Model Citizen CJ Forker Shares his passion for Large Format Printing and being of service to his clients.
John: Hey CJ, just wanted to congratulate you on being nominated as a model citizen and thank you for all the support you provide not only to the creative community but to my creative endeavors as well. As you know, I am a huge fan of your products and your company. Please share with us how you got started in this industry.
CJ Forker: Hey John. Thanks John. We enjoy what we do and are always looking for ways to collaborate and help those in our industry. Personally, it was by happenstance. A friend of mine was a caddy for an employee years ago and that’s how I found out about LexJet. 16 years later and I’m still here. On the company side, our owners figured out early on when inkjet was just becoming available, how to effectively add color to braille signage (aka polycarbonate). That’s the a ha moment. The “Lex” in our name is derived from Lexan and the “Jet” is derived from inkjet.
John: A truly entrepreneurial start and now with 16 years under your belt, I’m told your truly the guru all things Lexjet. How does it make you and your team feel knowing your helping artists like myself facilitate the unique look to their art because your metallic paper and full service approach of supporting artists is truly an amazing combination for us artists. First off my work only shows the way it was meant to be seen on your sunset papers and your service and knowledge base across your whole team is really unparalleled to anything I’ve experienced industry wide.
CJ Forker: It’s all around a great experience, and we strive for that in everything we do. When someone can turn to you looking for guidance or advice on something that can be so personal or subjective, and together you can hit that mark, it’s special. We pay a lot of attention to feedback and the experience. It helps drive new solutions, products, and connects all of our teams.
John: As a new client, I would have to agree with that 100%. In fact, I have purchased most of my paper and supplies for the last few decades from two companies here in the North East because of price. I am not typically the type of person who buys on price, I buy on the application of the right product to the desired end result. When I first heard of your sunset paper, I was very skeptical. Both on the concern of new vendor so far from where I am doing business, and putting what I thought was a none major name brand product through my printers.
I have done that in the past with very undesirable “side effects”. When I first saw a print on your sunset metallic paper I was amazed! it was as if you designed that finish specifically for the desired results I wanted all along. I had purchased metallic paper from 3 different manufacturers and it just did not have the luminance or reflective brilliance your sunset metallic paper has, nor the glossy texture. So it acts like both a translucent and mirrored surface. So for me, you definitely hit the mark dead center. My clients can actually see the difference between those top 3 name brands and Lexjet Sunset paper and 90 times out of a hundred the prints I sell and frame are requested on your paper. Now I even have other artists asking about what printer and ink I use and I refer them to Lexjet. Not only because of your product but the fact that the distance between us did not make a difference in the service, and my orders were getting here next day, free shipping, and you always seemed to have product in stock where here the major distributors of other manufactures have to wait for the truckers and shippers to get the product to New York. I never have waited more than a few days, where with companies here products were on back order for months. So it is your team approach on top of your logistics and caring that sealed the deal as far as my commitment to always recommend Lexjet Sunset papers to my clients, and my personal choice for my own exhibitions.
With that said, obviously, you do more than distribute and manufacture paper. For our readers and the benefit of the other photographers and artists out there who reproduce their art, please share with us an overview of your complete line of products and services?
CJ Forker: We carry over 100 different brands from leading manufacturers around the world. LexJet is a one-stop source for inkjet printing equipment, materials, and expertise. We, manufacture, market, and sell professional-grade, wide-format inkjet printing equipment and supplies that have helped printing, imaging, and sign businesses adapt to ever-changing markets develop new sources of revenue. In addition to selling inkjet printers and materials from companies such as HP, Canon, Epson, EFI and many others, LexJet designs and develops its own brands of imaging materials to resolve some of the unique production challenges identified by our customers.
John: From my own recent experiences after discovering LexJet I found that your team is extremely dialed in to not only the general information and knowledge that most customers would come to expect, but when I was making the decision to face-mount my photographs on acrylic in house or outsource, your team became an invaluable source of information and high-level contacts that allowed me to expedite that decision within days where I am sure it would have taken months otherwise. What do you see for the future of large format printing and for LexJet?
CJ Forker: I think you’ll continue to see a lot of innovation, diversification, and also consolidation in our industry. The evolution of large format printing just in the last 5-10 years has been amazing to watch. Mass customization and the ability to do more and at lower costs is going to continue to create a lot of opportunities. The advancements in equipment and materials is incredible, and the ability for print shops to do so many things on demand is significant. As for LexJet, we strive to be a market leader, and we’ll continue to do so. We have a very proactive mentality and we’ve never been shy about trying new things or diving into developing new markets. It’s a win/win approach for our customers and partners. Some of our other business units are now separate companies as a result of it.
John: I’m not surprised, again in just the last year I would never have considered switching vendors to a Florida based company, but your team, your products, your knowledge, and willing to spend time with entrepreneurs and artists are just unparalleled in the industry. CJ I want to congratulate you again on being named a Model Citizen For December. Really we are nominating your entire team, but every one of them points to you as the glue and the man who sets the standards for the entire company. So it’s all you CJ. I look forward to working together with you and your team in the future and hope you have a healthy and happy new year.
CJ Forker: Thanks John, it’s very much appreciated. Our team works hard and it’s great knowing they are making a difference. They continually amaze me and we wouldn’t be who we are without them. I’m thrilled that you reached out and that we were able to connect. Thanks for thinking of us and it’s been an honor to participate with you thus far. I look forward to building on that. Enjoy the holidays as well, and I hope you get some time to kick back and relax. BTW – we are based out of Sarasota, FL. If you ever are in the area, we’d love for you to stop by. We also happen to have one of the best beaches in the world and some of the best food!
John: CJ I lived in Naples for a few years and am a huge fan of Sarasota so I will take you up on that next trip down to FL. I typically walked 5 miles to Naples Pier every day, caught dinner fishing, and walk 5 miles back. These days I am spending more time creating art at my computer but plan on a visit sometime in 2022. Maybe we can do one of my Miracle In The Making Photo Exhibitions while I am there.
CJ Forker: That sounds great. I look forward to that. Thanks again John for our nomination as model citizens and again what an honor. On behalf of our team please have a healthy and happy holiday and extend that wish to all of our fellow nominees and Model Citizens. It’s nice to be part of the Model Citizens Family.