Working the Windows with LexJet Tyvek

Window Graphics by Legacy GraphicsFrom the inside out, Jan Berte, owner of Legacy Graphics & Design, has found the ideal window graphics solution when Carter’s needs to hide the progress inside its stores as they’re being built or remodeled.

Carter’s specializes in clothing for babies and kids and has hundreds of stores across the U.S. in the process of being built or remodeled. Berte, based in Carroll, Iowa, says she’s been working with a store designer in Cleveland for the past dozen years to provide the graphics that both hide and promote.

Window Graphics by Legacy Graphics & Design“We had been using adhesive vinyl, which was a nightmare from all sorts of angles, especially removal and the adhesive residue. Then we came up with the idea to use Tyvek. It’s recyclable, which is a big thing for me since the graphics are temporary and thrown away after they’re used. A note goes with every single panel to recycle the material when they remove it,” says Berte. “The graphics are all applied second-surface, inside the windows using LexJet Heavy Duty Banner Tape. There is very little adhesive removal – just a quick swipe with a razor blade and they’re done. Back before we discovered Tyvek, removal was more of a pain than the application.”

Berte uses LexJet TOUGHcoat 3R DuPont Tyvek and says it’s one of the most versatile print materials she’s found.

“LexJet Tyvek is so adaptable. You lay it flat for ten minutes and it stays flat. I’ve used it for permanent wallcoverings with wallpaper paste for Oshkosh stores. I wouldn’t have even attempted to use it for an indoor permanent wallcovering if it didn’t print great, because people see it up close and personal,” says Berte. “I love the way it prints; it prints beautifully. It has a good level of bright white, and the inks just pop on it. I print straight out of Corel right out of the box and I get excellent color results with it. Either the print gods smiled on me, or I just found a combination that works well.”

Berte prints the images that can range up to 80 inches wide and 9 feet tall on an Epson Stylus Pro 9890. The prints are paneled according to the size of the windows and marked on the back in order so the installers simply place the panels in the windows according to the directions.

“I create an image the size of the window and then print it in panels to accommodate either 36″ or 42″ material. I use a function within Corel to create the individual panels, usually with about a half-inch overlap for fudge factor. The two pieces of the image are exactly the size they need it to be for whatever window. If the installers are really ambitious they can go outside and look at it to make sure,” laughs Berte. “Even if I had a wider printer I’d split them anyway just from a shipping and handling standpoint. I almost always put them inside a plastic sleeve, then in the carton. With the handling and mishandling I don’t want them to get scratched or dirty during the shipping process.”

Blowing in the Wind with Banners

Loris Printing, Sandusky, Ohio, was on the lookout for a durable banner material to hang up for a Value City Furniture Christmas season promotion on a busy street near Lake Erie. The problem with the location is, well, Lake Erie and the inclement weather and high winds peculiar to that area, especially in the winter months.

Banner by Loris PrintingLoris Printing vice president Craig Hofer turned to his LexJet customer specialist, Rob Finkel, for some direction. Finkel recommended LexJet 11 Mil Valeron Banner finished with LexJet Heavy Duty Banner Tape and LexJet Banner Ups.

“We printed the banner and sent it to the city because the city has to hang it. The guy brought it back to the shop and said they wouldn’t hang it because it was too thin and would get destroyed in the wind,” recalls Hofer. “I told them it wouldn’t rip and personally guaranteed that if it did rip we would replace it. They reluctantly hung it up the week of Thanksgiving. It’s been up ever since and it’s absolutely taken a beating. It hasn’t ripped yet; it looks just as good as the day they hung it up. We had to educate people about the material because they assume a thinner material isn’t going to work.”

Hofer adds that they printed the banner on a Canon iPF8300 and didn’t use a laminate or liquid coating; the print went straight off the printer, seamed on the sides with the banner tape and Banner Ups secured to the corners.

“The material imaged perfectly. We had several people stop in and say how nice that banner looks. We’re kind of new in wide-format and I take Rob’s word for it. His advice has always worked really well for us, so it’s obvious he knows the products,” adds Hofer.

Window Shopping with Inkjet Printed Graphics at Unlimited Exposures

Wall Murals and Window Graphics
Brett Feldman of Unlimited Exposures uses large format inkjet printing to help drive photography sales from the street and in his studio with window and wall graphics.


Brett Feldman, owner of Unlimited Exposures, Manalapan, N.J., knows the value of taking his business to the streets and driving traffic to his studio with large-format versions of his stellar photography.

Window Graphics
Brett Feldman’s latest window displays, printed on LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth, look great from the outside and the inside of his studio, Unlimited Exposures.

Brett utilizes a variety of inkjet media from LexJet to make this happen and has had great success with this approach. As noted in an earlier post here at the LexJet Blog, he finds unique applications for his Canon iPF8300 inkjet printer, not only for self-promotion, but as value-added printing for the events he photographs.

At his streetside studio in Manalapan, Brett decorates both his windows and the interior of the studio with samples of his work. For about six months he featured his wedding and communion photography on the outside of his window with LexJet Aqueous Perforated Window Vinyl (70/30).

