... How it all began
The foundation stone for the company was laid at the end of the 19th century. The companies name at this time was Dau & Companie based in Hamburg. Purpose of this company was trading bookbinding supplies.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Hans-Hinnark Schmedt's, today's company owner, great-grandfather, bought the company.
During the 1930s, Käthe Schmedt, his grandmother, took over the company and led it through hard times with a strong hand. The war, the complete destruction and the reconstruction left its traces. In the 1950s, Hinnarks father Hanns-Heinrich Schmedt joined the company and set the course for Schmedt for become an international machine-manufacturing company. It was him, who started this with the development of the foil-blocking press PräGnant. It was the beginning of a wide range of machines which nowadays are in use all over the world.
The PräGnant was presented to the public for the first time in 1967 at the international trade fair "Drupa". This machine helped to make Schmedt internationally known.
The company Schmedt is developing
It was in the mid of the 1970s, when Schmedt was founded. The company was called "Hanns-Heinrich Schmedt" and had two sites: the wholesale trade in the Wandalenweg in Hamburg and the machine factory in Wessenstedt near Uelzen, south of Hamburg. In 1974 the individual business turned into a limited partnership and Hanns-Heinrich Schmedt was honoured by the Association of German Bookbinders for his services to the bookbinding industry. At the end of the 1970ies, his son Hans-Hinnark Schmedt joined the company representing the fourth generation of the familiy in the business. He installed the first personal computer and started adversing the products. Modern management was introduced in the Hamburg office and in the mid 1980ies, Hans-Hinnarks brother Jörn, a mechanical engineer, completed the management. From that time on, he has been responsible for the construction of the Prä machines.
Two business divisions establish on the market
Powered by the two brothers, new machines were developed such as the casing-in machine PräLeg and the joint-setting machine PräForm. These two machines made Schmedt THE specialist for manufacturing machines for the bookbinding industry. Further machines followed.
In the meantime, machines were constructed with modern CNC machines. And the wholesale range grew steadily and became indispensable for craft bookbinders.
Schmedt became an important partner for anyone manufacturing hardcover books. Making use of computer technology and a modern merchandise management system , Hinnark Schmedt optimized the business and released the first catalogue together with a price list in the late 1980ies. Many bookbinders used these as a base for their calculations.
Years of growth
At the beginning of the 1990s, the company changed from a limited partnership to a general partnership and moved into its first own building. At that time, the company had 15 employees. In 1995, Schmedt had its first own stand at the drupa exhibition in Düsseldorf, and the Hamburg building was extended.
After the withdraw of the father Hanns-Heinrich Schmedt at the end of the 1990s, the company changed from the general partnership to a sole proprietorship (Hinnark Schmedt) and turned into H.-H. Schmedt e. K.
The factory based in Wessenstedt between Lüneburg and Uelzen, was expanded once again. Schmedt now had 15 employees in the factory and another 15 in the Hamburg office.
As of 2000, Schmedt turned into a modern company with two sites and a subsidiary in Munich (former Braunwarth & Lütke). In 2003, the wholesale branch in Hamburg moved into a larger building. More offices for more employees and a larger warehouse for about 10,000 products. After the drupa exhibition in 2004 the demand for machines increased so much that a new factory was built in Bienenbüttel. At that time, 40 employees worked for Schmedt. The first online shop was launched.
Schmedt becomes a brand and gets a new corporate identity and logo.
In 2007, the machine division celebrates its 40th anniversary and the machines get a new colour design.
Schmedt presents its machines at the drupa exhibition on a 180 m² stand. Digital printing and the new photobook market demand for Prä machines. By now, 50 employees work for Schmedt and 6 apprentices are trained.
The beginning of the 2010s are characterized by an economic crisis which also hits the graphic and book-binding industry. Schmedt adapts to the new demands and develops machines in a new modern design. At the same time, internal processes are optimized. The facility in Bienenbüttel is expanded by a new building. In Hamburg, a new demo center for demonstration all Prä machines is built next to the office building.
A new catalogue is released - for the first time designed as a hardcover book.
At the drupa exhibition 2012, Schmedt presents the new PräLeg and PräKant. This exhibition will be the turning point for the print and finishing industry.
As the Digimedia fair was cancelled, we hosted the II. Hardcover Days together with the BDBI (Association of German Bookbinders) in 2013. For the first time, the Hardcover Award was granted together with the magazine Bindereport. Moreover, we had an Open House for the friends of the children's TV programme "Die Sendung mit der Maus".
Our new webshop went online and improves the online business.
On the basis of new developments on the market, Schmedt has adapted its internal structures and its international distributor network.
As of 2013, the main focus is back on craftsmanship. New machines like the mobile foil-blocking press PräGnant XS and their presentation on craft fairs emphasize this engagement. Schmedt not only support the book-manufacturing industry by offering them suitable products and machines, but also by becoming support members of several institutions. In 2014, Schmedt participated at he Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time.
Since 2015 Schmedt operates as Schmedt GmbH & Co. KG to ensure the family tradition in the 5th generation.
Besides the Paperworld in Frankfurt, several events took place in our own demo center, such as the Hardcover Days with the presentation of the Hardcover Award and various other events with partners.
2016 was dominated by the drupa exhibition and the new machines PräDeka XL and PräziSheet. Moreover, our online shop was relaunched and has become more comfortable to use.
2017 Schmedt attended several fairs and hosted the IV. Hardcocer Days in Hamburg. The prototype of a new binding system with Ribler technology was presented: the PräziBind system. Layflat binding for short runs.
Moreover our new general catalogue was released.
In 2018, we attended several fairs and presented our machines. The layflat binding system PräziBind has gone into serial production.
The wholesale range is extended by printable cloths for digital printers and by a large number of conservation supplies.
In 2019 our first printed catalogue on conservation supplies is released.
We participate at the Hunkeler Innovation Days and host the V. Hardcover Days with workshops, new machines and the presentation of the Hardcover Award.
1967 the first PräGnant
80`s: Schmedt at the Wandalenweg
90´s: Schmedt at the Billwerder Ring
Schmedt´s logo in 2005
2000´s: Schmedt at the Dwengerkamp
Schmedt ´s present logo
Historical Bookbinder Janssen
New design for the machines
Head office and democenter
Schmedt-familiy in 2014
Schmedt at the Drupa 2016