We Went Cruisin’ with FrameWorks Miami at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo

It was a tough job, but our team was up for it. They packed up mid-week and headed over to Miami to check out the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center. What they found was endless opportunities for wide-format print applications!

Fun cruise decor displays at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo

More than 2,850 attendees attended the inaugural Cruise Expo to check out the growing needs for new, innovative products for new cruise ship builds and even more so the refurbishment of existing cruise ships.

“This event is something that we’ve needed,” says Antonio di Nenno, Lead Architect, MSC Cruises. “The market is changing and for the interiors industry, there’s nothing like this!”

Of course, trade shows in our industry are always full of the latest trends, and this show in Miami didn’t disappoint! We learned that 20 to 30 million people travel on cruises every year, a stat that’s grown 6% in the last few years.

FrameWorks Miami’s colorful stand

Like we’ve learned in digital printing, cruises are becoming more and more customized, rather than the “one-size-fits-all” approach. Themes like music, food, fitness and sports are really fine-tuning the cruising experience. And that translates to the need for more and more customized décor, graphics and signage, which is where wide-format PSPs can find some amazing opportunities.

LexJet customer FrameWorks Miami, which specializes in fine art printing and framing wanted to make a splash — almost literally — with their Fish Market & Fruit Stand exhibit during the Expo. We partnered with them to used ChromaLuxe metal panels in a super creative way. Using dye-sub technology, FrameWorks Miami created whimsical samples with fish and fruit prints that were cut to various shapes.

“From sardines, snapper, mahi to any type of fruit you can imagine, they had it,” says LexJet sales rep, Vince Bejar. “They even printed their own butcher paper to wrap up the samples for their potentials clients to take back with them to show off their state-of-the-art digital printing solutions. The attention to detail shown in their booth design & execution was seriously outstanding, especially since they created nearly everything in-house.”

We’re excited to see where cruise ship decor takes us in the near future. Printers looking to branch out into decor printing — like wallcoverings and wall art, such as canvas wraps — will find a ton of opportunities when working with this sector. Give us a call at 800-453-9538 for more ideas.

Printing Custom Trailer Graphics in a Flash


Printing and installing trailer graphics

Alex Garcia, owner of New Wave Sign Co., Miami, recently encountered one of those rush jobs so common to wide format graphics production, particularly in the vehicle graphics niche. Fortunately for Garcia, he had access to everything he needed at his fingertips.

“The customer had a show scheduled in California and needed a trailer wrap in 48 hours. Thankfully, I had a new roll of LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl and told them I could do a partial wrap instead of a full wrap,” recalls Garcia. “And, since LexJet is able to deliver products to us so quickly I can turn a rush job like this around without having to charge extra. I was low on ink and fortunately I was able to call the order in to LexJet and I got the ink right away.”

Garcia was able to print right away, sending the design he created to his Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 low-solvent printer, then laminating the Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl with Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate (2.4 Mil).

“The truck was white so I incorporated that white space into the design. The printed area is a line that’s about 52 inches tall that grows into three vertical panels. I also printed out the logos that were placed in the white space and contour cut them on my Summa cutter,” explains Garcia.

Though this was not a “full wrap” by definition, meaning that the graphics were not applied around the edges of the back and front of the trailer, it sure looks like a full wrap. Garcia and his team began applying the printed panels at 2 a.m., working through the wee morning hours to complete it in time.

“We washed the truck really well so that the white areas would really shine and to make sure the installation went smoothly. However, it was a challenge because we were wrapping in really cold weather, which is unusual in South Florida, even this time of year. We used a propane torch and heated the whole side of the truck to make the application surface warmer and kept the material in a car with the heater on to keep the graphics at room temperature,” says Garcia. “We love the Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl because it images nicely, it’s economical and it applies easily.”

Ragnar Relay Recap

Last month at the LexJet blog we previewed our little part in the Ragnar Relay, a nationwide running relay benefitting several charities. Our race covered Miami to the Florida Keys, or 190 miles of running divided up among 12 team members.

Our group, Team Hammer Time, was half LexJet employees and half LexJet friends, family and business partners. It was an incredible experience with a great group of people. Something happens when you train and complete a 190-mile relay together; it creates a certain bond that can never be broken.  

I would recommend this type of event for any business. It fosters teamwork and camaraderie and strengthens long-term working relationships.

Though Team Hammer Time did not place (we came in 184 of 289 teams) we finished and had a great time every second of the way doing something very few have done before, and we are already planning our next race.

The race started on Friday morning, Jan. 7, at 9 for Team Hammer Time, but the team headed to South Beach Miami on Thursday evening for some pre-race “preparation,” which lasted until 1 a.m. No worries… Team Hammer Time is a group of seasoned professionals who were ready to run the next morning.

The race got off to a rough start for Team Hammer Time when our van lost runner #2, Lee Aho (a past LexJet employee), by going to the wrong exchange, costing us half an hour. At the sixth exchange van 2 was ready and waiting to give van 1 a break. Van 2 finished its legs at Homestead raceway where John Lane (LexJet vice president and team captain) completed his 8.8-mile leg with a lap around the track to cheering crowds.

Van 2 then took six-hour break while van 1 began the trek through the Everglades and into the Florida Keys. The run through the Everglades was in the dark at about the time the local alligators begin feeding. At the safety briefing prior to the race runners 2 and 3 were warned, “You will encounter alligators, and if you see one… run fast.” Justin Lehman, one of the LexJet employees who ran through the Everglades in the dark for 8.2 miles, was asked how he ran so fast. His reply: “I was afraid I was going to be eaten.”

Exchange 18 was at the top of the Florida Keys and van 2 had the midnight to 6 a.m. shift. Although it was dark and cool and we had not been to sleep for many hours it was worth it. There is nothing more beautiful than running through the Keys with the stars and moon reflecting off the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.

Van 1 gave van 2 a break just after sunrise where Janelle Pentz (a good friend of LexJet) started her leg running over the seven-mile bridge. At 1 p.m. Van 2 took over to complete the final six legs. The final leg was run by team captain John Lane, who was joined by the rest of the team for the final 200 yards and cheering crowds as they crossed the finish line and prepared for two days of fun in Key West.

Ragnar Relay: Miami to the Keys by Foot for Charity

LexJet employees John Lane, Jason Metnick, Jordan Miller, Justin Lehman, Dustin Ebbesmeyer, Cara Mundt and Krista Parks will run a relay from Miami to the Florida Keys (190 miles!) on Friday, Jan. 7 as part of a nationwide event called the Ragnar Relay that benefits several charities.

The Ragnar Relay Florida Keys route, 190 miles of sheer running bliss that a number of LexJet employees will tackle on January 7.

The official charity of the Ragnar Relay Florida Keys is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, South Florida Chapter. LexJet’s finest, and craziest, will be joined by former LexJet employees, friends, fiancés and family (not necessarily in that order or in plural form): Natalie Carlson, Lee Aho, Janelle Pentz, Susannah Lane and Doug McMahan.

The 12-person crew – called Team Hammer Time – will relay their way down to the Keys with each runner doing about 16 miles apiece, breaking those miles up into three legs apiece. Sounds grueling, but every member of this group has varying amounts of fanaticism when it comes to exercise.

Want to cheer them on? Go to Miami’s Crandon Park along the beach where the first leg begins. Team Hammer Time will move on from Miami and south through the Keys as the race progresses.