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History and present of the OTK company

Obchodní tiskárny Kolín is a company with long tradition. The company was founded by the Prague typographer J. L. Bayer in 1879. It was originally a lithographic printing office printing wall calendars and colour-print pictures with chromolithography method. The first wall calendar was printed in 1884.

Later, with the production of calendar blocks, the company established the departments of letterpress, offset printing, lithography and high-capacity bookbindery designed to produce business books. The enterprise soon became the largest domestic manufacturer of calendars.

Period of the First Republic

In 1912, J. L. Bayer’s enterprise became a joint stock company exporting its products also to Poland, Romania, Italy and Hungary. In spite of several threats of the enterprise shutdown, the company survived the World War I and World War II without serious losses.

Post-war times

In 1946, the national enterprise Obchodní tiskárny Kolín was established. The production expanded especially in the ‘70s and new product lines such as blank forms for computer technology and self-adhesive labels. In the period from ‘70s to '90s, OTK was the most important enterprise producing calendars, cards, labels and forms for the computer technology. In 1968 building a new plant commenced. In 1976-1978 the manufacturing and then the administrative parts were moved.

Modern history

After 1989 the enterprise was completely denationalised upon foundation of a joint stock company and later, in 1995, fully privatised.

From 1995 to 2001 the first phase of the intensive investment programme, focusing in particular on the field of flexible packaging technology, self-adhesive and graphic labels, was under way. In the following years it turned out that the technological focus on these priority fields was correct and with respect to development and growing demands of the Czech and Central European market the second phase of the extensive technology investments was carried out.

One of the main investments in the years 2003-2009 was purchasing of the second rotogravure machine, several backing machines and an automatic rotogravure roller engraving machine. Also two UV flexo printing machines, offset machines, digital printing machine and other technologies including a new automatic CTP and DTP machine were purchased.

Development of OTK

With respect to further development in the field of graphic labels, in 2004 the company Jihočeské tiskárny, a.s. was acquisitioned and in October 2004 became part of Obchodní tiskárny, a.s. In 2005 the division of calendars was detached and formed an independent joint stock company called Obchodní tiskárny Hořovice, a.s., thus becoming the second subsidiary of Obchodních tiskárny, a.s.Then it was decided to extend the market on the whole Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2006 as a part of the newly emerging OTK Group commercial representation in Germany was established (OTK Deutschland). In the following year the group spread even further and established a production plant in Romania (OTK Print RO) and in 2008 established commercial representation in Russia (OTK Print RU).

OTK today

Toward the end of 2009 companies Obchodní tiskárny and Jihočeské tiskárny merged and reformed into the joint stock company Obchodní tiskárny in Kolín.


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