Signage, Vehicle Wraps to Fine Art – All with Roland’s New SOLJET Pro 4 Large Format Printer

Roland SOLJET Pro4 XR-640

McLogan Supply is excited to announce that they have been selected as authorized distributor for the launch of the new Roland’s SOLJET Pro4 XR-640 large-format printer. This is a game changer for highest quality vehicle wraps, banners, posters and backlit displays, large format signs, photos and  fine art.

The Roland SOLJET Pro4-XR640 is the sure fire printer to meet all of your large and high resolution design needs. The expert team at McLogan specializes in equipment and supplies for digital printing, sign making and vehicle wrapping and offers factory trained know how for getting started with the Roland Pro4 as well as follow-up support.

With its two inline, mirrored printheads, integrated printing and contour-cutting technology, and new, environmentally-friendly Eco-SOL MAX 2 inks, the Pro 4 XR-640 large-format printer delivers both greater productivity and unsurpassed image quality printing up to 720 x 1440 dpi.

Whether the job required is a signage or a complex vehicle wrap, this machine does the job and does it well. With a 64-inch base, the Roland Pro 4 can handle jobs large and small with ease. Roland described this printer as “production perfected”.

The perfection delivered from this printer brings a sketch or photo to life with unsurpassed clarity rendering exquisite detail and stunning color. Up to eight colors can be printed in one design using the Roland SOLJET Pro4. Metallics are easily printed as well if you want to give your design some extra pop. It prints up to 528 square feet per hour making even the biggest jobs fast and easy.  A key feature of this large format printer is that it can print on coated or uncoated surfaces.

Another distinguishing feature of this large format printer are images can be rendered beyond realistic. Every detail of a face and every pixel in an image are seen clearly. Aiding in the clarity and precision of each image is the dual mirrored print heads. Not only are high-definition quality projects produced but also the machine is nickel free and produces virtually no odor.

A feature that is totally unique to the Roland SOLJET Pro4 XR-640 is the light black ink for seamless graduations. With light black, you achieve neutral gray for smooth gray scale gradations and precise photographic images. This renders beautiful variations in skin tones and makes colors more vivid. If that is not enough to catch your interest, the machine is easy to program as well.

For those starting out, this new era of printer may seem daunting to use at first. No worries…McLogan is always there when you need support. Their equipment experts can help you to with everything from setup to understanding a technical mishap that can be fixed over the phone with their guidance.

McLogan is a family owned business, founded in 1922, on the principle of putting customers first. Their winning combination is offering high quality products and personalize service to their customers…that’s why we have been around for 90 years.

For more information about the Roland SOLJET Pro4 printer or any of our other large format printers, give us a call at our Los Angeles location! Join us on Facebook!

4 Advantages to Permaset Water-Based Fabric & Paper Printing Inks

Eco FriendlySome of our favorite fabric printing color inks are a water-based.  They are perfect for creating fabric, vinyl and paper artwork. Moreover, there is broad range of water-based inks including metallic and fluorescent colors allowing unlimited creative possibilities.

There are four main advantages of water-based inks:

1.  They create a soft, durable result on textiles, paper and vinyl
2.  Are more friendly to the environment
3.  Equipment can be easily cleaned up with water
4. They do not contain PVC or phthalates, known to have negative effects on health with prolonged exposure

One of the reasons we like Permaset Aqua, their water-based inks, is they do not contain any known chemicals toxic to humans or the environment. It is formulated free from lead and other heavy metals and passed the Oekotex Class 1 standard by a large margin. It’s considered so safe that it can be used on baby clothes under two years and for underwear and swimwear.

Permaset textile printing inks are also free of ozone-depleting chemicals like CFC’s and HCFC’s, aromatic hydrocarbons or any volatile solvents. In addition, since you don’t need solvents to clean the screens, you can clean them with water, there are no harmful chemicals added to the process.

Screen printing companies have used other water-based inks, but in the past, they were difficult to use due to air-drying. They were also not as durable, versatile and opaque as Permaset inks.

Permaset water-based textile printing inks were developed to correct those limitations. They are durable when washed or dry-clean and offer intense pigmenting for exceptional coverage, opaqueness and color intensity. These ink colors have light-fastness ratings of at least 8 on the Blue Wool scale –compared to other colors received ratings of 6.

