Champion of the Digital Age
Automic Designs | Buena Park, CA
At Sign Business Magazine, they sometimes refer to him as Digi Man, a fitting nick-name for this renowned industry veteran, perhaps more commonly known as “lowercase jay.”
Since the 1970s, Jay Lansburg has been a mover and shaker of the sign industry, bringing to his magazine articles and public appearances a unique combination of sharp wit and sage wisdom that has earned him a seat in the sign industry hall of fame.
From his legendary shop, Automic Designs of Buena Park, California, Lansburg has designed and installed some of the most outrageous vehicle graphics around. His road to success has spanned more than 25 years of technology advancements and at every turn he has remained on the cutting edge.
"Our industry is on the verge of its next revolution,” he said. “A sort of second revolution that is going to change the way we make signs . . . not dissimilar to the way vinyl plotters changed the face of the industry 20 years ago.”
To Lansburg, the age of digital printing is here, and he encourages others to get on board. Fast.
“Since I’ve had my SOLJET printer/cutter, I’ve seen it take on a life of its own. There’s nothing my Roland can’t do! This printer/cutter has grown in strength and power and ability and intelligence until it swallowed up my vinyl cutter, my thermal printer, my airbrush and, I think, my dog.”
“All things considered, every shop should have a digital color device or you will wither slowly, painfully away,” he said. “Since I’ve had my SOLJET printer/cutter, I’ve seen it take on a life of its own. There’s nothing my Roland can’t do! This printer/cutter has grown in strength and power and ability and intelligence until it swallowed up my vinyl cutter, my thermal printer, my airbrush and, I think, my dog. It’s now the focal point of my business, running everyday, and even sometimes at night while I’m at home.”
For Lansburg, he cites the SOLJET’s integrated vinyl cutter as its most important feature.
“A digital printer doesn’t have to chop onions or slice julienne style fries, but can it cut vinyl?” he said. “For me this is a big deal. After I print a graphic on vinyl, my Roland automatically cuts it out in either a perimeter contour cut or in intricate detail if I so desire.”
Lansburg is emphatic about the importance of quality inks and uses Roland ECO-SOL MAX for all his prints. He affirms that Roland inks are the key to the vibrant colors and image quality that his customers demand. He typically laminates or clear coats his prints for increased durability and longevity as well.
When shopping for a digital printer, he reminds others that they are choosing both a manufacturer and a machine.
“Big time important here: these machines are way more complex than a vinyl cutter,” he said. “So if you’re considering a machine manufactured in a place you’ve never heard of, you really have to check out the support network. Having a strong support and service team available to you is critical.”
Lansburg acknowledges that all this new technology can be scary for some. He maintains, however, there has never been a better time to be in the sign industry.
“With the latest generation of inks, vibrant colors in high resolution are a reality,” he said. “And outdoor? You betcha! Can one of these printers make you some moola? Oh, yeah!”