Berger Printing Services are celebrating

their (hi)story one page at a time.

Berger Printing Services are a private company that have been owned by the same family for the last 150 years. Today they are managed by the fifth generation of the family, Ferdinand and Peter Berger. Our focus is strictly customer-oriented, and this includes expert employees and award-winning quality. This company philosophy has made us one of the largest players on the Austrian market for decades. We would like to take the time to reflect on the happiest chapters in our company’s history together with you.

The beginning

In the beginning there was a hand-operated press.

1868
Ferdinand Berger Book Printing, which is now managed by the fifth generation of the family, was founded by Ferdinand Berger I in Horn, Lower Austria in 1868.
1868-1871
Ferdinand Berger worked on his own for the first few years. By his third year of business his employees included an assistant and an apprentice.
1878
Ferdinand Berger founded the newspaper Der Bote aus dem Waldviertel [The Waldviertel Herald]. It initially appeared biweekly; in later years it became a weekly newspaper. His son, Ferdinand II, was now a young man and had learnt the printing trade in his father’s business.
1886
Young Ferdinand set off on his penny-farthing to Germany to begin his journeyman years, a tradition that is still alive in German-speaking countries. He covered a distance of 2379 km and acquired useful technical knowledge about printing whilst working in Berlin, Hannover and Detmold. When he returned home, he adapted the treadle-powered printing press in his father’s company to make it a steam-powered machine. This was a revolutionary development.
1893
Ferdinand I celebrated his 40 years of experience in the printing trade and the 25-year anniversary of his business in the company of his family and his 12 employees.

Time for a change:

The turn of the century.

Ferdinand Berger II married in 1903; his son and heir, Ferdinand Berger III, was born one year later. The company had electricity for the first time in 1908. Electric motors were used to directly operate the individual presses and ultimately replaced steam power. In the years that followed, the company continued to make investments: in its first Linotype typesetting machine and in the continued expansion of the printing works with three high-speed printing presses and two job presses.

The fateful year of 1914:

The outbreak of the First World War was a time of tribulation for Ferdinand Berger and his employees.

But after the war his desire to move forward was even greater: this was the beginning of a new development phase. As a result of quality work in the form of Festschriften, annual reports, books and newspapers, renowned publishers placed their trust in Berger Printing Services; this secured the company’s future.

1925

Ferdinand Berger III enters the business following several years of enlightening practical experience abroad. One of his first tasks is to promote the expansion of the company.

Margaret Thatcher is born. She will go down in history as the Iron Lady.

1961

Following his apprenticeship in Germany, Ferdinand Berger IV enters the business and dedicates himself to web press printing.

Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person in outer space. As a result, that round of the Space Race goes to Russia, not the United States.

1965

Peter Berger joins his family’s company upon completion of his training. His main priority is to modernise production by switching from hot metal typesetting and letterpress printing to phototypesetting and offset printing instead.

The Rolling Stones release “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and rise to global stardom as a result.

1968

100 years of Berger Printing Services
Web press production is moved to the newly built facility known as “Berger Web Printing”.

A year becomes synonymous with an entire generation.

1977

The company’s new building for offset printing opens on the “Green Field” in Horn. Austria’s first perfecting machine enters production.

Apple launches the new Apple II onto the market in April 1977. This later developed into the first microcomputer, which became wildly popular. At the time of its release, it cost 1,295.00 USD.

1986

The first web offset printing machine becomes operational - a decisive change of course for the company’s ongoing development.

The commercialisation of the Internet has begun: the World Wide Web subsequently took the world by storm.

1995
1997

Ferdinand V and Peter Junior enter the business. Berger’s web press printing service merges with other providers, becoming a leader on the Austrian market.

Scientists in Scotland clone a mammal for the first time. Dolly the Sheep becomes an overnight global sensation!

1998

The Bergers celebrate the largest single investment made in the company’s history (160 million schillings or approximately £10,000): the construction of a hall and the 24-page “Sunday Press” web offset printing machine, the first of its kind in Austria.

The film Titanic becomes the most expensive and most commercially successful film of all time up to that point. The 294.9 million dollars in production costs pale in comparison to the unbelievable 3.2 billion dollars it generates at the box office.

