Test Driving the New HP Latex 360 with LexJet’s Tech Support Director

HP Latex 360 Printer
LexJet technical support director, Adam Hannig, has been putting the HP Latex 360 Printer through its paces, printing here on LexJet Sunset by Fredrix Gloss Canvas SUV.

Is the new HP Latex 360 Printer all it’s cracked up to be? To find out, we asked LexJet’s technical support director, Adam Hannig, who has been working with the printer daily since it arrived at LexJet’s tech center a few weeks ago.

First, the 64-inch printer is meeting all the targets for quality, durability and production with high quality at high speeds, lower maintenance and a healthier printing environment. HP has also partnered with Graphtec and Summa for a true print-and-cut option. Click here to read more about how it works.

One of the features unique to the HP Latex 360 is HP Custom Substrate Profiling with an i1 embedded spectrophotometer. Hannig says this feature makes it simple to profile substrates, so simple that even if you have no knowledge about profiling, you can make it happen. Moreover, with onboard profiling RIP times are quite a bit faster.

“You lose some of the control you have to really get in deep and tweak a substrate profile, but this method is so much faster. There’s not another printer in the latex/solvent market that can do this,” says Hannig. “The other amazing thing is that it’s not RIP-specific so you can create a profile and it doesn’t matter what RIP you use. When you build a profile on the printer it automatically syncs with your RIP; it’s already built and ready to go.”

Another big time-saver, says Hannig, is the new maintenance cartridge system, which allows users to simply replace a cartridge instead of using a maintenance tank. “Now you only have to replace inks, printheads and the maintenance cartridge, so you’re down to the very simplest of options when it comes to regular maintenance of the printer,” says Hannig.

Hannig reports that start-up time – getting the printer “warmed-up” and ready to roll – is significantly lower with the new printer at only about a minute and a half. “If you do a lot of stop-and-start printing where you print a job and then another job half an hour later, the new system cuts down on the time it takes for it to get ready. It has something called a Latex Optimizer, which holds the ink in place until it gets to the heater for instant-dry printing,” says Hannig.

Another new feature on the printer is the LCD touch screen, but Hannig says that while it’s nice to have and includes a preview of the job that’s currently printing, he’s most impressed with the intuitive menu and the internet connectivity.

“If you go to the Substrate Library menu on the printer you can download profiles and it will install them right there. You don’t have to go to your computer; you do it right from the printer, which accesses HP’s Media Finder,” says Hannig.

Hannig adds that he’s impressed with the image quality and the apparent added durability of the next-generation HP Latex Inks.

“For canvas production, as well as other graphics where you’d like to cut out the coating or lamination step, the increased durability is very important. HP developed a different type of polymer around the ink that makes it more durable. You want that peace of mind when you ship it and your customer puts it up on the wall.”

Stay tuned for a series of videos that detail how to use the new HP Latex Printers.

Step 2 in Color Management: Printer and Media Color Gamut

In Step 1 of the color management to-do list we discussed how the quality of your monitor impacts the precision of your output. Step 2 of 3 focuses on understanding how your printer and the inkjet media choices affect color.

Print accuracy doesn’t rely solely on your use of a custom profile and an accurate monitor, though these two components guide you toward the closest possible result. There are two additional variables that can have a big impact on the types of colors you can hit with any printer…

The first is the gamut of the printer. How an ink is formulated in order to print a Coca-Cola red or a Pepsi blue, for example, may differ slightly from technology to technology.

These days I field a lot of questions about choosing between an 8-color system and a 12-color system.  Or, should I use the 9-color or the 11-color printer? Is there a noticeable difference between them?

The answer is yes, there is a noticeable difference any time you add colors. However, the next question I usually follow up with is, “What are you using the printer to print?”

When considering printing technology, there are printers made for higher-speed production (HP Z5200, Canon S Series, Epson T Series, to name a few) that can print a sellable photographic image, but would not be the ideal to use for an artist, photographer or fine art reproduction house. These printers have fewer inks, which cuts down on gamut but improves on speed in most cases.

If you’re in the market for a printer, talk to a LexJet customer specialist and explain the market you are in. We will make sure that you are using the right equipment for the job.

If you are seeing a color that is in your photograph or art piece that you just can’t nail with your printer, it may be out of gamut for the printer or out of gamut for the media you chose to print to.

