Consider Earth-Friendly Eco-Solvent Inks

As your customers’ and the industry’s attention continues to turn toward sustainable and eco-friendly print options, and with Earth Day right around the corner, it’s a good time to consider eco-solvent inks. Epson’s UltraChrome™ GS3 ink offers an alternative that addresses those concerns while also providing the print speed, durability and excellent color precision you demand from your solvent printer.

The new technology offered in Epson’s GS3 inks solve one of the biggest annoyances of solvent-based printing: the 24-hours needed for out-gassing. These inks will dry quickly and allow printers to add lamination when needed on the same day. And while the production speed of the Epson SureColor S-Series printers are a huge benefit for high-run projects, the GREENGUARD Gold certification adds another major benefit: Environmental responsibility.

GREENGUARD Gold is a nationally recognized certification that ensures that the tested product is safe to use in sensitive environments like schools and hospitals because they emit low chemical emissions while also complying with the State of California’s Department of Publish Health Services Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350. This gives designers and architects an edge to earn credits toward a LEED Green Building Rating — a big help when choosing canvas wrap materials and wallcoverings. The UltraChrome GS3 inks also meet the French-VOC A+ Class criteria for low chemical emissions.

Because Epson’s GS3 inks meet these stringent requirements, there is also no need for special ventilation or air purification required when operating the Epson SureColor S-Series printers.

“We’ve heard more and more from our print service provider customers that eco-friendly is in high-demand,” says our OEM product specialist, Shauna Malgieri. “I expect to see more sustainable products to come from our manufacturing partners this year, so stay tuned!”

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Don’t Miss Our ISA Show Special on Fisher Textiles

If you’re attending ISA Sign Expo later this month in Las Vegas, be sure to swing by Fisher Textiles’ booth #4017 to learn more about these award-winning dye-sublimation textiles.

Formerly only available in grand-format sizes, we’ve partnered with Fisher Textiles to offer nine fabrics in 61-inch or smaller rolls. You can only purchase these smaller Fisher Textiles rolls at LexJet!

LexJet ISA Show Special:

When you purchase any roll of 61-inch-by-100-foot Fisher Textiles fabric from LexJet, you’ll get 50% off your choice of one roll of LexJet InFuze dye-sub transfer papers:

Please call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538 to learn more about this show special, available April 23 to May 1.

Discover the full line of wide-format-compatible Fisher Textiles fabrics, available exclusively at LexJet:

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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.

5 Digital Printing Trends Every PSP Needs to Watch in 2019

While we don’t actually own a crystal ball, we did take a peek into the future to see what’s in store for wide-format printing in 2019. The segment will definitely continue to see growth, with banners, vehicle wraps, signage, wallcovering and window graphics rounding out the top five most profitable wide-format applications, according to a recent WhatTheyThink report.

The report outlined some key stats, including the fact that wide-format print is growing at a healthy 6.7% CAGR, jumping from $16.1 billion in 2012 to $22.3 billion in 2017. Nearly 3/4 of print providers say their wide-format print volumes have increased, while over 90% of print buyers say their volumes will hold steady or increase in the coming year.

So with all that potential, we took a look at some key activity that will help drive production and sales. Here are the top five trends every print service provider should keep an eye on as the new year kicks off:

Soft Signage Made Easier. Digital textile printing has been a hot topic for the past few years, but it’s far more than garment and apparel applications, especially for wide-format printers. Soft signage will continue to dominate, taking the place of rigid and heavy substrates for trade shows, high-end retail and backlit applications. Currently, only about 6% of textile products are produced digitally, according to an article in December 2018 edition of Printing News, but experts expect that number to get into double digits within a few years. Fabric manufacturers have been hard at work to develop textiles that run smoothly on wide-format options, such as latex and even aqueous printers. Also, SEG frames are essential for attractive soft signage displays, but have often required a lot of installation set-up, especially sewing the silicone edging onto the finished print. Now, with SignComp’s Front Load Soft Signage Frame, there’s no sewing necessary, especially when using a thick textile that works well with SignComp’s patented grip strips. It’s so easy to use that an employee in a retail shop can easily switch out seasonal messaging whenever needed. Check out this how-to video to learn more.

Sustainability Goes Mainstream. Get ready for a wave of printable media that offers sustainability characteristics that are either recyclable or made from recycled materials, such as the award-winning HP Recycled Satin Canvas, which uses 22 recycled water bottles for every square meter of canvas. These types of products will become increasingly important to your customer base, as many of them will demand more Earth-friendly options. Plus, you’re going to see more major corporate brands, like Kellogg and Kraft-Heinz vowing to use sustainable packaging that will be fully recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Our S-OneLP team is on the case to provide more sustainable packaging films to those printers, as well. In the textile arena, expect to see more natural fiber fabrics and improved pigment inks to accompany them.

Digital Décor Market Expands. As the typical “sign guy” has tip-toed into becoming an all-around décor expert with everything from photo reproductions to canvas wraps to wallcoverings, you can expect to see digitally printed décor options branch beyond retail and hospitality settings and expand into residential offerings. As print providers become more adept at printing décor materials and the materials themselves become easier to handle (think: LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric for wall murals), the opportunities are going to explode, while consumers catch wind of all the possibilities to customize their homes. And not just on the walls — windows become prime real estate for digital décor displays, as do the floors … and let’s not forget the ceilings.

Ecommerce Gains (Even More) Traction. If you’ve been ecommerce shy with your business so far, 2019 may be the year you finally embrace its possibilities. Offering customers the ability to upload their artwork that you fulfill in a variety of print products gives you a huge advantage over your competition. But if you’re wary of starting ecommerce options on your own, consider the possibility of offering fulfillment services to a number of up-and-coming art houses that are partnering with artists to use their original art to create everything from wall tapestries to canvas wraps to notebooks to t-shirts. A few big online names you may have heard of — Ikonick, Society6, Art.com … yeah, they’re all using digital wide-format services. Go grab those opportunities!

