Santa Rosa commercial printer merger of ChromaGraphics, AJ Printing & Graphics aims for new markets

AJ Printing & Graphics Inc. of Santa Rosa finalized a merger with ChromaGraphics on Feb. 1 and will consolidate operations in the ChromaGraphics facility at 440 Tesconi Circle in Santa Rosa.

The newly combined shop will have roughly 37 employees and will not immediately be hiring new employees although it was a possibility as the business grows, the owners said.

The move could allow the merged company to target more franchise businesses in the food and retail sector, according to Eric Janssen, the owner of ChromaGraphics along with former heads of AJ Printing Dan and Greg Johnston.

The company has done business with franchise businesses like Togo's, Round Table Pizza and Redwood Market, Janssen noted.

Janssen noted the now merged companies had handled a similar client base, including the technology, manufacturing and wine businesses as well as the cannabis industry, school districts and the health care sector.

As part of the merger the owners purchased a cutting edge KM1 lithographic quality ink jet large format printer and had been operating the machine - one of two west of the Mississippi River in the U.S. they said - for about three weeks.

Greg Johnston said the new company would have expanded expertise, noting ChromaGraphics had experience with creating product display packaging and banners while AJ is versed in installing and producing signage and vehicle graphics

The new company would be a one stop shop for an array of print products, including direct mail items, brochures, and large format signs as well as 'point of sale' displays in retail stores, according to Dan Johnston.

The company's focuses would continue to be on lithographic or 'offset' printing as well as digital printing, large format signage and vehicle work.

More clients and a larger combined operation would also allow the newly consolidated company to use its equipment for longer hours, creating cost saving that could be passed on to clients and potentially making the business more competitive, according to Greg Johnston.

The newly merged company will have an open house on March 22 to celebrate the creation of the new business.

The owners declined to discuss sales or how much they may have increased as a result of the merger.

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