For Flexibility, Privacy & Design, Squid Delivers for this Texas Printer

Phillip Cole, sales manager at Thomas Graphics Inc. in Austin, Tex., is always looking for unique products to offer his clients. Once he heard about Squid Textiles, a new self-adhesive window fabric that offers privacy, reduced heat and glare from the sun, and the opportunity to create customized graphics, Cole knew it would be a great addition to his product line.

In October, while attending Printing United, Cole stopped by the S-One booth because the Squid demonstration caught his eye. “LexJet had some on display and the print really leaped out at me,” he says. “It looked so unique, which is the type of product I like to lead with to differentiate my company from my competitors.”

Moon image printed on Squid Chalk

With such a unique product, Cole understands that a variety of applications is important. “I went to the website to show some examples of what can be done. One striking image was of the moon. It’s a die-cut circle that looks dimensional, but it’s not,” he says. “Then I showed the client an image of a tree on an office window. I knew it would get the client’s attention, and it did.”

Working closely with his client, they came up with three different graphics to use on two different Squid colors. For a layered tri-colored graphic that is meant to provide some privacy for a conference room, they chose Bone. “You can see parts of the chairs below the graphic, (pictured at top) but you can’t see the table. The amount of privacy is perfect,” Cole says.

The client wanted something simple for two of the half walls that still allows some visibility but doesn’t feel enclosed. Using an EFI printer, they chose to use Rock and use white ink to create the images of the Texas capitol building for one hallway and their logo for another. “In the pictures, you can still see people in the background, but you can also tell how much privacy the product provides,” Cole says.

Texas capitol printed with white ink on Squid Rock

Privacy wasn’t the only feature that caught Cole’s attention. “I like the unique ability to print on it because that’s what we do, and it opens up lots of ideas on how it can be used,” he says. “There’s more than just privacy to this product, the design component is important.”

After the installation was complete, the client mentioned to Cole how well the Rock blended with the flooring. “It’s nice to have the flexibility of various colors to blend with the environment of the application,” he says. “It’s nice to have a solid color as a base for consistency. A different printer or technology might hit a different color.”

This project was Cole’s first experience with Squid, and the install went relatively smoothly. “It’s easy to install, but we did have a little issue with small, intricate cuts because it is a fabric,” he says. “We found a way to make it work and the client was happy with the results.”

Squid Textiles originated in Europe and was introduced to the U.S. market at Printing United last year, exclusively through LexJet. Getting in on the ground floor is exciting to Cole and his team and he knows the addition of Squid will lead to new business as well as additional business from current clients. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that this is one of the first Squid installs in the country,” he says. “This product helped us get our foot in the door for other work.”

If you are looking to branch out into new markets and are interested in learning more about Squid, call a LexJet sales specialist today at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Make 2020 the Year You Reach Your Profit Goals

As the last decade was wrapping up, we began looking at 2020 as being full of possibility. But we’re not too naive. We know today’s print service providers are faced with lots of challenges, such as rising wages and benefits costs, pressure to enter new markets, a thin workforce of available, skilled workers and more. So we decided to take a look at two areas where LexJet can help, not just as a materials provider, but a business partner as well.

At the SGIA/Napco Research Key Industry Trends & Insights Research presentation during Printing United, we learned a lot about these challenges. While nearly every sector in the print industry saw growth in sales (yay!), the increase in profits didn’t match up. How could that be? Perhaps investment in equipment, wage increases (and more to come), lost productivity, training up staff in new market segments, or maybe you were paying too much for the wrong products.

One of the startling revelations was PSPs who stated they were “so busy, we don’t have time to figure out what would be profitable.” Yikes! So let’s look into two current, major pain points and see how we can help.

Adding a New Product Line or Entering a New Market

You can diversify the products and services you’re offering your customers, but let’s look at some smart strategies. While it may seem like everyone is jumping into vehicle wraps, ask yourself if you’ve got the proper print technology, installers with experience and product lines you trust. If not, that’s a steep climb before you get out of the red. If you are set up to tackle vehicle wraps, consider starting with simpler applications, such as box trucks, before you get into intricate designs like sports cars.

Inkjet Canvas Decor by MyPix2

Another supplemental market that may have a quicker ramp-up, in terms of production, is décor. This segment covers a pretty wide gamut of applications, from canvas prints to wallcoverings to windows treatments. If you’re in the wide-format space now, you likely have equipment that you can use to expand into décor printing. For instance, if you have an aqueous printer, many materials exist for you to print wall art, such as canvas wraps, fine art reproductions or portraits. Wallcoverings and window graphic materials (like Squid) are decor focused, and can be printed on solvent or latex print technology. Dye-sub printers used for fabric open a new door for upholstery, drapery and more. Your capital expenditure may include finishing tools or machinery, so scope those out and plan accordingly.

Some growing interest in customized décor printing include hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities and corporate offices, so consider customers you already have in these spaces and market your new capabilities to them!

