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.

When It Comes to Performance, HP Prime Matte Air GP Vinyl Delivers

If you are looking for high-performance adhesive matte vinyl to create indoor or outdoor graphics, HP Prime Matte Air GP delivers rave-worthy results and is compatible with solvent, UV curable and latex printers.

Introduced last year at SGIA, customers have been singing the praises for the new HP Adhesive Vinyl products.

Rick Haines of Dimension Design in Jacksonville, Fla., has been using one of the industry’s leading calendered vinyl for years. “HP set out to create a media capable of matching the performance of a tried-and-true product,” he says. “From my experience, they have done just that.”

Haines says that his team has incorporated the Prime Matte into their everyday use and paired it with HP Matte Polymeric Laminate.  “The results have been as advertised, and we’re very pleased that we can save some money without losing any quality,” he says.

The versatility is why William Roll of Signarama in Dothan, Ala., and his team like the Prime Matte. “My guys love the HP,” he says. “They grab it for every application they can use it on, and they tell me that the air-release component is the best they’ve ever used. It’s been used for interior menu boards at a garage and economical seasonal window displays.”

Are you ready to try HP Prime Matte Air GP? Call a LexJet sales specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

 

How to Start Marketing Your Décor Print Services

Deciding to add services like custom-printed wallcoverings and canvas wraps to your business is the easy part. Getting the word out and bringing in potential customers is where the challenge lies. Here are 5 tips to help you get started with marketing décor print services:

  1. Fix your identity. If your operation has always been called a “sign shop,” consider adjusting your business name or adding a new business unit specifically for décor services. Target which services you want to offer (start with one or two) and determine which products you want to print to. Once these are nailed down, the business name and focus will start to fall into place.
  2. Practice and promote. If you’ve decided to add customized digitally printed wallcoverings as your new offering, find a project you can work on as a beta site. Perhaps a restaurant that a friend owns or a business you regularly frequent that could use an update. Offer to print wallcovering for a room for free so you can get real-world experience in terms of the work flow, installation and product performance. When you’ve successfully completed a project, use before, during and after photos on social media and email campaigns to show off your new expertise.
  3. Connect with others. Get to know local interior designers who could capitalize on your new services. Attend networking events and learn about community projects that could allow you an opportunity to show off your work and get free publicity. Focus on collaborating with other professionals who may need the talents of your graphics team to create artwork for canvas wraps or customized patterns for wallcovering — and charge them reasonably for this niche service.
  4. Upsell to current customers. Opportunities are everywhere. If you’ve been creating backlit displays for a retail outlet, ask them if they’re interested in a wall mural to liven up their store. Same goes for restaurants, hotels or corporate accounts that you print signage for. Could they use a fresh accent wall or canvas wraps to add ambiance or elegance to their spaces?
  5. Get your content together. Create a sample book (or web page) of the types of work you can do. Photos with finished applications will go a long way in helping your customers to visualize what you can customize for them.

If you have questions about marketing décor services or success stories to share, tell us about it in the comments below.

The Next Evolution in OBA-Free Canvas: Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas

OBA Free Canvas
This giant gallery wrap reproduction of a photo Jorge Blanco took of Mesa Arch in Utah was printed on Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas in three panels and stretched on 1 1/2″ stretcher bars. Blanco says huge pieces like this are great alternatives to wall murals since they can be easily detached and moved to a new home or office.

 

Based on demand from fine art reproduction companies, print shops and photographers for a consistent, high-performing OBA-free canvas, LexJet and Fredrix Print Canvas introduce Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas.

The new canvas has a brighter white point than other OBA-free canvases, provides consistent print quality, and is easy to stretch and finish.

Jorge Blanco, owner of Gallery Works, a fine art and photography reproduction company based in Tampa, says, “I’m very impressed with it so far. I think it’s a hit. I don’t know of anything like it. I’ve tried other canvases and they always seem to have one problem or another with cracking when you coat and stretch, but this canvas performs very well for me. And, the output is as good or better than any canvas I’ve tried.”

Compatible with the latest aqueous inkjet print technology from Canon, Epson and HP, Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas is built on an acid-free, pH neutral, poly-cotton base.

“Our customers that prefer to use an OBA-free canvas also want more consistency than they’ve seen in the past, both in output and finishing, whether they’re coating and stretching a canvas or simply framing it,” says Jaimie Mask, LexJet product manager.

Sunset by Fredrix Canvas is now available from LexJet’s North American Distribution Network for fast delivery in 17″ x 40′, 24″ x 40′, 36″ x 40′, 44″ x 40′, 60″ x 40′ and 64″ x 40′ roll sizes. Contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 for more information.