Digital Page — Strange Encounters
By Erik Cagle
Deep down, E.R. Spada must wonder if he has angered the bowling gods. How else can you explain some of the unfortunate circumstances that have befell his Digital Page since converting an old bowling alley into a printing shop in 2002?
A little background first. Digital Page was formed by the entrepreneurial Spada in 1996 as a prepress house located in Albany, NY. Only two years earlier, he had debuted a company called Media Wizard, a graphic design/print brokerage. Spada decided to pursue commercial printing work to complement his prepress/design expertise, so he added a Heidelberg Quickmaster DI 46 for short-run four-color work and a QM 46 for two-color jobs.
Two years later, in 1998, Digital Page acquired Media Wizard to offer clients the best of both entities. The company then boosted its press arsenal with a five-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 52P. A 400VA platesetter was purchased from then-CreoScitex, and an Iris proofing system followed suit during a spending jag at Graph Expo in 1999.
To accommodate the printing operation, Digital Page rented out 3,100 square feet of space, with design and prepress remaining in the original location. Ideally, Spada wanted to acquire an eight-color press and have his entire operation under one roof. That’s where Action Lanes came in.
Rolling Into New Facility
Action Lanes was a local bowling alley owned by the Spada family for 30 years—E.R. had worked there as a youngster—but it had ceased operations. In Action Lanes, he saw a wonderful opportunity to realize his goal of a consolidated operation.
|Albany, NY-based Digital Page has an interesting past, including its location. The converted bowling alley has seen more than its fair share of odd occurrences, including a water main break which caused flooding and a daredevil driver whose car punctured the shop’s walls.|
“It’s a 24,000-square-foot, free-span building with 30-foot ceilings,” Spada says.” It was right off the main highway. There were no beams, no columns in the building. That allowed us to break it apart and design it to our specs.”