From commercial printer to all-round printing expert
In 1949, Frans Van der Poorten started Drukkerij Van Der Poorten in a cellar kitchen in the heart of the Belgian city of Louvain. The barrel-organ-like manual printing press shown was the commercial printer’s first major investment.
From Louvain to Kessel-Lo
In 1952, the printer moved to the Leuvensestraat in Kessel-Lo. It remained a typical commercial printer for some time, with a shop out front that sold Christmas cards and other commercial printing work.
In 1956, Frans moved his printing facility to the Diestsesteenweg in Kessel-Lo. Initially set up in an old studio, it was later moved to this charming new building (1970), where the publisher Van Halewijck is now located.
Time for innovation
The company quickly outgrew the new building, and in 1973, the printer moved to an industrial park on the same street. In 1977, we added a paper warehouse to the premises, and in 1981, we expanded the offices. In the meantime, the heavy, lead letters were replaced by the first computer offset systems and image setters. The new offset printing process was also introduced in the printing facility around this time.
Urge to expand
The year 1988 was characterised by another major investment in our machinery when we replaced the two-colour presses with the first four-colour press. In the late 1980s, we outgrew these buildings as well, and needed a larger premises to make room for the paper, computers, printing presses and finishing machines. We built a new commercial building on the property behind the existing printing facility in order to better streamline the rising number of orders, and to significantly reduce delivery times.
Ready for the new millennium
Digitisation continued to make advances in the graphic sector. We replaced manual film editing by a computer-driven imposition system and a CTP (Computer-to-Plate) plate setter. Thanks to this Computer-to-Plate plate setter, films were no longer necessary. 2005 was the year we added an eight-colour press to our machine inventory.
Focus on the environment
In 2011, we installed 1936 photo-voltaic solar panels on the roof of the printing facility so that we could generate electricity in an environmentally responsible manner. There are also many other ways we invest in eco-friendly printing.
Get to know us better
Would you like to find out more about our growth from small commercial printer to professional family business? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to answer any questions you have. You are also more than welcome to come visit us at our printing facility, and see our company for yourself.