The HP Prime Banner Family is Growing

Earlier this summer, we introduced HP 13-oz Prime Banner in gloss and matte. Now, HP is unveiling two new additions: HP 15-oz Prime Double-sided Blockout Banner and HP 18-oz Prime Double-sided Pole Banner.

HP 15-oz Prime Double-sided Blockout Banner offers brilliant image quality and a 100% opaque layer for easy, clear viewing from either side. The sturdy construction is tear-resistant, even when grommeted. Mix-and-match pricing ($0.175/sf) is available on 20+ rolls when you contact a LexJet sales specialist or order online where single roll pricing remains highly competitive at $0.20/sf.

Specifications:

  • 250 x 500 denier
  • Matte finish
  • Double-sided
  • PVC coated
  • NFPA701 – Flame Resistance
  • 100% opaque

The HP 18-oz Prime Double-sided Pole Banner is made to create bright, eye-catching pole banners. From long-lasting indoor displays to demanding outdoor display conditions, this economical, heavy-duty banner material can handle all your single- or double-sided needs. Mix-and-match 20+ rolls with the 13-oz and 15-oz, and the 18-oz is only $0.21/sf, or order online, and the single roll price is $0.25/sf, still one of the lowest prices in the market for 18-oz pole banner.

Specifications:

  • 840 x 840 denier
  • Matte finish
  • Double-sided
  • PVC coated
  • NFPA701 – Flame Resistance
  • Tear-resistant, even when grommeted

Both banner products are compatible with latex, solvent, eco-solvent, and UV curable technology.

For more information on 13-oz, 15-oz, or 18-oz HP Prime Banners, contact a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Marabu Mara®Ban CS Anti-Microbial Additive Now Available from LexJet

Marabu Mara®Ban CS Anti-Microbial Additive

Laminates have long protected graphics from the elements, but now there’s an urgent need for anti-microbial protection, as well. To help combat the growth of microbes on coated surfaces, Marabu created Marabu Mara®Ban CS Anti-Microbial Additive, formulated to be used in conjunction with ClearShield Liquid Coatings.

It’s a simple two-part additive system that works with all ClearShield formulas and provides ongoing anti-microbial protection. This new additive is perfect for signage, wall coverings, and protective shields found in healthcare facilities, schools, restaurants, etc.

While Mara Ban CS helps safeguard against microbes, Marabu’s ClearShield line has been protecting wide-format graphics against UV-rays for years, as well as offering chemical and abrasion resistance.

Suggested applications include:

  • Banners
  • Wallcoverings
  • Floor graphics
  • Banner stands
  • Decals

Watch the video above to learn how to properly mix Mara®Ban CS Anti-Microbial Additive and your ClearShield liquid of choice.

If you are looking for this or other products to help create social distancing graphics and to meet health and safety guidelines, please give us a call at 800-453-9538 or visit the LexJet Resource page.

The Front Porch Sessions – Photographers Get Creative in the Wake of COVID-19

Photographers by nature, are “people” people, and when sheltering in place and social distancing guidelines went into effect in March, they were among the many who were temporarily out of business. It was no different for Elise Wicklund, and her husband Tracy, of Wicklund Photography in Parrish, Fla. “It virtually stopped our business,” Wicklund says. “In an instant, we had to clear our calendars.”

With so many cancellations – and they were cancellations and not reschedules – the Wicklunds had to get creative and come up with something different to capture this historic moment of the worldwide pandemic. “We considered education, but we know we aren’t teachers,” she says. “We are photographers, so our reaction was to come up with different types of sessions.”

That’s when Wicklund got the idea for the “Front Porch Sessions”. She reached out to neighbors and clients to see if they were interested in doing family portraits on their porches. The popularity of the sessions exploded, and they booked all the sessions they had available. “We decided to let families document this part of their lives, just like they would any other – birthday parties, graduations, pandemics – if we don’t take photographs of these times, we won’t have anything but memories, and memories fade with time,” Wicklund says. “That’s why we photograph, so we figured this is just another memory to photograph.”

The sessions proved to be a great outlet for many of the families and some of them proved it with their sessions. While some families took a serious approach, Wicklund says others had fun with it. “Everyone had been cooped up inside their homes,” she says. “The sessions were whatever the families needed – some took them very seriously; others had a ton of fun.  We didn’t care or direct that part.  We were there to document and serve our families.”

