Companies of the Westermann Gruppe

Our history

Westermann Druck

1838

The bookseller Georg Westermann (1810-1879) from Leipzig opened a publishing house on the 21st of May 1838 in Braunschweig.

Westermann Druck

1845

In order to increase the profitability of his publishing products, the first book presses were introduced after Georg Westermann received a license for his printing company on the 22nd of February. In 1847, the first external orders were completed.

Westermann Druck

1853

As one of the first cartographical publishers, Georg Westermann did away with hand-coloured maps and focused instead on colour printing. It became the innovative focus of his company. Stone and copper printing departments followed.

Westermann Druck

1864

Steam-operated printing presses replace manual presses.

Westermann Druck

1869/71

Together with the lithographer and cartographer Eduard Gaebler from Leipzig, Westermann developed a process for economically producing maps on letterpress machines. Dual-colour printing was born.

pva

1892

Maximilian Treutler and a “consortium of Palatinate men” formed the “Pfälzische Verlagsanstalt, Neustadt an der Hardt” publishing company. Regionally significant books and periodicals were published such as the “Pfälzische Kurier”, the local Vorderpfalz newspaper.

Westermann Druck

1898

The company used a special machine for illustration and colour printing: the 5353 chromotype machine (83x123 cm format) by König & Bauer. Three and four-colour serial printing begins.

pva

1898

A printing works was affiliated with the publishing company.

Westermann Druck

1900

The electrification of Westermann Druck began, drawing power from Braunschweig tram network.

Westermann Druck

1912

After relocating to the newly built publishing and printing works on the then outskirts of Braunschweig (now Georg-Westermann-Allee 66), Westermann began offset printing with an offset press from the machinery factory in Frankenthal (75x100 cm format), as well as a machine unit with a double magazine linotype by the Mergenthaler company.

Westermann Druck

1927/28

In addition to lithography, book printing and offset printing, gravure printing became popular for multi-coloured illustrated print products such as magazines and advertising brochures. The first camera for photographic reproduction was produced.

Westermann Druck

1945

Westermann printed the first postage stamps for post-war Germany. The AM (Allied Military Post) range was produced for the British military government.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

1957

Volksdruckerei Zwickau was formed, focusing on two business areas. The SED’s printing operations merged with the VOB Zentrag (a central printing, purchasing and auditing organisation).

Westermann Druck

1959

At the Westermann printing works, electronic devices such as the Vario-Klischograph, with photocells by the Hell company, revolutionised image reproduction. The new process was as much as 15 times faster than previous techniques.

pva

1973

After the takeover by the “Rheinpfalz”, Ludwigshafen, and the merger with subsidiary Druck & Transkrit (form and continuous printing) and Pfalzdruck, the company moved to the newly built production facilitiesat the current site in Landau. The printing company of Pfälzische Verlagsanstalt transformed from a small business to an industrial-scale printing company.

pva

1974

Sheet-fed offset printing was launched and gradually superseded letterpress printing.

Westermann Druck

1975

The shift from lead to photo typesetting was made.

Westermann Druck

1977/78

Westermann Druck invested heavily in offset printing and significantly expanded its print capacity. The first four-colour web offset machine was introduced to the new production facility.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

1981

The printing company was restructured to produce high-quality illustrated books, particularly for export to the USSR, and was renamed as Grafische Werke Zwickau. A new printing complex was built on Crimmitschauer Straße near the outskirts of Zwickau. Sheet-fed offset printing with Planeta multicolour machines was offered alongside book printing. The company supplied virtually all of the major publishers in the GDR and sales in rest of the the Eastern Block accounted for around 20% of its turnover.

pva

1985

The company became a pioneer of computer typesetting and printing plate manufacturing. The transfer and conversion of data to various systems and the automated upheaval via the data centre functioned flawlessly. The Opti-Copy-Imposer system enabled the direct exposure of screen printing plates and automatic sheet assembly.

pva

1988

The first offset rotation, the Heidelberg WEB-16, was installed. High-performance saddle stitchers and adhesive binders assisted with the offset production finishing processes. The traditional “finishing hall”, with its high proportion of manual work, became a thing of the past.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

1990

The Chemnitz regional paper “Freie Presse” and the Chemnitz printing works were privatised. Grafische Werke Zwickau GmbH, now operating under the name Chemnitzer Verlag und Druck GmbH, became part of the Westermann Gruppe. As part of the company’s consolidation, production areas were relocated from Chemnitz and investments in expansion took place in Zwickau.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

1993

was All Chemnitz-based printing operations were shut down at the start of the year to focus on Zwickau.

pva

1993

The Pfälzische Verlagsanstalt invested in one of Germany’s first computer-to-plate machines.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

1994

The company was renamed Westermann Druck Zwickau GmbH and integrated into the Westermann Gruppe.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

1996

After modernising the print sector with Heidelberg Speedmaster printers, Westermann Druck Zwickau specialised in sheet-fed offset printing and became a leading printing company for book production.

Westermann Druck

1997/98

The company expanded to become a fully integrated service provider. Investment in expanding DTP processes with scan areas, data organisation and management, among other things, also came into play.  Westermann Druck purchased its first computer-to-plate imaging machine.

pva

1998

The launch of the second web offset machine marked the ongoing transformation into a full-service provider of high-quality magazines and catalogues. The renaming of the company to “pva, Druck- und Medien-Dienstleistungen” emphasised the company’s transformation to a customer-oriented printing centre. The publishing division was separated.

pva

2003

pva’s integration into the Westermann Gruppe, a process that had started in the mid-1990s, was completed.

Westermann Druck

2005

The implementation of a high-performance workflow and the installation of an additional CTP machine, now based on PSO standard, was completed. The Offset Printing Process Standard ensured consistently high quality and optimal colour accuracy. Certification followed in 2006.

Westermann Druck

2006

Westermann Druck’s compliance with  FSC and PEFC standards is certified. These standards govern the environmentally friendly use of resources as well as social standards in the production chain. Westermann Druck began digital printing.

pva

2008

pva was received the Innovationspreis der Deutschen Druckindustrie (‘German Printing Industry Innovation Award’) thanks to a module-based catalogue system which supplied numerous individual catalogue versions, as well as the basic catalogue model.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

2009

The company expanded to become a fully integrated service provider. A fully automated computer-to-plate machine based on PSO standards was installed.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

2012

A modern management information system was introduced. All areas and their processes were digitally supported and interlinked for the first time.

Westermann Druck

2012/13

Westermann Braunschweig was one of the winners of the Druck & Medien Awards (‘Print & Media Awards’) as a magazine printer in 2012 and with its e-business model one year later.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

2013

The Zwickau company made the final round of the Druck & Medien Awards in two categories: art printer and book printer of the year.

pva

2013

The increasing focus on the economical production of high-quality periodicals and catalogues in web offset printing was emphasised by the launch of a new 16-page rotation machine. New additions and improvements also followed in the areas of pre-process and finishing.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

2016

The finishing process at Crimmitschauer Straße was fundamentally modernised. Westermann Druck Zwickau invested in a new, fully automated book production line with book cover production and finishing.

Westermann Druck

2018

The company reached the finals of three different print awards in 2018. It was nominated  for digital printer, online printer and for most innovative company.

Westermann Druck Zwickau

2018

Westermann Druck Zwickau received the certified “Blue Angel” ecolabel from the German government.

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