2007

A new large-scale investment in web offset printing takes place when the first high-volume double-circumference press becomes operational.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs presents the first iPhone. It is an innovation that changes the entire industry and the lives of people around the world.

2016

The FERAG “UNIDRUM” saddle stitcher becomes operational. It includes insert machinery, inkjet addressing and a robotic pallet system - one of the most modern saddle stitcher machines in Central Europe. The cutting-edge 8-colour UV sheet-fed offset printing machine becomes ready for use. In addition, the company takes another step in automating plate copying.

Bob Dylan becomes the first musician in history to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

2018

The highlights of this year include our 150th anniversary and additional investments. We are the only web offset printing company of our size and scope in Austria that is owned and managed by a single family.

Continuity

150 years of Berger Printing Services means that knowledge and traditions are passed down from generation to generation.

Reliability

Berger’s printing traditions have always been driven by innovation, which is always a guarantee for the highest degree of expertise and quality.

Passion

The real key to success is to love what you do.

This is what Berger stands for.

For the past 150 years.

After 1950

Chequebooks, military newspapers & LARGE INVESTMENTS

Ferdinand III, who joined Berger Printing Services in 1925, strove for the company’s technical expansion. A spacious new building and more machines for typesetting and printing were the result.

In 1938 the German association of savings banks, Deutscher Sparkassenverband, tasked Berger with the production of chequebooks for every savings bank in Austria and Southern Germany. In later years these chequebooks were delivered to places as far away as Ukraine and Bialystok, Poland. Ferdinand IV was born in November 1940, followed by his younger brother, Peter, in 1942. It was now possible to pass the torch to the next generation.

The War Years

In May 1945 the Soviet occupation troops stationed in Horn used Berger’s presses to print a daily military newspaper. None of the machinery or company property was lost during that time. This meant that soon after the war had ended, the Bergers could fully dedicate themselves to their craft once again.

Major Expansion

Several large-scale investments were made in rapid succession. A monotype typesetting system was installed, among other things. After that, the company was also able to create their own type on their own whenever they needed to, which made them independent. The increasing use of modern calculating machines and electronic data processing tools in the fields of industry and administration led to the installation of a web press printing department in 1961. Supervised by Ferdinand IV, in 1968 the department responsible for the production of forms moved into a new purpose-built production facility: the “Roto-Druck Werk II”.

set of German types with the english meaning: A GREAT HERITAGE

100 Years of Berger

In the years leading up to the company’s 100th anniversary (1968), several important events took place there one after another: Ferdinand IV joined the business in 1961, followed by his younger brother, Peter, in 1965. Peter’s main priority was book production and the publishing business. Moreover he was able to realise something he had been planning for a very long time: the establishment of an offset printing department.

Now one of the senior managers of the team, in 1977 Peter Berger changed production methods completely: hot metal typesetting and letterpress printing gave way to phototypesetting and offset printing. The same year the company celebrated the opening of its third facility, dedicated to offset printing, on the “Green Field” in Horn. Hot metal typesetting and letterpress printing became completely obsolete in 1981, which was the year that the first 4-colour sheet-fed offset printing machine became operational.

A Family Business
in its 5th generation

Like Father, Like Son

Portrait photo of Ferdinand Berger I

Ferdinand Berger I

Founder
1838 - 1894

Portrait photo of Ferdinand Berger II

Ferdinand Berger II

1866 - 1950

Portrait photo of Ferdinand Berger III

Ferdinand Berger III

1904 - 1990

Portrait photo of Ferdinand Berger IV

Ferdinand Berger IV

b. 1940

Portrait photo of Peter Berger

Peter Berger

b. 1942

Portrait photo of Ferdinand Berger V

Ferdinand Berger V

b. 1968

Portrait photo of Peter Berger

Peter Berger

b. 1973

We thank you.

Many thanks to our customers and business partners! It would not have been possible to celebrate this special anniversary in 2018 without your loyalty and trust. We wish to thank our loyal and dedicated employees from the bottom of our hearts. Your friendly support and expertise are what keep our customers satisfied.

Here’s to many more chapters in the Berger story!

Photo of Ferdinand Berger and Peter Berger