Good, Better, Best: Wallcoverings

When it comes to digitally printable wallcoverings, you’ve got more options today than ever before. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make — do you want a self-adhesive, a pre-pasted water-based application, or a traditional wall paper paste job? And what kind of finish is your customer looking for? A basic satin for a temporary mural … or a glamorous gold metallic? You’ve got these questions, and we’ve got a few answers to get you started.

In this edition of Good, Better, Best, we’re looking at three different wallcoverings for various applications and installation needs. LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric, HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper and Vescom Digital Wallcoverings all track around the same square-foot price, and they’re all latex- and/or solvent-compatible, so they won’t need an extra protective coating, unless you decide to add it. Each one could be the “best” answer depending on the application, but we approached this ranking in terms of longevity and variety.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric

GOOD: LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric. This is a customer favorite for temporary wall murals. Just like the name suggests, it’s a two-step process. Print it and stick it, thanks to the pressure-sensitive adhesive. With a clean, sheen finish, colors really pop on Print-N-Stick, and the fabric texture makes it easy to handle and the special adhesive is very forgiving — making it simple to reposition it and fix installation mistakes. If carrying inventory is an issue for you, Print-N-Stick is also a great solution to stick to windows, metal, wood and even floors.

HP PVC-Free Durable Wall Paper

BETTER: HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper. This HP product is formulated to pair with latex inks, which work together to create a scrub- and scratch-resistant surface that stands up to high-traffic areas, like hotels and restaurants. It also carries multiple environmental certifications, including the Type II as well as  FSC®, REACH and UL GREENGUARD GOLD, which make this odorless, mold- and mildew-resistant wall paper a great choice for sensitive environments like schools and hospitals. The wall paper is finished with a pre-pasted glue that can be installed with a simple water technique. Watch this video to see how easy it is to install and remove.

BEST: Vescom Digital Wallcoverings. We offer a glamorous line of finishes in the Vescom line, such as Matte, Leather, Felt, Lay and the award-winning Metallic Sand. These finishes offer versatility in décor style and visual impact – from subtle, elegant finishes to eye-catching, dramatic wall murals.  The high-end vinyl wallcoverings meet stringent environmental standards and work well for corporate or commercial spaces, as well as residential. They’re compatible with latex, solvent, eco-solvent and UV-curable inks, giving you the option to use your preferred print technology.

To learn more about wallcovering options, contact a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538.

Get the Most Out of Your Aqueous Printer

Are you using your aqueous printer to its full potential? From canvas prints to temporary outdoor graphics, your aqueous printer is the utility player every profitable printshop needs. We’ve put together some applications and media suggestions to help you get the most out of your printer:

Décor: If you are considering décor applications, you may have thought an aqueous printer limited your capabilities, but, in fact, you can print plenty of décor applications, including wall art and wall murals. LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas is a customer favorite for photo prints or fine art reproductions. It can also be easily stretched for canvas wraps, like the GOframe system. If you are looking for wall murals, decals or window graphics, try LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, an easy-to-use and apply option that’s forgivable and repositionable during installation. Check out our Digital Décor Printing Line Card for more aqueous options, as well as many others.

Soft Signage: One of the fastest-growing trends in the market is the transition to soft signage using fabric rather than rigid vinyl or polyester films for POP displays, banners, framed graphics and even trade show booths. The advantage to fabrics like LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth or LexJet FlexTex 170g is that they are easier and lighter to ship, image nicely and can be used for indoor or temporary outdoor applications. With soft signage textiles, you’ll need some easy finishing techniques — watch this video for quick tips on using a hot knife for perfectly finished edges.

Outdoor Banners: When it comes to outdoor advertising and event signage, LexJet TOUGHcoatTM Water-Resistant Polypropylene and  TOUGHcoatTM ThriftyBanner are two of the most popular products. Both products are easy to handle, offer scratch- and water-resistance, and a bright white point which means vibrant prints, even in outdoor weather. Need more outdoor aqueous options? Check out this blog for more ideas and applications that will look great and stand up to the elements.

Still unsure how you can use your aqueous printer to expand your market offering? Call one of our specialists at 800-453-9538 or visit us at LexJet.com.

