New Exhibit Takes Flight with Floor-to-Ceiling Murals

When the design team at Field Museum in Chicago wanted to create an exhibit with the few James Audubon’s artifacts they had on-hand, they decided to give it a big treatment with floor-to-ceiling murals of reproductions of Audubon’s illustrations.

The exhibit idea started with an original over-sized book by Audubon, a 19th century naturalist and painter who dedicated his life to studying and documenting all the birds of North America. His bird expertise and illustrations are world-renowned. Field Museum had a few birds represented from the book as well as pages from one of Audubon’s sketch books. With only a few items on-hand, but a desire to showcase them, Nel Fetherling, supervisor of graphic production, worked with her design team to come up with a creative approach for the small exhibit.

The images in the book had been photographed years ago, and Fetherling was able to access the files. “I said: ‘Let’s do wall paper,'” she says. “We wanted to do something really, really big.”

Fetherling had used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric for smaller jobs and thought it could work as a wall mural, as well. “Because we use aqueous inks, I knew I couldn’t print true wallpaper, so I used this product instead,” she says. Her team printed six 14-foot x 75-inch wall murals as well as one for the entryway (pictured at top).

“The colors were so brilliant,” Fetherling says. “Our designer was skeptical, but after we printed it, she said the colors were almost better than the actual illustrations. It’s just such a nice white to print on.”

Fetherling handled the installation herself, requiring a scissor lift and a bit of trial and error. “I was thankful that it was a little bit forgiving,” she says of the ability to reposition or remove Print-N-Stick. “We have had other products that weren’t quite as successful going through the printer — and the colors were not as good. This is better than other products we’ve used with an adhesive back.”

She says Print-N-Stick’s versatility has everyone talking about what they could use it for next, since it is a viable alternative to a solvent or latex vinyl that she could not print in-house on her two Canon PRO-Series PRO-4000s.

“The Canon PRO-4000 and Lucia inks are very nice,” she says, with her team relying on the printers for everything from educational panels to artwork to event posters and much more. “Our designers were amazed at quality of prints coming out of the Canons. And we liked that we can get a two-roll thing on the Canons to switch out papers quickly.”

To learn more about the Audubon exhibit, visit Field Museum. To learn more about LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, call a LexJet rep at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Top 5 Wallcovering Trends for Digital Print Providers

By now, you’ve likely looked into adding décor printing into the offerings you provide your customers. And wallcovering is a vital link in that chain. You’ve got lots of products to choose from, including the HP Latex-certified Vescom Wallcoverings, available from LexJet.

Vescom is known for its consistency and elegant finishes, plus installers prefer this Type-II-certified vinyl media, which has a non-woven backing that makes installation using standard techniques a breeze.

We asked our friends at Vescom for some tips on how wallcovering trends are evolving this year. Here are five of the top digital wallcovering trends they’re seeing for 2019:

  1. THE 5th WALL

Not satisfied with just decorating four walls, designers are increasingly covering the ceiling of a room to bring in the “other” wall as part of a more visually unified space and one that will stand out among the crowd. Vescom Matte has a non-woven backing that installs easily with common adhesives and installation techniques.

  1. FLORALS

Florals have made a comeback, but forget your grandmother’s wallpaper, today’s florals are more sophisticated and dramatic with a nature-themed feel done in a modern aesthetic. Vescom Tabby adds a soft warmth to a floral design.

  1. METALLIC

Go Hollywood with metallic wallpaper that adds an element of luxury and glamour. Vescom Metallic Sand provides a subtle shimmer for an ultra-modern look.

  1. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S WALLPAPER

Faux finishes continue to be the rage, from brick and stone to bamboo and grass, digitally printed wallpaper lets you create an artificial pattern without the cost and hassle of the actual material. Vescom Polster is a natural texture that emulates materials such as stucco, brick or stone.

  1. ROOM WITH A VIEW

A large-format photo mural makes a stunning statement, creates a visual escape and is perfect for windowless spaces, conference rooms and lobbies. Vescom Matte has a smooth surface and prints high-resolution photos and imagery.

