Don’t Forget about these 2012 Capital Equipment Tax Incentives

Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation tax breaksThere’s good news and bad news about capital equipment tax incentives and deductions in 2012. First, the bad news really isn’t all that bad, and there’s still plenty of good news under what’s called Section 179 Expensing and Bonus Depreciation.

Add in all the great promotions and rebates available through LexJet, including the iPad Mini Giveaway Countdown that expires on Dec. 14 or while iPad Mini supplies last, and you can make major improvements to your production workflow and cash flow.

This year, the Section 179 Deduction limit is up to $139,000. Last year, the limit was up to a whopping $500,000. Still, this year’s limit is a decent amount for deducting the cost of printers, laminators and other capital equipment, and most is likely below the limit for the majority of print shops’ capital equipment investments.

Under Section 179, business owners who purchase capital equipment for use in their business may be able to deduct the total cost of the equipment in a single tax year rather than depreciating it over a number of years. For instance, assuming a 34% tax rate, if you were to purchase a $30,000 printer, the tax savings on the Section 179 deduction would be $10,200. The cost of the equipment, net of tax savings is $19,800.

Under Bonus Depreciation, this year’s provision allows for an additional first-year depreciation deduction for capital investments placed in service during 2012 equal to 50 percent of the adjusted basis of the qualified property (last year it was 100 percent).

Once again, anything is better than nothing and these provisions are sure to help with your 2012 taxes and bring down your cost of ownership relating to capital equipment. Be sure to consult your tax advisor to determine which of these tax-planning tips can provide the best benefit for you and your business. For more information, FAQs and to calculate Section 179 deductions, go to

Printing Unique Promotions that Stick at the Point of Sale

Printing cornhole boards for tournamentsPrinting point of sale promotions and advertising can become a bit humdrum: banners, cooler wraps, window signs… They’ve all been done, but that’s the beauty of the plethora of the latest printer technology and printable materials; you can advertise on just about anything.

At Caffey Distributing in Greensboro, N.C., production manager Bob Korabek has been finding new places to stick adhesive-backed materials to boost their brands at the point of sale, like cornhole boards for tournaments and on mini-fridges.

Cornhole, in case you’re not familiar with it, is a bean bag toss game that has swept through bars and pubs across the nation. Rumor has it that the game, at least the version now being played, was popularized in Cincinnati, moving its way south as transplanted Ohioans moved to warmer climates.

Whatever its origin, Korabek saw promotional opportunity and ran with it as local bars began holding cornhole tournaments. It’s a simple process: Korabek prints LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl w/ PSA on one of his HP Z6100 inkjet printers, applies it to the approximately 4′ x 2′ board and cuts out the vinyl where the hole at the top of the board is located.

“The bars set up four sets of boards for the tournaments, and the winners get some kind of big prize. I printed some with Miller Lite, Blue Moon and other beers we wanted to promote, usually tied in with a beer special,” explains Korabek. “Instead of just a logo in the middle of the board, I covered the entire board to give us more promotional space.”

Printing mini fridges with logos and promotionsThe printed cornhole boards have been a huge hit in the market, creating widespread interest and driving demand for both the game and the printed versions of the game.

Another popular application for adhesive-backed materials that Korabek introduced to the market is decorated mini-fridges. The graphics are usually tied to whichever sport is in season, whether it’s football or basketball.

Because the temperature of the mini-fridges can vary, Korabek was looking for a material that wouldn’t expand and contract as the fridge got colder or warmer. His customer specialist, Kelly Price, recommended LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene.

“They’re very popular and our accounts will often buy a couple of extra ones. For one of the March Madness promotions the contest winner got a fridge with the team they wanted on the fridge. It’s a little perk that our competitors don’t provide; it’s something extra special we do for those accounts,” says Korabek.

“When I first started here 16 years ago all I had was a Gerber EDGE and a plotter. The technology has moved so quickly since then and Kelly is awesome because she keeps me up to date on new products and she gives me great suggestions that work for my printers and any application I’m trying,” adds Korabek. “Plus, with LexJet’s distribution network I get everything on time; turnaround time for me is super-fast.”

Smooth, Bubble-Free Window Graphics Applications

Applying window graphics on the inside of a windowAvailable from LexJet’s Nationwide Delivery Network this week is a new 1-mil clear polyester film with adhesive on both sides designed for applying temporary window graphics.

LexJet FaceMount-X Removable Adhesive has a permanent solvent acrylic adhesive on one side where the graphic is applied facing out and a removable solvent acrylic adhesive on the other side where it’s applied to the inside of the window.

The air flow release liner on the removable side makes installation quick, easy and bubble-free. Once the promotion or campaign is over, the graphic is easily removed with no residue.

The removable adhesive is ideal for protecting the graphic from picky passersby and the weather, as well as sign code enforcers who don’t like graphics applied to the outside of windows.

For more information about LexJet FaceMount-X Removable Adhesive, as well as LexJet’s line of window graphic products for any project or ink type, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.

