The ABCs of Creating Back to School Safety Graphics

As school bells start ringing and “First Day of School” photos start hitting social media, that can only mean one thing: school is back in session. With many school districts offering in-person teaching, e-learning, and a hybrid of both, there are questions about how to keep students informed of health and safety requirements as they return to class.

To sort through all the information and to discuss the tools and resources available, we brought together two teams of specialists: one for print service providers, offering additional product and application advice, and one for educators who have limited experience with large format printing.

For educators and faculty members, Canon Technical Analyst Pete Wright and LexJet Application Expert Michael Clementi join us to provide some guidance to teachers and educational staff who may be working with large format printers for the first time as school districts consider bringing printing in-house rather than outsourcing graphics.

Clementi and Wright discuss how easy it is to work with the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-Series 2100  and PosterArtist Lite, the free software that comes with the printer and they offer some suggestions for versatile media that can be used throughout the school for a variety of indoor and outdoor signage.

For PSPs, we sit down with LexJet Senior Account Executive, Ramiro Torrez, and Large Format Output Specialist, Nolan Dowdy, to discuss some of the applications and products that are available to help supply schools with health and safety signage for the upcoming school year.

When it comes to messaging in schools, consistency and location is the key. Reinforcing the everchanging guidelines put in place by the school, county, or state means that there could be the need for the quick and easy turnaround to get updated graphics installed.

For an in-house school print shop, some of the versatile and easy-to-install products that are compatible with the Canon printer include LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric for floor graphics, LexJet 8 mil Production Satin Photo Paper for posters, and LexJet TOUGHcoat Thrifty Banner and Banner Ups for banners. For PSPs, offering the right solution for the right location is paramount to helping keep the students and faculty safe.

The approaches of educators and PSPs might be a little different, but the end goal of keeping students safe and healthy is the same. You can learn more about their efforts by clicking HERE. If you have additional questions, you can also reach out to one of our specialists at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

UPS Store Owners Visit LexJet’s Experience Center

Earlier this week, several owners of UPS Stores visited LexJet’s Experience Center, housed in its Sarasota, Fla., headquarters. It was a chance to not only put names to faces, but also get hands-on, up-close experience with the latest print technology and accessories and learn real-life strategies for growing their stores’ business.

“It’s always great  to have customers visit our state-of-the-art Experience Center where they can interact with the newest print technologies available in today’s market,” says LexJet national sales representative Vince Bejar. “Plus, they get the chance to talk to our experienced print technicians to learn about ways they can improve their current print operation/workflow.”

LexJet’s Michael Clementi leads a printer demonstration.

During the session, the UPS team learned about growing their blueprint and scanning services with the Epson SureColor T-5270 printer; they discovered the ease of use with the Canon PRO-4000 printer; and the advantages of printing with HP’s Latex technology.

The LexJet team also covered print finishing techniques, like using the hinge method to adhere yard signs, as well as bottom line advice on profit margins with tools like a pricing calculator that the UPS Stores could implement immediately.

“During a time when we all do so much communication over the phone or online, it was great to meet face-to-face with people I work with on a nearly daily basis,” Bejar says. “We hope to offer more of these types of hands-on visits soon.”

Webcast: Breaking Into Décor Printing with Trinity Graphic

Like many print service providers, Trinity Graphic, based in Sarasota, Fla., saw the growing opportunity that branching into décor printing offered. Our training expert Michael Clementi sat down with Justin Danner, strategic account manager at Trinity Graphic to learn how the company went about expanding their offerings.

In the webcast below, Clementi and Danner discuss:

  • Incorporating décor products, such as custom canvas wraps and wallcoverings
  • Investments and equipment needed
  • Workflow and software solutions
  • Go-to, trusted products
  • Market segments and sales teams
  • Setting up an ecommerce site to take orders online
  • Revenue possibilities and determining return on investment for décor services

Watch the 12-minute webcast below to learn how Trinity Graphic grew a huge new business segment, and what you can learn from their experience:

Video: National Sunset Print Award Recap and Why You Should Compete

Entering print competitions elevates your craft, providing valuable insight into what makes a great image. This year’s National Sunset Print Award judges brought years of experience entering and judging numerous print competitions.

Print CompetitionIn the video above, the judges share their perspectives on the importance of entering print competitions, what it has meant to them, and what it can mean to you.

Again, special thanks to the judges of the first annual National Sunset Print Award competition: Tom Carabasi of Ringling College of Art + Design; Julie Hughes, Abbey of London, Jensen Beach, Fla.; Rich Newell, Professional Photographers of America; Carmen Schettino, Carmen Schettino Photography, Sarasota; Jessica Vogel, Jessica Vogel Photography, Shelbyville, Ky.

