History

2017

Kösel invests in a new book line and a new cover machine. Thereby the technical possibilies and the product range are further enlarged. Martin Schöllhorn takes over the tasks of Ivo Odak as new Managing Director Sales.

2016

Erik Kurtz is honoured as Manager of the year at the Print&Media Awards. Moreover Kösel is the winner of the category ‘Book Binder of the Year’. For the third time in a row, Kösel is awarded with the DID Award for innovative Print Finishing. The Bavarian Print-Media-Price completes the success of this year.

2015

In cooperation with Koenig & Bauer AG in Würzburg, a digital web press was developed. With this investment Kösel sets new standards of printing on lightweight paper.
For the fifth time Kösel wins the Print&Media Award in the category ‘Book Printer of the Year’. Furthermore, Kösel gets the DiD-Award for innovative Print Finishing.

2014

Kösel is the winner of two categories of the Print& Media Awards: ‘Book Printer of the Year’ and ‘Training Company of the Year’. Besides, Kösel is honoured with the iF Communication Design Award and the DiD-Award for innovative Print Finishing.
Moreover, Kösel is a winner of the Print Stars.

2013

Ivo Odak is appointed Sales Director. His priority is strengthening Kösel’s market position as a service provider and innovation leader.
Kösel receives the Paperazzo Haptic Award and the Reddot Design Award.
Furthermore, Kösel is awarded at the Print Stars.

2012

For the first time the newly developed Kösel Coloured Edge method makes it possible to print 4-colour motifs on the trimmed edges of books.

Ivo Odak is appointed successor of Michael Köhnlein as sales manager and member of the management board.

For the third time in a row Kösel wins the Print & Media Award in the ‘Book Printer of the Year’ category.

2011

For the second time running Kösel is awarded the Print&Media Award as ‘Book Printer of the Year’.

The jury was particularly impressed by innovations like the Kösel Coloured Edge and the Heyne Pocket Format but Kösel also scored points with its top quality printing on linen.

2010

Kösel is honoured with several awards:
Print&Media Award: Book Printer of 2010

Innovation Prize by the German Printing Industry:
DID Award 2010 for innovative Print Finishing
1st Prize in the “Corporate Publishing” category

2009

In 2009 two new printing presses are put into operation at Kösel in 2009. Both are Heidelberger Speedmaster XL-105 and have "Inpress Control" in-line measuring systems. Each printed sheet is measured in-line spectrophotometrically and – if necessary – colour control can be automatically corrected instantaneously.

2008

On 29/10/2009 former major shareholder Heinz A. Kurtz dies. He has shaped the history of Kösel like no other since 1979. His responsibility for his staff, the economic success and the company culture were his life. We are proud to say that he managed to achieve something extraordinary.

Erik Kurtz, Christa Gräf and Michael Köhnlein continue the management of the company as managing partners.

2006

Fritz Bühler retires after 54 years working and sells his company shares.
Michael Köhnlein takes over the overall management of the sales function and becomes co-proprietor.
In August an additional glue binder is put into operation as basis for further growth.

Kösel is awarded the DiD Award for innovative print finishing.

2005

Based on the company's philosophy Kösel puts the idea of a highly innovative employee participation plan into practice, which means that the entire workforce participates in the company's profits though participation rights which are free of charge. This runs in parallel with the profit-sharing model which has been in existence since 1985.

2004

The administration building is completed in March. The pre-press stage is installed and the relocation from Kempten to Krugzell takes place in April. The entire production including sales, production planning and administration are now ideally based in one location. This perfect production environmentt and a range of new and modern machines equip Kösel for the future.

2003

The property in Kempten is sold. The construction work for the extension of the production building and the new administration building starts in spring.

2002

The decision is made to finally leave the site in Kempten.
Erik Kurtz takes over the technical management of the printing and binding departments and becomes co-proprietor.

2001

A completely newly-developed rotary press from Clauberg for printing single-colour and 2-colour books is put into operation in Krugzell. A swap-over from one to another press takes place at full running speed of 24,000 print/hour without stopping the press for changing a plate. For the first time we are now able to print small print-runs of books on rotary presses as economically as on a sheet-fed press or by printing digitally.

2000

Kösel GmbH & Co. merges with KöselBuch GmbH & Co KG in Altursried-Krugzell at the end of 1999/beginning of 2000. This is the location of the Printing, Binding and Warehousing departments. Production in Krugzell starts on 31 Juli 2000.
The pre-press stage, administration and sales are taken over by the newly founded Kösel GmbH & Co. KG in Kempten.

1999

On 8 October 1999 the foundation stone for the new building is laid.
A concept for the production of small and mini editions is developed. In particular this will allow the production of reprints in small print-runs at economically acceptable unit prices.

1998

The end of the year marks the start of direct plate exposure (CTP). Kösel develops and builds its own machine for the first time. This enables the production of brochures with folded flaps and protruding edges in one single operation on the glue binder.
Acquisition of a 6 hectare plot outside Kempten in Altusried-Kurgzell. The planning of a new production building begins.

