In the vicinity of Amsterdam in the village of Heemstede a simple utility article is being transformed into an effective branding tool: the printed clip, a must in any branding. In the meantime Robin Vogel and Jeroen Jonk’s Clipfactory has become the market leader in printed paperclips of all types and sizes.
Two Dutch brands, namely Markclip and Promoclip, jointly formed Clipfactory.
Markclip was established in 1982 when Lex van den Berg had the idea of marketing a paperclip as a promotional tool. It started with a rectangular model, clipping together four to five A-4 sheets. The company logo was printed below the clip by means of pad printing. This idea caught on and the so-called Markclip soon gained international fame.
In 1994 another company launched a paperclip with the 'dovetail' on the market, the Promoclip. The two dovetails kept the papers together and the front and back of the clip could be printed.
Both classics are still made but over the years the range has been considerably expanded.
New forms and sizes of the paperclips have been developed in factories in the Netherlands and Poland.
The means can best serve the end if the form and size correspond with the company and its logo. For instance a round form for BMW, a square one for the coffee brand Illy. In the meantime 15 different unique and patented forms are available.
The clips are made of stainless steel from Germany. The material is punched and the logo will then be printed digitally, lasered, labelled or printed via pad printing.
The various printing methods enable larger and smaller runs. Whereas for instance in 1994 at least 2,500 items had to be printed, nowadays this number has decreased considerably to 250.
In 2019 Promoclip and Marclip merged into Clipfactory. The business is a member of the umbrella company Buttonsboss Group based in the east of the Netherlands.
In the meantime 15 people are employed by Clipfactory. The company produces over 15 million clips per annum, ranging from normal sizes to XL and XXL models. All products have model protection or have been patented.
The use of paper is decreasing because more digital communication is taking place. Nevertheless the use of a clip has not become superfluous at all.
Jeroen Jonk, the co-owner of Clipfactory said: "When we started up, much more paper was used than now, so the paperclip was much used. It was and is a good way to present your letter with a printed clip."
"A lot of mail is now sent digitally but the attention value of the clip remains. That is the special thing about this product: it is not quickly thrown away!"
"Even if the paper has been thrown in the waste paper bin, such a clip remains somewhere on your desk. So it remains a fantastic branding tool."
A well-groomed branding requires a nice clip. The luxurious image of a Clipfactory clip means that a letter just receives that little extra attention. It is a world of difference compared with a staple or an ordinary paperclip. In short: a clip is a must for any branding!"