Lady Liberty Lights the Way with an Inkjet Printed Wall Mural

Inkjet Printed Custom Wall MuralCohesive collaboration is often the key to creating a successful project. An excellent case in point is the collaboration between fine art print expert Jeff Fina of Hudson Valley Giclee and abstract fine artist Bruce Bleach.

The pair has been collaborating for the past six years or so on a variety of multi-media projects for corporations and other organizations that are dynamic and detailed. One of their latest creations was a 9′ x 13′ wall mural of Lady Liberty for a corporate client.

A seemingly simple image to re-create, Bleach provided subtle touches that both preserve the integrity of the American icon while giving it a distinctive look.

“We first enlarged and sharpened the photography, and then did some Photoshop work to it where we colored the torch and rendered the rest of the image in black and white. We were able to take a fine art aesthetic and apply it to this project,” explains Fina.

Once the image was perfected it was on to printing and applying the giant piece. After consulting with his LexJet customer specialist, Joshua Mott, Fina decided to use Photo Tex repositionable fabric instead of a wallpaper-like material or an adhesive-backed vinyl.

Applying a Large Wall Mural“I watched application videos at LexJet’s YouTube channel, and it seemed pretty easy. We did some overlap, cut between the overlap and then peeled away the excess and it was seamless. The magic of the material is that it is so easy to work with. We made a couple of mistakes during application where the material stuck to itself, but it’s so tough and repositionable you just pull it out and re-apply it,” says Fina. “It makes it a lot easier to price out these projects when you know you don’t have to account for 20 percent extra for difficulties during installation.”

Fina also wanted to ensure the fidelity of the blacks and gradients since those can be difficult to hit with a fabric material. Ultimately, says Fina, he was able to maximize the image potential by adjusting various settings in the driver of his Epson Stylus Pro 9800. Fina printed the piece in 32″‘ x 60″ panels, which were applied with the aforementioned overlap to ensure perfect registration.

“We planned it so that we applied the whole left side from top to bottom. When we did the middle section, we started at the center as an anchor; if there was a mistake we could make up for it from top to bottom,” says Fina.

The results speak for themselves and Fina credits Bleach’s long history in the art market, as well as the personal attention he received from LexJet, for making this project work and work well.

“Bruce has been in the industry longer than I’ve been alive and we’re able to combine our strengths on the projects we work on together. Plus, LexJet has allowed me to go crazy so that there are no real boundaries for what we can do artistically,” adds Fina.

Bold, Bright Suite Graphics Light up an Arena

Wall Graphics for Branding and Advertising

Competing for the consumer’s attention is especially intense at public venues like sports arenas and stadiums. Inundated with advertising messages, not to mention the game or event at hand, it can be difficult to stand out and grab someone’s attention.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. High Country in Rapid City, S.D., found a solution to this vexing challenge at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City: a full wrap of its corporate suite in bold Coca-Cola red.

Inkjet Printed Wall Murals“When we got the suite in January of 2012 we wanted to do something dynamic that would stand out and make it obvious we were in there,” explains Holly LaGrande, marketing manager for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. High Country. “Because we were the first to wrap the inside of one of the suites it was very visible, not only because it was the first one, but because it was so bright and so red. It’s very vibrant, and I was even worried that we overdid it. However, the people at the arena like it and were looking forward to someone doing it because no one had to that point, and the beer companies followed up with their own wraps.”

LaGrande used Photo Tex PSA Fabric – Aqueous Printers from LexJet and printed the wrap in 60″ x 144″ panels. The panels were installed in the suite in two four-hour sessions, which LaGrande did by herself. She says it would have been nearly impossible to apply the graphics by herself with an adhesive-backed vinyl since Photo Tex is repositionable and thus extremely easy to apply and re-apply if necessary.

Adding Graphics to Walls
Before: What a difference a wall mural makes, as you can see in the “after” pictures above.

“First, I had to take out all the light fixtures, door stops and electrical outlets and strip everything out. Then, I started at the top on the far left and applied each panel across. I was able to pull it apart and get it re-applied easily when it bunched up,” says LaGrande.