Birdie Time: Quick Change Backlits for Promotions at Mid South Distributing

Printing backlit signs for advertising and promotions

It’s a simple yet effective branding tool: backlit boxes. Backlighting brings out the best in graphics, making the message more vibrant and eye-catching than an unlit sign. There is a danger, however: light acts as a magnifier, bringing hidden flaws in the print to the fore.

Fortunately for Mid-South Distributing’s Chad Mallich, he has the right tools and support to maximize the power of backlits for branding, as well as a designer’s eye for what brings out the best in a promotional sign.

With two Canon iPF8300S wide format inkjet printers, a cold laminator, a hot laminator, an OKI small format laser printer, a vinyl cutter and other sundry shop equipment, Mallich is ready for any challenge that comes across his desk. And, with support and materials from his LexJet customer specialist, Kelly Price, quality and quantity are able to effectively intersect.

Mallich’s recent backlit project was designed to draw thirsty golfers at Saddle Creek Golf Club in nearby Lewisburg, Tenn., to one of Mid-South Distributing’s prime brands, Miller Lite.

“We were looking for an alternative material for a short-term promotion that was less expensive than a typical backlit film that still imaged well and was easy to work with,” explains Mallich. “Kelly recommended LexJet 8 Mil PolyGloss Banner, so I put it on the light table, turned out the lights and it looked great. I’ll send an email to Kelly describing a product and she knows exactly what it is, so she’s been very helpful. As we get requests from other accounts like bars that have light boxes we’ll swap them out with this material.”

The appealing golf-themed sign is 11 3/4″ x 35″. With golf season in full swing, Miller Lite is the perfect antidote to promote this summer. Malich says that as the seasons change, he uses backlits to promote the seasonal draughts at various locations. “You can do more graphically with a backlit with contrast and bright colors; they just look better backlit,” adds Malich.

New Guides and Articles for Photographers from PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter announced today that it is offering a number of new guides and articles of interest to professional photographers. The Spring 2012 Survey – What Buyers Want from Photographers – is now available for a free download.

Free guide to what buyers want from photographersThe guide includes survey results from 1,000 image buyers, photo editors, and other creatives worldwide who hire photographers and license photographs. Buyers surveyed are from a diverse range of organizations including advertising agencies, design agencies, nonprofits, editorial publications, book publishers, corporations, marketing agencies, and more.

The guide also provides firsthand interviews from photo buyers at JWT, GSD&M,, Men’s Health, and Random House who offer tips on how they want be pitched, websites that work, and the personal characteristics of photographers they look for when they hire.

So, this particular guide is really more geared toward those who provide images for commercial, editorial and advertising work, as opposed to more consumer-oriented photographer. Even so, the guide has some interesting and useful information about the market, as well as e-mail marketing tips, the impact of social media, website tips, buyer profiles and more.

Other articles available at PhotoShelter today include…

Why Instagram is Terrible (and why You Should Use it)

How to Take Your Landscape Photography to the Next Level

6 Night Photography Tips to Help You Master the Craft

Interview with Newsweek’s Senior Photo Editor (video)

PhotoShelter is also offering the guide 10 Branding Secrets for Photographers when you sign up for a free 14-day trial of PhotoShelter websites.

Canvas Gallery Wraps: Not Just for Galleries

Cottrell Printing Company in Centennial, Colo., does just about every type of printing imaginable, from catalogs and brochures in its spacious commercial department to a variety of large format graphics on its HP Designjet L25500 60-inch latex printer the company picked up from LexJet last year.

Printing canvas gallery wraps for office lobbiesCottrell Printing CEO Rick Hillbrand is a big proponent of not only telling clients and potential clients what they can do, but showing it, as noted in an earlier post here at the LexJet Blog about the company’s 40th anniversary open house.

One of the products Hillbrand believes has potential in the market as they roll out the capabilities of the HP latex printer is the canvas gallery wrap.

Canvas gallery wraps were once the reserve of high-end galleries and art shows. With advances in printer technology and easier ways to build a gallery wrap, however, they’ve become more popular with individual consumers, corporations and others looking to bring a touch of style to their environment, be it an office, a home or any business space.

Canvas gallery wraps printed for officesUsing LexJet’s Sunset HD Pro Stretcher Bars and HP Satin Canvas, Hillbrand has decorated much of Cottrell Printing’s office space with canvas wrap renditions that highlight the company’s history as well as some Hillbrand’s own Rocky Mountain high country photography.

“The Sunset Stretcher Bars were very easy to use and took just minutes to put together and stretch the canvas,” says Hillbrand. “We’d like to sell more of this product, so the first step is making sure it’s visible in our lobby and around the office. We just had a decent order of 12 gallery wraps for a client who’s placing photos of their product in their office lobbies across Colorado.”

Do it yourself canvas wrap stretcher kitsHillbrand says he’s been impressed with the quality of the images produced by the HP latex printer and how well it reproduces photography and artwork. Though Hillbrand has been promoting the fact that the printer has less environmental impact, he says the output is getting more attention.

“The output quality allows us to do a wider variety of work, including the canvas wraps, than we initially thought we would be able to produce,” adds Hillbrand.