The Permaset water-based inks are environmentally friendly, soft to the touch, exceptionally durable and in the case of Super Covers, excellent opacity in a range of colors.

Come by one of our four McLogan stores and we will show you how easy these inks are to use!

8 Steps – The Do’s and Don’ts to Keeping Vinyl Vehicle Wrap Looking Like New

Great wrap by 111 Ink

If you have a great looking vinyl vehicle wrap, you probably want it to look like new as long as possible. To get the most out of your or your customers’ investment, follow these Do’s and Don’ts for cleaning applied your vinyl vehicle wrap.This practical and simple information can make it easy to keep that fresh, new look.

Important Do’s and Don’t’s for cleaning and caring for your applied vinyl vehicle wrap:

The Do’s

1. Hand wash applied vinyl graphics with a blend of mild detergent and clean water. Pressure washing (see diagram) is not recommended as it can cause vinyl wrap to lift around the edges and degrade the face film. Once that happens, the graphics lose luster, fade, crack and can come away from the substrate.
2. Test any cleaning solution on a small section of the vinyl graphic before using. Even with products designed for washing vehicles, it is still good practice to test on a small area. If possible, use products that are easy on the vehicle vinyl and the environment.
3. Always read the warning labels on car care products for proper safety instructions.
4. Wash the vehicle from the top down with a soapy water blend, rinse with clean water. This allows dirt and contaminants to run off the vinyl. A standard garden hose and nozzle, a clean, grit free bucket (to avoid scratching the vinyl), mild soap like Dove or Joy, soft microfiber sponges or cloths are all you need.
5. Let the vehicle air dry or dry off with a microfiber cloth. If time allows, let the vehicle air dry and touch up with soft cloth for spotting. If the vehicle wrap is dried by hand, be sure to use clean, microfiber towels and light pressure. Take care that not to lift edges or scratch vinyl.

The Don’ts

6. Do not allow fuels or other corrosive substances to stay in contact with the vinyl. Clean all spills as soon as possible. If normal cleaning procedures do not work to remove fuel or other difficult debris try spot cleaning with isopropyl alcohol or a citrus based cleaner with a microfiber towel.
7. Do not apply carnauba-based wax or any type of wax, polish, matte or carbon fiber over vinyl graphics. Doing so will result in deterioration of the vinyl film.
8. Do not use mechanical brush or pressure washing on vehicle vinyl. Brushes can cause vinyl graphics to chip or peel around the edges or scratch the surface.They can also cause the graphic to fade and dull the appearance of the over laminate. Pressure washing should only be used when if other cleaning methods have been exhausted.

For added protection, you can apply a silicone or Teflon based coating specifically designed for vinyl vehicle graphics as long as you follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for how frequently it can be applied.

For more information about vinyl vehicle wrap materials, call any of our four locations. To see what products McLogan has to offer, visit our online store.

The “Art” of Great Advertising with Vehicle Wraps

The “Art” of Great Advertising with Vehicle Wraps – 5 Important Guidelines

Simple message brand well presented

Commercial vehicle wraps could be considered a blend of advertising and art if done well and can create many memorable impressions. Considering the time, money and talent companies commit to produce commercial vehicle wraps in order to build their businesses; it makes sense to apply the fundamentals of good outdoor marketing and good design.

The blend of good marketing principles and the art of wrap design are simple and similar to any effective billboard:

But those simple principles are overlooked more often than you would expect and the intended purpose, advertising and brand recognition, fails.

So why is this medium with so much potential not always as effective as it could be? Consider the success of an effective vehicle wrap advertising requires two diverse skills.

1. The company doing customer’s the wrap must be skilled in this medium, be excellent at installation and have the necessary expertise with large format digital printing

2. The graphics and brand messaging must be done by someone experienced and successful at this type of outdoor advertising much like great billboard design

A vehicle wrap company may be top experts at installation but may lack experience or the staff for designing effective display advertising for a moving vehicle, which is very different than print media. Conversely, the display advertising expert needs a company experienced at installing wraps to ensure their customer is happy with the end product. However, what if you want to be a one-stop-shop?

You can be if you combine the fundamentals for vehicle advertising and good design. Whether you are a graphic designer for outdoor advertising mediums or you own a wrap business interested in increasing market share, these guidelines will help you make visually impactful messages while increasing the return on investment for advertising programs for your business or a clients.

