The 1950s were a time of political uncertainty and regional turmoil within which Beirut nevertheless established itself as a dominant centre of Arab publishing. It was in this context that Youssef Kara & Fils was born in 1952, hoping to take advantage of the increasing adoption of modern printing presses and book distribution channels that were revolutionizing the industry.
Building on its initial success, YKF opened its first international subsidiary in neighboring Syria in 1960. Managed by Sami Kara, this foothold in Damascus aimed to explore the Syrian market and grow its potential. By 1965 the company had grown to 15 staff members, and had expanded into a full floor of the L’Azarieh Building.
Signing of a Sales Agreement with Roland Offset for Lebanon in 1967, Nicolas El Kara secured a major achievement in the short history of the firm. With the pioneering introduction of offset printing in the region, YKF gained a reputation as a technological innovator and trendsetter in the industry.
Antoine Youssef Kara began aggressively developing business in the Gulf market, diligently building personal relationships with customers in the region. His contagious passion and enthusiasm earned him the admiration of his clients, who still recall his diligence in installing, operating and servicing equipment. YKF’s trademark strength in after-sales service.
After many years groomed under the guidance of Nicolas and Antoine Youssef El Kara, Ihsan El Kara became partner in the firm in 1971.
Establishment of a service department within Youssef Kara & Fils. As technical complexity and sophistication grew with the introduction of electronic controllers and computers to the printing process, Jack Yaghdjian was brought on in 1972 as YKF’s lead technical support engineer, overseeing the installation and maintenance of a growing number of photo typesetting devices.
At the start of the civil war Youssef Kara & Fils’ headquarter in central Beirut is hit by incendiary rockets during the Lebanese civil war dealing a devastating blow to a company still mourning the loss of one of its founders.
Youssef Kara & Fils relocates its offices to Tabaris in another area of downtown Beirut. A nearby warehouse was leased for storage.
Trans Orient Modern Machinery (TOMM) is registered in Saudi Arabia as the first subsidiary outside the Levant region in Riyadh its capital. Soon offices would be established in Jeddah and Dammam.
YKF introduces the Cyrel Flexo Plates and reproduction equipment for flexible packaging and corrugated printing. 1976. That same year the DuPont Cyrel Cromalin proofing system was also introduced in Riyadh, allowing packaging customers in Saudi Arabia to be on a par with their European counterparts.
YKF Dubai is registered in Dubai the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Seeking greater proximity to suppliers, and realizing that the conflict in Lebanon was showing no sign of waning, Ihsan El Kara registered an office in Frankfurt in 1978.
Tabaris would soon come to form part of the “Green Line” separating the conflicting areas of Beirut. YKF continued serving customers on both sides of the Green Line, with employees routinely risking their lives in the course of business.
Alghanim & Kara, Youssef Kara & Fils Kuwait branch is established in Kuwait in partnership with Mr. Dirar Youssef Ahmad Alghanim.
Drupa 1982, at its booth Youssef Kara & Fils welcomed all visitors from the region alongside its partners in Duesseldorf, Germany, despite the backdrop of a conflict tearing its home country apart.
The Middle East’s first regional printing exhibition is organized in Dubai and YKF, through its participation, reiterated its position as a key player in the region’s graphic industry. In the face of tremendous adversity, YKF maintains a strong image and strengthens its reputation as a dynamic innovator in print.
Another Drupa another year, another successful event to epitomize Youssef Kara & Fils as a leading distributor of offset press in the Middle East region.
Trading in paper had proven to be a successful commercial venture, but it faced an insurmountable setback due to the conflict in Lebanon, as a blaze from a nearby military depot engulfed the Mkalles warehouse in Beirut
During the Drupa of 1990, Introduction of the ROLAND 700, medium format offset press, with a revolutionary digitalized control concept, offering a higher print quality standard and thereby setting a new benchmark for the printing industry.
Out of a scission with the past, the company name Dynagraph is born. Dynagraph is a combination of “Dynamic” and “Graphic”, two of the core elements that the company had come to embody. That same year Mr. Antoine Ihsan El Kara joins the company representing the third generation.
In 1999, Antoine El Kara, representing the third generation, joined the company in Dubai, perpetuating the El Kara’s family legacy, its leadership and close association with the print industry.
The MAN TTC (Technology Transfer Center), the first-of-its-kind regional training centre is inaugurated in partnership with Manroland to promote printing in the Middle East region.
The Manroland TTC training center showed initial signs of success, with 56 trainees enrolled between the year 2000 and 2001 and certifying from mechanical, electronic and operator programs...
Dynagraph participates in the 7th Gulf Print exhibition in Dubai. Dynagraph demonstrates automation, integration and networking solutions. One Vision, Tera Digital Publishing, Printvis Novavision, OKS software AG and Manroland sought to showcase their prowess in work ow, Enterprise Resource Planning, cost estimation, editorial, pagination, pre- ight checking and correction, archiving and content management solutions.
Dynagraph and Manroland signed a supplementary agreement for the establishment of the Manroland web service hub in Dubai, with the objective of servicing all existing newspaper & commercial webfed presses in the Middle East region and beyond.
DYNAGRAPH inaugurates its HEADQUARTER IN BEIRUT as it anticipates a radical move of the country away from decades of civil war.
The subprime lending crisis of 2008 spills over from the United States into the global financial system. The Middle East feels the impact with the printing & publishing industry bearing the brunt of the downturn, while it coincides with the Drupa 2008. The consumable strategy pre-emptively adopted years before proved to be a wise decision, playing a large role in the company’s ability to weather a particularly difficult period.
Dynagraph announces the change of its logo and its corporate identity in a move to help bolster its image as a leading pre-press, press, post-press, converting distributor for the offset and flexo industry.
Dynagraph seeks stronger ties with consumable vendors to foment its leadership as a supplier of printmedia products and is officially appointed as the Gulf region’s distributor of Flint Group, a leading provider of newspaper & commercial Coldset/ Heatset offset web printing inks. Two years later an exclusive distributor agreement with Flint Print Media is signed for the Middle East region.
Signing of a reseller agreement with HP for the supply of large format printers aimed at the signage industry.
Drupa 2012 follows an eventful year 2011 with the filing of bankruptcy of manroland with a drop in demand for print and the outbreak of the civil war in Syria.
Dynagraph made progress in positioning itself as a major player in the signage and graphic sector and reaffirms its wish to play a more determinant role by designing its inkjet media label Optivision.
As part of its concern to offer quality and consistency in Offset and Flexo Dynagraph adapts two distinct branded products Optima and Optipack.