Mechelen printer Buroform looks beyond printing on paper

Mechelen – The Mechelen tower puzzle of 1000 pieces with the beautiful photo of our colleague Sven Van Haezendonck and the unique illustration book about the Mechelen urban legend of the Maneblussers…. these are just two of the many beautiful products that were made at the Mechelen printing company Buroform. Reason enough to take a look behind the scenes of this family-owned business.

“Both the illustration book and the puzzle were absolute best sellers,” affirms case manager Jesse Marynen (33). “For both, we are making a second printing. Puzzlers will have to be patient for a while longer. Because of the corona crisis, puzzles have become so popular that you can hardly find suitable cardboard for puzzles anywhere in Europe. As a Mechelen company, we are of course very proud that we were allowed to participate in this. It is up to us to make the production of high-quality printed matter accessible to as many companies as possible. In other words, it’s our job to make sure that Sven Van Haezendonck’s photo gets on the puzzle pieces as well as possible.”

More authentic and special

Jesse has been at the head of the company for six years. In that time, much has changed in the world of printing. “We have to move with the times and therefore with our customers. A sustainable, quality and innovative printing company is a standard today to still be relevant in our market. That does not mean producing everything in-house, for certain products other companies are better equipped. Then it makes sense for us to call on them. This way we offer all our customers the right solution within their budget and for that we are experts in what we do.”

“In a sea of fast-food communications, high-quality print can stand out just right.”

Buroform acquired a number of companies in recent years, and the investments are following in rapid succession. According to Jesse, you need a certain scale to keep investing in the latest technology. Today it is essential for any printing company to produce as efficiently as possible, margins are under pressure from digitization and there is an oversupply of standard printing. The shift to small volume printing but more authentic, more special, with more impact, is a reality.

Personalize with print

Despite the shrinking market in mass communication on paper, the global market in print continues to grow worldwide. The opportunities to personalize something with print are getting bigger and bigger every year. “Due to the corona crisis, for example, more people started to spend their time next to their smartphones or computers and started to do plenty of puzzles. Making personalized puzzles suddenly became a gap in the market, the manufacturers hadn’t seen the rush coming so stocks of puzzle pieces weren’t replenished until the end of February. Also printing floor stickers, plexiglass screens and all the products to inform us to keep our distance boosted our print sector.”

© Dirk Vertommen


“We want to offer our customers the best of both worlds. That means automating standard products with smart tools so we can focus more on consulting on high-value products. For example, we set up print portals for customers such as Spaces, Volvo, Alcon Benelux, Carglass, SMA Benelux & UK. In this way our clients can serve their own customers smoothly with their communication material that we manage on these portals but also physically send all over Europe. In addition, we are experts in producing high-quality printed materials, telling examples are our collaborations with Tomorrowland, Cartamundi, Zilte and numerous publishers for whom we print high-profile art books.”

Jesse takes us behind the scenes in the print shop. “As you can see, a completely new state-of-the-art printing press installed.” In another room, printed sheets are cut to size and folded fully automatically. In another workshop, it seems as if we are going back in time several decades. There, a number of old printing presses are still set up where large sheets are refinished with foil printing for an art book cover. And finally, Jesse takes us to another building where there is a complete digital printing shop. “This is where small runs are made and we can finish up to fifty or more jobs a day. We have adapted all of our business to what customers expect from us. That is innovative, sustainable and high-quality printing.”

The typo department of Buroform
© Dirk Vertommen

Written by: Ward Bosmans