Bringing Children’s Books to Life with Wall Decals

A few years ago, John Etienne wanted to do something different with children’s activity books, so he started brainstorming to come up with different themes.

“As an illustrator, I thought it would be nice to have educational wall decals,” he says. “I wanted them to have activity and coloring books, but I also wanted them to have wall decals that matched the books.”

Today, he runs Wall Adventure, an online business that offers activity books with matching fabric wall decals. “I do the illustrations for the books and then I print the decals in-house,” Etienne says. “I started in 2017 and had to learn how to use the printer and cutter and find the right fabric.”

Since he started the project as a freelancer, he had a lot of questions and turned to LexJet for help. “I use the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-Series 4000S and LexJet Print-n-Stick Fabric,” he says. “The printer is easy to use. I got all the information I needed from LexJet, including ICC profiles.”

The reviews are in. “My customers love the products. The colors on the fabric are bright. The combination of printer and fabric is working well,” he says. Using the right printer and material is important. “I use a Graphtec cutter and I was having issues getting a clean edge when I cut and trimmed the product. That’s when I started using the Print-n-Stick.”

Currently, his products are only available online, but Etienne plans to attend conventions in the future. “I want to get the word out and get more exposure,” he says. “It started with some brainstorming a few years back and now, and one day I will be doing my first convention.”

From concept to reality, Etienne is creating interactive adventures for children around the world and he is glad that Canon and LexJet are along for the ride. “I can get the information I need, or someone will direct me on where to find it on the website,” he says. “They are always very helpful.”

 

New Exhibit Takes Flight with Floor-to-Ceiling Murals

When the design team at Field Museum in Chicago wanted to create an exhibit with the few James Audubon’s artifacts they had on-hand, they decided to give it a big treatment with floor-to-ceiling murals of reproductions of Audubon’s illustrations.

The exhibit idea started with an original over-sized book by Audubon, a 19th century naturalist and painter who dedicated his life to studying and documenting all the birds of North America. His bird expertise and illustrations are world-renowned. Field Museum had a few birds represented from the book as well as pages from one of Audubon’s sketch books. With only a few items on-hand, but a desire to showcase them, Nel Fetherling, supervisor of graphic production, worked with her design team to come up with a creative approach for the small exhibit.

The images in the book had been photographed years ago, and Fetherling was able to access the files. “I said: ‘Let’s do wall paper,'” she says. “We wanted to do something really, really big.”

Fetherling had used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric for smaller jobs and thought it could work as a wall mural, as well. “Because we use aqueous inks, I knew I couldn’t print true wallpaper, so I used this product instead,” she says. Her team printed six 14-foot x 75-inch wall murals as well as one for the entryway (pictured at top).

“The colors were so brilliant,” Fetherling says. “Our designer was skeptical, but after we printed it, she said the colors were almost better than the actual illustrations. It’s just such a nice white to print on.”

Fetherling handled the installation herself, requiring a scissor lift and a bit of trial and error. “I was thankful that it was a little bit forgiving,” she says of the ability to reposition or remove Print-N-Stick. “We have had other products that weren’t quite as successful going through the printer — and the colors were not as good. This is better than other products we’ve used with an adhesive back.”

She says Print-N-Stick’s versatility has everyone talking about what they could use it for next, since it is a viable alternative to a solvent or latex vinyl that she could not print in-house on her two Canon PRO-Series PRO-4000s.

“The Canon PRO-4000 and Lucia inks are very nice,” she says, with her team relying on the printers for everything from educational panels to artwork to event posters and much more. “Our designers were amazed at quality of prints coming out of the Canons. And we liked that we can get a two-roll thing on the Canons to switch out papers quickly.”

To learn more about the Audubon exhibit, visit Field Museum. To learn more about LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, call a LexJet rep at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Customize the Holidays with Canvas, Wrapping Paper & More

Consumers have grown quite savvy when it comes to the art of gift-giving. There was a time when it was “the thought that counts,” which often led to frantic last-minute shopping trips for generic, boring trinkets. With the advent of digitally printable media like LexJet Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas or EnduraFab Stretch, customization has become one of the easiest ways to give meaningful gifts that express individuality and creativity.

Print service providers can help customers take ideas and turn them into personal, heartfelt pieces, creating a one-of-a-kind gift that will likely stay in the family for generations.

With such a thoughtful gift, why let the customer wrap it in store-bought wrapping paper? Take them on a fully customized journey: from the heart on the inside to the art on the outside.

HP Satin Wrapping Paper provides a completely unique gift-giving experience for your customers by adding text and images to the sturdy, satin-finished paper. Imagine wrapping a Christmas gift with paper that shows the kids’ evolution of Santa pictures through the years, or the fun and quirky dating history of a couple who will be celebrating their first holiday season as newlyweds.

Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner, with Valentine’s Day shortly thereafter, all of which means customized requests are sure to begin soon, if they haven’t already. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your customer the family hero by partnering the ultimate customized wrapping paper with the ultimate customized gift.

This versatile FSC®-certified paper is not only the perfect add-on for customized holiday orders, but it is also ideal for year-round POP and poster printing because it drys quickly – which reduces smudging – and stays intact when handling.

HP Satin Wrapping Paper comes in 500-foot rolls that can be used with HP Latex, PageWide and Z-series production printers, and 30-in x 150-foot rolls, that can be used on smaller aqueous printers.

Another fun customization idea comes from Kathy Ogg of Re-Image Printing. This room looks like a warm and cozy scene, but you won’t find many fireplaces in Ogg’s Florida town. Instead, she used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric to print the holly-jolly wall mural, pictured at left. “The only things actually 3-dimensional on this wall are the K, M and J stockings,” she says.

Print-N-Stick is available in aqueous and solvent-compatible versions, and is a fast and easy solution that goes up easily and comes down without leaving any residue behind.

“Print-N-Stick is the most fun material I’ve ever printed to, and I love how versatile it is,” Ogg says. “It’s truly removable without peeling paint or damaging wall behind it. It breaths better to adhere to textured walls.”

If you have any questions about customized printing, call your LexJet sales representative at 800-453-9538 or visit us at LexJet.com.

LexJet Print-N-Stick: Encouraging Students to Explore the World

When Ashton Elementary School teacher Rachel Montisano wanted to liven up her classroom while simultaneously providing an interactive educational environment, she reached out to LexJet for some ideas.  Michael Clementi, LexJet’s in-house printing guru, recommended that she use LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric.

“The use of large-format graphics has allowed me to create an interactive environment for my first-grade students as we study different topics,” says Montisano. With the bright, matte surface, easy repositionability and cleanly removable adhesive, the Print-N-Stick was the right product to bring the world into Montisano’s classroom.

Recently, her students were asked to research and report on the different animals found in the Arctic. As they stood at the head of the class to give their presentations, an image of polar bears frolicking near a snow-lined river served as the back drop for the students. Montisano says, “the students added animals and wrote their own captions and labels on the image. They were so excited to use what they had learned and make it a part of the large, realistic scene.”

Now that their trek through the Arctic is finished, the students will be whisked away to the Amazon rain forest. Once again, they will be asked to research the plants, animals and other interesting critters that call the rain forest home. Excited to see what the students’ imaginations will bring, Montisano says, “they will create their own plants and animals to add to our rain forest graphic, turning our classroom wall into a life-sized page from a non-fiction picture book.”

However, this new graphic will not just be for the students’ education and enjoyment, “they will make a presentation to parents,” she says. “As everyone walks through the rain forest, the graphic – and the special additions – will help them explain to their parents everything they have learned about the Amazon.”

Montisano is thrilled with the results of the images on the Print-N-Stick Fabric and says that the size and scope of the graphics played a huge part in bringing the environments to life in her classroom, which continue to generate excitement and learning amongst the students. The vivid colors, the ease of working with the product and the photographic image quality all contributed to a successful experience for the Ashton Elementary first graders.

“Working with this product allowed me to use thematic teaching – incorporating reading, writing and science in the same project – and it has been so rewarding to see such enthusiasm from my students,” she says.

Finish Soft Signage Fabrics Like the Pros

With the heavy retail season upon us, you’re likely getting more requests for fabric banners and displays these days. Retail outlets often prefer the elegant, lightweight drape that fabric signage offers, as opposed to vinyl, for instance, for banners, hanging signage, table skirts and more.

LexJet Poly Select Medium used for hanging posters.

However, when it comes to fabric signage, finishing needs can vary from fabric to fabric, since some cut cleanly and others may fray. Watch the video above to learn how to test your fabric, and which ones can simply be trimmed with a knife versus those that need a tool such as a heating knife to keep the weave from unraveling.

We offer a wide range of printable fabrics for a variety of print technologies:

For Aqueous

HP Light Fabric used for retail banners.

For Latex

For Solvent

A popular finishing option for printed fabric signage is pole pockets. Watch the video below for a fast, easy and professional result:

4 Ways to Step Up Your Floor Graphics

Floor graphics aren’t just for retail anymore. They provide an easy way to create ambiance for special events, turn bland walkways into brilliant displays, and even provide directional signage in the most unusual places. Here are a few examples from customers who have stepped outside the point-of-purchase box:

Wicked-cool Décor: Mark Hawkins of Mark Hawkins Photography took the “Wicked” theme of a recent fundraiser gala to new heights. Hawkins was tasked with bringing the world of Oz to life, and he turned to LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric to create graphics such as the iconic Yellow Brick Road, informational signage and what looked to be the poor Wicked Witch squashed by one of the bars. With its versatility, spot-on colors and ease of install and removal, Print-N-Stick was the go-to choice to create fun, customized graphics for the event.