HERMA - History

The founding years

Heinrich Hermann, born in Stuttgart in 1870, founder of HERMA, father and devout Christian, was an entrepreneur with heart and soul. Endowed with visionary flair, not afraid of hard work and prepared to take risks. It is Heinrich Hermann to whom we today at HERMA owe our thanks.


“I sold the first labels in early February to Daimler,” reported founder Heinrich Hermann (shown here with his wife Christine) in his account of how it all began. In 1906, at age 30, Hermann established an independent business with two printing associates. Perceiving that the growing supply of industrially produced goods required new means of identification and labelling, he saw a big future in the manufacture of embossed labels and merchandise tags.


Seal tags and sausage rings were added to the product range. The young company started on a path to success. The workshop soon became two small for the employees, now 29 in number, so a new building was erected in Ulmer Strasse 300. Its proud sign read “Hch. Hermann, Label Factory and Printers”.


Embossed labels sold well throughout Europe. In England the company opened its first branch office abroad.


When the First World War broke out, the company was put to a severe test. Heinrich Hermann was inducted into service in 1915, and his wife Christine took over business operations. Articles for the army postal service were added to the product range. In spite of many difficulties it was possible to keep the company going. After the war it was restructured, and as a part of this its first trademark came into being: a signet with a sailing ship.

In the inflation years, which put a heavy strain on the national economy, the company experienced a marked expansion thanks to new product ideas like quick moisteners, needle labels and adhesive rolls. Many of these products were manufactured using machines which the company itself designed and built. Thus it gathered engineering know-how as it grew.


A new hobby, photography, became generally popular. With Transparol photo corners, which were almost invisible, Hermann took a great leap forward that was destined to drive the company’s growth for many years. By 1935 this product accounted for half of the company’s sales.


Hermann, the company patriarch and a Protestant in the Württemberg tradition, established a support fund to “provide financial aid to all employees who as a consequence of illness, age, disability or accident suffered economic distress”. This was by no means usual for a company with barely 120 employees. Hermann’s social commitment extended well beyond financial help. In the late 1920s, he relentlessly pressured the authorities to build a day nursery in Wangen. It exists to this day.


Clipfix, a novel package closure made of paper, brought the company increased sales.

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