Hooray! Today our family owned business Vrijdag Premium Printing exists 115 years.
A musical start on April 9th, 1905
It may be hard to imagine that Vrijdag Premium Printing (which is known for eye-catching labels and packaging) once started as a small printing company, printing sheet music for local choirs in the region of the city of Eindhoven.
Vrijdag Premium Printing is founded by Louis Vrijdag and Chris Schäfer. Friends at a local choir, looking for a way to copy sheet music. Louis was a teacher and Chris was a printer. Together they started up a small printing company. In the beginning their customers were mainly choirs and vocal clubs. Not much later cigar makers and, for example, Philips (at that time THE light bulb factory in Eindhoven) were standing at their doorstep. From sheet music, production got extended to the production of wrappers, cartons and labels. This decision was a bull's eye! Printing labels was a thriving business and therefore (in 1920) Vrijdag Premium Printing sold its book printing department to Philips and from then focused entirely on labels for the cigar industry.
Chris Schäfer leaves the company
In 1925, Chris and Louis decided to separate their ways. Louis stayed on as director. His passion to deliver unique and high quality print work by adding special printing effects was noticed by customers in the Netherlands and abroad.
1945-1955 Turbulent times
During and after the Second World War it was hard work to keep the business going. Since the death of Louis Vrijdag in 1937 his sons, Peter and Louis jr., were in charge. Unfortunately, a fire in 1948 reduced the company to ashes. A disaster for the company. Fortunately, the Municipal council of the city of Eindhoven, the Government Paper Office and befriended fellow printers helped to realize a build-up. It took four years to get the new modern premises ready at a new location. This location is Limburglaan 51, the same address as where we are located today.
Expansion of product range
The new premises with a large factory floor ensured that there was space for expansion of the product range. By 1955 old machines were replaced and in addition to cigar bands and labels, Vrijdag also started to produce luxury packaging, bottle labels, wrappings, postcards, leaflets, booklets and commercial printing. Expansion of the product range meant that Vrijdag started to supply sectors such as chocolates, beverages, food and detergents. Our customer portfolio outside the cigar industry continued to grow in the following years. This is something we are very proud of.
It's our people who make it
Vrijdag Premium Printing is a special company. Customers choose Vrijdag for our high quality standard, special printing effects and the way we work. Technical possibilities are (almost) unlimited, but no matter how advanced our machines are, in the end it's our people who make it.
Although the last Vrijdag descendant Peter-Louis (who joined the company in 1967) took a step back in 2000 as director, Vrijdag Premium Printing remains a family-owned business. Thanks to the great dedication of our employees, their hard work, trust, loyalty and knowledge, we are strong in times like these!
Sustainable entrepreneurship for the next generation of printers
As a company, we face a challenge to improve our sustainable performance. Over the past years we have taken constructive steps towards a more sustainable operation and it is important that sustainability is placed at a strategic level. After all, sustainable living not only helps our society towards a better future. We also believe that this is the only way to pass on our existence to the next generation of printers.
Finally, did you know ...
….that in the past 115 years Vrijdag Premium Printing has had several trade names?
It started with the name: Chr. Schäfer & CO, then in 1916 it changed into De N.V. Eindhovense Drukkerij. In 1920, after the sale of the book printing department to Philips, our companies trade name changed into: the Vereenigde Drukkerij en Etikettenfabriek (V.D.E.). In 1945, when we celebrated the company's 40th anniversary, the trade name was changed to N.V. Drukkerij Vrijdag. The last name change was in 2017 when we became officially: Vrijdag Premium Printing.