5 Creative & Inspiring 2018 Customer Projects

Every year, we look back on the innovative work our customers have created, and we’re never anything less than amazed. This year has been no different. Take a look back through five of the coolest projects our customers printed for their customers in 2018.

Reproducing Art for a Good Cause at A-R-T & Associates Each year, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Coca-Cola Company commission an art partner to create an original painting that is auctioned during a fundraising event to raise money for the charity, which provides housing for a family while a child is receiving life-saving care at hospitals around the country. This year, A-R-T & Associates won the bid to do the poster printing. Check out how they created this year’s super cool poster using LexJet TRIBUTE Satin Photo Paper 240g. READ MORE

Printer Challenge: Reproduce the 30-foot Painting, African Menagerie Christopher Glassman, general partner at Casual Graphics in Hays, Kan., was asked to reproduce an enormous painting by Brian Jarvi titled “African Menagerie.” The painting, which captures 210 species living in Africa now, was 17 years in the making. It’s been part of a traveling exhibit and Jarvi wanted a more manageable version for smaller venues, as well as prints for reproductions. Check out how the Casual Graphics team made it happen. READ MORE

LexJet Print-N-Stick: Encouraging Students to Explore the World Year after year, LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric continues to be a customer favorite, especially for temporary wall murals. Elementary school teacher Rachel Montisano is thrilled with the results of the images on Print-N-Stick and says that the size and scope of the graphics played a huge part in bringing the environments to life in her classroom, which continue to generate excitement and learning among the students. READ MORE

HP Adhesive Vinyl Case Studies: ‘The Best We’ve Ever Used’ Whenever we launch a new product, our hope is that customers gain the most value possible from it, and the new line of HP Adhesive Vinyl did not disappoint for AlphaGraphics in Rexburg, Idaho, who used HP Prime Gloss Air GP and the Polymeric Matte Overlaminate to create a wall mural that was full of detailed text, spot-on colors, and multiple image depths. READ MORE

Listen Up: Before & After Acoustic Sound Panels + EnduraFab OK, we admit it — we’re suckers for musicians, but that doesn’t take anything away from the cool acoustic panels that Ryan Moore, Vice President of DFMGraphics in Newnan, Ga., made using EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier and Rockwool acoustic boards. You can even hear the difference in the sound files Moore recorded. READ MORE

Do you have print projects that you’d like to share with the LexJet blog? Email us your story!

Customize the Holidays with Canvas, Wrapping Paper & More

Consumers have grown quite savvy when it comes to the art of gift-giving. There was a time when it was “the thought that counts,” which often led to frantic last-minute shopping trips for generic, boring trinkets. With the advent of digitally printable media like LexJet Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas or EnduraFab Stretch, customization has become one of the easiest ways to give meaningful gifts that express individuality and creativity.

Print service providers can help customers take ideas and turn them into personal, heartfelt pieces, creating a one-of-a-kind gift that will likely stay in the family for generations.

With such a thoughtful gift, why let the customer wrap it in store-bought wrapping paper? Take them on a fully customized journey: from the heart on the inside to the art on the outside.

HP Satin Wrapping Paper provides a completely unique gift-giving experience for your customers by adding text and images to the sturdy, satin-finished paper. Imagine wrapping a Christmas gift with paper that shows the kids’ evolution of Santa pictures through the years, or the fun and quirky dating history of a couple who will be celebrating their first holiday season as newlyweds.

Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner, with Valentine’s Day shortly thereafter, all of which means customized requests are sure to begin soon, if they haven’t already. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your customer the family hero by partnering the ultimate customized wrapping paper with the ultimate customized gift.

This versatile FSC®-certified paper is not only the perfect add-on for customized holiday orders, but it is also ideal for year-round POP and poster printing because it drys quickly – which reduces smudging – and stays intact when handling.

HP Satin Wrapping Paper comes in 500-foot rolls that can be used with HP Latex, PageWide and Z-series production printers, and 30-in x 150-foot rolls, that can be used on smaller aqueous printers.