If you’ve calibrated the monitor, make sure your printer is running at 100 percent capacity, that you’ve soft-proofed the image with the chosen rendering intent, and used a specific printer profile to print. If it still doesn’t portray what’s on your screen, then either of the above mentioned may be at fault.

Now I just spit out a bunch of jargon that may be foreign to you, so click on the links to the tutorials here to find out more…

Download and install ICC Profiles:

PC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W-F-k8z5io

MAC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuOhztAqoyY

How to Softproof before Printing using Photoshop:


How to print using ICC Profiles (find your printer and computer combination):


Color gamut difference between a gloss and matte photo paper.
Figure 1 shows the difference in gamut between a gloss and a matte paper in the high, mid and low range of color (top to bottom). The gloss paper is our Sunset Gloss Photo Paper (red line) and the matte our Premium Archival Matte Paper (green line) as profiled on the Canon IPF8400 with the X-Rite DTP70. Click on the image for a larger version.

You can’t do anything to increase the gamut of the printer, but you can make the right decision based on your needs at the time you purchase the equipment. Making sure you use the right equipment for the type of work you are doing will dramatically increase the quality of your print.

Our second extremely important variable to understand is the media with which you choose to print. The less reflective the media, the less light that reflects back into your eyes, and therefore, the lower the gamut and detail your print will realize (see Figure 1).

Artists have come to love matte watercolor papers and canvas, yet always demand the best color on those surfaces. This is where the owner or production manager at a fine art reproduction house runs into the biggest conflict.

The reflectivity of your media is not the only aspect of the printable supplies that affects color outcome.  White point can change your gamut as well. The brighter the white point, the more gamut you’ll pick up, not to mention an increase in that lovely term the experts like to use, Dmax, which is the darkest measurable value your printer-media combination can hit.

For canvas, Sunset Select Gloss Canvas has the highest dynamic range and color gamut of the canvas offerings LexJet produces. The highest-gamut matte canvas is our Sunset Select Matte Canvas, which has a very punchy white base. Partnering the Sunset Coating line with Sunset Select Matte Canvas has been a very popular choice amongst artists and photographers.

If you are trying to appease the artist crowd who prefer fine art papers, the highest-range matte paper is Sunset Fibre Matte (a very smooth bright-white fiber cellulose paper). If you need 100% cotton with a smooth finish, Sunset Hot Press Rag will be close behind.

If they would like texture on their cotton paper our latest addition to the line is Sunset Bright Velvet Rag.  This paper has the highest Dmax of our cotton line and prints very elegant-looking velvet-textured prints.

On the photographic side of media options, all of our bright white glossy and semi-glossy fibre-based papers put out a phenomenal range. They are all meant to emulate different versions of old-style air dried chemical bath papers that film photographers were used to exposing in the darkroom. These papers include Sunset Fibre Gloss, Sunset Fibre Elite and Sunset Fibre Satin.

Our newest paper in this category is Sunset Fibre Rag, which is 100% cotton and has a warm tone to the base. Even though it is warm in tone, the range is very large and the texture is very fitting to that style of paper.

For RC photo-based paper replicas, nothing tops the gamut of the Sunset Photo Gloss Paper. It reflects the most light, has a high-gloss wet-looking surface like one you would receive from a photo lab providing chemical-style glossy prints.

Also ever so popular for printers looking for a beautiful thick luster paper (e-surface) is our Sunset Photo eSatin Paper. This paper has a very cool white point and the surface is the most popular amongst the RC-emulating class of papers.

LexJet will provide you with the ICC profiles for every media above mentioned. If we do not list one here for your technology we will happily make one for you free of charge! Next time, we’ll tackle Step 3 in the color management to-do list: understanding ICC Profiles and settings. In the meantime, feel free to call us any time at 800-453-9538 with questions.

New Instant-Dry Photo Papers for Solvent, Low-Solvent, Latex and UV-Curable Printing

Fostergraphs Poster Printing
Fostergraphs’ poster printing for Iowa’s sports teams is now easier, quicker and more dynamic with the addition of LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin SUV 180g.


Three new instant-dry photo papers for solvent, low-solvent, UV-curable and latex printers that address both high-end and production-oriented photo reproduction and graphics production have been introduced by LexJet.

The new photo papers were developed to open up new markets and profitable applications for print shops, sign companies, point-of-purchase and exhibit producers, and fine-art reproduction companies.

The new LexJet photo papers include:

LexJet Sunset Photo Satin SUV 275g: Highly scratch-resistant, this 11-mil satin-finish photo paper is perfect for posters, fine photos, corporate and hotel lobby displays, retail displays, décor, and other applications where image quality and performance are essential.

