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photo: Harry Cock


Owner and founder of Printing House Tienkamp, one of the few printers in the Netherlands – and the largest of its kind – who print exclusively through the process of waterless offset. Tienkamp works according to ecological principles and thus, partly through the use of plant-based organic ink, greatly reduces environmental impact. Tienkamp takes care of all printing work for Noorderlicht.

How are you involved with Noorderlicht?
“I think it was in 2000 or 2001 that we printed our first catalog for Noorderlicht, in our previous building, that burned down in 2003. Back in those days it was still a rather cumbersome process to make beautiful prints; everything was still analogue. In the following years, Noorderlicht and Tienkamp developed a collaborative expertise in color management, lithography and the technique to make beautiful reproductions. Our company has grown enormously because of this. We now belong to the top of Dutch printing companies, win prizes and print for the Rijksmuseum, among others. And that for a three-man company from Groningen! Not bad at all. Noorderlicht has contributed to this growth.”

What’s so important about this collaboration?
“It shows how important a cultural organization can be in a region, as a driving force behind expertise and ambition. In a larger context: Dutch graphic designers belong to the international top, because organizations give them the opportunity to develop themselves. Our region does not really stand out in its ambitions with regard to the field of books. There are a few companies that carry out their useful work as executors, but there are rarely clients from the north who see the importance of development. Noorderlicht does see that importance.”

What do you wish for the future of Noorderlicht?
“I would like Noorderlicht to regain its strength as a booster, which would be good for many people in the North. Not just economically, but also for their minds.”