LaGrande plans to update the graphics for the 2013-2014 hockey season in late summer or early fall and says she’s looking forward to printing the project on the new Canon iPF9400 she picked up from LexJet earlier this year.

Custom Décor and the Nature of Wall Murals

Wall Murals and Canvas Prints by Edward Robison

Edward C. Robison, owner of Sacred Earth Gallery in Eureka Springs, Ark., captures stunning landscape and nature vistas that caught the eyes of Bass Pro Shops a few years ago.

Bass Pro Wall Mural by Edward RobisonSince that time, Robison has been providing his unique images to Bass Pro Shops for various environments, as well as printing some of it for the outdoor retailer.

Most recently, Robison created a wall mural and canvas prints for the women’s exercise area at Bass Pro Shops’ corporate headquarters in Springfield, Mo. The idea was to bring the great outdoors indoors and create a relaxing and inspiring environment.

Robison printed the wall mural on Photo Tex PSA Fabric – Aqueous Printers from LexJet on his Epson Stylus Pro 11880 wide format inkjet printer. The mural was printed in 60″ x 16 1/2′ panels, to which Robison applied a matte varnish for extra protection.

Inkjet Printed Tapestry
An example of Edward Robison’s fine art nature photography printed on LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth.

“The image I shot for the wall mural was with a Widelux camera, which is basically a double-wide 35 mm frame, and they really loved that image,” says Robison. “In Photoshop there’s an oil painting filter they’ve added to the newer version and I applied that, along with another filter, which got rid of the grain. Up close it really looks abstract, but when you get back five or ten feet it comes into sharp focus.”

Robison says this was the first wall mural he had installed and considered hiring someone to do it. However, given that Photo Tex is repositionable and relatively easy to work with, even on larger applications, Robison decided to give it a try. Besides, Robison says he’s a do-it-yourselfer and welcomed the opportunity to learn something new.

GigaPan Image Printed on Canvas
This GigaPan image by Edward Robison, printed on canvas, was composed of 162 photos. To get the full effect of this image go to

The installation went smoothly, with the help of a friend and a lift to reach the top of the mural and ensure it lined up properly. The most difficult part of the application was cutting around the various obstacles – windows, doorways, outlets, exit sign, etc. – but with great care Robison was able to create seamless transitions.

Robison has been creating nature and fine art images for the past 16 years, and selling his art at Sacred Earth Gallery for the past ten. He uses a variety of inkjet media for his creations, including LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth for the hanging tapestries of his work that feature custom “poles” from which the tapestries hang.

For more about Robison’s work, go to, and be sure to check out his GigaPan image of Inspiration Point White River Sunset at

Louisville Slugger: How Spectra Imaging Built a Thriving and Growing Business

Window graphics for a grocery store chain

Brian and Leslie Rogers started Spectra Imaging in their 500-square-foot garage about seven years ago with a Mac mini and a Canon iPF8000. Since that time, Spectra Imaging has grown exponentially, eventually occupying 6,000 square feet of space in a Louisville, Ky., office building, adding additional employees and ramping up its production capabilities.

Main identification sign for a companyWhile Spectra Imaging’s success is based on the usual ingredients – high-quality output, customer service and finding the right products for production – it’s the intangibles that have helped set the company apart.

First, Spectra Imaging is debt-free. All of its equipment purchases are paid for, alleviating the additional burden that debt payments can have on a company. Second, Spectra Imaging emphasizes a show-and-tell approach to sales.

“The growth of our company is attributed to our drive and determination and just getting out in front of people,” explains Brian Rogers. “You can’t just walk in there, hand them a brochure and tell them that this is what you can do. When our salespeople meet with customers they have a sample case and an iPad. There’s an image on our site of a very large sign on the front of a building for a hardware company, for example, and our salespeople have a smaller version of that exact sign, printed on the same material and applied to the same substrate. That way, they can see how the material works and what it looks like when it’s done. A brochure is not good enough.”

Wall decor graphicsRogers says this is especially effective with Photo Tex PSA Repositionable Fabric from LexJet. Customers can see first-hand how easy it is to work with and how versatile it is in a variety of applications.

Whatever the material used, Spectra Imaging is armed with physical samples and various options for a collaborative, consultative and ultimately productive meeting.

