In early January 1950, Pierre Gassmann forms a small team including France Gassmann, his wife and first retoucher. He opens “PICTORIAL SERVICE“ in the 7th arrondissement of Paris with darkroom enlargers that includes six stations arranged around a long tank tray.
His first clients were friends, members or relatives of the young agency Magnum Photos. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Chim, William Klein, Willy Ronis, Robert Doisneau, Edouard Boubat who soon became accustomed to lingering in the lab and talking to the printers on the best use of their negatives. They affectionately called the lab PICTO, its name to this day.
These exchanges on quality of values and contrasts, this complicity between photographers and printers remains one of the founding principles of PICTO.
1960BECOMING A LEADER PRO PHOTO LAB
Picto grows on the back of the development of professional photography, the press, fashion and advertising. Color prints, already well established in the United States, are introduced to Europe.
Edy Gassmann, son of Pierre, sees the opportunity and opens a Lab dedicated to color in Montparnasse in 1963, then he decides to create multiple sites dedicated to specific services.
Picto Front de Seine opens in 1969 followed in 1984 by a high-end prints workshop in Rue de Rennes. In 1985, Picto creates Picto Defense, on the foundations of digital technology. in 1989, Picto Bastille opens and is dedicated to black and white and Fine Art photography. It is enthusiastically welcomed by professionals as by cultural institutions making Picto a partner of the Month of Photography in Paris.
1990FROM TRADITIONAL PRINTING TO DIGITAL
The development and mastery of digital technologies lead Picto to a conversion of all production sites. Philippe Gassmann, son of Edy, and Michel Vaissaud, production manager, lead theses changes while maintaining the silver services.
The company keeps expanding and innovating through different acquisitions as well as internal developments. It also establishes 5 subsidiaries outside Paris to strengthen its leadership position.
At the accidental death of Edy Gassmann in 2004, Paulette Gassmann chairman of Picto’s board, and Philippe Gassmann, managing and commercial director takes responsibility for the company's future.
2015STARTING INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
Having become a leading player in France, the next logical step was to start an international expansion. Picto New York was opened in 2015 followed by Picto Milano and Picto Vietnam in the following years. Picto’s objective is to offer its clients a global service true to its ambition of offering Image Perfection since 1950.