For more about the winner of the National Sunset Print competition, click here. And, go to www.sunsetprint.com to find out how and where you can enter the 2015 Sunset Print Award competition.

Printing Creative Interiors for a Growing Market

Creative Interior Imagery
Creative Interior Imagery brings all kinds of environments to life with a full suite of services, from design to wide format printing and framing.

 

Several years ago, Keith Tomkins started a small printing company in his basement called Zeopix. Business soon blossomed and it didn’t take long for Zeopix to move to a commercial space to better handle the additional work that was flowing in.

Creative Interior ImageryShortly thereafter, Zeopix partnered with Marsico Art & Framing to create a new company focused on the decoration of commercial interior spaces, Creative Interior Imagery, based in West Pittson, Pa. The new company specializes in transforming restaurant, medical, hotel and resort, and corporate environments.

The Zeopix side of the business continues to serve a more consumer, retail group of clientele while business continues to build at Creative Interior Imagery. The road to success was paved by Tomkins’ diverse background as a Navy airplane mechanic, photographer, and hardware and software designer.

“After the Navy, I spent 17 years in Silicon Valley designing hardware and software for companies. This was back in the days when Adobe was a font foundry, and we were working on the first systems that would do some of the things Photoshop does today,” says Tomkins. “One day I went to a local shop that did photo printing. I had some great scans I wanted blown up, so I took them over and got some real crappy prints back. I told him I wasn’t happy with the work, and he told me to take it somewhere else. That’s when I found there was nowhere else.”

Creative Interior ImageryThus a need for quality print work was identified and Tomkins purchased his first wide-format printer, an Epson Stylus Pro 7600 from LexJet. Tomkins says he started printing to support his photography hobby, but word soon got around and printing was dominating his time.

Tomkins soon added a Stylus Pro 4880 and 9900 to keep up with demand. As the opportunity to provide more interior décor printing emerged, Tomkins decided to add an Epson SureColor S30670 to the mix.

“A lot of companies will bid a project and go to one person for art, one for window graphics, one for walls and so forth. We can offer a one-stop solution, and having the solvent printer has allowed us to offer new products and lower our costs on some of our current products, like large canvas prints. For a four-color printer and one in that price range, I’m blown away by the print quality.” says Tomkins. “The solvent printer is being used mostly for vinyl and large canvas items that are more production-oriented. If I’m doing a custom reproduction for an artist or photographer, they want the colors spot-on, so that’s where I use the aqueous printers.”

Creative Interior ImageryTomkins adds that he had been working with Marsico Art & Framing on commercial project over the past few years, but officially began the partnership, and Creative Interior Imagery, in the past year to meet the expanding needs of his customer base.

Marsico Art & Framing brings its expertise in custom framing, art selection, placement and installation to ensure a seamless, consistent, high-quality experience for each of its clients. The list of services at Creative Interior Imagery touches every point of the process, from art consultation to installation, as well as a print treatment for virtually any surface, from floor to ceiling.

Hospital Graphics“LexJet has been a big help in building our business. One of the things I can always count on with LexJet is tech support. I’m a tech guy myself, but there are times that I need to consult with my LexJet sales rep, Michael Clementi, and he can usually get me an answer himself right away. If he doesn’t know the answer he finds someone at LexJet who does and gets right back to me,” says Tomkins. “I also use a lot of LexJet products because they’re reasonably priced and I’ve had very good luck with them. The quality and value is there, and I’m not waiting around for products I need right away; having multiple warehouses is a big thing.”

Update Your Drivers with the New Mac OS, Mavericks

HP Drivers WebsiteOne of our longtime team members at LexJet, Michael Clementi, recently brought up the fact that Apple released the latest Mac operating system (OS) on Oct. 22 called Mavericks (or, OS X 10.9, if you prefer). It’s a free download from Apple if you’d like to update your OS.

However, before you update, be aware that – as with any other OS update – compatibility may be an issue with software drivers loaded on your current OS, which includes your wide-format printers. In fact, if you’re buying a new computer, whether Mac or PC, with a different OS you should check the compatibility on any software or printers you transfer to that OS before you update.

Check with your printer manufacturer to download drivers for your OS. Following are links to the pertinent driver pages for Canon, Epson and HP …

Canon Support & Drivers Page

Epson OS X Mavericks Support

Drivers and Downloads at HP