Introducing: BLI’s Joe Tischner

Industry Veteran Talks about Wide Format, Production Print, and Music



Casey Dangler

Without its lab staff, BLI would not be able to provide the research and information that helps people throughout the industry stay competitive in today’s market. Joe Tischner is our U.S. Wide Format Analyst and has been with the company for the past nine years. He took time out of his busy day to give us a glimpse of what he does here at BLI, as well as little bit about himself.

Joe Tischner, BLI’s U.S. Wide Format Analyst
Joe Tischner, BLI’s U.S. Wide Format Analyst

The Journey to BLI
“High school chemistry was the bomb for me, as was math, so I majored in chemistry in college,” Tischner explained. After two years at Clarkson University but prior to his BLI employment, he worked for Konica Minolta’s Graphic Imaging Group on Long Island for 26 years. Tischner also spent one year with Carr Business Systems, a Xerox company. “I think the lab manager (at Konica Minolta) who hired me thought I was overqualified since I had a science background,” he said, with a smile and a light chuckle. “But it worked out, quite by accident I guess, which is the case for many of us as we embark on careers.” In his early professional years, Tischner worked in dark rooms with many dangerous chemicals while making photographic emulsions, and logged test results. “The manufacturing of film led to a different kind of imaging science, with digital coming to the foreground in the ’90s,” he recalled. After working with a variety of printing technologies over almost three decades, Tischner brought all that experience to BLI in 2007.

Life at BLI
One of Tischner’s primary concentrations is on production printers, which typically output at 90 PPM and faster. He has noticed that an evolving trend of these sheet-fed, toner-based devices is the ability to print on thicker and more varied media types. “The software RIPs that support production hardware are also capable of a higher degree of color matching and control than ever before,” he added. With wide format, his other main focus area: “Our new roll-feed wide format signage printer test program should be implemented in both our U.S. and UK labs by July. We see the sweet spot for models that support latex and eco-solvent inks in the 54- to 64-inch range, which are offered by virtually all of the major manufacturers.” Tischner is responsible for BLI’s U.S. lab’s annual ISO-17025 accreditation for ENERGY STAR testing of imaging equipment, too. “This entails maintaining a comprehensive Quality Manual governing our organization’s managerial and technical requirements for the specific testing our lab is accredited to perform,” he explained.

Tischner recently completed an extensive production print test and the accompanying Custom Test Report, a project that he says brought him personal satisfaction. “It’s encouraging to be entrusted with such a large undertaking,” he said. “I’m sure nobody believes it, but even though a few late nights and weekends were a challenge, I really enjoyed seeing it to a successful end.”

Experiencing local culture is Joe’s favorite part about traveling (pictured in Greece).
Experiencing local culture is Joe’s favorite part about traveling (pictured in Greece).

“Likely to be even more important are the new wide format test programs that David Sweetnam (BLI’s Director of EMEA/Asia Research and Lab Services) and I are working on, which are nearing completion,” Tischner continued. After meeting with a number of vendors and attending several trade shows over the past six months, Tischner hopes to have all the industry players on board in time for drupa—an enormous international event for graphic and industrial print—in June. “I am very much looking forward to bringing our new test program to fruition and continuing to work with David and both lab teams on this exciting endeavor.”

Tischner hopes the fair-minded, scientific assessments that he has provided in the testing is respected in the industry. “I’ve learned a great deal over the years from my colleagues and our customers,” he said. “Attending trade shows, which in years past inevitably caused me dread—I worked some for 11 days straight and I was stranded at Graph Expo in Chicago on 9/11—I now see as essential to both keep abreast of new equipment and software and forge new relationships. And happily, now, going to trade shows no longer engenders unease, at least not too much.”

Outside of BLI
Tischner spends Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons with his grandson Joey, who he says is an “awesome soon-to-be three-year-old.” Aside from family, he has what might seem like a dichotomous personal life to those who don’t know him, but he attends church—where he is a deacon in his congregation—regularly and also has a passion for poker tournaments in Atlantic City. “I have a dream of hitting it big so I can save my dwindling congregation from extinction,” he said.
“I think the lab manager (at Konica Minolta) who hired me thought I was overqualified since I had a science background. But it worked out, quite by accident I guess, which is the case for many of us as we embark on careers.” –Joe Tischner

A travel enthusiast, Tischner has ventured to a number of interesting locations, whether through work events or vacations. Flexing his knowledge of Spanish, he claims “Pero, todos sabe Barcelona es mi cuidad favorite,” or “But everyone knows that my favorite city is Barcelona.” Why? With a fondness for Barcelona rivaling Hemingway, he elaborated, “The reason Barcelona is my favorite destination are many-fold, almost too many list. The climate, architecture, music, museums, people, food, wine, nightlife, cathedrals, parks—even the Metro! Nowhere else compares, and I can’t wait to return.”

He also has a passion for funk music, frequently attending live shows with his sons and/or co-workers, and he expects to continue doing so for a long time. As a youth Tischner’s parents ingrained a profound love of music in him. Artists like Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Al Green made it clear to him that his ideal job would have been a DJ. Realizing that it was just a dream, he chose not to pursue it as a career but did volunteer at a New Wave radio station (WLIR/WDRE) in the ’80s, where he ran contests and took requests on Saturday mornings. With a laugh he recalled, “I got quite a few free albums and even got to see A Flock of Seagulls for free.”

Whether the latter is really a benefit is up for debate.

Big Joe gets plenty of time with his main man, Little Joe.
Joe Tischner and his grandson Joey

If you have any questions or comments for Joe, please send him an email at