5 Products that Changed the Game for Wide Format in 2019

In 2019, we looked to the market and our customers to find the gaps we could fill with problem-solving product innovations. As a company that marked its 25th anniversary this year, we’ve built our foundation on finding new ways to help our customers thrive. As the year comes to an end, we take a look back at some of the product launches customers and the industry asked for.

In case you didn’t catch them previously, here’s a look at five new media products that changed the game for the wide-format industry:

Squid, for High-End Window Graphics. Likely one of the most buzz-worthy products of the year, Squid is a self-adhesive, printable window textile that offers an elegant-looking alternative to window films that is more environmentally friendly and provides privacy while blocking the sun’s rays. With several color bases that range from a light Chalk to a dark Coal, Squid can be used alone or enhanced with eco-solvent or UV-curable print. In November, we announced that the Chalk version of Squid is now available for Latex printers.

Fredrix Metallic Canvas in Pearl and Gold. Maybe you didn’t think you needed a metallic-based canvas product, but now that it’s here, we don’t think there’s any going back. Before Fredrix dreamed up these dreamy canvases, the only option for creating a metallic gallery wrap was to use a wallcovering product, with dubious effect when wrapping it around those stretcher bars. Today, we’ve got Fredrix Metallic Pearl, which provides a glamorous, iridescent base that puts print jobs like bridal portraits in a whole new stratosphere. The Fredrix Metallic Gold is a showy option that looks amazing with rich, black inks. It also took the 2019 SGIA Product of the Year for Media – Textile – Canvas.

Dye-sub Fisher Textiles in Wide-Format Sizes. With the introduction of wide-format width dye-sub printers hitting the market from the likes of Epson and HP, the industry was in need of some quality dye-sub fabrics in the right widths. Until we partnered with Fisher Textiles, there weren’t many options. We brought right-sized rolls to the industry for a variety of applications, such as flags, soft signage, table skirts, drapery, banners, backdrops and much more.

New Sunset SUV Fine Art for Large Runs. As the preferred printer technologies in the market begin to shift to eco-solvent, we’re finding a bigger need for traditionally aqueous-based media to be re-formulated. Where better to start than with the fine-art segment? We introduced Sunset SUV Fine Art Paper 210g for high-volume art and photography reproductions at a cost-conscious price. For customers loyal to aqueous inks, we also launched Sunset Hot Press Smooth Bright White and Sunset Cold Press Textured Bright White papers to give them another budget-friendly, high-quality option.

High-Tack HP Grip Matte for Stickier Situations. All year we’ve seen the relatively new HP Adhesive Vinyl portfolio of products become customer favorites. Yet, the line was missing a high-tack option that could be used on hard-to-stick-to surfaces, such as trash cans and other low-energy plastics. So we brought on HP Grip Polymeric Air with its aggressive, high-tack clear adhesive, which works on rough surfaces as well as low-energy, while providing an easy, bubble-free installation.

Do you have any product favorites from 2019? Tell us in the comments below, or let us know what other solutions you’ve been looking for.

Squid Self-Adhesive Textile Now Available for Latex

You’ve heard about Squid and the unique way it dresses up windows, and now it’s available for latex ink technology, exclusively in the U.S. through LexJet.

Squid gives windows in offices, healthcare facilities, restaurants, hotels and homes an elegant finish that’s easy to install after printing. It can also be cut into odd shapes for partial coverage.

Squid has many design and eco-friendly benefits, such as:

  • Prints easily using wide-format technology, including solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable and latex
  • Crisp output is ideal for branding or advertising messaging
  • Reduces glare and reflects heat from the sun
  • Creates privacy
  • Resists humidity and has antibacterial properties
  • Can be used printed or unprinted
  • Fire retardant and PVC-free
  • Alternative to plastic film products typically used for window graphics

Squid is available in six base colors (latex is only available in Chalk) to provide a variety of warm, contemporary and minimalistic finished looks. Because the adhesive is only placed on the fibers of the textile, Squid still provides a bit of transparency while still blocking about 1/3 of the sun’s energy.

If you have used Squid with other technologies and want to switch to latex, please note that the liner has changed and the rolls are wound with the printable Squid fabric on the outside of the media roll, versus on the inside for the other printer technologies. If Squid for latex needs to be trimmed on a cutting machine, we recommend testing it advance with your preferred cutting equipment.

To learn more about Squid, visit our product page and call a LexJet printer expert at 800-453-9538.

We Joined the Printing United Convergence!

Last month, the LexJet team joined our parent company, S-One, to host a comprehensive booth at Printing United in Dallas, with the theme Media Matters. At LexJet, we know how important it is to pair the right media substrate with the right printer for the right job — every time.

This year, SGIA partnered with NAPCO to create Printing United, which celebrated the convergence of printing segments that aren’t so segmented any more. Many printers are expanding their offerings into signage, décor, commercial and packaging.

Squid window graphic demonstration

With this industry-wide convergence going on, some print service providers are struggling with juggling too much, according to industry experts. During the Key Industry Trends and Insights Research Breakfast, SGIA’s Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi discussed pain points for companies that are affecting the bottom line, such as rising wages and benefits costs, shortage of skilled personnel, workflow inefficiencies and cost of materials.

To help PSPs make smarter material purchasing decisions, we showcased a number of innovative, versatile products available exclusively at LexJet, including:

  • Squid, the innovative new self-adhesive textile for window graphics in retail, healthcare, residential and corporate spaces.
  • HP Grip Matte Polymeric Air, a high-tack, aggressive adhesive-backed vinyl for rough surfaces and low-energy plastics.
  • Fredrix Metallic Gold Canvas, the 2019 SGIA Product of the Year – Media – Textile – Canvas, along with its Metallic Pearl counterpart.
  • Sunset SUV Fine Art Paper 210g, the new-to-market option for large-volume fine art décor printers looking for a cost-conscious option that also has on-point quality.

If you couldn’t make it to Printing United, you can still experience our booth. Please check out the video below. Our print specialists are also available at 800-453-9538 to answer any of your questions about making smarter materials purchases or focusing on the segments you specialize in.

Get Your Free Printing United Expo Pass Today!

If you’re planning on attending Printing United this year, we’ve got you covered with a free Expo pass for the trade show in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 23-25 (a $35 savings). This year’s show brings the best of SGIA together, including wide-format along with textile, commercial and package printing, all under one roof.

To receive your pass, please use promo code 76842 on THIS LINK.

During the show, you’ll see the latest offerings in each of the market segments, and learn about the latest trends, techniques and workflow strategies. You’ll be able to view the 2019 SGIA Product of the Year Awards, which includes Fredrix Metallic Gold Canvas, a LexJet exclusive in the U.S.

In booth #6810, you’ll also discover some of the latest advancements and trends on the media that matters for your business today. We’ll feature printed samples of the HP Adhesive Vinyl portfolio, upscale wallcoverings and other décor products, sustainable print material solutions, as well as unique window graphic materials, like Squid.

This year, more than 600 exhibitors will take over 720,000 square feet at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Get your Expo pass and meet us there!