i2 Print, located at 38-19 24th Street, has been operating in the neighborhood for over 20 years. While they do offer manufacturing printing, they specialize in boutique and high-end orders.
The business moved 15 years ago from a different location in Long Island City, but stayed in the neighborhood due to the convenience and close vicinity of the other boroughs.
“I can literally walk over the bridge to meet clients,” said Tom Leong, president of i2 Print.
Leong said many of his longtime customers come from Manhattan, but he is seeing an increase in business from Long Island City.
“Designers move in here to residences or studios,” he said. “We’re starting to get those.”
Leong enjoyed the neighborhood so much, he moved there from Manhattan.
“It’s much more vibrant now,” he said. “Now a lot of cool stuff is opening up.”
Not only does i2 Printer print the items, they often have a hand in creating them.
“We end up doing a lot of production management,” said Jacob Vu, production manager. “People will come in and say ‘I have a client they want this’ and they’ll bring us a sample they got from somewhere and we tend to figure out how to produce it for them.”
Looking to the future, the two discussed the possibilities of exploring 3D printing.
“I might get a 3D printer just to play with it,” said Leong. “That would be fun.”
Vu said there are clients that might want a 3D model. For example, an event planner might want to create small pieces of a wedding in order to make the plans more realistic.
The company also created a digital printing department when the technology became available. They noticed an increase in local business that needed a digital product produced quickly and on a limited run.
Leong and Vu both said they are willing to do what it takes to accommodate all of their customers.
“We love printing,” said Vu, laughing.