The success story of CEWE goes back more than 100 years. The Group’s foundation was laid in 1912, when Carl Wöltje and his wife Helene established their ‘Photographische Anstalt’. Wöltje’s son-in-law Heinz Neumüller eventually turned it into the company that is now famous across Europe for its high-quality standards. Even without Heinz Neumüller, the Group continues to grow, and following a successful shift from film to digital photography, CEWE has been giving rise to various innovations in the photography industry.

1912 to 1946: The beginnings under Carl Wöltje


26-year-old Carl Wöltje founds the ‘Photographische Anstalt’ in Oldenburg.


Carl Wöltje marries Helene Kass. The company ‘Photographische Anstalt’ is now managed jointly by the couple.


The Wöltje family’s second daughter Sigrid, and future wife of Heinz Neumüller, is born on 29 November.


The Wöltjes add a specialist photography retail store with premises in Oldenburg.


Sigrid Wöltje joins her parents’ company as a qualified master photographer.

1947 to 1960: The world in colour


Heinz Neumüller and Sigrid Wöltje get married, and he joins his father-in-law’s company as a commercial manager.


The Neumüllers start to offer colour film development services to their customers.

1953 to 1956

The Neumüllers open branches on Lange Strasse and Achternstrasse. Customers can commission photographic work and buy photography equipment here.


Carl Wöltje celebrates his 70th birthday.

1961 to 1970: The foundations for today’s business


Heinz Neumüller establishes the CEWE COLOR organisation.


Heinz Neumüller arranges for an industrial photo laboratory to be built on Meerweg in Oldenburg. The festive opening takes place a year later.


The businessman Hubert Rothärmel joins the company. He takes care, in particular, of setting up European operations.


CEWE has now more than 300 employees.

1971 to 1991: Growth under Heinz Neumüller


CEWE starts to develop the European market and expands into the Netherlands.

1972 to 1975

Opening/integration of facilities in Munich, Hamburg, Bremen, Nuremberg and Lübeck.


CEWE also offers photo gifts such as printed mugs and t-shirts now.


Over the next six years, CEWE opens branches in Mönchengladbach, Paris, Berlin, Worms and Dresden.

1991 to 2004: The shift from film to digital photography


The group of companies is restructured under the name CEWE COLOR Holding AG.


Executive Board Member Hubert Rothärmel has the company listed on the stock market.

1993 to 2000

CEWE expands in France, Scandinavia and Central Eastern Europe.


As a reaction to the shift towards digital photography, CEWE starts printing digital photos on photographic paper and invents the photo index, the first ever digital mass-product.


CEWE sets up the first ordering station for digital image files in a specialist shop, the ‘Digistation’. In the same year, the company realises the option to order digital photos via the internet.

2005 to the present day: European market leader in photo finishing


The CEWE PHOTOBOOK is introduced as a brand-name product with design software developed in-house.


The number of digital prints (1.515 billion) is higher than the number of prints made from film (1.277 billion) for the first time.


CEWE celebrates its 50-year anniversary.


CEWE buys the offset printing company SAXOPRINT.


Wöltje celebrates its 100th birthday. CEWE brand products are now sold in shops, for example via the CEWE Kiosk.


CEWE expands its commercial online printing services and acquires the Berlin-based company LASERLINE.


CEWE becomes a shareholder of the French photo app specialists Cheerz.


The Mobile & Artificial Intelligence Campus (MAIC) is established. Staff members are conducting research regarding new technical possibilities to optimise the CEWE order experience.


CEWE buys the wall art specialist WhiteWall. The brand and production remain independent.

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