EskoArtwork (company)

EskoArtwork (company)

company_name = EskoArtwork
company_type = Private
foundation = Ghent, Belgium (2002)
location_city = Ghent
location_country = Belgium
key_people = Carsten Knudsen, CEO [ [ Esko-Graphics' Packaging Business Ownership Moves: News from EskoArtwork ] ]
num_employees = 750 (2007)
industry = Graphic Arts
homepage = []

EskoArtwork, formerly called Esko, is a graphic arts company producing prepress soft- and hardware and offering a portfolio of application support and consultancy services. It primarily specialises in solutions for packaging design and pre-press, but it also produces pre-press workflow software for general commercial use.

Enfocus, a brand of PDF pre-flighting and workflow software originally acquired by Artwork Systems in 2000, is now a subsidiary of the combined EskoArtwork company.


Esko was the result of a merger between Barco Graphics and Purup Eskofot in 2002. The merged company was called Esko-Graphics but was renamed Esko in 2006. In August 2007 Esko announced that it was 'combining operations' with Artwork Systems Group NV (AWS), its chief competitor in the packaging pre-press market. Esko initially bought 76.69% of AWS shares for €196 million. [ [ PressRelease display - EskoArtwork ] ]

Reflecting the merger, Esko changed its name to EskoArtwork. It also introduced a new logo, though it is visually very close to the Esko original.

Since the fall of 2005, Esko has been fully owned by Axcel A/S, a Danish private equity investment company. [ [ Esko-Graphics continues packaging growth strategy with Danish private equity investment company Axcel ] ]

Esko is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, and employs over 750 people worldwide. R&D and manufacturing facilities are located in Belgium, Germany, Norway, The United States and the Czech Republic. AWS is also based in Ghent.


Starting off as a software and hardware vendor, Esko established itself as a solutions provider and system integrator to all participants in the packaging supply chain. Esko's pre-merger portfolio includes:

* Esko Software Suite, a suite of software modules covering the entire supply chain. This includes the DeskPack suite of packaging design and pre-press plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
* CDI flexo Computer-to-Plate systems. CDI stands for Cyrel Digital Imager, referring to a joint marketing arrangement with DuPont, maker of Cyrel photopolymer flexo plates. However the CDI systems can work with any brand of photopolymer plate provided it has an integral black mask layer to absorb laser energy.
* Kongsberg computer-controlled cutting & creasing tables for short-run production and sample making in packaging, signage and display markets. EskoArtwork owns the manufacturer, which is based in the town of Kongsberg in Norway.

Artwork Systems' portfolio is also now owned by EskoArtwork. Product lines include:

* ArtPro, a suite of software for design and pre-production of packaging and labels.
* Nexus, high end pre-press workflow and RIP, running on Apple Macintosh and Mac OS X.
* OdyStar, mid-range PDF-native workflow and RIP with support for Enfocus Certified PDF, running on Apple Macintosh and OS X.
* Odystar Packaging, a version of OdyStar tailored for packaging pre-press.

Enfocus was a subsidiary of Artwork Systems and is now owned by EskoArtwork. It specialises in PDF pre-flighting and editing utilities. Main products are:

* PitStop Professional, the core product for PDF preflight, auto-correction and manual editing. This runs as a plug-in to Adobe Acrobat.
* Instant PDF, a lower-cost verification utility, mainly aimed at designers who generate PDFs for professional printing, that can embed Certified PDF metadata to be read by downstream processes. Again this is an Adobe Acrobat plug-in.
* PitStop Server, an automated standalone version of PitStop Pro, designed to monitor incoming PDFs, verify them, auto-correct where possible, and to reject or flag up PDFs that cannot be repaired.
* Certified PDF is a core technology supported by all Enfocus products, that can embed a range of metadata into a PDF file, such as creator, modification/editing history, pre-flight history and criteria, and optionally, a sequence of Undo states. Enfocus products can create, read and update certificates as a PDF is passed through a production sequence. AWS and some third party pre-press workflows can also read Certified PDF metadata.


EskoArtwork is active in the graphic arts industry, and offers solutions for structural CAD, desktop design, converting, sign making, commercial printing.


External links

* [ Esko corporate homepage]
* [ Esko Users Group International homepage]
* [ Announcement of Esko and Artwork Systems merger]
* [ Artwork Systems homepage]
* [ Enfocus homepage]

ee also

Barco Graphics

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