For companies that install vehicle wraps that means more happy clients and that means for vehicles to wrap!

You might find these points somewhat controversial or “not your style”, but keep an open mind. Here are 5 tried and true ways you can dominate with commercial vehicle wraps:

#1: Make sure you brand images are outstanding (literally)

Great brand image and effective message

Extensive market testing shows that Design (not content) is King in terms of gaining people’s trust and keeping their attention for those critical first 2-3 seconds. In a study conducted by Dr.Elizabeth Sillence, a senior lecturer on psychology and communication, found that people developed trust issues related to design. Good, clear design can establish trust immediately vs. poor or confusing design that creates instant rejection. We do indeed judge a book by its cover!

Vehicle wraps flop from a marketing perspective if the company has a poor brand identity or a unclear logo from a design standpoint. Unless you already have nationwide brand recognition, your brand needs to be the primary message for a vehicle wrap. Why? If you are a small or medium sized business trying to gain new business in a community, what you want people to remember is your brand so they can find you later.

Look at your brand identity and logo. If it’s not super professional, eye-catchingly attractive from a design standpoint (confirmed by candid observers) and coveys what you offer in an instant, this is an opportunity – not a problem. For people serious about building their businesses, this is a no brainer. It is an opportunity to redo or update your brand image or logo and make a splash about re-launch too!

#2: Minimize Advertising Copy (a lot)

It’s especially important to keep simple messaging on smaller vehicles. Unless a vehicle is parked, people only have a few seconds to take in your message. With larger vehicles, like trailers that are mainly for stationary use, you have more leeway but this rule still applies.

Brand message pops

There are really only 4 few things that an effective vehicle wrap should have:

      • Powerful brand messaging
      • Your website address
      • Your phone number
      • Tagline message (optional)

Lists or multiple lines of text are not effective as a rule on a vehicle wrap. Since a large portion of your exposure is when the vehicle is moving, people will not remember your brand if there is too much to read. To be continuously effect, you need to convey one to two memorable impressions that will send people to the web to or phone to learn about your business. The rule of thumb is to relate to vehicle wrap ads like a billboard. The more copy on a billboard the less people take away OR miss the message all together.

#3: Avoid Photos (or use them judiciously)

Sure a lot of “wrappers” and designers would not agree with this point but unless you have a very big vehicle with lots of space for relevant pictures, photos generally do not convey your brand. They are distracting if not used judiciously and viewers may end up focused on the pictures – we are wired for look at pictures – and can miss the brand all together. If you do use an image, ask yourself:

      • Does the photo connect the viewers to the company?
      • Does it convey the company’s brand identity?
      • Would the message be more clear or effective without a picture?

Great logo for brand message overwhelmed by the photos

A photo might connect me with what the company does, but if the brand is good and properly executed, it wins easily.

Look at the example on the left. The pictures of the dogs are great and there is certainly a connection to the service. But, they do not convey the brand. Look at their logo…it’s great and you can hardly see it! If the logo was prominent vs. the pictures, the brand, message and information come across with more impact and it would be easier for people to absorb and remember the company.

I only gave myself 2.5 seconds to view the message because that is ALL the time the average viewer has when the vehicle is moving. After 2.5 seconds are up, will your message be lost amid all the elements trying to grab for a potential customers attention.

There are occasions that might call for a well-placed photo. For example on box trucks, big trailers or a very simple message, but there is no question that powerful brand messaging the most effective way to get your name and contact information across quickly. But think about the vehicles you have seen wrapped where the photos dominated. How many of the brand messages got across?

Rule #4: Design to Stand Out in the Crowd (and the roads are getting more crowded every day)

Too many elements

Now don’t get us wrong, we love diamond plate, carbon fiber, tribal flames effects. Some marketers say use these to make your commercial vehicle wrap stand out. Consider the opposite can be true for vehicle wraps for businesses. They are great for fun vehicles, stationary rigs at shows and do add dramatic effect, but not always good for getting your primary message across in a few seconds. Why is that?

To the eye, as your vehicle goes by, all those fills, “noisy” backgrounds, photos, flames and glows, are scattered with visual noise often leave a potential customer saying “but what was the message?”. Designing a vehicle wrap, which stands out, that has impact that can be read, absorbed, and remembered makes it much easier to be seen among the ever-increasing vehicle ad messaging. Clever is good…clutter is not.