Digital Print for All Surfaces. A few years ago while at SGIA Expo, it became apparent that the new directive seemed to be: Print Everything! And while that was supported by a wide variety of print technologies, today, we’d edit it to say: Print Everything with Digital!  We’re seeing every surface covered with printed media, and more and more of those materials are digital wide-format compatible, such as LexJet Sunset Textured Fine Art Paper 310g used to create lamp shades. The key to printing to more surfaces is a wide variety of versatile, all-in-one substrates, such as LexJet Flex Tek, available for aqueous or solvent print technology, and can be used for hanging banners, roll-up banners or even canvas wraps.

Stay tuned throughout the year to discover even more new and innovative products and exciting application opportunities to help you grow your business well into 2020 and beyond!

 

Celebrating International Print Day #IPD18

We could not think of a better time to celebrate International Print Day! In the midst of trade show season, we’ve definitely embraced this year’s #IPD18 theme: Collaboration.

HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP

You’ll find plenty of collaboration in our SGIA Expo booth #1185 in Las Vegas. We partnered with HP, Epson and Canon to bring you the latest printer technology, as well as new media options like the new line of HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminates, award-winning HP Recycled Satin Canvas, LexJet Flex Tek, ChromaLuxe EXT, EnduraFab and more. Plus, we collaborated with Big Picture magazine to create an augmented reality ad in their latest issue. We’re also creating some awesome AR experiences in the booth. Don’t miss it!

We also just launched a super cool social media contest with our partners at Fredrix, the world-renowned canvas maker, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Fredrix is giving away $4,000 in canvas rolls, so be sure you get in on the action, too. Contest is open until Oct. 31, 2018. Read more here.

When you get back from SGIA, sign up for the HP Latex Academy webinar, during which we partner with HP printer expert, John Stevens. It’s a one-hour session on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 11 a.m. EST that will be sure to help you decide on your next printer purchase. Sign up here.

Package printing displayed at Labelexpo

We couldn’t let a blog about collaboration go by without mentioning our sister company, S-OneLP, which just had an awesome time at Labelexpo. The team collaborated with some artisan food brands as well as some label/packaging print service providers to create a marketplace theme in their booth, showcasing all new, enhanced packaging printing. Check out the show wrap-up here.

What have been some of your best collaborations this year? Tell us in the comments below or on social media using the hashtag #IPD18!

Customization in Wide-Format Printing: It’s Getting Personal(ized)

One of the earliest benefits of digital inkjet printing was the ability to create one-off, customized prints. Over the past two decades, that’s been a major selling point for printers offering banners, POP signage and trade show graphics, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, the digital print industry is branching out into many more market segments, thanks to improved print technology as well as new, innovative media and substrates, such as the personalized wallcovering printed with quotes, pictured above.

These new ideas and products, of course, are in response to increasing demands from graphic designers, brand owners, interior designers and consumers themselves who have seen customization in action with everything from canvas printed on demand to the mass-customization project: Share a Coke. Digital print technology allows print service providers to deliver smaller runs faster and with higher-quality results.

In the décor market, “there are more companies developing brands, which is increasing the competition and simultaneously creating a need for customization,” Rachel Nunziata writes in Big Picture magazine. “Product companies and manufacturers are also adopting in-house digital print – or outsourcing to print providers. This allows for product modifications of color or scale and smaller curated collections.”

This has been embraced in the label and packaging arena, as well, with digital printing giving smaller brands the chance to stand out. “The ability to customize packaging allows independent brands entree into the big leagues,” says Ralph Giammarco, VP of S-One Labels & Packaging in BXP magazine. “They can use personalization, tactile substrates and metallic finishes, do promotions around sporting events or holidays and enjoy super-fast turnaround.”

Check out some of the newest products now available that can help you delve further into customized wide-format printing:

Wrapping paper: Have your customers asked you to print photos for an upcoming wedding or birthday? Imagine using those pictures to customize wrapping paper, allowing them to personalize the gift-giving experience. If you have a latex printer or DesignJet production printer (Z6200 or newer), you could increase profitability by adding HP Satin Wrapping Paper to your product offering and help your customers make a splash at their next gift.

Wallcovering: For years, homeowners have spent countless hours in the wallpaper and paint departments at home improvement stores. With the ability to create custom wall coverings for your clients, you will help save them time and money as well as give them a way to design unique and personal bedrooms, boardrooms or commercial spaces. If you have either a latex or solvent printer, you can create custom wall murals with an array of options: the various textures of Vescom, HP PVC-free Wall Paper, which is certified for use in schools and hospitals when printed with the HP latex printers, and finally, the subtle textured options of Avery Dennison MPI 2600 Wall Film.

Art and décor: While printing images on photo papers is what initially put digital printing on the map, it’s time PSPs help customers understand all the options available for personalized art and décor. Canvas prints help your clients turn a great photo into a beautiful work of art. There are a variety of canvas products available for all printer technologies, including LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas for aqueous or LexJet Sunset by Fredrix Satin Canvas SUV for latex and solvent. If you have a dye-sub printer, ChromaLuxe Aluminum Photo Panels create stunning wall décor that will surely be a great conversation starter for homeowners and business owners, alike.

These are only a handful of options that are available to you to help you expand your product offering and keep your customers happy and always coming back to see what new and exciting things you can print for them.

If you have questions about any of these products or would like additional ideas on customization opportunities, visit LexJet.com or contact one of our sales specialists at 800-453-9538.