A & I Studios

by Mindy Charski

Melvin Sokolsky

A book by Melvin Sokolsky produced by A&I Studios.

April 01, 2012 — A&I Studios, formerly A&I Photographic & Digital Services, specializes in print-on-demand books and fine-art printing. But it’s not just another print shop, says Rex Weiner, head of publishing at A&I Books.

“It’s a legacy photo lab staying true to its photographic roots while leading the way to the digital imaging future,” Weiner says. “We’re doing books from a photographic point of view with the same standards and quality control that have been established by the top artists and photographers we have always worked with.”

A&I handles everything in-house, which helps maintain consistent quality, like when printing books. “[Others] farm out the work to different printing houses so you’re not necessarily assured of having the same color consistency from batch to batch, which is the whole point of print on demand,” Weiner says.

Collaboration, meanwhile, is valued at the lab. “It’s an intimate, interactive experience where [customers] get to stand alongside the [master] printer and look at the work and make sure it meets their requirements and their standards,” Weiner says.

He notes that one “rising new market” for the company is multimedia printing, like on brushed aluminum, copper, glass and canvas. “People are finding images that look great blown up real big on a stretched canvas,” Weiner says. “It’s a whole new way to regard photography almost as a painting, and our [HP Scitex FB500] machine allows many artists to do that.”

The company, which is owned by brothers Baret and Vic Lepejian, includes wedding albums and educational programs among its offerings. “We’re doing books, multimedia, headshots and education to bring people into the business and also retain experienced photographers,” Weiner says. “So the model for how a photo lab can continue and thrive into the future is what we believe we’re doing.”

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