MadMen Creative Gets Crafty with Latex Printing

Lafayette, Ind.-based MadMen Creative was the first print service provider in Indiana to operate latex printing technology. “We started with the L25500, then moved to the L26500 and now we have a Latex 365,” says production manager, Javin Rusco.

Working with each incarnation of latex printer has given Rusco the ability to experiment with different types of media that are not typically considered “printable.”

“I’ve worked with an etched glass non-printable product that, because it’s meant to be used as cut vinyl, works well with HP latex print and cut,” he says.

With 25 years of printing experience, Rusco understands that some products will take more effort to create a printable surface.

Rusco wanted to try something new for a car wrap, so he chose a metallic gold cut vinyl and printed black graphics onto the gold, leaving the final image with gold highlights.

“I used a non-printable wrap vinyl, but I had to really clean it,” he says. “I used a 90% isopropyl alcohol solution to remove the surface contaminates to print on it, but it worked. Since latex ink isn’t 100% opaque, there was an ‘under glow’ to the [printed] image when the sun hit it.”

While his techniques aren’t for the everyday, faint-of-heart print operator, Rusco and the MadMen team pride themselves in developing out-of-the-box creative solutions for their customer requests.

“We’ve done a lot of this kind of work for customers and often, they’ve never even heard of printing on etched glass or gold vinyl, until we recommend it to them,” he says.

Printing on cut media with latex is an experimental process since there are no set profiles or settings. As with any new media, LexJet recommends reaching out to the manufacturer for optimal print conditions, or chat with a LexJet pro for guidance. Call us at 800-453-9538 to learn how to expand your latex printing capabilities.

Soft Signage Options for All Printer Technologies

Recent reports show that the demand for soft signage has seen double-digit growth in the last few years. That means you need options to create fabric banners, signs and exhibit graphics that work with the equipment and printer technology you own.

And while some fabrics may cost more for, say, trade show booth graphics, the upsell to your customer is that they can use fabric graphics more than once, and they’re less expensive to ship and stand up to traveling better than heavier, easily damaged options.

Let your customers know that the higher cost buys them easier installations that are foldable, reusable and even wrinkle resistant. Plus, they look more high-end and will drape more elegantly than vinyls or films they’ve used in the past.

So, in effort to make soft signage and printable fabrics more accessible to you, we’ve collected a list of products, based on printer type and application to streamline your search:

Latex

EnduraFab Textiles

Fabric solutions for Latex printers have hit the market in recent years, including the EnduraFab line of products, which are finished with a proprietary coating made specifically to work with Latex inks, while providing durability and a soft hand to the fabric. EnduraFab Stretch is a great option for SEG frames (or sew-less frames like SignComp). Check out this video review from HP’s Timothy Mitchell on how EnduraFab performs on Latex. For hanging banners and other indoor soft signage, try HP Light Fabric, for brilliant prints that stand up to creasing and wrinkling — now available at a reduced price.

Aqueous

LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth

You don’t need dye-sub to create great-looking fabric signage. You can get it done with an aqueous printer and the right printable textiles. For everything from banners to backlits to signage, LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth is a lightweight option that is finished with a coating that will hold high levels of ink saturation and maintaining its water resistance. One of our customers says: “The cloth is very durable! The fabric holds the colors well, and can easily be folded to fit into convenient packaging for transport. Any creases or wrinkles can be quickly reduced with a light ironing upon arrival.” For a slightly heavier, versatile fabric, consider LexJet FlexTek 170g, an aqueous-compatible, budget-beating option that can be finished with either grommets or sewing, and works indoors our out. It also works well as an alternative to canvas, and wraps easily on stretcher bars.

Solvent/Eco-Solvent

We’ve got the versatile LexJet FlexTek SUV 200g in a solvent-compatible version, as well. Great for outdoor projects, and a cost-friendly option for banners and gallery wraps. For a lighter-weight option for backlit displays or trade show graphics, check out LexJet Poly Select Light SUV. The tight weave and satin finish give it an elegant finish that looks great in retail spaces or even for décor items.

Dye-Sublimation

Teardrop flags.

Tried-and-true printed fabric results are traditionally achieved with dye-sub, and now we offer Fisher Textiles in wide-format widths. We’ve got a full portfolio of Fisher Textiles to choose from for a variety of projects, but we wanted to highlight 4019 Nirvana BOB for its award-winning soft knit fabric that’s coated with a black backing, so you get the lightweight fabric with excellent opacity and flame resistance certification. If you’ve got requests for the popular teardrop flags, there’s no better option than Fisher Textiles 1701 Primary Flag.

For even more fabric ideas that match your printer technology, call a LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 and grow your soft signage business, too!