Perforated Window Vinyl Graphics
This window display, printed on LexJet Aqueous Perforated Window Vinyl, was up for about six months before Brett Feldman switched it up in favor of banners that hang inside the studio windows.

“Some kids were picking at it and dismantling it, but it was up for quite awhile before they vandalized it. My studio has an overhang, so there was no rain but a lot of sun on the images, and they weathered well. It definitely brought people to our doors and the material printed well and applied with ease,” Brett says.

Since then, he decided to bring the images indoors and inside the four fronting windows of his studio. Now, all four windows feature images printed on LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth.

For these displays, Brett uses LexJet Heavy Duty Banner Tape to create pole pockets on the top and bottom of each banner, which are then hung from curtain rods that go through the pockets and are tied off with fishing line that attaches to the ceiling.

Brett also uses Photo Tex from LexJet for a wall mural inside the studio. His large-format inkjet printing serves a dual purpose: to bring people inside and make sales, and to test inkjet media for various applications.

“Most of it gets tried out at the studio and then we take it out to sell it to our clients. I end up printing a lot of banners and other specialty graphics for people who see them in our studio and at the events,” he adds.

Wall Wraps Before and After at the Boom Boom Room

Wall Graphics and Murals
The Boom Boom Room received a makeover courtesy of Heineken and DeCrescente Distributing with wall, elevator and door graphics printed on LexJet Simple Adhesive Vinyl.

Heineken wanted to make a big splash at a popular four-story tavern while making it easy to clean up all the splash-back from spilled drinks and such in the Boom Boom Room, a DJ-powered disco located on the fourth floor of the tavern.

Local beverage distributor DeCrescente Distributing, Mechanicville, N.Y., and its crack graphics design and installation staff took on the project, which required wraps on doors, elevators and walls of the Boom Boom Room.

Bar Makeover with Wall MuralsGraphic designer James Lane chose LexJet Simple WallCal (6 Mil) for most of the project, printing an entire roll to fill the space required, and scrim banner applied with LexJet Heavy Duty Banner Tape on one brick wall area. “That’s the other reason we went with those materials, because they spill drinks and throw stuff on the wall, so we wanted something that would take the abuse,” explains Lane.

“Heineken wanted that floor since they’re promoting their music series and did this as part of the sponsorship. The City Tavern wasn’t too keen on it at first since it had always been Budweiser, but when I was installing the project they changed their minds because they thought it looked great,” says Lane. “It took about 11 hours to apply it. This is not something you rush through; you have to take your time to get it right.”

Elevator GraphicsLane has been designing and installing graphics for years and has the process down to a science (his graphics department comrade Monty Pyle says Lane’s been doing this for “a reeeaaally long time”). While experience helps a lot, Lane says: “We all take pride in our work. We want to do a good job and we don’t stop until it’s done right. It’s better to take your time. I look at the room and get ideas so I know what I’m doing before I leave that room. It’s a matter of pre-planning the project ahead of time and taking exact measurements.”

The project was printed on DeCrescente’s Epson GS6000 low-solvent printer, and Lane says it took a couple of days to print and cut the graphics into the various panel sizes.

“Before I printed everything out I printed a section on the HP to see what the background would look like. It looked good on-screen, but when I printed it out it didn’t look so good, so I had to redo the background as far as tracing the lines and getting the colors right. We always make sure our images aren’t pixilated and are razor sharp before we go into production,” adds Lane.

A Festival of Sight and Sound Printed on Canvas

Stephen Kerner, the Woodstock, N.Y.-based fine artist ( and fine-art printer ( profiled here at the LexJet Blog about this time last year, is no stranger to the abstract. Nor is Kerner a stranger to complicated, outside-the-lines projects that challenge and perplex.

Printing graphics for music festivalsBoth of these qualities – the abstract and the complicated – as well as Kerner’s 20-plus years of experience came to the fore on a recent project he completed for big-show set designer and promoter Marco Ferrero, who also owns Vivo Fine Art gallery in Woodstock.

The result was a giant pyramid structure, covered in canvas and complete with projected video and extensive LED lighting designed for music festivals. The structures most recent stop was at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival held earlier this month in Manchester, Tenn.

This design, which was really creative, was totally his. One night he approached me about the job. I thought it was fantastic and didn’t realize he was ready to go into production. It happened very fast, as a lot of things do. A lot of people were involved in a lot of different levels.

“He approached me about creating 18-foot tall pyramids and printing his design, which was triangles within triangles. Marco designed them in many different colors and we tested them on a lot of different substrates: backlit, canvas, vinyl and even metals. We printed a lot three-foot test panels, and he chose LexJet Instant Dry Satin Canvas. He liked that look and the canvas looked beautiful; there was such vibrancy to the colors,” says Kerner.

Inkjet printing on canvas for a music festivalKerner printed four panels for each triangle that made up each three-sided pyramid on his Epson Stylus Pro 11880. These panels were seamed together by printing a two-inch bleed area, folding it over and joining the panels with either LexJet Heavy Duty Banner Tape or an industrial adhesive.

