Hamburg, 1960: the start of two great careers. The Beatles play gigs along the city's Reeperbahn, capturing the hearts of fans. A few kilometres away, school friends Carl-Wilhelm Edding and Volker Detlef Ledermann also land their first number one hit: the edding No. 1!
The range of products keeps on growing. In 1965, the group brand planMASTER sees the light of day - with the launch of products for planning and visual communication. Since 1999, these products have been sold under the Legamaster brand name. Today, as well as whiteboards, flipcharts, and presentation and display systems, this extensive product range also includes interactive solutions for school and business.
Proud milestone on its 10-year-anniversary: By the end of 1970, almost 100 million edding-felt and fibre-tipped pens had been sold across all five continents.
New markets, new products, new technologies, new customer groups: as the Beatles break up, edding continues to write history. However, it's "goodbye" to Hamburg as the group moves to new premises in nearby Ahrensburg.
At edding everything continues to shine: in 1978, the group launches its first-ever paint marker with an opaque, paint-like ink - suitable even on darker surfaces. A study by German market research company GfK has revealed that the edding 750 paint marker was the second biggest-selling marker in seven European countries in 2007/2008. First place went to the edding 3000.
As the years pass, edding continues to develop its range of special markers. After all, the company's goal is clearly defined: to have, or to be able to develop, the right marker for any application and surface. Today, edding has more than 150 "specialists", including a CD marker, a furniture marker, a tile marker, a x-ray-marker, a skin marker and a laundry marker.
With any house or office move, edding is a trusty helper. In 1986, the company makes a diffrerent kind of move when edding is floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange for the first time. In the same year, edding Vertrieb GmbH is founded as a distribution and logistics centre for the German market. It is still based in Wunstorf near Hanover to this day.
edding is quick to see the importance of an international presence and growth in selected markets. Subsidiaries are set up in the United Kingdom and in Japan, dedicated to the promotion of this strategy. Today, edding has branches and distribution partners across the globe, its products being sold in around 100 countries.
Three years after the Wall comes down, edding founds V. D. Ledermann & Co. GmbH in the German town of Bautzen. Today, this ultra-modern plant makes around 60 million products every year. For colleagues in Ahrensburg, it's another case of "all change!" as they relocate to their own offices - complete with stores in Ahrensburg. edding ist still conquering the world from these premises today.
Care for the environment has been part of edding's corporate philosophy since the very beginning. The group takes ecological considerations into account when planning products, packaging and materials. A commitment that pays of in 1995 when co-founder Volker Detlef Ledermann is presented with the B.A.U.M. award.
An even greater international dimension: In 2000, edding founds subsidiaries in Italy, Greece and Argentina. This is followed a year later by subsidiaries in France and Turkey.
In 2005, the edding group is one of the first to sign the "Ehrenkodex", a code of practice for the German paper, office products and stationery industry. This framework document - drawn up at the initiative of brand association Altenaer Kreis and approved by the Federal German Cartel Office - lays down principles of fair business. And edding is a key player in its drafting.
Our founders have been keen on alternative fuels since the 1960s. So much so that by the start of the new millennium, edding already had a solar-powered car in use at its Ahrensburg site. In 2009, the company acquires its first electric car and installs its own charging station. Fast forward 10 years... and edding’s fleet now features a number of latest-generation electric cars and several more charging points.
The University of St. Gallen in Switzerland confirms something that staff at edding have long known and cherished when it lists edding AG as one of the top 100 employers among German SMEs - the result of a 2007 comparison of companies throughout Germany. In 2008, edding wins the Axia Award (in the "SME" category) for its excellent strategic orientation.
Still in 2008, edding introduces its EcoLine range of products. This series includes permanent markers and board markers with at least 90% of the total plastic used being made from recycled material. The range also includes a text marker with a cap and barrel, at least 70% of which is made from a renewable ressource.
The three German sites at Ahrensburg (HQ), Bautzen (production) and Wunstorf (distribution) are certified to environmental management standard ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, an internationally recognised standard for occupational health and safety management systems.
