The origins of our printing company date back to 1913, when some german businessmen founded a playing cards printing factory. Although it was not until 1917 when, in a very unconventional way nowadays, it was adquired by the first Aguiló printers, Don Jordi Aguiló Cetre, due to financial electricity debts, since Mr. Aguiló worked for an electric company.
In about 1921 the business was enlarged to become Litografías y Tipografías. Ever since, the printing factory has not stopped working, even during the Civil War, although the power cuts forced to work at night, taking advantage of the few hours of power supply.
The company moved to its current location in 1927, since until then it was located in the so-called “Mercat dels Hortalans”, approximately where now the “Terminal Bar” is located, in Avenidas. To move its main twelve-ton machine, it was necessary to put train rails brought from the port’s dockyards.
In 1939 Don Cayetano Aguiló took command of the company in association with Josep Valentí. Initially it was established under the name of Aguiló y Valentí, which later Don Jordi Aguiló bought the part of Valentí for 750,000 pesetas mortgaging the family assets. These would be paid years later by Don Cayetano Aguiló and his son Don Roberto Aguiló, second and third generation respectively, who for many years worked all week long to pay the debts and interest generated by this acquisition.
Don Cayetano Aguiló, son of Don Jordi Aguiló, studied law in order to become a lawyer, but finally ended up running the family business which his son and third generation Don Roberto Aguiló joined around 1958.
Between 1944 and 1963 the main production was dedicated to printing a magazine specialized in footwear called “Moda y Línea” which represented 80% of the total production of the printing Company. The closure of this magazine was a serious blow and forced some of the staff to be laid off in order to move forward.
At the end of the 1950s, State collaboration began with the Tobacconist and Lottery concessions, which were located together on the corner side between Costa i Llobera and Avenidas and were managedby three of Don Cayetano’s daughters and Don Roberto’s sisters, Magdalena, Dolores and Victoria Aguiló.
Shortly after, the tourist boom began and with it, the birth of the hotel and catering business, discotheques, concerts, tour operators…, which meant the reactivation of the printing business due to the change of clients who generated a lot of work for many clients with very different needs.
In 1988, a major investment was made and the tobacconist and lottery areas were completely renovated, as was the entrance in Avenidas. In the first case, the space and furniture were completely renovated and the Lottery area was equipped with all the security measures that the State was beginning to demand, and in the print shop the space was set to focus on receiving printing orders and opening up to the world of celebrations specializing in invitations cards and accessories.
In the 1990s, Don Roberto Aguiló had to struggle between making large investments by changing the workshopmachinery or maintaining what had been used for decades and that seemed that it was soon going to become obsolete and worthless. His bet was to maintain and incorporate new technology without going into excessive debt. It should be borne in mind that in the printing business you can invest a lot of money in machinery with the risk of not having enough work or it becoming obsolete in a short time due to rapid technological advances. In addition to all this, there was the interest of the business group “El Corte Inglés”and their intention to buy all the buildings on the block, in order to build a large shopping centre. Negotiations dragged on for several years, during which time Don Roberto and his sisters opted to continue with the business and keep possession of the houses also owned by other siblings.
Finally, the great construction of “El Corte Inglés” began, and these were difficult years for many reasons. Mainly the fact of having the whole area under construction meant a great decrease in the income of all the businesses, and the great uncertainty as to whether the decision had been the right one. Little by little, Mallorcan society began to consider the Aguiló family as a survivor in the struggle of small businessmen against the large multinationals and franchises that have established themselves in the Avenidas during these years, attracted by the attempt to create a new shopping centre in Palma behind the Jaime III area.
The years following the opening of “El Corte Inglés” were very profitable and completely changed the Avenidas area.
The fourth generation started in 1996 under the patronage of Don Roberto Aguiló with his son Roberto Aguiló junior who had studied at the Escuela de Artes Gráficas Antoni Algueró and was the first of his class to obtain the Título de Técnico Superior en Artes Gráficas in Barcelona. He worked for several years in different printing works for major newspapers such as “El Mundo día de Baleares” and “Diario de Ibiza”, and also as an offset printer at Gráficas Pitiuses.
The instructions on the use of the different machines have been passed down from generation to generation, as well as the passion for the profession and the importance of maintaining the family legacy, both in terms of the location and the maintenance of the workshop as it was for many years.