Give a LexJet print specialist a call at 800-453-9538 for more ideas on how digitally printable wallcovers can help you create one-of-a-kind projects for your customers.

Customize the Holidays with Canvas, Wrapping Paper & More

Consumers have grown quite savvy when it comes to the art of gift-giving. There was a time when it was “the thought that counts,” which often led to frantic last-minute shopping trips for generic, boring trinkets. With the advent of digitally printable media like LexJet Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas or EnduraFab Stretch, customization has become one of the easiest ways to give meaningful gifts that express individuality and creativity.

Print service providers can help customers take ideas and turn them into personal, heartfelt pieces, creating a one-of-a-kind gift that will likely stay in the family for generations.

With such a thoughtful gift, why let the customer wrap it in store-bought wrapping paper? Take them on a fully customized journey: from the heart on the inside to the art on the outside.

HP Satin Wrapping Paper provides a completely unique gift-giving experience for your customers by adding text and images to the sturdy, satin-finished paper. Imagine wrapping a Christmas gift with paper that shows the kids’ evolution of Santa pictures through the years, or the fun and quirky dating history of a couple who will be celebrating their first holiday season as newlyweds.

Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner, with Valentine’s Day shortly thereafter, all of which means customized requests are sure to begin soon, if they haven’t already. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your customer the family hero by partnering the ultimate customized wrapping paper with the ultimate customized gift.

This versatile FSC®-certified paper is not only the perfect add-on for customized holiday orders, but it is also ideal for year-round POP and poster printing because it drys quickly – which reduces smudging – and stays intact when handling.

HP Satin Wrapping Paper comes in 500-foot rolls that can be used with HP Latex, PageWide and Z-series production printers, and 30-in x 150-foot rolls, that can be used on smaller aqueous printers.

Another fun customization idea comes from Kathy Ogg of Re-Image Printing. This room looks like a warm and cozy scene, but you won’t find many fireplaces in Ogg’s Florida town. Instead, she used LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric to print the holly-jolly wall mural, pictured at left. “The only things actually 3-dimensional on this wall are the K, M and J stockings,” she says.

Print-N-Stick is available in aqueous and solvent-compatible versions, and is a fast and easy solution that goes up easily and comes down without leaving any residue behind.

“Print-N-Stick is the most fun material I’ve ever printed to, and I love how versatile it is,” Ogg says. “It’s truly removable without peeling paint or damaging wall behind it. It breaths better to adhere to textured walls.”

If you have any questions about customized printing, call your LexJet sales representative at 800-453-9538 or visit us at LexJet.com.

Our All-time Top Wallcovering Prep, Print & Installation Tips

Any time you’re covering a wall floor-to-ceiling it’s a big job. But with some insider tips and the right products for the job, you can break it down into a manageable task. Here are some of our all-time, most helpful tricks and tips for seamless, professional wallcovering printing and installation:

Do Your Pre-Work: Before you can even think about hitting “go” on your printer, be sure you’ve got your site under control. These means doing a site visit ahead of time, testing the wall surface and taking photos and wall measurements (here’s a handy app, Photo Measures, that makes that job easier). Once that’s under control, you can begin creating tiles that you’ll print. Check out the video on this blog for more pre-printing tips and how to set up your tile files.

Know When to Go Short-Term: This isn’t your grandma’s wall paper, and chances are your clients won’t be planning to leave it on the wall for the next 30 years. There are so many options on the market today for short- to long-term wall murals for a multitude of applications. For a low-cost, temporary solution that can be cleanly removed, there’s no better option than LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric. It’s available for aqueous– and solvent-compatible technologies. Check out this video to learn how we covered a 26-foot wall for less than $2 per square foot.

Understand the Big Picture: If you’re using photography for a customized wallcovering, the photo itself needs to be technically correct to work when it’s printed in a larger-than-life size. We got all the insider tips on photographing for wide-format printing from pro photographer, Billy Elkins. Check out this airport wall mural installation project that he created images for … and all the background on how he made it come out just right.