From the beginning of 2013, the edding AG Management Board has been made up of three members: Per Ledermann, CEO/Chairman of the Management Board; Thorsten Streppelhof, COO, responsible for international sales; and Sönke Gooss who, as CFO, is in charge of the finance and controlling departments.
One year after its launch, edding permanent spray wins Gold at the German Design Awards in the Packaging category. The Gold prize is awarded for excellence in international design. The judging panel was particularly impressed by the product transfer from marker to spray can: “For more than 50 years, the edding name has, quite simply, been synonymous with permanent markers. Now, for the first time, underneath the well-known ribbed cap lies a spray can – the result of an ingenious product transfer. The design switch from marker to spray has been a great success, right down to the last detail.”
edding may have become a big name thanks to its permanent markers, but today the company represents so much more than those familiar ‘thick black markers’. Over the past few years, the brand has successfully undergone continuous development – ranging from the introduction of printer cartridges and toners in 2011 through to creative sprays in 2013 and the launch of nail polish in 2015. As well as providing specific customer benefits, the main focus of all developments is always on the brand fit. The new products are characterised by the unmistakeable edding design and proven edding quality in terms of durability, coverage and robustness.
During this period, Legamaster also makes a significant advance: in 2011, the division adds interactive solutions to its portfolio for the very first time. Now, alongside the tried-and-tested analogue whiteboards and flipcharts, Legamaster also offers digital solutions for schools and businesses.
To enable greater focus on the different local markets and varying customer requirements, Legamaster opens new distribution outlets at the start of 2016 for the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg markets.
edding has been writing history for 50 years. The two-man team with a start-up capital of 500 Deutsche Mark has transformed to become a global company with more than 600 employees and group sales of EUR 148 million (2017). Today, the edding family name is, quite simply, the synonym for markers.
One year after its launch, the Colour Happy Big Box wows judging panels and receives awards across Europe. The Big Box contains everything a craft enthusiast could possibly need for hand lettering, drawing and sketching: a selection of 69 pens with a wide array of nibs, colours and stroke widths.
- April 2018: Best New Product prize-winner at the 2018 Stationery Awards held in London (Arts and Crafts category).
- October 2018: Winner of the 2018 Benelux Office Products Award in the Stationery Products category.
- November 2018: Honoured as Winner at the 2019 German Design Award in the Packaging category.
In September 2018, the edding 24 EcoLine highlighter is awarded the Blue Angel, the most prominent ecolabel in Germany. To be considered for this award, products must be made in a resource-efficient, environmentally-friendly manner, have a long service life, contain no substances harmful to health, be easy to recycle, yet still able to fulfil their intended product function to a high level of quality. The edding 24 highlighter is made predominantly from renewable raw materials and is refillable. What’s more, the sales packaging consists entirely of recycled card.
“We are thrilled that our highlighter has been awarded this prestigious label,” comments Per Ledermann, Chairman of the Management Board at edding AG, before adding that “we hope that with this product we can make a contribution towards conserving resources”.
One more rather special accolade this year: after analysing the innovative strength of 3,500 small and medium-sized businesses, German business news magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” nominates edding as the Most Innovative SME in Germany in 2018. More than anything, this prize recognises entrepreneurial courage, continuous brand development, design and development of new products and product categories, not forgetting the expansion of existing ranges and inroads into completely new markets.
Legamaster launches its Space-Up Writing Collection onto the market – a new generation of large-format, frameless whiteboards. Marketed under the slogan “Think big!”, this product series enables entire walls to be transformed into writable surfaces with total ease.
Viewing digitalisation as an opportunity, edding identifies openings for it to transfer its strengths in the marker business to other industries and applications. At the forefront is edding code – a new technology which uses conductive, digitally readable ink for the authentication of branded products, document verification and interactive packaging. edding code was developed by Prismade, a start-up company in which the edding Group acquired a 50% stake in May 2018. edding establishes Tech Solutions, a new subsidiary headquartered in Munich, set up to develop and drive global sales of innovative digital technologies. Alongside edding code, the portfolio also features edding compact printer – an innovative solution for industrial marking in production processes.
During the second half of the year, Legamaster opens a new subsidiary in South America in order to meet the increasing demand for interactive solutions, plus a new production site at its Netherlands HQ for the production of printed whiteboards.