At drupa 2016 260,000 exhibitors and 1,837 visitors touched the future whilst Vladimir Alexandrovitch Tiefenbach made history! On 6th June the print engineer and media designer from Russia celebrated his 90th birthday at drupa 2016. For someone who has been visiting Düsseldorf for every drupa since 1951 there is no better place to celebrate such a jubilee than at drupa itself!

“Never look back – always think and look forward,” is a motto that Mr. Tiefenbach repeats. But drupa is a unique opportunity to do so, since his life is dedicated to print. Thanks to his father he was fascinated by technical innovation throughout his childhood. It was during the Second World War that he followed the path towards the print industry. In 1942 he was employed as a laborer at a publisher’s printing plant, where he completed his training as an electrician and later became head of the electrical department. Afterwards Vladimir moved to a broadsheet newspaper called Pravda, where he was hired as head of its printing plant. He always fought for new technical procedures and had the desire to modernize the Russian print industry, which was often resistant to change.

From hot metal typesetting to offset printing: He has firsthand experience of the huge developments in printing technology. Among all of these he considers inkjet printing to be one of the most important advances in the history of printing. During drupa 2016 Vladimir talked about his relationship with drupa and its development:

1. Why have you continuted to come to drup for so many years?
For a print engineer and media designer like me, drupa is the place to be. It is a place where we can look ahead into the future of the print industry. Drupa was and still is the leading trade fair for the printing industry.

2. Which was your favorite drupa?
In my opinion the most amazing and inspiring drupa was drupa 1977. It was a festival for the Russian print and media industry. Many graphic exhibitors, visitors and experts from Russia came to Düsseldorf to network. Additionally I was still young at this time and everything was new, new, new to me!

3. How has drupa changed over the years?
The most memorable developments that I have experienced at drupa were zincography, hot metal typesetting, offset printing and prepress. I am excited to see what happens in the future. My dream is that at drupa 2020, we will be able to print in real-time. That every thought can be printed right away.

Who knows! But one thing is for sure: Vladimir Alexandrovitch Tiefenbach will be involved in technical innovations within the print industry for many years to come. No wonder he could not wait to explore drupa 2016 after this interview. And of course he will join drupa 2020 if possible. As a sign of his never ending enthusiasm for the industry he continues searching for at least five trends in print and media industry every a week. In doing so he is helping to pave the way for the next generation of print and media industry enthusiasts. After all he has already passed on his passion to his daughter who works in sales of printing machines. Even his granddaughter works in the print industry! Obviously Vladimir Alexandrovitch Tiefenbach represents not only the history of print, but also its future.