Printing the American Flag in all its Glory

Printing an exhibit for a museum

“It looks like the American flag exploded in this room,” says Molly Engquist, curator of exhibits for the Siouxland Heritage Museums in Sioux Falls, S.D. But that’s the point of the exhibit now on display at the Old Courthouse Museum, which is one of two museums the Siouxland Heritage Museums operates (the other is the Pettigrew Home & Museum).

Museum exhibit signs and graphicsThe backbone of the display, which is a visually-intensive fact-filled exploration of the history of the American flag, are two pop-up display booths printed on LexJet 10 Mil Opaque Display Film and finished with a 10 mil textured matte laminate.

Our department tries to make history pretty so that it’s more fun to learn. The display was so crisp and clear, even though we used a matte laminate because of the gallery lights. Everyone who’s seen it so far has been very pleased with it,” says Engquist. “We found LexJet when we were looking for the right print material to use on the pop-up booth. Erin Krcmar [Engquist’s customer specialist] has been very helpful.”

The prints were applied to the display booths with magnets in five vertical panels, three in the middle and two end caps. Lamination was done by Express Copy and Printing in Sioux Falls since Engquist doesn’t have a laminator. The fact that both the printable material and the laminate are 10 mils each helps guard against de-lamination for a more durable display.

Creating graphics for museumsThe two main pop-up booth displays are flanked by a combination of retractable banner stand graphics and framed information panels.

Durability and portability were two of the most important qualities Engquist was looking for in the print materials and hardware used for the exhibit. When the exhibit has run its course at the Old Courthouse Museum it will be sent to county libraries and smaller museums that don’t have the budget or resources to create their own exhibits.

The exhibit opened on Flag Day, appropriately enough, and is called Symbol of Freedom: The American Flag. The museum received a grant from the Daughters of the American Revolution to create the exhibit, which will make a lasting impression at the Old Courthouse Museum and throughout Minnehaha County.

Need for Speed at the Point of Sale

Printing cooler wraps for point of sale advertising

Hot off the presses, or hot off the track in this case, is the latest point-of-sale masterpiece from Tennyson Lacasio, print shop manager for Colonial Wholesale Beverage in North Dartmouth, Mass. The key to a nice-looking cooler wrap, says Lacasio, is detailed measurements before you design it.

Point of sale advertising with cooler wrapsIn this case there were minor variations in the lengths and widths of the cooler areas that would get the NASCAR graphics and Miller Lite and Coors Light branding treatments, but by and large they were relatively square and level.

Once measurements are taken, Lacasio says he creates a framework with all the elements, including obstacles like cooler door handles, in CorelDRAW. Once that’s created he sets up a new file and adds the imagery.

Lacasio printed the images on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene and laminated them with LexJet 3 Mil Matte UV Standard Low Melt (3 Mil).

“I usually go with LexJet’s gloss laminate because it really gives the images extra pop, but in this case I chose the matte finish laminate because part of the problem using the gloss laminate for indoor installations is the light reflecting off the images. I’ve been meaning to try the matte laminate anyway, and this was the perfect excuse,” says Lacasio. “It came out really nice, it’s very visible throughout the entire store and it gives it a real nice finished look to it.”

Lacasio adds that the cooler wrap dominates the store; it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. The store itself, 44 Liquors, is relatively small, but it does a lot of volume at its prime spot on Route 44 in Massachusetts.

“I was looking for a sense of movement throughout the design because of the subject matter and the fact that we want people who are buying beer to get involved in the imagery. When we installed the project we took out almost all of the competitor’s advertising and now we basically own the entire space,” says Lacasio.

Prints that Win: The Perfect Image with the Perfect Paper and Laminate

Award winning photography competition prints

Andrew Jenkins’ The Man in the Mirror has all the elements of award-winning photography: A compelling and unique design that tells a story and draws viewers into the scene, capped by Michael Timmons’ renowned printing expertise.

Timmons used Sunset Photo eSatin Paper to print The Man in the Mirror, laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Gloss UV Premium Low Melt laminate. Timmons and his wife Tina own and operate The Portrait Gallery in Vasser, Mich. The Portrait Gallery’s printing has become a mainstay of competitions across the U.S.

“Sunset Photo eSatin is our print material of choice for competitions; it’s a stronger, more durable paper and the colors, tones and hues reproduce much better than most other materials,” says Timmons. “The print is mounted to foam board and then laminated with the LexJet gloss laminate to give it more pop at competition. The high gloss laminate really adds a three-dimensional look to the image. It’s completely amazing when it’s all finished.”

