Royal Joh. Enschedé modifies strategy and focuses on High Security Printing

Royal Joh. Enschedé modifies strategy and focuses on High Security Printing

From next year Royal Joh. Enschedé will be focusing as a High Security Printer on the international market for Stamps, Visas and Tax Labels, together with interesting growth markets such as ‘brand protection’ and ‘anti-counterfeit’. This new focus means that the company will cease the production of Banknotes in the near future.

The Board and Shareholders have decided on this modification of the strategy as a result of market developments and the company’s position in the various markets. The new focus means that the banknotes division will be closed, which unfortunately will lead to a considerable loss of jobs. The Board of Royal Joh. Enschedé informed the staff of this at a special meeting today, Thursday 1 December 2016. 

The international market for banknotes has been characterised by overcapacity for years, whereby many parties are competing for tenders with rock-bottom prices. State printing offices from various countries are increasingly also competing, winning export orders at unrealistically low prices alongside their protected position in their home market. This is creating even greater pressure on prices and an imbalance in the competitive landscape. Even with highly efficient business processes and much enhanced productivity, Royal Joh. Enschedé cannot operate at such even lower price levels. It would mean that the company would have to start consistently executing loss-making orders, which is not commercially prudent. 

Over the recent period Royal Joh. Enschedé has looked for a collaboration with or acquisition by a strategic partner in order to gain a more secure position in the market and reduce the risks. This has not been successful.

In order to safeguard the future of the other activities, the company’s Board and Shareholders have decided to terminate the sale and production of banknotes. This means that the current order book will be fully completed, after which the closure of the banknotes division will take place at the start of next year. Unfortunately this will involve job losses.

With a modified, smaller organisation and the new market focus, the Board and Shareholders of Royal Joh. Enschedé believe that the company’s future survival can be secured and a basis for healthy growth can be established as a leading High Security Printer. 

 

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150 year of stamp production in Haarlem

150 year of stamp production in Haarlem

This year marks precisely 150 years since Royal Joh. Enschedé started the production of postage stamps in 1866. Once a small printing shop in the centre of Haarlem, nowadays it’s in a large - highly secure - printing works in the Waarderpolder just outside the centre of Haarlem. The first stamp to be printed was the second issue of Dutch postage stamps depicting King Willem III. Joh. Enschedé took over the printing of stamps from the State Mint. For many decades all Dutch stamps were printed here. Nowadays Joh. Enschedé designs and prints postage stamps for more than 100 countries worldwide, including for the Dutch market.

Over the 150 years that Royal Joh. Enschedé has been producing stamps, the printing techniques and methods used to produce stamps have changed considerably. In the past, production mainly used engraving, screen-printing and later also offset printing. Today there are many other options, such as the use of cold foil, various types of varnish, iriodin and laser perforation. There are also new developments which replace the traditional sheet of stamps, such as booklets, rolls and other unusual forms of execution and packaging. This has greatly increased the possibilities, and there is greater scope for creativity and personal input from the designer or the client. Joh. Enschedé is currently working on introducing ‘traditional’ stamps with new digital technologies such as augmented reality in the near future. This will open up yet another new world of possibilities.

For the occasion of 150 year stamp production we invited employees of sixteen postal organisations worldwide in the period from 10 till 13 October 2016 to participate in a onetime experience called Fundamentals of stamp production. In this 4 day course the participants learned everything about the production of stamps, from paper and inks till packing and shipping. They even visited a sorting centre of the Dutch post.

New stamp booklet Carrier pigeon in cooperation with PostNL

New stamp booklet Carrier pigeon in cooperation with PostNL

To mark the 150th anniversary, Joh. Enschedé has designed a new product in collaboration with PostNL: a book of stamps that reads like a strip cartoon. When you open out the booklet, it reveals 10 sheets, each bearing their own postage stamp.  This anniversary booklet tells a story of a carrier pigeon who is born in a birdhouse, but has no idea what sort of bird he is. He sets off to find out and encounters various types of birds on his travels, as a result of which he finally discovers his true vocation. This stamp booklet is a new way of packaging stamps, unlike the traditional sheet or roll, and also offers far more scope for creativity and room to tell a story.

This stamp booklet incorporates a number of printing techniques which have not previously been used for Dutch postage stamps. One of these techniques is the use of cold foil and spot UV varnish. With cold foil, a layer of foil is pressed onto the paper, after which ink is applied overlapping the foil. This gives the inks a spectacular effect. Joh. Enschedé is demonstrating with this booklet that there are many possibilities beyond the traditional postage stamp. The booklet is also a unique collector’s item because of the nature of the product, the limited print run and the techniques used. 

Little Red Riding Hood launched at Banknote Conference in Washington

Little Red Riding Hood launched at Banknote Conference in Washington

We are proud to have introduced a new house note on the first day of the Banknote Conference in Washington. The inspiration for this design is the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Dutch Design Team choose “Expect the Unexpected” as the theme for the design. The note is created by Royal Joh. Enschedé in collaboration with Landqart, PNO Global, SICPA and KBA, each bringing their own expertise and capabilities to the table. The video that was shown during the presentation is available below.