LexJet Sunset Photo Gloss SUV 275g: Provides the same benefits as the new satin photo paper but in a gloss finish. Both papers are specially formulated to dry instantly with low-solvent, solvent, latex and UV-curable inks so that users can put their take-up reel to work for longer production runs. They’re also the thickest, most durable photo papers on the market in their class. The new Sunset SUV photo papers are based on LexJet’s award-winning Sunset line of fine art papers, photo papers and canvases preferred by professional photographers and fine art reproduction companies for their extremely wide color gamut and high Dmax, as well as their ability to hold fine detail.

LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin SUV 180g: Geared toward high-volume production work that requires a balance of quality and economy, this satin-finish production paper features a high-performance, instant-dry, scratch-resistant base for posters, photo reproductions, point-of-purchase displays, and other commercial applications.

“The Sunset Photo Satin and Gloss SUV media print great on our Epson GS6000 low-solvent printer, and the drying time is very good with both,” says Trevor Odell of Colormax Digital, Evansville, Ind. “I’ve been searching for a heavyweight, durable paper for solvent that’s just as good as photo papers for aqueous printers, but at a lower cost, and this is it.”

Fostergraphs Photo Printing
Kent Foster, Fostergraphs, also reports that LexJet’s new SUV photo papers produce excellent saturation and color.

Regarding LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin SUV 180g, Kent Foster, Fostergraphs Inc., Decorah, Iowa, comments: “I tested other solvent photo papers previously and it was always a challenge to get it to dry on our Epson GS6000. This is better now, and the color and saturation is great.”

All three of the new LexJet SUV photo papers allow those who have transitioned to solvent, latex and UV-curable printing from aqueous-based printing to win back customer and market share for higher-end production graphics and photographic reproduction. For long-time users of solvent and UV-curable technologies, the true photo-quality papers open up a range of profitable applications in both emerging and existing markets.
“LexJet’s new suite of photo papers were designed to maximize the production quality of low-solvent, solvent, latex and UV-curable printers, and make production easier,” says Jaimie Mask, LexJet’s product manager. “Our customers are looking for ways to differentiate their output, and that was the driving force behind the development of these new photo papers.”

The new LexJet SUV photo papers are available for next-day delivery in most of the Continental U.S. from one of LexJet’s nationwide distribution centers, and come in 36-in., 54-in., and 61-in. widths. As with all LexJet products they come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 for more information and to order.

Two New KODAK Matte Papers for Production and Photo Printing at LexJet

KODAK Production Matte-Paper 170gKODAK recently introduced two new matte papers now available at LexJet designed to provide value, consistency, flexibility and profit for photographers, print shops, fine art reproduction companies and other imaging professionals.

KODAK Production Matte Paper / 170g is geared toward production print shops looking for that perfect balance between quality and cost. The paper is ideal for long production runs of point-of-purchase displays, posters, architectural renderings and presentation graphics.

Its smooth, bright white, instant-dry surface provides the high ink-load retention needed for saturated, brilliant colors. It can be thermally laminated and is universally compatible with dye and pigmented inks.

KODAK PROFESSIONAL Inkjet Photo Paper, Matte / 230g is designed for the discerning imaging professional interested in higher-end applications like photo and fine art reproductions and décor for home and office.

It has a smooth, neutral-white matte finish with an instant-dry coating that prevents smudging and fingerprints, providing hassle-free print production. It is also acid-free for long-lasting, non-yellowing prints when used with pigmented inks

KODAK Production Matte Paper / 170g is available in roll sizes ranging from 24″ x 100′ to 60″ x 100′. KODAK PROFESSIONAL Inkjet Photo Paper, Matte / 230g is available in various sheet sizes and rolls up to 60″ x 100′.

For more information about these new papers, the KODAK line at LexJet or anything else you need help with, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.

How to Install Canon’s Media Take-up Unit for Production Printing

Canon’s Media Take-up Unit for its 44″ and 60″ wide format printers offer some helpful workflow advantages for those users printing longer runs.

Installing the media take-up unit on Canon printersWhile the 60″ models come standard with the Media Take-up Unit, owners of a 44″ model can purchase one and add it to their existing unit.

In the video embedded below, learn how to install a Media Take-up Unit.

Check back soon for a new video on how to use the Media Take-up Unit with your Canon imagePROGRAF printer.