The entrepreneurship of our founder Auke Jongbloed has been and still is a source of great inspiration. In 2012, when Jongbloed celebrated its 150th anniversary, Queen Beatrix gave a royal decree to the company. Since that date, the company has been called Royal Jongbloed.
Royal Jongbloed – a royal story
It is good to commemorate progress, keep the past alive and honour the memory of the founders and creators of the firm.
Auke Jongbloed was a dynamic man. Royal Jongbloed Group has become what it now is thanks to his insight and perseverance.
Auke Jongbloed opened an office and writing supplies shop in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1862. In that year, he placed a newspaper advertisement offering to supply high-quality products (made by Belgian and French manufacturers). At this point, there was no sign yet of a printing press, although as a former printing apprentice it is something that Jongbloed had in mind. However, that changed in 1868. Jongbloed took over a printing press and registered himself as a book printer.
Exactly what went through the printing press in those early years has been lost in the sands of time. We do know that ‘newsheets’ were printed there and some ad-hoc printing work. However, in 1873, Jongbloed printed his first psalm book together with a certain widow, Mrs De Lange. In 1880, the small company produced its own edition on the presses. This was the start of what Jongbloed has now become, namely a printing firm, binding firm and publishing house in which Bibles, hymn books, Christian books and books about spirituality play a key role.
Auke Jongbloed was a devout man. He lived for God’s word. During his training, both in the Netherlands and abroad, he was touched by a poem written by Anton van Hamael about a printing firm in Sneek.
We never brought anything into being
that later would cause us
dishonour or for which we had regret;
No, forever we were devoted
to everything that religion and good morals
can promote, and pure virtue,
And all that may come to our attention;
That is esteemed by young and old.
To this very day, we still try to apply this philosophy to our work. Our printing firm and bindery makes the most beautiful and best books that we are able to imagine. Our publishing firm creates the substance of the connections between people and God’s word and among people. We do not seek controversy, but nor do we avoid current developments. The Bible is the basis for our way of thinking and for how we run our business. Two important features of this are respect and loyalty. For instance, the Jongbloed family is still involved with the company as it has always been as a shareholder.
Of course, an incredible amount of things have happened since 1862. Our company has evolved into a prominent specialist in printing on ultra-thin paper and is considered a leading Bible printer across the world. We print high-quality Bibles and books for the Dutch and international markets on 22 grams paper. Our emphasis is on the international market, as around 90 percent of the products that we make are intended for export.
Over the last 30 years, Jongbloed has taken over other firms where necessary. The arrival of the publishing house J.J. Groen and Zoon signalled a further expansion of the graphics company. In 1999 we took over the publishing house the International Bible Society of the Netherlands (IBS). We acquired the evangelical publishing house Medema in 2009.
In 2011, the Catholic Bible Foundation (KBS) outsourced its publishing activities to Jongbloed, including the Willibrord Translation. In the same year we acquired Inspirit Media. In 2012, we also became the publisher for HSV-bestuur, that developed the HSV Young Persons’ Bible and the HSV Study Bible following the Revised States Translation edition. Our final acquisition was in 2018, when we added the publishing activities of Ark Media to the group.
The adventurous entrepreneurship displayed by Auke Jongbloed has always been a source of inspiration. In 2012, we have been in business for 150 years and Queen Beatrix took pleasure in distinguishing us with a royal appointment. Since then, we have proudly borne the name Royal Jongbloed. The Royal Charter was presented in the presence of the Jongbloed family. It was a special moment that we will always cherish and that will forever oblige us to keep the past alive in the distant future, to honour the founders and creators of the firm, and to celebrate progress.