1997

Gottfried Kölbl retires as managing director and proprietor and sells his shares to Heinz A. Kurtz. Mrs. Christa Gräf, commercial manager, and Mr. Fritz Bühler, sales manager, acquire their own shares and become co-proprietors. The Illb plant is expanded with the replacement and purchase of new machines from KBA-Planeta.

1996

The text import, image production and text/image editing departments are completely restructured. Computer-to-Film (CtF) is handled in modernized and converted rooms. The company is able to expose film through self-generated or supplied data with the 'Signastation' from Linotype and three film exposure machines.

1994

The product range continues to be developed further. Binding methods are increasingly developed in order to integrate Non-Print Media in books.

1993

The 400 year anniversary is celebrated in state rooms of the Kempten Residenz.

1992

The percentage of computer manuals has significantly increased. Kösel increasingly use the “FR Binding” method for brochure manufacture. Kösel develops its own, registered for patent, technique for this binding method.

1991

Start of roll-fed offset printing. Kösel installs the first variable format roll-fed offset Variquik press and is the first company in mainland Europe to do so.

1989

The number of staff rises to 240. There is more and more demand for a second production line for computer handbooks which have to be manufactured and delivered in a short time due to their frequent revisions.

1986

Start of the DTP area and expansion of text/image processing.

1985

A employee profit-sharing model is implemented. Starting in the following year most employees participate as non-voting shareholders.

1984

The bookbinding department is modernised. For the first time a complete book production line from VBF allows the production of thread-stiched books in one single operation from glueing to joint forming.

1983

On Paul Huber's retirement the joint managing proprietors Gottfried Köbl and Heinz A. Kurtz continue the company management under the existing name. The company has approx. 150 staff. The photosetting area is expanded and a proprietary modern high-performance typesetting system from Linotype is installed.

1981

The in-house reproduction department becomes independent and is transferred to the newly-founded Reprotechnik Kempten GmbH. Electronic image processing is started.

1980

The final change-over from letterpress to offset printing is completed. Specialisation in large-format offset printing.

1979

Heinz A. Kurtz joins the company as Technical Manager and Authorized Officer. Brochure manufacturing is rationalized with the installation of the first "Monobloc" glue-binding line from Müller-Martini.

1974

Gottfried Kölbl starts as Commercial Manager and is appointed co-proprietor one year later.

1972

Start of production with mass phototypesetting.

1971

Move to the new 3500 m2 printing plant at Herbststrasse in Kempten.

1963

Start of the change-over to offset printing.

1952

Paul Huber who only returned in 1949 after being a prisoner-of-war takes over the management of the graphic business in Kempten. In the following years the business expands to become one of the largest independent printer and publishers in Southern Germany.

1945

Heinrich Wild takes over the management of the publishing house. The company starts printing again after WWII with the undamaged machines.

1933 bis 1945

The company is managed by a committee. The Nazi regime forces the Kösel Publishing House to sell the “Allgäuer Zeitung” newspaper. The Munich branch of the Publishing House at Kaiser-Ludwig-Platz in destroyed in January 1945.

1920

Merger of the publishing houses, Kösel, Kempten and Pustet, Regensburg, which split up again in 1927 after the death of Hermann Huber.

1901

Paul Huber (1875–1911) takes over the management of the company; he is the founder of the Munich branch of the publishing house. One of the first newspaper rotary presses is installed. After his death (1911), his brother Hermann Huber (1883–1927) takes over the management of the entire company.

1880

The photochemigraphy department is opened.

1872

Ludwig Huber (1848–1900) takes over the management of the company. Expansion of the business and the range of books published (e.g.the books of Sebastian Kneipp are published in 1886).

1869

A steam-driven printing press is put into operation.

1857

The first high-speed press which is still operated by hand is installed.

1838

Johann Huber buys the book shop, publishing house and printing business from the widow of Johann Bails for 36,000 guldens.

1828

Johann Huber (1806–1864, book printer and lithograph) is charged with the management of the printing business after the death of Joseph Kösel (1825) and the sale of the printing business to Nikolaus Bail.

1815

A stone printing business is set up.

1810

The printing company moves out of the convent to the Sager Estate, which is located in the Wartenseestraße.

1805

At an auction Josph Kösel buys a printing, publishing and book retail business for 10,000 Gulden. The printing department contains nine printing presses.

1794

The book printing master craftsman Joseph Kösel (1759–1825), previously town printer, becomes manager of the printing business.

1740

The printing business acquires its own type foundry.

1660

Re-establishment of the printing business by Prince Abbot Roman Giel von Gielsberg. The printing business mainly produces theological texts.

1632

Fire at the Kempten Convent. The fire also destroyed the printing business.

1593

Foundation of the “Typographia Ducalis Campidonensis” printing business by Prince-Abbot Johann Erhard Blarer von Wartensee.