HP PVC-free Wall PaperMeet Your Client’s Environmental Needs: If you’ve been asked to cover a wall in a sensitive environment like a school or a healthcare facility, the best option for the job is Type II compliant HP PVC-free Durable Wall Paper in Smooth or Suede. This line of wallcovering is engineered to be used with HP latex inks and don’t require top coats to maintain Type II compliance. Unlike some solvent options, this latex-compatible option doesn’t put off odors or fumes that must be degassed before installation. It also meets FSC- and UL GREENGUARD GOLD standards, so it helps designers achieve LEED certification. And because it’s pre-pasted with adhesive, it goes up easily with little more than a water bottle and a sponge. Check out this video to learn how.

Create a Beautiful Finish: Just because it’s made from a digital print and maybe it won’t be installed for decades doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Our line of customizable wallcoverings, LexJet Premium WallPro™ comes in a variety of elegant finishes to create one-of-a-kind, eye-catching walls. The Premium WallPro line includes a variety of finishes, such as smooth, gold or silver metallic, mylar and linen textures that work beautifully in any residential or commercial space with contemporary or traditional décor.

If you’re looking for more tips on creating unique wallcoverings for your customers, give one of our LexJet pros a call at 800-453-9538.

LexJet Print-N-Stick: Encouraging Students to Explore the World

When Ashton Elementary School teacher Rachel Montisano wanted to liven up her classroom while simultaneously providing an interactive educational environment, she reached out to LexJet for some ideas.  Michael Clementi, LexJet’s in-house printing guru, recommended that she use LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric.

“The use of large-format graphics has allowed me to create an interactive environment for my first-grade students as we study different topics,” says Montisano. With the bright, matte surface, easy repositionability and cleanly removable adhesive, the Print-N-Stick was the right product to bring the world into Montisano’s classroom.

Recently, her students were asked to research and report on the different animals found in the Arctic. As they stood at the head of the class to give their presentations, an image of polar bears frolicking near a snow-lined river served as the back drop for the students. Montisano says, “the students added animals and wrote their own captions and labels on the image. They were so excited to use what they had learned and make it a part of the large, realistic scene.”

Now that their trek through the Arctic is finished, the students will be whisked away to the Amazon rain forest. Once again, they will be asked to research the plants, animals and other interesting critters that call the rain forest home. Excited to see what the students’ imaginations will bring, Montisano says, “they will create their own plants and animals to add to our rain forest graphic, turning our classroom wall into a life-sized page from a non-fiction picture book.”

However, this new graphic will not just be for the students’ education and enjoyment, “they will make a presentation to parents,” she says. “As everyone walks through the rain forest, the graphic – and the special additions – will help them explain to their parents everything they have learned about the Amazon.”

Montisano is thrilled with the results of the images on the Print-N-Stick Fabric and says that the size and scope of the graphics played a huge part in bringing the environments to life in her classroom, which continue to generate excitement and learning amongst the students. The vivid colors, the ease of working with the product and the photographic image quality all contributed to a successful experience for the Ashton Elementary first graders.

“Working with this product allowed me to use thematic teaching – incorporating reading, writing and science in the same project – and it has been so rewarding to see such enthusiasm from my students,” she says.

How to Create Tiles for Wall Murals in Photoshop

With the popularity of customized wall murals reaching an all-time high, setting up your print files properly is more important than ever. If you don’t have RIP software specific for creating tiles for large wall murals, not to worry! You can easily create your print files using Photoshop, as shown in the video above.

In this video, you’ll learn how to:

  • Crop a full size image to match the size of the wall
    • Tips for image resolution and cropping
  • Make tiles for printing using the Fixed Size Selection Tool in Photoshop
    • Easy copy-and-paste method to create tiles ready for your media width
  • Create panels to print with a half-inch overlap
    • Now you’re ready for printing!

Once you print your panels, you’re ready to install. Watch this Video: 3 Steps to Installing Large Tiled Wall Graphics to learn some vital tips to make the job a cinch.

Suggested self-adhesive products for easy install, positioning and removal of wall murals: