Esko (company)

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Industry Graphic arts
Founded Ghent, Belgium (2002)
Headquarters Ghent, Belgium
Key people
Udo Panenka, CEO[1]
Number of employees
1500 (2015)

Esko, formerly called EskoArtwork, is a graphic arts company producing prepress software and hardware for the packaging and labels, sign and display, commercial printing and publishing industries.[2]


Esko was the result of a merger between Barco Graphics and Purup Eskofot in 2002.[3] The merged company was called Esko-Graphics but was renamed Esko in 2006. In the fall of 2005, Esko became fully owned by Axcel A/S, a Danish private equity investment company.[4]

In August 2007 Esko announced that it was 'joining forces' [5] with Artwork Systems Group NV (AWS), its chief competitor in the packaging prepress market.[6] Esko initially bought 76.69% of AWS shares for €196 million.[7]Enfocus, a brand of PDF pre-flighting and workflow software originally acquired by Artwork Systems in 2000, became a subsidiary of the combined EskoArtwork company.[8]

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.

In January 2011, 100% of EskoArtwork shares have been transferred to Danaher.[9] In January 2012, the name changed back to Esko, the logo was also updated.

Esko is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium.


Esko's portfolio includes:

Esko Suite 14. This is a suite of software for the packaging, labeling, print, signage and display supply chain. Esko Suite 14 consists of software for:

  • Packaging management: WebCenter
  • Structural design: ArtiosCAD and Studio
  • Packaging Prepress: ArtPro, PackEdge, DeskPack and Neo
  • Sheet layout: Plato, PowerLayout and FastImpose
  • Workflow Automation: Automation Engine [10] and WebCenter
  • Color management: Color Engine, Equinox,[11] PantoneLIVE [12]
  • Imaging, screening & output: Imaging Engine, HD Flexo, Full HD Flexo, FlexProof and the Digital Flexo Suite
  • Signage and display production, and for the large format printing market: the i-cut Suite [13]
  • Palletization: Cape Pack and Cape Truckfill [14]

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 and creasing tables for short-run production and sample making in packaging, signage and display markets. Esko owns the manufacturer, which is based in the town of Kongsberg in Norway.

Enfocus specialises in PDF productivity and automation tools. Main products are:

  • PitStop Pro, the core product for PDF quality control (preflight), auto-correction and manual editing. This runs as a plug-in to Adobe Acrobat.
  • PitStop Server, a hot-folder based version of PitStop Professional.
  • Connect YOU, to guide the creation (including verification) of PDFs for professional publishing. This is the successor of Instant PDF.
  • Connect ALL, to help printers receive Certified PDF files. Connect ALL is the successor of PitStop Connect.
  • Switch, a workflow tool which integrates and automates file handling and third party software.
  • 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, preflight 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.


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


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