Imprenta Nueva Balear was not spared from the crisis that began around 2007. In that same year, another daughter of Don Roberto Aguiló, Belén Aguiló, Graduated in Early Childhood Education, began to collaborate with her brother in the management of family businesses, helping in the case of the Printing Press, to maximize resources and visibility.
In those years, and due to the crisis, the companies began to reduce costs and personnel and the repercussions were visible in multiple sectors. Internally, the restructuring changed job functions, and there were also layoffs, due to the reduction of work.
The years of the crisis were overcome thanks to the good management previously carried by Don Roberto and his three sisters during the most successful years. Of all the family businesses, Printing House is the slowest to recover, it took until 2015/16, and it is precisely its age that has led Imprenta Nueva Balear to maintain a privileged position in terms of prestige, product quality and use of unique machinery and techniques.
Around 2017, Don Roberto Aguiló Snr. handed over to the fourth generation, leaving the management of the Printing House and the rest of the businesses to the current managers, Roberto junior and Belén Aguiló.
The commitment of Imprenta Nueva Balear for the preservation of the art of printing led in 2017 to acquire machinery from other printing houses that were closing their doors and to bet on increasing the visibility of the workshop. They opened a gate in the central arcade of the seven existing ones, seeking with this, and with the change of the glass from matte to transparent, to bring the public closer to the vision of the art of printing and transforming our workshop into a living history of printing.
In 2018 Imprenta Nueva Balear was listed as an ”Emblematic Trade” of Category 1by the City Council of Palma for its history and tangible elements of interest. This cataloguing has allowed us to be among the Emblematic Establishments of Palma and the honour of being present in that list of Living History of the City of Palma.
Year after year, Imprenta Nueva Balear has made a name for itself among the most prestigious designers and distinguished clients who have found the solution to their designs, from the simplest to the most complex. The combination of old and new printing techniques makes it possible to face the multiple challenges that the workshop of Imprenta Nueva Balear has to face and allows it to grow day by day.
In recent years, the Nueva Balear printing house has become a benchmark in the Graphic Arts due to its specialisation in Printing Techniques thanks to its workshop and the maintenance of the centenary equipment that is kept there. Therefore, not only does it produce high quality typographic works, both in terms of techniques and the use of different paper bases and weights, but it is also a point of reference for many Graphic Designers. They find in Imprenta Nueva Balear the essence of the Art of Printing and that is why they go there, not only to find an answer to their clients’ designs and to give reality to their designs, but also to carry out Printing and Typography Workshops.
In 2020, and like most companies,Imprenta Nueva Balear almost completely ceased its activity and during the months of confinement was completely dedicated to produce in its workshops, in an altruistic and solidarity way, protection screens (EPIS) that were distributed in Hospitals of Mallorca, Local and National Police Stations, Civil Protection, Cooperation Associations,… Thanks to the donation of Astralón material, by different Printing Companies of the Island.
During the first months of 2021, and while the economic activity was recovering little by little, wave after wave, a major refurbishment was carried out at the entrance of Avenidas, creating two very different spaces, the first dedicated to traditional printing in all its essence where to attend and be able to work with new clients; and the second space indoors and destined to the advice of events such as weddings, communions, baptisms…
The aim of Imprenta Nueva Balear is not only to work with Graphic Arts, but also to bring this Art closer and make it visible to designers, with Specialized Workshops, as well as to the general public, both adults and children, with Guided Visits. We also offer the possibility of being present during the printing of orders to “Live the Experience of the Art of Printing”.
Currently, together with @Stick No Bills Posters we have started a nice collaboration with the aim of recovering the last unused workshop space. To reconvert it into a Gallery/Shop/Printing Workshop and thus make our workshop known. To reconvert it into a Gallery/Shop/Printing Workshop and thus make our workshop known. At the same time to be able to acquire Posters, cards, postcards and other visual elements with a vintage theme, as well as reproductions of originals that Imprenta Nueva Balear owns and that form part of the enormous legacy of engravings and other elements of great value that are conserved in our Workshops and are Social and Economic History of the Balearic Islands of the last 110 years. They can be purchased both in our Workshops and online, and can be sent anywhere in the world, representing the total openness of our Workshops as well as our best way of sharing the legacy of the Imprenta Nueva Balear after more than 110 years of existence.