“Customers are looking for something different and unique; they don’t want the same stuff they’ve been getting. LexJet has been instrumental in keeping us updated about new products we can add to our sample case so we can show customers what’s available and what they can do with them,” adds Rogers.

Spectra Imaging can provide just about any imaging product and service to its customers, including graphic design, scanning original artwork, printing and stretching canvas, custom framing and practically any large-format application.

Photo reproduction for interior decorNow armed with two HP 9000 solvent printers, two HP Designjet 5000 aqueous inkjet printers and two Canon iPF8000s, as well as fabrication and finishing capabilities with a CNC router and a laminator, Spectra Imaging is well positioned to make its next move: hiring an additional salesperson and production specialist as well as adding more printer fire power.

Rogers says his favorite materials are the aforementioned Photo Tex PSA Fabric (both Aqueous and Solvent), LexJet Simple Adhesive Vinyl (Semi-Matte and Gloss), LexJet 10 Mil Opaque Display Film, LexJet Production Satin Photo Paper PSA and LexJet Sunset Fine Art, Photo and Canvas media.

“The great thing about Sammi [Spectra Imaging’s LexJet customer specialist Samantha Calabrese] is that she’s familiar with the products we’ve used and is quite helpful about making recommendations and letting us know about new products,” says Rogers. “Even if we’re not buying a product from LexJet, like our HP 9000, Sammi did some research and helped us find other LexJet customers who had one so we could get some feedback from them about the printer before we bought it.”

The Difference a Printer Makes at Philadelphia’s Life Art Imaging

Printing fine photo art
Stacey Granger with a framed 44" x 66" version of her fine art photo of Philadelphia's Broad Street, printed on Sunset Photo eSatin with her new Canon iPF8300 wide format inkjet printer.

There’s nothing more frustrating than losing a sale at the point of sale, particularly when the buyer is willing and able to buy on the spot. That’s the situation that Stacey Granger, owner of Life Art Imaging in Philadelphia, was too often finding herself in as would-be customers walked away empty handed.

The problem was being able to fulfill a custom print size for these walk-in customers who marveled at Granger’s selection of fine art photographic renditions of Philadelphia cityscapes and other urban and natural scenes.

Printing fine art and fine photosThe solution was a Canon iPF8300 wide format inkjet printer from LexJet, which Granger purchased this past June. The acquisition, says Granger, has been a revelation, not only increasing sales in the gallery section studio, but allowing her to be extra-responsive to those interested in displaying her work.

“I went into my archives one day and organized all my work and I started hanging it in my gallery to see if it would sell. It was an instant success, but I was losing business every weekend by not being able to fulfill orders for people walking in who wanted something in a different size,” explains Granger. “I think it paid for itself in the past six weeks just being able to print on the spot. We’re in downtown Philadelphia and every weekend people walk in and when they ask if I have a print in a different size and now I say, ‘I can have it ready for you in a few minutes. The printer is so easy to use and it comes out exactly as I designed it straight out of the printer.”

The majority of Granger’s printing so far has been on LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper, which Granger says she likes for the accurate colors and deep tones she’s able to get out of the paper, plus the paper’s heavy weight and thickness.

Printing decor for a restaurant
Providing decor for the Fare Restaurant in Philadelphia was one of the first challenges Granger was able to meet with her new printer. The owner needed more than a dozen new prints on Sunset Photo eSatin in various sizes right away and Granger was able to deliver the goods with her new Canon printer from LexJet.

Granger plans to experiment with other inkjet media, including Photo Tex PSA Fabric for an upcoming wall mural project at a local gym. “He wants gigantic stuff; large panoramics going all the way around the workout areas of the skylines I’ve shot. At first, he was looking for huge framed photos, but I suggested we apply Photo Tex and frame it out with trim wood so that it looks like a frame. They have three locations and for each one he wants photos from my collection of different areas of the city. I’ve worked with it before and I love it; I love the fact that it’s not like a vinyl sticker and that it’s a fabric. Art is art, so you shouldn’t just print it on vinyl banner and tie it off with grommets.”

