens of different materials and display systems for producing multiple types and sizes of graphics for trade shows, stores, museums, and events.

Whether you want a low-cost portable system for occasional use or a display rugged enough to endure a multi-stop event tour, we can help you choose the most cost-effective combination of print materials and display systems.

As for designing the graphics themselves, check out this great article entitled 10 Small-Booth Graphic Mistakes on Exhibitor Online.

The article starts out by emphasizing that the graphics “must clearly communicate who you are, what you’re selling, and what benefits your company’s product or services can offer.” Then, the article’s author Linda Armstrong explains how to avoid the 10 most common mistakes people make when creating graphics for 10 x 10 ft. booths. Here are the most common mistakes: 

  • Too Many Words
  • The Wrong Words
  • Competing Colors
  • Artsy Fonts
  • Tiny Type
  • Text Below Eye Level
  • Too Many Images
  • Poor Image Quality
  • Bad Lighting
  • Nicks and Dings (Damaged Graphics)
Fine Balance Imaging Studios displays banners stands both in their studio (above) and trade-show booth (below). (

Exhibit designers quoted in the article recommend using one large main image to fill the display instead of a smattering of small images. And, they say the graphic will be more eye-catching if the image is cropped to eliminate distracting details. 

The experts also advise graphic buyers not to use low-quality images that don’t have sufficient resolution to be enlarged without becoming blurry or grainy.

Many LexJet customers who are converting their images into displays like using  Water-Resistant Satin Cloth with an economical I-Banner spring-back banner stand. The fabric graphics are lightweight, don’t require lamination, and can easily be shipped and stored.  But LexJet offers dozens of options, including a retractable banner stand made of environmentally friendly bamboo and tabletop systems for set-up at smaller shows.

So call a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538 whenever you’re ready to get started. We’ll be happy to tell you more about how to convert your images into attractive, portable displays.