Then, the canvas was attached to the metal framework with grommets on all three sides placed at three-inch intervals. The final pieces were then coated with a solvent-based ClearStar coating from LexJet.

“The satin canvas is durable up to a certain point, but the festivals are outdoors and there’s typically a lot of rain down in Tennessee this time of year so they wanted to make sure they were heavy duty,” explains Kerner. “The problem we had here was with curing times on both the coating and the adhesives were using to the seam the canvas. It rained here constantly, so the humidity was high, making those curing times much longer than normal.”

The pyramids open up and reveal 12×12 video screens while hiding all the video equipment that runs the screens in the base while another pyramid houses huge speakers. Ultimately, the pyramids were designed as both festival décor and as practical working devices to bring the show closer to the thousands who throng the festivals Woodstock-style.

Coating and finishing canvas“It was very complicated and it’s probably the most difficult project I’ve worked on. It took many weeks of collaboration and tons of math to make everything fit just right and work together,” says Kerner. “When you’re dealing with triangles everything is on an angle so it’s a lot different than dealing with a square piece.”

Kerner adds that he also collaborated with world-renowned Nevessa Studios and its owner, Chris Anderson, on the fine details of the project.

The Keys to Product Placement at the Point of Sale

Printing cooler wraps for liquor stores

As everyone in the beverage distribution market knows, point of sale sign placement is a crucial component of sales. Though it can’t always be quantified there’s no doubt that a restaurant, bar or c-store account that’s happy with their signage is more than happy to place more orders and try different brands offered by the distributor.

Printing cooler wraps for a convenience store
Cooler wrap printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene by Brent Lee and David Raszka, Atlas Distributing, for Renaissance Wine & Spirits, Worcester, Mass.

An excellent case in point of this maxim in operation is Atlas Distributing Inc., and its print shop headed by graphic design manager Brent Lee. Lee says the two most important keys to ensuring high-visibility point of sale placement for Atlas Distributing’s brands – primarily MillerCoors, Samuel Adams, Corona and Heineken – is quick turnaround and colorful, photo-quality graphics.

“Turnaround time is easily the number one factor for us. One of our competitors here promises a turnaround time of two weeks for all their signs. We have a turnaround time of two to three days, so that’s our number one selling point,” explains Lee. “As far as winning signage space at the point of sale, we always use the most current graphics supplied by the brand. Our competitor’s graphics are very simple – logo and price; they won’t use any background graphics, so we have a leg up there as well. Also, we provide the account with a digital proof if is it’s a larger sign before we print and install it.”

In order to fulfill their two- to three-day turnaround promise, Lee says they rely on LexJet’s shipping and logistics infrastructure to get materials into the shop exactly when they’re needed.

“I’ve been using LexJet since I’ve been here, which is almost four years now. LexJet is the leader in this industry. I’ve used a lot of different suppliers and LexJet is the best and shipping is number one; it’s absolutely killer how quickly my orders get placed. If I send Chris [Piersoll, Atlas Distributing’s customer specialist] an email in the morning it’s out before I know it.”

Moreover, the recent addition of a Canon iPF8000S to supplement the shop’s older HP 5500 has also helped speed up the pace. “The Canon printer is incredibly fast. It saves us a lot of time and allows a very quick turnaround, and our clients love that. Plus, when we first got the Canon our sales guys and accounts noticed the quality immediately,” says Lee.

Since the HP 5500 is 60″ wide and the Canon is 42″ wide, larger work is printed on the HP, which allows flexibility and greater efficiency in the print shop workflow. The print shop uses LexJet UV Ink Replacement Cartridges for HP 5000/5500 and Lee says the switch was seamless.

“The LexJet Ink is awesome. We’ve had no problems with it, there’s no difference in color, it’s just as good as the original ink, it was easy to switch, and when you see the savings it’s a no-brainer,” says Lee.

Lee uses Adobe Photoshop CS4 for design and the FlexiSIGN RIP to queue up and send designs to the printers, which also include two OKI laser printers for table tents, case cards, menus and other smaller signage. The print shop’s product purchases and workflow enhancements are driven by those two keys to successful product placement in the field – speed and quality – and it’s working.

Printing point of sale signage for a bar“A few months ago I made a sign for an account and put the wrong brand on it, and instead of returning the sign they actually took the product because they liked the sign,” relates Lee. “We have another account that wanted to make their entire store a Samuel Adams brewery so we made 10 to 12 signs that were just brewery images. That was a very custom job and the account was very happy with it.”

Nor is Lee afraid to experiment with different materials to get that edge in the market. He’s tried any number of banner materials, setting on LexJet Poly Select Heavy fabric reinforced with LexJet Heavy Duty Banner Tape on the edges as his favorite, as well as LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl (70/30) for one-way window graphics.

“We use the Heavy Duty Banner tape to help with fraying on outdoor banners, and that’s been working well. The Poly Select Heavy fabric with the banner tape on the ends is very strong and durable. In New England we’ve had some strong winds, but the banners stay up and the quality is still awesome,” says Lee.