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.

Get Recognized with a Sunset Print Award at Photo Competitions across the U.S.

Sunset Print Award

The Sunset Print Award, which debuted in 2009, will once again be presented at local, state and regional photography competitions across the U.S. in 2015, starting in January.

“The Sunset Print Award has become the coveted award in the photography market, and from my perspective as a board member of the Professional Photographers of Michigan we couldn’t be more appreciative of the award,” says Tina Timmons, owner of The Portrait Gallery in Vassar, Mich., a previous Sunset Award Winner who also prints for other photographers for competition.

The winners of Sunset Print Awards at each competition will then be eligible for the National Sunset Print Award, judged by a panel of expert judges in November at LexJet headquarters in Sarasota, Fla. Click here to read about this year’s National Sunset Print Award competition and the winners. And, to see all the winners since 2009, and the stories behind the images, click here.

Winners at each competition where a Sunset Print Award is presented also receive a beautiful crystal trophy (pictured above), a lapel pin and a $250 gift certificate good toward the purchase of Sunset award-winning inkjet photo papers, fine art papers, coatings and canvas.

Go to www.sunsetprint.com/competitions/ to see the most current list of competitions presenting a Sunset Print Award, and check back here regularly, as more are being added over the next month.

To find out more about the Sunset Print Award and upcoming competitions, as well as a gallery of previous winners and information on Sunset inkjet media, go to www.sunsetprint.com, or contact a LexJet print expert at 800-453-9538.

Rolling down the Runway with an Inkjet Printed Canvas Triptych

Canvas Triptych Print by Broadstreet Fine Art

Broadstreet Fine Art and Framing, based in Fairburn, Ga., recently pieced together this canvas triptych with an appropriate passenger jet image for the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corporation (AATC).

AATC handles facility management at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and this carefully-crafted piece is part one of a two-part décor project at the company’s executive offices. Part two will be a series of vintage photos from the airport printed on Sunset Fine Art Paper that will decorate the common space between reception and the offices.

For this canvas piece, Broadstreet Fine Art owner Loran Hygema used Sunset Select Matte Canvas protected with Sunset Satin Coating. The canvas was stretched on 2″ stretcher bars using Broadstreet’s automated canvas stretching machine. Each canvas piece of the triptych is 36″ x 36″ for a total image size of 3′ x 9′.

Canvas Inkjet Print by Broadstreet Fine Art“Sunset Satin Coating is not only cost-effective, but it’s the best by far we’ve used for coating. The canvas is hands-down, head and shoulders above other canvases I’ve used. It is more like a canvas should feel: more pliable and much easier to stretch. We do a lot of big canvases 4×6, 4×7 and Sunset canvas works well for us, especially at the large sizes we often produce, because we don’t have problems with wrinkles,” says Hygema.

The airliner image is black-and-white, but the client requested a subtle sepia tone to go with it, so Hygema added a slight tint for that effect. “I prefer the image in black and white, but the customer is always right,” says Hygema.

Hygema also used Perfect Resize from OnOne Software, which was formerly known as Genuine Fractals, to create the wrap borders and to res-up the file. Hygema says Perfect Resize will create selective, mirror, museum-wrap style and other types of wrap borders.

He used the LexJet profile for printing through his Epson Stylus Pro 11880 wide format inkjet printer. “I’ve had great luck with the profiles supplied by LexJet. We have a color management system to make custom profiles, but don’t fix it if it ain’t broke,” he says.

The three printed pieces were laid out and lined up before stretching, and then hung on mirror hangers, rather than wire hangers so that all the pieces will stay in the exact same position.

“That was a bit of a challenge,” says Hygema. “You can’t really adjust the canvas on the wall like you can with wire hangers, so we had to do a little trial-and-error to get the hanging hardware in the right spot in relation to each other. They love the triptych and are excited about seeing the rest. We’ll be working with the Delta Air Museum to find the right vintage photos for the rest of the project.”

Win a LexJet Sunset Award at the Professional Photographers of Michigan

The Professional Photographers of Michigan (PPM) will host February Frenzy at the Comfort Inn in Birch Run, Mich., Feb. 15-17, which includes a print competition, seminars with award-winning photographers and other social events.

Photo print competitionAt the print competition, the Best of Show winner picks up a LexJet Sunset Award as well, which comes with a $200 gift certificate for LexJet-branded products, including the award-winning Sunset line of photo and fine art papers and canvas. If the award-winning image is printed on a Sunset paper the winner gets an additional $200 LexJet gift certificate.

The print competition begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. Print judges for 2013 are Mark Garber, Barbara Younts, Darrell Moll, Christie Kline, Peter Yu and Randy McNeilly. The Jury Chairman is David Deutsch.

If you’re entering the competition, drop off your cases on Friday, Feb. 15, between 3 and 6 p.m. at the Comfort Inn Birch Run Conference Room.

For more information about the print competition, the seminars or anything else about the event, go to www.ppm.org or email Darcy Olson at darcyo111@aol.com.