Rule #5: Make your Message Simple (and obvious)

Every time potential customers have to work to figure out the brand messaging, it’s a lost prospect and if you think about it, defeats the point of having a commercial vehicle wrap. It is a classic mistake when designing wraps, to confuse this medium with print design. With print design the viewer can absorb the advertising and understand the message if it is well done. With vehicle wrap advertising you have about two blinks of an eye.

So here’s the nutshell….consider that there is one, primary message you’re hoping the viewer will take away:

      • What is it?
      • Does your wrap design effectively communicate it in 2 to 3 seconds?
      • Does it get lost in the visual noise?

Confusing images, scattered information

And here is a lesson to avoid. When designing your vehicle wrap ensure your message and information is legible from a good distance!

So if you want to grow your vehicle wrap business, be the company that understands and uses appropriate images, messaging and brand impact and that understands  how to marketing your clients business as effectively as possible given how their vehicles will be used. Your wraps will stand out in the crowd!

McLogan Supply has a complete line of vehicle wrap supplies for commercial, personal and just plain artistic fun for all levels of “wrappers”. We are happy to answer questions too! Stop by a McLogan store near you or visit us online! Join us on Facebook.

Screen Printing 101 – Blog 3 Gadgets, Gizmos and Inks Needed for Screen Printing

This is the last installment of a three part series.

Screen-printing, also called silk screening, is one of the most versatile printing techniques ever developed. It is easy and fun to do.

There are so many materials and inks that you can use for the process and here is the catch…it’s totally up to your inner artist which materials to use. This will also depend on the design you want to screen print but it will be a whole lot of fun doing it!

Below are some of the most common materials used in screen-printing:

  • Press – You need a press to hold your screen that allows you to print your image to your shirt. Presses range from jiffy hinges and a homemade bench press to professional 6 color 4 station, to automatic presses
  • Screen – Well, it’s not screen printing without the screen, right? You need the screen because this is where you’ll be making the stencil for your design, where the ink will pass through. Tip: Screens need to be degreased before coating it with emulsion
  • Squeegee – You will need this to control the ink that passes through your screen. Squeegees come in different sizes and varying stiffness. Make sure your squeegee length extends at least 1 inch outside of your design. When choosing a squeegee the durometer means how stiff the squeegee is. Make sure you choose the right stiffness for your project. The standard durometer is 70 for squeegees. Tip: it may be best to get more than one in alternating sizes, just to be sure you have the right one for all of your projects
  • Ink – The most important tool perhaps is the ink. There are several types of ink that one can utilize for screen printing including Plastisol, water and oil based, as well as discharge. Below is a list of some of the specialty ink and ink additives you can your to give your design that special touch. There are a variety of inks to choose from:
    • Cracking Ink – This ink produces an interesting cracked and broken surface when it dries out
    • Discharge Ink – This ink is used to remove the dye color of the fabric and discharge the color you choose into the fabric giving it a very soft feel
    • Plastisol – This ink is the most commonly used ink for screen printing as well as garment or fabric designs. This ink actually sits on top of the fabric. It gives off a plasticized texture and can be made softer or stronger by using special additives
    • Expanding Ink – This kind of ink is a stabilizer to plastisol inks, which creates a 3D feel to your prints
    • PVC and Phthalate Free Ink – This ink is relatively new and provides the benefits of plastisol but eliminates toxic components like PVC and phthalate. This ink imparts a soft texture on prints
    • Suede Ink – This ink is used as an additive to plastisol. From the name itself, it gives off a suede feel to your prints
    • Water based Ink – This ink has the ability to go through and into fabrics instead of sitting on top like plastisol ink does. This gives water based ink a softer and gentler feel to your prints

Here are some fun things you can add to make your designs pop: 

  • Caviar Beads – These are plastic beads that can be glued to form shapes and designs. Using these will give off a tactile feel and surface to your prints
  • Gloss Additive – This is used more as an after effect for your prints. This is a transparent base laid over printed inks to provide and give off a glossy feel
  • Glitter or Shimmer – Also used as an after effect for prints. Basing on the name itself, using these metallic flakes over your prints will give them the shimmery finish

Hope this helps you with the important creative decisions that make silk screening so much fun! And of course, at McLogan Supply, we have everything you need to get going on any size project from our screen printing section online store or at any one of four McLogan locations with our helpful staff waiting to assist.

