1960 – 1979: The Golden 60s and 70s
1964 is the year of the big merger between Agfa and Gevaert. In the following prosporous decade Agfa-Gevaert establishes itself as the leader of the standardization and automation ot the graphic arts industry, while electronic techniques start making their way.A historical marriage
Not only is it the 125th anniversary of photography, but 1964 is also the year of the big merger between Gevaert and Agfa. In early 1964, Agfa AG, a 100% subsidiary of Bayer merges with Gevaert Photo Producten N.V. In doing so, two new operating companies are established on July 1st, and the two partners each hold a 50% stake: Gevaert-Agfa N.V. in Mortsel (Belgium) and Agfa-Gevaert AG in Leverkusen (Germany).
In 1967, Copyproof black and white reprographic material is introduced: a simple one bath processing system used for line, continuous tone and halftone reproduction by the diffusion transfer method. It is the easiest and fastest of all reprographic systems and requires a minimum investment. Because of its simplicity the system becomes very popular with design studios, advertising agencies, in-plant and commercial printers and publishers.
From photomechanical to electronic prepress
By 1970 Agfa-Gevaert is the leader of the standardization and automation of the graphic arts industry. In 1971, only six years after the merger, Agfa-Gevaert has applied for more than 2000 patents. In the same year, it introduces the Gevafax X-10, the first copier, based on xerographic technology, enabling economic photocopying onto plain paper.
By the mid-seventies, the oil crisis accelerates the trend to recycle. Next to the recycling of synthetic fibres, the silver extraction out of developing and fixation baths gets more and more attention.
By the end of the seventies, the photographic reproduction is increasingly characterized by the use of electronic techniques. Laser typesetters and EDG scanners make their way, as well as electronic colour and pagination systems.