Another fun customization idea comes from Kathy Ogg of Re-Image Printing. This room looks like a warm and cozy scene, but you won’t find many fireplaces in Ogg’s Florida town. Instead, she used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric to print the holly-jolly wall mural, pictured at left. “The only things actually 3-dimensional on this wall are the K, M and J stockings,” she says.

Print-N-Stick is available in aqueous and solvent-compatible versions, and is a fast and easy solution that goes up easily and comes down without leaving any residue behind.

“Print-N-Stick is the most fun material I’ve ever printed to, and I love how versatile it is,” Ogg says. “It’s truly removable without peeling paint or damaging wall behind it. It breaths better to adhere to textured walls.”

If you have any questions about customized printing, call your LexJet sales representative at 800-453-9538 or visit us at LexJet.com.

Our Top Window Graphics Tips

Window graphics have come a long way from the corner gas station. And while those bottling and promotional graphics are still in high demand, using window space to apply signage and brand messaging or even create a sense of privacy have inspired a new batch of window graphic materials for ease in installation and replacement. Here are a few of our top window graphic tips:

To Perf or Not to Perf?

Perforated window graphic film, such as LexJet Simple Perforated Window Vinyl (70/30), allows you to print on 70 percent of the surface, while 30 percent of it is tiny perforations, or holes. This allows for excellent image reproduction and shading coming into the window from outside, while people inside the building can still see out the window, through the perforations. Since this product is mounted outside, we suggest LexJet’s Optically Clear Cast Laminate for extra protection. Window perf is also available in 60/40 vinyl.

Our All-time Top Wallcovering Prep, Print & Installation Tips

Any time you’re covering a wall floor-to-ceiling it’s a big job. But with some insider tips and the right products for the job, you can break it down into a manageable task. Here are some of our all-time, most helpful tricks and tips for seamless, professional wallcovering printing and installation:

Do Your Pre-Work: Before you can even think about hitting “go” on your printer, be sure you’ve got your site under control. These means doing a site visit ahead of time, testing the wall surface and taking photos and wall measurements (here’s a handy app, Photo Measures, that makes that job easier). Once that’s under control, you can begin creating tiles that you’ll print. Check out the video on this blog for more pre-printing tips and how to set up your tile files.

Know When to Go Short-Term: This isn’t your grandma’s wall paper, and chances are your clients won’t be planning to leave it on the wall for the next 30 years. There are so many options on the market today for short- to long-term wall murals for a multitude of applications. For a low-cost, temporary solution that can be cleanly removed, there’s no better option than LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric. It’s available for aqueous– and solvent-compatible technologies. Check out this video to learn how we covered a 26-foot wall for less than $2 per square foot.

Understand the Big Picture: If you’re using photography for a customized wallcovering, the photo itself needs to be technically correct to work when it’s printed in a larger-than-life size. We got all the insider tips on photographing for wide-format printing from pro photographer, Billy Elkins. Check out this airport wall mural installation project that he created images for … and all the background on how he made it come out just right.

HP PVC-free Wall PaperMeet Your Client’s Environmental Needs: If you’ve been asked to cover a wall in a sensitive environment like a school or a healthcare facility, the best option for the job is Type II compliant HP PVC-free Durable Wall Paper in Smooth or Suede. This line of wallcovering is engineered to be used with HP latex inks and don’t require top coats to maintain Type II compliance. Unlike some solvent options, this latex-compatible option doesn’t put off odors or fumes that must be degassed before installation. It also meets FSC- and UL GREENGUARD GOLD standards, so it helps designers achieve LEED certification. And because it’s pre-pasted with adhesive, it goes up easily with little more than a water bottle and a sponge. Check out this video to learn how.

Create a Beautiful Finish: Just because it’s made from a digital print and maybe it won’t be installed for decades doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Our line of customizable wallcoverings, LexJet Premium WallPro™ comes in a variety of elegant finishes to create one-of-a-kind, eye-catching walls. The Premium WallPro line includes a variety of finishes, such as smooth, gold or silver metallic, mylar and linen textures that work beautifully in any residential or commercial space with contemporary or traditional décor.

If you’re looking for more tips on creating unique wallcoverings for your customers, give one of our LexJet pros a call at 800-453-9538.