Combating Material Costs

Another ongoing pain point is material costs. This is always top-of-mind for all of us here at LexJet, as we launch new or next-generation products. We are constantly looking for ways to pass on savings to our customers.

One strategy is to opt for multi-purpose, quality products. When you opt for a “Swiss Army Knife” product, you save on inventory space and production set up time as well as costs savings, much of the time. One such material is FlexTek 170g, also available as FlexTek SUV 200g. FlexTek is a budget-beating, non-woven technical fabric that works in a variety of applications, including wall art, banners and canvas wraps. It can be finished with grommets or it can be sewn or wrapped or folded. It’s recyclable and has a long shelf life — talk about an inventory win-win!

Our print specialists at LexJet can also help you fine-tune your materials and supplemental products that fit into your budget and help your profits soar! Call us today at 800-453-9538.

Thanks, Digital Output Readers, for Naming LexJet to the Top 50!

We’re thrilled to announce that LexJet has, once again, been named to Digital Output’s Top 50 Readers’ Choice list! This annual list determines reader interest based on the magazine’s editorial content and advertisements. Check out the February 2020 edition of Digital Output for all the details!

“Our goal at LexJet is to provide our customers with not only the products and technology they need to keep production going, but also industry know-how and strong business relationships that help them grow and evolve right along with the market,” says Justin Lehman, VP of Sales at LexJet. “We couldn’t be happier about being recognized by Digital Output’s readers, and we hope we can continue supporting them for years to come.”

In the magazine, we’ll be featuring some products that have been customer favorites throughout 2019, such as:

Sunset Hot Press Smooth Bright White 300g, a new, cost-effective option to help photographers bring their vision to the print.

HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP, practically a cult favorite for 2019! This adhesive vinyl from HP has been one of the biggest and most popular launches we’ve seen in years.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, this long-time favorite continues to delight customers with its detailed print reproduction and ease of use for everything from floors, windows, walls and more.

“In 2019, our company celebrated our 25th anniversary, and we’re definitely looking forward to entering another decade with our vision set on helping our customers master print technologies and bring even more opportunities to their customers,” Lehman says.

Black Friday Sale! Save 30% on LexJet & Sunset Media

There’s no need to wake up early and fight crowds for Black Friday deals from LexJet. Save 30% off MSRP on your favorite LexJet and Sunset branded media when you purchase online from Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Dec. 1.

Now is the time to stock up on some of your favorites like:

Or try some of our new products like:

Products for latex, eco-solvent/solvent printers include display films and fabrics while LexJet branded aqueous media offers a variety of fine art, photo papers, and high-end canvas. If you are printing with dye-sub, choose from an assorted line of InFuze transfer papers.

Remember, LexJet will be closed on Thursday and Friday, so this promotion is only valid online – while supplies last – through Sunday, and orders will ship on the next available business day. Use coupon code FRIDAY30 at checkout to apply your 30% savings.

NOW AVAILABLE: Find Ultraflex Products at LexJet

At LexJet, we’re always looking to add more of the products you love. Today, we’ve expanded our line of Ultraflex-branded products. So now you can find the Ultraflex products you love and receive the personalized customer service you count on with LexJet.

As a full-service dealer of Ultraflex products, LexJet will provide the consistent, reliable products you need, including Ultraflex’s line of banners, films, textiles, wallcoverings and canvas for a variety of applications, such as soft signage, building wraps, banners, floor and wall murals, tradeshow graphics, digital fine art reproductions and more.

“We’re excited to further our partnership with Ultraflex,” says Justin Lehman, VP of Sales for LexJet. “Customers know they’ll get consistent results when printing to Ultraflex substrates, as well as having access to the right products in stock at the right time. At LexJet, customers will receive the same quality at the same price they expect with Ultraflex products.”

For more information about Ultraflex products and how they can help grow your business, call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538.

Trend Alert: Touchy-Feely Textured Wallcoverings

This new wallcovering trend is hitting us right in the feels, and Vescom is answering the call with a variety of high-end, quality finishes with their digitally printable wallcoverings.

Textured wallcoverings are gaining popularity not simply because they offer a tactile experience, but because they can also add richness with that texture, along with color choices and strategic printing that can be completely customized. Linen finishes printed with natural colors and designs can bring an outdoorsy feeling inside, while a metallic-finish paired with Art Deco-type graphic designs will add modern shine to a room.

Embossments, embellishments and even metallic threads sewn into the wallcovering can really transform a room where visitors won’t be able to keep their hands to themselves.

Plus, wallcoverings with textured finishes can actually help mask imperfections in the wall’s plaster or drywall, while providing some additional protection for the wall, as well.

Vescom’s popular textured finishes include:

Watch the video above to get a close-up look at these textures from Vescom that are easy to install and meet EPA requirements for low-VOC and Class A fire resistance.