AJ IMAGES--All in the Family
"The first big move was just getting out of the basement and into a small office building," Janet recalls. "I never thought it would grow like this."
Before long, however, Arnold decided to start his own company and, in 1967, Dimensional Graphics—a traditional prepress business—was born. Throughout the 1970s, Dimensional generated nearly twice as much income as Whitcomb and Arnold became a prominent member of the New Jersey Typographers Association, serving as its president from 1978 to 1981.
In 1979, the Greebels purchased one of twin side-by-side, 5,000-square-foot buildings to house Whitcomb. Eight years later, they acquired the neighboring building for Dimensional.
Trying Times for Type
But the typography industry began to die out in the late 1980s and, to counter the decline in business, Dimensional became one of the first prepress firms in New Jersey to install desktop equipment. While the new technology helped to rejuvenate profits at first, by 1992 Whitcomb accounted for 60 percent of the businesses' annual volume.
On January 1, 1993, they merged the two companies, creating the sole entity of AJ Images. Janet serves as the president, while Arnold is vice president of marketing and sales. It was a move that would lead the company to where it is today.
AJ Images was buoyed by the fact that both companies already had the equipment, staff and client base needed to succeed. With such a head start, the merger began a six-year period of aggressive growth.
AJ Images became an incorporated business in 1995 and two years later expanded by adding bindery equipment, including a large MBO folder. The following year, however, it made the first leap toward becoming a serious player in the printing market.
Arnold and his son, Aharon, attended Graph Expo in 1997 and were waiting for a bus to take them back to the airport when they struck up a conversation with a Heidelberg dealer. The Greebels were in the market for a five-color press, but were and still are a MAN Roland shop. The Heidelberg dealer was not deterred, locating a used 40˝ Roland perfector in Wales. With Aharon playing an important role in the deal, the Greebels purchased it soon after.