The printer has also added dimension to the other components of Life Art Imaging: portrait art photography and fine art reproductions. With the flexibility to print on-demand and control the entire process, Granger can now go above and beyond with these clients: portrait clients get the prints from the session they want right away and fine art clients – for whom Granger was previously doing only capture – can get everything done in one place.

“I consider my work to be photo art. I truly don’t believe that people just take a photo these days, so I try to create art through photography, which is where I came up with the concept of Life Art,” says Granger.

The success Granger has had with the printer has simply added another dimension to the Life Art concept, and she attributes at least some of that success to her experience with LexJet.

“I’ve had an amazing experience with LexJet. I chose LexJet because a friend of mine bought a Canon from LexJet and who did a lot of research beforehand. He told me that LexJet has super-awesome customer service and helps you out a lot,” says Granger. “I know people who can’t get service or reach anyone on the phone if they have a problem, and getting materials can be a chore. When I order paper it shows up the next day, which is awesome. The quick turnaround is also cost effective, because I don’t have to sit on product inventory for a long time.”

Gambling on Wall Graphics

Inkjet printing wall murals and decor

They say (whoever they are) that, one way or another, the House always wins, so there’s nothing better than a situation in which everyone wins. Such was the case with a recent wall graphics project Imagine This Banners completed for a casino in West Virginia.

Casino decor and wall graphicsImage This Banners, headquartered in Charleston, W.V., covered four walls at the casino, effectively transforming those spaces and setting a unique atmosphere. Two of the walls were 50 feet long by 6 1/2 feet tall, another was 22 feet long and 8 feet tall, and the fourth wall was 15 feet long by 10 feet tall.

Imagine This Banners used Photo Tex PSA Fabric from LexJet for the project, and owner Greg Harpold says it was the first time they installed an adhesive-backed wall mural of this size though he’s been evangelizing on behalf of this application for years.

Applying inkjet printed wall graphics“When I first got into the large-format business in 2005 I was attending a lot of trade shows like SGIA and I was intrigued by the wall wraps. I come from a theatrical, stage lighting, film and television background and it was a natural thing for me to latch in because digital inkjet printing makes fantastic backdrops, as well as the ability to change and create atmosphere quickly,” says Harpold. “I’m hoping that it will run like wildfire and open the door for more of this type of application.”

Image This Banners, by the way, is the design and large-format printing arm of an international multi-media company with additional offices in Toronto and London that includes Jaguar Education, which produces educational materials for schools. “Large format printing was a natural spinoff for us; we enlarged our basic formats for posters, mascot banners, floor graphics, wall graphics, pole banners… you name it,” Harpold says.

Installing interior wall decor imagesHarpold adds that he had previously pitched the casino on wrapping the walls a few years ago. The casino finally came around, designed a concept and called Imagine This Banners to see if they could pull it off.

Harpold admits to being a bit nervous about the project since, as mentioned earlier, they had not completed a project of this scope with adhesive-backed materials. Fortunately, the choice of Photo Tex soon put any misgivings to rest.

“I have learned a lesson or two when it comes to installing large adhesive graphics and some materials are very unforgiving. If you drop them or position them wrong you might be starting the entire install over or damaging the surface that you are applying to, but Photo Tex is a blessing for its ease of application since it’s repositionable and can be easily corrected if it sticks where you don’t want it to stick,” says Harpold. “I would totally suggest using foam-covered squeegees when it comes to applying Photo Tex. This technique really helps protect the artwork and allows you to focus on the job at hand.”

Greg Harpold
Greg Harpold, owner of Imagine This Banners, Charleston, W.V.

Harpold says the client is “absolutely stoked,” all the way through the organization from top to bottom. Part of its success, beyond the relatively easy installation, was the color gamut provided by the Canon iPF9000 printer, which Harpold says is especially important for hitting flesh tones.

“My production manager and righthand gal Tracy Rogers was completely floored by the print quality of Photo Tex and the ease of its application. She has been with me through thick and thin and said this job was, by far, a total success because Photo Tex gave us such latitude in both printing and installation,” says Harpold. “Also, working with Jaimie Mask [Imagine This Banner’s personal customer specialist] and the valuable information she provided regarding the product really helped us move toward Photo Tex as our choice of material for this project.”