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50 years of Kittelberger

The past 50 years have changed our world. The way we live, think, produce and consume things – and each change and each technical invention speed up the pace of change. The past 50 years have also changed our business sector - the opportunities and requirements - and this has also changed us.

There is little that has remained the same – or so you might think. But what is really important has not changed over the years - the mindset. Curiosity, the courage to embrace change and not being satisfied with the second best solution. There's no question of standing still - quite the opposite, we welcome the joy of movement. That's right - walking the walk.
Over and over again.

"Paths are made by walking.“
Franz Kafka

Together with you we have forged the success of our company over the past 50 years. Kittelberger media solutions would not exist in this form without our customers, their trust and fair collaboration. Neither would the company exist without our employees and their commitment. For this we would like to express our sincerest thanks.

We have provided our services since 1966, to start with at regional level, but then we went international - from a typesetting firm to a software house and service provider for Internet and cross media publishing. Come with us on the journey!


2006 – 2016

Software development as germinator for new developments

The Software Development department is where all new developments originate. They launched us into the future - the database era, the Internet and automating the plate-making process. A computer centre was built with fireproof walls, equipped with high availability technology since Kittelberger started to host many customer websites and databases.


More room for development

In 2008, the company building was extended and modernised. The new architectural design was awarded the Hugo Häring Prize.


We move into our offices in Shanghai

Start-up of Kittelberger Shanghai 奇奇山营销策划(上海 ) in the Middle Kingdom (China) in 2012 - a significant step as this was the first subsidiary abroad and on a totally different continent!


Advastamedia® becomes an Oracle registered software

Managing media and product data, filling online shops and generating print and online catalogues or apps - one application capable of everything.


Award for a well designed interactive microsite

Kittelberger is awarded silver for the idea, conception and implementation of a web special.


iPhone / iPad…

Apple revolutionised the telecommunications and PC market by launching the iPhone and the iPad. Coupled with the Internet, this made a massive impact on data processing and publishing. The era of multichannel publishing had finally begun.


1996 – 2006

Image pool, automated publishing and Internet

Workflow automation and networking are the keywords of this era: a multinational company creates the first web presence. The Internet and the associated services become a significant branch of business for us.

Right from the start, we understood that publishing product contents on the web is a channel output that lends itself to automation. The development of our advastamedia® suite was the ultimate push towards a multichannel system. Its print processes optimise data for online applications; product and media data are not only filed, the suite also managed corrections, translations, product ranges and prices.


Image pools and database projects

The first image pool (then called Scoutbase) was supplied to a major customer. This was followed shortly afterwards by a web-based image database, i.e. with Internet client. Further development of Scoutbase finally resulted in the advastamedia® database suite.


Now we are called Kittelberger media solutions

This emphasises our solution competence for everything to do with electronic or print media.


Rapid development influenced by
the Internet

Terms such as e-commerce and Web2Print became the constant companions of the industry when print production (including sales structures) was finally connected to the Internet. The first online shops were created, people started using e-mail on a large scale and Google appeared on the scene. Later itunes, myspace, facebook and youtube arrived to change the face of the world.


1986 – 1996

PC, Apple Macintosh and DTP

This was followed by a changeover to Siemens computer systems. PCs were used more and more for typesetting. At the same time, the DTP scene also made inroads at Kittelberger: commercial print was mainly produced on Apple Macintosh; Apple acquired a dominating position here and this continues to this day.


Digital fonts

No-one was interested in selecting existing fonts any more since digital fonts were easily available in perfect quality and in any size due to Postscript technology. Where a font for a font style cost around DM800 in the 1980s, it was then obtainable for a few Euros.


Move to Bayernstrasse

At the start of the 1990s, we moved to new premises inside the district of Rommelsbach –
a much larger building which also housed an air-conditioned computer centre.


The first Kittelberger website

We still created HTML using the vi editor and animated GIFs did not exist yet. Netscape was the most popular browser and we still compiled the NCSA HTTP server ourselves.


The commercialisation of the Internet begins

The Internet was now accessible to the public outside the universities. There was hardly anyone who was able to make realistic predictions about the potential and the associated changes that would affect communication. The Ipex trade fair in 1993 marked the birth of digital printing. PDF took over from Postscript as the publishing format in the printing industry.


1976 – 1986

First automated
price lists and catalogues

Together with colleagues, the "Fotosatz-Datenverbund" (Photo typesetting data network) was founded and developed its own typesetting software which was used on a WANG computer. This allowed us to accept data from customers for preparation before typesetting output. Kittelberger became one of the first prepress houses to offer automatically generated price lists and spare parts catalogues.


Competence in the
"fonts" segment

This was not a matter of course at the time. We were proud of the wide selection of fonts which could fulfil every typographic demand.


Linotype imagesetter was a fast machine at the time

The Linotron 303 scanned a negative typeset using a cathode ray (similar to a television) and projected it onto film. The typesetting system had two parallel data memories each 50 megabytes in size. Data input and output to film were finally separate.


Digiset HELL system

In the 1980s, we took delivery of a complete HELL system with Digiset. This was regarded as the latest state of the art. It was capable of exposing an entire newspaper page in one minute – now that was fast at the time!


Hazing party –
an old tradition

After passing the final exams, hazing was still practised until the end of the 1980s. The graduate apprentice was immersed under water and a hazing letter was read out. The apprentice was then accepted to the circle of "Disciples of the Black Art"...


The first e-mail
and the original Mac

In Germany the first Internet e-mail was received at 10:24 CET on 3 August 1984. The market launch of the Apple Macintosh and the presentation of PostScript, the page description language by Adobe (both in 1984) marked the start of the desktop publishing (DTP) era.


1966 – 1976

April 1966 – TypoStudio founded by Hartmut Kittelberger

Layout was still performed by hand and "telephone" was still called "Fernruf" (now obsolete) in German. Lead typesetting was still the leading technology in the prepress stage in the 1970s. Hartmut Kittelberger, with his finger right on the pulse of the latest developments, immediately started on the latest technology: photosetting.


Start in his parent's bookbinder's shop

In a small dark room in the cellar, he started work on photosetting using a Diatype and a couple of glass grid masters for each font weight. He took on his first employee in autumn 1967. By 1976, the work force had risen to 20.


Mass data storage devices?!

In the time before diskettes, CD, DVDs and rooms full of servers, data was stored on magnetic tapes.


Advertising for the first font sample

A time consuming history: variable character pitch in photosetting was a novelty lead typesetting has a fixed pitch. This is illustrated by the ornamental K in the font sample: every K is set next to the previous letter with a different kerning.


Now Typoshop Kittelberger

The firm was renamed Typoshop in 1968 - it sounded simply larger and more modern than Typostudio.


From lead typesetting
to photosetting

Diatype represents the transition from lead typesetting to photosetting. This technology is archaic from today's perspective. After power-on, the user had to wait for the device to warm up and the correct character pitch has to be tested.
The nonsense word "Hillimillihirtzheftpflasterentferner" was used to fine-tune the device - a 6-point font size in a specific font was supposed to result in a specific width…