Conceived as a window into a machine from another time, Le Labo de Gut is, in fact, an invitation to discover the GUTENBERG CENTRE


    The invention of Gutenberg’s revolutionary moveable-type printing technique in the 15th century opened up a whole new world of possibilities and made Strasbourg a major hub for the production and circulation of written documents and images. Today, we still benefit from this engineering and from the production of printed materials and visuals, which have been constantly changing and reinventing themselves since the late Middle Ages.

    Within a strong historical and territorial context, the future Gutenberg Centre upholds a pioneering and ambitious concept by putting education and innovation at the core of its growth. It relies on outstanding skills in the printing and graphic arts professions, as well as the ability to innovate – a mindset already engrained in the region.

    The project is so distinctive thanks to this diversity and vibrancy; and thanks to those working on it, as they come from various social, cultural, and professional backgrounds. This enables the creation of different entry points of discussion with a common goal in mind: to open up a dialogue between heritage, artisanal know-how, creativity, entrepreneurial projects, industrial techniques, and new technology based on print and the visual arts.

    As a result, we call attention to the tangible and intangible heritage of the Rhine basin.


    The first newspaper was invented in Strasbourg in 1605, ‘Relation’, upon the request of Johann Carolus.


    The first printer to print the Bible in German was a man from Selestat, and his name was Johannes Mentelin.

    No waaaaay…

    B42 is the commonly used name for the first Bible printed by Gutenberg, which has 42 lines of text.

    That’s the best one yet!


    With nearly 20 years of experience, the Gutenberg European Centre is comprised of professionals and print and graphic arts’ enthusiasts.

    Its mission, you ask?

    To preserve and promote the tangible and intangible heritage of graphic arts and printing.

    To achieve its mission, it explores the history of Gutenberg up to the present day and aims to emphasize and bring to life the legacy and practices of these fields: a heritage and societal challenge.

    Convinced of the common good of the project since 2004:

    It acquires items, like the Taesch shown here, giving priority to collections of local origin.

    It has developed mediation tools, such as Le Labo de Gut.

    It raises awareness on the trades and techniques of printing and the graphic arts, for example during the first graphic design festival in Strasbourg FORMAT(S).

    It invests at the local and cross-border levels by participating in actions such as the Tag der Druckkunst (Day of printing) and the development of the Via Impressio application near Kehl, Germany.

    A place of conservation and workshops for whom and for what?

    • To preserve and recover printing equipment and keep the printers’ memory alive.
    • To share, design and spread the word about printing and the graphic arts.
    • To pass on know-how: to learn, to improve and to perfect.
    • To promote the printing and the graphic arts’ professions.
    • To question traditional practices and try out new ones.
    • To build lasting ties in the cross-border and European space around Gutenberg.

    For the children who want to try rolling the paint for printing compositions, for those curious about mechanics, for retirees with a wealth of knowledge, skills, and history to pass on, paper lovers, history trackers, printers, students wanting to learn more and more, letter enthusiasts, book readers of all kinds, image-creators of the future…


    Building upon what brings us together

    Books, keepers of our history and openness to the world, are seen as the cornerstones of the future Gutenberg Centre.

    The “LABO DE GUT”

    This initiative is part of the City of Strasbourg’s application to become a UNESCO World Book Capital by 2024.

    To understand the evolution of writing, images, printing, alphabets, illustrations and objects that convey them is to open the door to the history of mankind and to its future, and therein lies the uniqueness and pricelessness of printing and the graphic arts, just like the Labo de Gut container.

    Books are a key medium for the transmission of this history, a vector of both technical and cultural contributions, enabling a multitude of trades and skills to come together. Books unite people because they are known to all, offering all types of content, conception, printing, and finishing, giving everyone access to countless imagined worlds.

    With this in mind, the Gutenberg Centre project will include a resource centre made up of a collection of graphic materials and a specialised library, which could be used for projects and research in these fields. The database will be integrated into the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg network of libraries, along with other libraries specialising in the graphic arts, to make it accessible to as many people as possible, including the general public, students, researchers and professionals.


    Just like the digital and craft fields or industries described here, the hybrid structure of the Gutenberg Centre includes an innovative economic model. Its aim is to decompartmentalise activities by making them accessible, to encourage knowledge and skill sharing, to bring together a variety of people, and to strengthen a local dynamic between skills and companies in the area. An identifiable and identified space within its fields of interest.


    The current Gutenberg Centre project has been designed on a European scale, primarily by building bridges and cooperating with partners and counterparts from the Rhine area.

    The Centre is designed as a multifunctional, creative, and connected place, combining economic, artistic and cultural activities, skills and services. The combination will allow craftsmen, teachers, students, artists, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, professionals of the cultural and creative industries and all citizens to come together in a common space. A real challenge in a world where social cohesion is both a social and economic issue. Three areas have thus been identified, interacting closely with each other.

    The heritage space, a living, educational, innovative, and immersive experience

    The printing revolution has played a predominant role in the circulation of ideas, knowledge, and techniques ever since its inception. It initiated what we might call today the « cultural democratisation » by providing access to knowledge and the graphic industry through Gutenberg’s efforts. In this perspective, the heritage space is imagined as a journey punctuated by the major innovations and disruptions of the printing industry.

    This space is presented as a living place, full of historical significance and memory, and conducive to inter-generational exchange.

    The « handover, experimentation and production » space

    This space is designed for active creation, production, and experimentation; therefore, it will be comprised of workshops – typography, lithography, engraving, silk-screening, pre-press & finishing, 3D textile printing, digital studio, etc. It will be closely linked to the heritage space, which will allow the visitor to observe the different techniques in their practical application thanks to a unique scenography. Professionals will be able to carry out their design, prototyping and production activities while sharing their practices and allowing these spaces to come alive.

    The « new technologies » space

    A place of discussion and exchange, intended primarily for professionals in the fields of design, of industry and research, which will host meetings, round tables, conferences, training courses and even a showroom. This network of industry, new technologies and design and crafts professionals, aims to bring together all these different players, as well as future technologies and innovations. A potential to be exploited at both local and international levels.

    The Taesch, also known as a pedal press, is a high-speed letterpress.

      • The Taesch, also known as a pedal press, is a high-speed letterpress.
      • Model n°2, 32.5×50 cm printing format.
      • Motorised version.
      • Driven by a wide leather strap.
      • Dimensions LxWxH: 165x110x160 cm
      • Estimated weight: approx. 800 kg
      • Operating years: 1902 – 1926

      This remarkable machine can be used by a single person and requires very little maintenance. It is ideal for printing for educational purposes or even for printing brochures or luxury books in the format of a small folio, i.e., one sheet folded in half for a 25×32.5 cm format at the most.

      It was specially designed for quick and accurate execution of all types of work, such as halftones, catalogues, posters, letterheads, newspapers, registers, and envelopes.


      Conceived as a window into a machine from another time, Le Labo de Gut is, in fact, an invitation to discover the GUTENBERG CENTRE, a project led by the Association Espace Européen Gutenberg supported by the DRAC (Regional Department of Cultural Affairs) of the Grand Est region, the European Collectivity of Alsace and the City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg.

      Propulsé par HelloAsso