In 1870 Heraclio Fournier González settles in Vitoria and founds a small print shop in the capital’s main square, Plaza España. The business quickly prospers and Fournier has to move to larger premises.
After a prosperous beginning employing innovative printing methods, in 1877, he asks a professor from the School of Arts and Crafts of Vitoria, Emilio Soubrier and the painter Díaz de Olano, to design a deck of cards. This moment marks a before and after in the history of the company, since this deck of cards represents the prelude to current Spanish playing cards.
Heraclio Fournier continues to incorporate the latest printing-related technical discoveries into the business. While Europe at the beginning of 1880 starts to glue paper goods by means of machine, Heraclio Fournier goes even further by launching single-layered playing cards with a marbled varnish on to the market. In 1887, after he fulfils his dream of having his own factory, at the crossroad of Iradier Street with Fueros in the capital of Alava, Heraclio takes on the adventure of twelve-colour lithographic decks.
The quality and originality of the 12-colour lithographic deck does not go unnoticed at home and abroad, receiving several national and international awards for design and printing techniques. In 1894 he wins the design medal at the Provincial Exhibition of Álava. Among other prizes at various exhibitions, in 1884 he wins the prize at the Promotion of the Arts Exhibition in Madrid, in 1889 he wins the prize for playing card design at the Universal Exhibition in Paris and in 1890 the prize at the Scientific Society Exhibition, Madrid for technical advances in printing. These prizes bring national and international renown to the brand.
Despite the death of Heraclio in Vichy, 1916, the company continues to grow thanks to his grandson, Felix Alfaro Fournier.
With designs very similar to the current deck, Fournier is presented at the Universal Exhibition of Barcelona, 1929, and the Latin American Exhibition in Seville from 1929-1930 with designs created by Miquel Rius.
By 1948 Naipes Heraclio Fournier has already become the absolute leader on the home market. In order to respond to growing demand, the company moves to a new, larger plant incorporating the latest technological advances of the time and establishing the foundations of its international consolidation. The quality of its playing cards is renowned by all, becoming an official supplier to several royal houses around the world.
Now an international company specializing in the casino industry, Fournier and the USPCC (United States Playing Card Company) join forces in 1986 to form a duo of absolute leaders at world level.
Naipes Heraclio Fournier moves to its current location in order to respond appropriately to the quality requirements demanded internationally. Modern facilities incorporating the very latest technological advances, making it possible to create a unique product thanks to its quality and precision.
Nowadays the company is included within Newel Brands (NYSE:NWL). The group formed by Naipes Heraclio Fournier and the United States Playing Card Company, is the world leader in the playing card market, with more than a 35% share.
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