Screen Printing Basics101: Blog 2 How to Screen Print

Screen Printing Basics - silk screen tee

This is the second in a three part series.  Screen Printing Basics

To do screen printing (also called silk screening) a template of the image you want to print is done on screen fabric and stretched out on a frame. Screen printing ink is placed on the screen and forced onto the fabric stencil with the use of a squeegee.

Frames – come in different sizes and mesh counts so be sure and select the frame that best suits your design or even build your own. In addition, squeegees come in different sizes, too. When choosing a mesh count for your screen the ink you are using and how intricate your design is will help you choose your mesh count. (The more detail in your design the higher mesh count needed).

Inks – there are a great number of ink types for the process (see Gadgets, Gizmos and Inks), depending on the kind of material you are printing on, say, wood, metal, paper or cotton, all of which are readily available at your local McLogan Supply store.

Creating a Photo Emulsion Stencil/ Burning Screens:

Most, if not all, of the commercialized silk screen templates (or stencil, if you will) are created using the photo emulsion technique. The trick makes use of light and sensitive emulsion component that is spread evenly throughout the screen fabric. Once the component dries out, a film positive, bearing the wanted design or graphic is placed facing down, on the screen. You ten expose it to light, which burns the image to the screen. Now your screen is developed and you pressure wash, blow out the emulsion where the image was burned.

There are many types of emulsions available to use for burning your screens. Make sure you know what inks you are going to be using because that will help you pick the right emulsion to use on your screens. (Example if you are using water based ink and do not have the right emulsion it will wash away the emulsion on your screen.)

Techniques for screen printing basics are not limited to the items above. There are other techniques to look forward to trying.

Just two things to remember: one, have fun and two, you can find all your screen printing supplies at any of our McLogan stores (online or our four locations)!

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Screen Printing 101 – Blog 1 The History of Screen Printing

This is the first in a three part series.

One of the early printing techniques that is still popular today is screen printing.

According to Wikipedia “Screen printing is a technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas that transfer ink, which is pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image. A squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing the ink into the mesh openings for transfer during the squeegee stroke.”

Screen printing is also commonly known as silkscreen printing because prior to the use of the polyester, nylon and other synthetic materials silk was the kind of fabric being used for this printing technique.

It was in China that screen printingfirst appeared around 960 to 1279 AD. At that time, human hair was used to form the screen. Other Asian countries then followed suit, developing more techniques and better methods, taking this printing technique to a completely new level.

The Western world did not see screen printing until the latter part of the 18th century. However, it was not widely accepted until silk fabrics were more available and accessible in trades and fairs.

Three names are to credit are Edward Owens, Roy Beck and Charles Peter (see “Popularity” section of the link), for modernizing the marketable screen printing production by introducing photo-imaged stencils during the 1910’s. It was then, that a handful of printers tested the possible uses of photo-reactive chemicals. The printing industry, though well established, did not see screen printing accepted by a wide market until some years later.

Enter the 1930’s. It was during this time that artists who formed the National Serigraphic Society as to distinguish the artistic purpose of the screen printing process from its industrial one coined the term ‘Serigraphy’.

Since then, screen printing has been widely used as a favorite printing technique because of its versatility, ease of use and application. The artist Andy Warhol has also been famous among the industry and screen printers primarily because it was Warhol who popularized serigraphy in the United States of America, during the 1960’s.

Also in the 1960’s, a multicolor piece-of-clothing screen printing machine was invented by Michael Vasilantone and used to print and produce logos on garments and different kinds of fabrics, but later on, focused on t-shirt printing. It revolutionizes the multi-colored printing and more than doubled the screen printing movement in the US.

As of today, screen printing is widely used all over the world in making graphic designs on posters, t-shirts, garments, bags and more. The use of screen printing also translates well to printing on canvas. Notable artists like Andy Warhol, Rob Ryan and Harry Gottlieb, have used this medium to create artistic masterpieces and unforgettable images.

At McLogan, we take customer service to an art! Come see us at one of four locations or shop on line for your next screen printing project. Join us on Facebook!