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.”

Educating with Big Pieces of Printed LexJet Tyvek

Montessori Timelines Printed on LexJet Tyvek

The title is a tad misleading. It’s not the LexJet TOUGHcoat 3R DuPont Tyvek that educates, but what ETC Press Inc. prints on the Tyvek that does it.

Educational Timelines Printed on LexJet TyvekETC Press, a subsidiary of ETC Montessori based in Houston, provides curriculum and educational materials to Montessori and applied learning schools. Among the important teaching aids ETC Press produces are 107″ x 17″ educational timelines printed with the company’s HP Designjet Z6100 on LexJet TOUGHcoat 3R DuPont Tyvek.

ETC Press executive director Aki Margaritis says LexJet Tyvek is the go-to material for the timelines because it’s durable and images with clarity.

“The timelines need to be very durable because they’re handled quite a bit by the kids. A timeline needs to last in a class for a minimum of five years with constant handling, and the LexJet Tyvek has held up,” says Margaritis. “The images are coming out nice and crisp, the colors are vibrant, the kids love it and we’re very happy with the print material.”

Margaritis adds that a student once unwittingly stamped the edge of one of the timelines with the tip of his chair leg when he sat down, leaving an indented ring in it. “We told the teacher to just let the timeline sit out like it normally would, rather than trying to push out the crease or roll it up, and sure enough, the indentation went away,” he says.

The timelines tie into the curriculum the company publishes. The timelines often tie into each other, as well. For example, one timeline outlines the history of communication from 25,000 B.C. to today, while another follows the same timeline, but focuses on the progress of mathematics.

“The kids can line up the timelines one next to other and see the relationship between communication and mathematics and how each affects the other,” explains Margaritis. “They have to be small enough to fit in the classroom and large enough to allow two to three groups of kids to gather around the timeline and focus on the different events and subjects they’re studying.”

Good, Profitable Business: Custom Inkjet Wall Murals for Home Décor

Printing custom wallpaper for home and office decor

“It’s good, profitable business,” says Bill Barley, owner of Bill Barley & Associates, Lexington, S.C. That “good, profitable business” to which Barley refers is custom wall murals printed on a variety of materials for home and office décor.

In the project pictured here, Barley chose to print this original mural by David Hedges to LexJet TOUGHcoat 3R DuPont Tyvek. Barley discussed using an adhesive-backed product, like Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric, with the client, but the client was more comfortable using professional wallpaper hangers to apply the Tyvek.

“The job went really well. The LexJet Tyvek material is dimensionally stable. When you wet the back of it and put the paste on it, it doesn’t swell like a lot of wallpaper products do. The wallpaper professionals told me that they’ve had problems with similar murals on conventional wallpaper material swelling, which makes it very difficult to match up the panels,” says Barley.

The artwork was commissioned specifically for this project. Barley planned for Hedges to paint the initial artwork at one-third the size of the final mural.  Barley digitized it and Hedges finished the details using Adobe Illustrator.

The images were brought up to full size with Genuine Fractals and then cropped in Photoshop. “I did the cuts full size in Photoshop so I could get pixel-to-pixel matching with no overlap on the final panels,” says Barley.

The panels – four 34″ x 6′ vertical panels for the bar mural, one 3′ x 5′ panel for the car/theater image and three 36″ x 10′ panels that would comprise the top border – were printed through the ImagePrint RIP on Barley’s Epson Stylus Pro 9880.

“As far as the material printed, it was excellent. The material holds color well with good color matching. I printed out a sample and checked the color balance on it and then printed the job. I didn’t have to re-print anything,” says Barley. “It’s a permanent installation in an upscale home, which is one of the reasons they wanted to hang it like wallpaper. There will be cabinetry and a marble counter built around it to finish it off.”

Printing a Wall of Faces to Promote Local Education

Creating wall murals with an inkjet printer and Tyvek

Traditionally a commercial printer, Clear Lake Press moved into wide-format printing earlier this year with the purchase of a Canon iPF8300 printer. The diversification into wide format, as well as apparel, has helped the printing company grow and better serve its expanding client base.

“You have to change with the times; you can’t be a one-dimensional printer anymore,” says Eric Erickson, prepress systems administrator for Clear Lake Press, which is based in Waseca, Minn. “We’ve had the Canon since February and in addition to variety of wide format work, we’ve also produced canvas reproductions using LexJet’s Sunset Select Matte Canvas, mounted using the Sunset HD Pro Stretcher Kits and finished with either Sunset Gloss Coating or Sunset Satin Coating. They’re all phenomenal products and the stretcher kits are easy to assemble and mount.”

A recent project for the nearby Austin (Minnesota) Public Schools to produce a large-scale wall mural requiring multiple large panels output precisely and quickly was a great testament to Clear Lake Press’ new capabilities. The wall is a linear collage of student and teacher portraits for a campaign called Austin Public Schools Inside Out (click here to read more about the project and the photographers behind it).

The job of Clear Lake Press was to reproduce the images on a media that would resist Minnesota’s changing and sometimes brutal weather over the next six months or so. After consulting with Rob Finkel, the company’s LexJet customer specialist, Erickson and Clear Lake Press president Dan Nitz decided to use LexJet TOUGHcoat 3R DuPont Tyvek.

“The combination of the inkjet material and the water-resistant, pigmented UV inks has worked out well so far. If anything, the first thing that will give out is the glue and tape they used to apply the panels because the mural is on a porous brick surface,” says Erickson.

The school installed the panels using double-stick tape and a water-soluble wheat paste so that removal will be fairly simple with minimal residue left behind. Clear Lake Press printed each student panel at about 3 1/2′ x 4′. Each teacher panel is about four times as large and printed in two panels, seamed together with double-stick tape.

“The printing went great. They were all monochrome images, so we utilized the black inks. The student photos printed in six minutes, which is extremely fast. I used actions tools in Photoshop so that it would produce the same image size and other characteristics, like lighting, consistently and automatically. That way it only took a minute or two to process each one, put a white frame around it and export to the Canon,” explains Erickson.

The mural was installed last month and should be up for the next few months at the high school.