While they enjoyed chronicling the pandemic through these sessions, the Wicklunds did not charge their clients for these sittings. “We still weren’t officially allowed to operate, so in lieu of session fees, we took donations for the food bank,” she says. “Our brand is all about servicing our clients and we believe if we have a servant’s heart, our brand will succeed.” Photographers who are doing charitable work, like Elise and Tracy, may consider printing on LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin Photo Paper, an economic solution that offers a wide color gamut and gives photos a natural look with minimal glare.

As the state of Florida has slowly begun reopening, Wicklund says they are starting to see more interest in regular sessions. They’ve also reached out to past clients, especially wedding clients, about design services for albums or videos that were not purchased at the time of the event. “We’ve reached out to see if people want to pre-book their sessions once isolation orders are lifted,” she says.

Looking at the future, Wicklund says she’s not opposed to scheduling more porch sessions, even after things return to normal, but it comes down to helping their clients get the most out of the sessions. “If this hits again, we will probably offer them again,” she says. “There’s no real reason to only offer those sessions, but it might be fun to see how things have changed in a year.”

As with most “people” people, photographers will certainly be happy to get back to weddings, graduation, and newborn sessions, but in the meantime, they are looking to get creative like Elise and Tracy Wicklund. However, as we approach the second half of the year, Wicklund is cautious about what’s on the horizon. “Based on how 2020 has gone so far, there’s no telling what we will be photographing this time next year!”

Post-COVID-19 Prep: Optimize Your Inventory During Downtime

We’ve heard from some print shops that activity may be slowing down in some areas, so we put together some ideas of how you can use your downtime wisely. We all know that storage room inventory can get backed up, so now’s a great time to figure out what you’re using, what’s collecting dust and maybe identify some new, multiuse products that can save you both space and money plus you can earn up to 4X Edge Rewards.

“A good exercise is to put a list together of products you buy regularly and reach out to your vendor and let them know this is what I use regularly,” says LexJet sales rep, Ramiro Torrez. “And ask: Do you have something that is comparable at a better price point?”

Torrez worked with a customer who was buying 25 different products and he made recommendations to whittle the list down to 12 more versatile items. In some cases, the customer saved when buying more of the streamlined list.

“We saved her about $1,200 if she’d replenished one of everything in her old inventory,” he says. “Plus, when you buy in bulk, you’re going to get a better price for it.”

Next, we identified several applications that can be covered by one super-versatile product. Learn more about these products and stock up, so you’re a step ahead when it’s time to ramp up production once again:

VINYL: If you are stocking up on different products for self-adhesive window, signage and car decal graphics, HP Prime Matte Air GP is a one-size-fits-all option. Additionally, HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP can work across the board for wall graphics, corrugated plastic, windows and can even be mounted to Styrofoam.

SIGNAGE FILM: Another super versatile option for signage is LexJet’s Production Display Film, which can stand in for grommeted banners, retractable banner stands, and hanging signage, thanks to its lay-flat characteristics. It’s a cost-effective solution for indoor or short-term outdoor graphics, which is also available in a Solvent version.

POSTER PAPER: If you’re looking for a poster paper that works well outdoors and also doubles as a photo paper with good resolution, check out LexJet Satin Poster Paper 200g. At $0.12 per square foot, it’s a highly cost-effective, PVC-free option that delivers richly detailed, water-resistant prints.

FABRIC: When events start back up, you’ll want to have a fabric on hand that can work on a variety of applications. EnduraFab Frontlit is a 100% polyester knit fabric for Latex users that’s appropriate for lightweight and elegant table skirts, backdrops, step-and-repeats and flags. For aqueous printers, try LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth for a multitude of applications.

MULTI-PURPOSE: One of the most exciting product launches in recent years is LexJet FlexTek. This non-woven technical fabric is a winner thanks to its highly functional and versatile characteristics. It’s recyclable and PVC-free, making it an environmental win, too. FlexTek can be wrapped around stretcher bars to create canvas wraps (as an alternative to polyester canvas) or used for posters, banners or even hanging signage. It’s also available in a Solvent version, and both versions offer long shelf life.

For more ideas for versatile products and good-better-best options for your application, call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538.

Georgia Sign Shop Keeps Kids Busy with Giant Wall Art Coloring Decals

When schools started shutting down, Tim and Shari Roe, owners of Outspoken Signs in Marietta, Ga., felt a calling to do something for their community. “A few weeks ago, we wondered how we could help using our capabilities at the shop,” Tim says. After some brainstorming, the Roes came up with a wall decal coloring project to keep kids occupied while sheltering in place.