Go Latex and Print Earth-Friendly

While opting for latex print technology is a great choice to add versatility and more market opportunities to your business, it can also open up another highly effective selling point: Environmentally friendly print options. Here are four products that are specifically made for latex (or latex-compatible) that will make your customers feel good about their next print project:

HP PVC-free Durable Suede Wall Paper

FOR DÉCOR: HP PVC-free Durable Suede Wall Paper was designed specifically for HP Gen 3 Latex Inks to create beautiful, customized wallcoverings that are Type II compliant without a top coat, so they can be used in sensitive environments like healthcare settings or schools that are also subject to lots of wear and tear. The wall paper also meets sustainability standards with FSC certification, which ensures the product comes from responsibly managed forests; and Greenguard Gold certification, which ensures it is safe for use around sensitive populations, like the elderly and children. These attributes can lend a hand to building designs being considered for LEED certification points, which scores the healthy environment for commercial buildings.

FOR RETAIL: The all-new HP Durable Backlit Fabric, pictured above, is another latex-compatible option that answers the demand for a lightweight fabric for backlit signs, but also ensures extra safety, thanks to approved fire certifications (B1 and NFPA 70). The fabric is also REACH compliant, which regulates and ensures the safety of chemicals used to create products and their potential impact on human health and the environment.

FOR SOFT SIGNAGE: Specifically designed and coated for latex printing, EnduraFab Frontlit FR is another fabric solution for a variety of applications, including indoor signage, tablecloths, drapes and SEG frames, to name a few. PSPs and their customers can rest assured when using EnduraFab Frontlit FR, thanks to it passing NFPA 701 flame retardant standards under fire test conditions.

FOR HIGH-VOLUME POSTERS: PSPs running industrial HP Latex printing now have the all-new LexJet Satin Poster Paper 200g, a PVC-free option with a paper base that’s coated for durable, water-resistant prints that won’t bleed. PVC-free options are beneficial because they do not contain harmful chemicals that can be found in some vinyl materials. PVC-free materials have been growing in popularity in Europe and in the décor market, and is becoming a hot topic in signage, too. Plus, this poster paper is recyclable after use, making it an attractive option for some customers.

To learn about more environmentally friendly media options, give us a call at 800-453-9538.

HP Latex Webinar: Learn the Latest with LexJet

If you’ve been considering adding latex technology to your operation, join us for this hour-long webinar to discover why HP Latex is the complete solution. Join HP’s John Stevens for this webinar, hosted by LexJet, to learn the very latest about HP’s Latex printer technology.

WHEN: Thursday, May 25, 11 a.m. EST

You’ll discover everything you need to know about bringing latex technology in-house to take your business to the next level with more diverse and versatile offerings for your customers. John will also discuss the all new HP Latex Print and Cut Solution, coming to market June 5.

This webinar will be jam-packed with information, and John will be available to answer your questions at the end of the presentation.

After attending this webinar, you’ll receive a Letter of Intent (LOI) for a discount on a printer purchase before June 30, 2017:

SIGN UP NOW 

HP Latex Webinar: Learn the Latest from the HP Experts

Join HP’s John Stevens for this one-hour webinar, hosted by LexJet, where you’ll learn the very latest about HP’s Latex printer technology.

WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m. EST

John will cover everything you need to know about bringing latex technology in-house to help take your business to the next level with more diverse offerings for your customers. This webinar will be jam-packed with information, and John will be available to answer your questions live.

After attending this webinar, you’ll receive a Letter of Intent (LOI) for $2,500 in savings when you purchase an HP Latex 330 or 360 and $4,000 on an HP Latex 370 before Aug. 31, 2016. You can also take advantage of a $1,000 instant rebate going on now, so your total potential savings on a new printer purchased in August up to $5,000.

SIGN UP HERE

HP Introduces Latex 500 Printer Series

With a history of taking latex technology to the next level for the past eight years, HP has done it again with the announcement of the HP Latex 500 Printer Series, which will be available for pre-sale in July.

560 picThe 500 series kicks off with 64-inch HP Latex 560 and 570 Printers. These are designed for medium-to-large print service providers who are looking to increase their print volumes.

These new printers will use the same supplies as the HP Latex 360 and HP Latex 370.

According to HP, here are the printers’ key new features:

  • Speed: Indoor quality: 23 m²/hr (248 ft²/hr) – approx. 33% faster than the 360/370
  • Load rolls in one minute or less with the spindleless pivot table and automatic skew adjustment
  • Heavier rolls: up to 55 kg (121 lb)
  • Wiper roller: Get the high-quality results of high-cost materials on lower cost banners and vinyls with the wiper roller
  • 570 picPrinter status beacon: Remote visibility of production for more unattended operation (Standard 570, optional 560)
  • Faster installation: Printers ship fully assembled, 570 has the bulk ink system already installed
  • Produce highly saturated prints with up to 50% more ink density, using vivid print modes

The first shipments of these new printers will begin in late August. To learn more, please call your LexJet printer expert at 800-453-9538.