Global Graphics

Global Graphics

Infobox Company
company_name = Global Graphics SA
company_type = Public (Euronext [ GLOG] )
foundation = flagicon|France Nancy (1996)
location_city = Cambourne, Cambridgeshire
location_country = UK
industry = Software
homepage = [ Global Graphics]

Global Graphics SA is a group of companies mainly known (in 2007) for their digital printing products, including the Harlequin and Jaws RIPs.

Global Graphics started in Nancy, France in November 1996 and was listed on the Euronext market in Brussels. An initial public offering on the Easdaq market started trading on June 23 1998 with a total of 765,000 shares, increased from 680,000 in the March prospectus.

On June 30th 1998 the company finalised the acquisition by its wholly owned subsidiary, Photoméca, of the Italian company AZ srl, who manufacture flexographic equipment.

On 2nd May 1999 the company acquired Heights Design Production Ltd, a manufacturer of lithographic plate-processing equipment and proofing equipment based in Wainstalls, near Halifax, U.K.

On 21st April 1999 the company signed a letter of intent to buy Technigraph Products Limited, a Thetford based provider of lithographic processing equipment, to be completed in July.

On 12th July 1999 the company bought Harlequin Group Plc after Harlequin Ltd (the R&D company in the group) went into receivership, and have since used the Harlequin RIP products to build a product portfolio in the graphic arts and commercial print, newsprint, digital print, and document markets. [cite web
url =
title = Global Graphics Acquires Harlequin

During 1999 the company also acquired ICG, a scanner and platesetter manufacturer.

On August 29th 2000, Jaws Systems Ltd was formed from the Digital Publishing division of 5D Solutions Ltd., bringing the existing products Jaws RIP and Jaws PDF Creator into the Printing Software division. [cite web
url =
title = Global Graphics acquires Digital Publishing division of 5D Solutions ltd.

The company business model includes selling software to OEMs who build products around it; for example, by licensing RIP software for use by laser printer manufacturers who embed the software inside their printer.

In 2001 the company reorganised its subsidiary companies, with former hardware businesses Photomeca, Colomag, Kelleigh, AZ, ICG, Heights Technologies and Technigraph forming the Hardware Division, and Harlequin Limited, Harlequin Inc, and Jaws Systems Limited forming the Software Division.

The Hardware division of the company, which dealt in lithographic, flexographic, letterpress and scanning equipment, was sold in October 2002 to a group led by the former head of the hardware division, Gary Jones, who had resigned from the board in February.

In 2003 Global Graphics was chosen by Microsoft to provide consultancy and proof of concept development services on XPS and worked with the Windows development teams on the specification for the new format. [cite web
url =
title = Global Graphics extends its leading position in printing technology for Microsoft's XPS format

Information about Harlequin

When Global Graphics bought Harlequin in 1999, the press release included the following information about the Harlequin product line of the time:

"The Harlequin flagship RIP management product (ScriptWorks) is widely regarded as the benchmark high-resolution, high-speed, full feature RIP for the DP&P sector. Harlequin has further RIP offerings, notably its recently launched SOAR; (Scalable Open Architecture) line."

"A second product offering, HIntS (Harlequin Intelligence Systems), which is aimed at the law enforcement, banking and insurance industries, among others, represents 15% of total sales. HIntS consists of suites of powerful, scalable integrated information management solutions."

In 2007, Global Graphics had main offices in Cambourne, UK; Centreville, VA, USA; Tokyo, Japan; and Pune, India.


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