Obviously, the judges at the Professional Photographers of Michigan (PPM) print competition, held in February, agreed with Timmons’ assessment. The Man in the Mirror won Portrait Best of Show, the CPP Award, the ASP State Elite Award and the LexJet Sunset Award for the best print on LexJet Sunset inkjet media.

The image was stitched together in Photoshop, then the canvas was extended and the image flipped and mirrored so that it flows throughout the horizontal presentation. The image is from a portrait shoot with a high school senior who’s “into hip-hop, so I wanted to create an image showcasing his interest,” says Jenkins, who owns Canfield Jenkins House of Photography in St. Johns, Mich.

So Jenkins shot a series of images of the subject doing a hip-hop dance move, from low to high. The resulting frames lent themselves perfectly to the digital stitching and mirroring that brought it all together.

March Semi-Madness: 25 Percent off LexJet’s Most Popular Thermal Laminates

Thermal laminates for inkjet printing point of purchase and trade show graphicsThrough the end of March, LexJet is offering 25 percent off of its most popular thermal laminates for a savings of up to $166 per roll. Here’s the roll call of thermal laminates you can get for 25 percent off by the end of the month, a.k.a., March 31

LexJet’s Standard thermal low-melt UV polyester laminates provide high clarity, increased bond strength, superior resistance to abrasion, water, oil, acid and alkali and are perfect for high-production runs on bond inkjet paper, microporous-coated inkjet paper, electrostatic and continuous tone photographic prints.

For more information about this special March-only 25 percent off promotion, application guidance and help with anything else, contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

Big Savings on LexJet’s Popular Textured Polypropylene Laminate

Big sale on laminates for trade show and point of purchase graphicsYou’ll get 20 percent off LexJet Performance Textured Polypropylene Laminate (10 Mil) when you buy before Sept. 30. The new pricing is already updated on LexJet’s website, and will go back to regular pricing on Oct. 1. Plus, when you order online you get a flat shipping rate of $9.99.

LexJet Performance Textured Polypropylene Laminate (10 Mil)

  • Economical trade-show and P.O.P. textured laminate
  • Superior clarity
  • PVC-free, non-yellowing
  • More rigid, with higher dimensional stability
  • Most durable acrylic adhesive in the industry

Click here to download a Buyer’s Guide that details LexJet’s Elite, Performance and Specialty laminates.

The offer expires on Sept. 30, 2011, so call a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 or click here to go to the product page and order now.

New Durable and Rigid PVC Free Laminate at an Economical Price Point

Choosing the right laminate for displays and trade showsLexJet brings its 17 years of experience and innovation in developing printable media and laminates for the graphics market with the addition of LexJet Performance Textured Polypropylene (10 Mil) to its line of Performance laminates. The new laminate is a 10-mil version of LexJet’s popular Performance Textured Polypropylene (5 Mil) and was developed for customers who require extra rigidity and the same proven performance as the 5-mil laminate for point of purchase displays and trade show graphics.

 “The 5-mil version of our Performance Textured Polypropylene has been a favorite of our customers since it was introduced three years ago. They love all the qualities of the laminate that, most importantly, translate to a dependable and economical product that brings repeat business,” explains Dione Metnick, LexJet’s product manager. “At the same time, many of those customers were looking for those qualities in a thicker, more rigid laminate to help meet their needs for other applications.”

Performance Textured Polypropylene (10 Mil) is priced 35 to 40 percent lower than most comparable 10-mil textured laminates on the market and does not contain any PVC resins or hazardous substances. Since it’s PVC-free, it has better overall clarity, protects against yellowing and has a higher dimensional stability so that it won’t shrink and cause the most hateful of print shop situations… The emergency do-over. It also features the most durable acrylic adhesive in the industry for unequaled bond strength between the laminate and the graphic.

“Our clients are very demanding and if they don’t like it, our policy is to re-do it, so we want to use materials that ensure we don’t have to re-do anything. We’ve had great success with LexJet materials, including the Performance Textured Polypropylene, on this and similar projects,” says Charles Fleming of Southwest Museum Services in Houston, referring to the multi-media project the company designed and fabricated for the Reagan Ranch Center.

The proprietary velvet-textured co-polymer PSA film is equivalent in price with less-expensive thermal laminates while providing greater durability, adhesion strength and image quality. The laminate is ASTM rated for use with floor graphics as well, and is resistant to and compatible with most solvent cleaning agents.

It is available and shipping from LexJet’s nationwide network of distribution centers and comes with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Available roll sizes are: 38 in. x 20 ft., 38 in. x 75 ft., 38 in. x 150 ft., 51 in. x 75 ft., and 51 in. x 150 ft.