Coloring Book Wall Art is a free program for families with kids looking for a creative outlet for their energy. The line drawings are designed in a Zentangle-like style, which is an art form that uses the drawing or coloring of structured images to aid in relaxation. “Before she died, Tim’s mom was really interested in that style of art and she always wanted to teach it to kids,” Shari says. “She was always the creative one, drawing and coloring with pencils and then hanging them on the wall,” says Tim.

When trying to decide choose an adhesive media, Tim reached out to Vincent Bejar, his LexJet sales specialist, to help determine which product would meet his criteria. He wanted a matte vinyl that could be colored with crayons and have a removable adhesive, so as not to damage the walls when the graphics were removed. Bejar knew he had a simple solution for Tim and Shari: LexJet Simple WallCal.

Once a graphic is selected, Tim prints the image on his HP Latex 330 and then die-cuts the animal and the child’s name, so they are ready to color. The two-piece decals are one-of-a-kind wall décor that the kids decorate themselves. “We wanted something bigger than a standard coloring book,” Tim says. “We love the idea that the kids can color them and then put them on the wall,” says Shari. “The kids are excited when they find out it’s an oversized sticker.”

So far, the project is a hit with kids and adults, alike. “These kids see the picture of their favorite animal and they always say ‘hey, it’s got my name on it!,’” says Tim. “We’ve had a lot of joy out of the kids’ responses.”

It seems the graphics are generating some good old-fashioned sibling rivalry. The Anderson family, one of the first families to get the graphics, has six kids — four sisters who are 8-year-old quads, a 15-year old sister, and a 6-year old brother.  “Two of the quads left the shop with energy and excitement,” Tim says. “They said they would get them done faster than their siblings, and theirs would look the best.”

For Tim and Shari to offer this gift to the community, they needed some additional partners. LexJet donated the media for the prints and Ken O’Leary of Surepath Financial in Woodstock, Ga., donated 100 boxes of crayons for families who may not have crayons readily available.

The program is going so well, the Roes are thinking about other ways they can give back to the community. “We’ve thought about working with local fire stations so they can take these graphics to kids who have gone through something traumatic,” Shari says. “We are trying to think of other avenues to get them to the kids.”

Follow the Outspoken Signs Facebook page to see more images of the kids’ creations.

If you are looking for ideas you can help in your community, give us a call at 800-453-9538 or get inspired by LexJet brandUP projects.

3 Easy and Eye-catching Ways to Create Restaurant Signage

In the current market, restaurants and bars are using temporary signage like never before. Many restaurants have come up with some creative ideas, while others are just making sure customers get important information like temporary hours and where to pick up orders.

We’ve definitely seen some handmade and even hand-written signs that could use a little sprucing up. Fortunately, print service providers have a variety of solutions available to help restaurants become a little more sign savvy, and these options can be designed, printed and installed all in one day.

Say it with chalk: Chalkboards are an easy way to share messaging that changes by the hour, by the day or even by the week, so signage that looks professional but can be updated quickly and easily is a must. General Formulations 290 ChalkMark™ is 5 mil matte black chalkboard vinyl with a clear, high-tack removable adhesive that can be mounted to Chloroplast or an A-frame. While it is compatible exclusively with UV-curable printers, chalkboard signage can be used unprinted and customized with contour cut stickers.

Tried-and-true banners: Hanging banners are still one of the most popular ways to deliver temporary messages. LexJet TOUGHcoat™ Blockout ThriftyBanner is compatible with aqueous printers and 13 oz. Ultraflex SuperPrint® Plus FL Gloss and Matte are great solutions for solvent, latex and screen printers. Partner with BannerUps for easy and durable display.

Yard signs for the quick win: To direct traffic or display messaging and phone numbers for easier ordering and curbside pick-up, yard signs are a quick solution that can be displayed close to the road. Printed self-adhesive vinyl, such as LexJet TOUGHcoat AquaVinyl PSA adhered to corrugated plastic boards with metal step stakes is an easy way to go. Yard signs are great to have on hand as election season is right around the corner, too.

If you have questions about these or other temporary signage, please give us a call at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Have you created eye-catching temporary signage for your customers? We’d love to hear from you.