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A Trip Down Memory Lane

A Trip Down Memory Lane

The history of Royal Talens starts in 1899. We keep on adding and innovating.


Sakura 100 years

In 2021 Sakura celebrates its 100th anniversary. Amidst the Taishō era, in which Japanese modern culture developed, Sakura was founded. Ground-breaking innovations like Cray-Pas pigmented oil pastels, reliable archival Pigma ink pens and gel ink based Gelly Rolls have become all-time classics in the past century.

Sakura 100 years 2021


Royal Talens x Van Gogh Museum

Royal Talens and the Van Gogh Museum have partnered up to create a collection of painting and drawing materials that pay homage to Vincent van Gogh. The collection of creative materials is inspired by the colour palette of several masterpieces at the Van Gogh Museum, and invites users to follow in Vincent van Gogh’s footsteps by discovering their creativity and pushing their boundaries.  

Royal Talens x Van Gogh Museum 2021


Royal Talens and ELIA collaboration

Royal Talens and ELIA announce a unique partnership aimed to enhance the development of artisanal skills and technical knowledge at higher arts institutions. As a producer and distributor of art supplies, Royal Talens is excited to share its knowledge of materials and techniques in collaboration with ELIA, a prestigious European network for institutes of the arts, to help increase the proficiency and dexterity of future artists. Royal Talens also looks forward to learning from ELIA members, while playing an integral part in the educational development of a new generation of artists.

Royal Talens and ELIA collaboration 2021


Year of Rembrandt

2019 is the year of Rembrandt! As part of recognising the spirit of Rembrandt in all of us, Royal Talens as manufacturer of Rembrandt oil, acrylic, water colour and pastels, presented a competition for artists around the world. The winners won a trip for two persons to The Netherlands. This included a visit to the Royal Talens paint factory, a visit to the artist's home and the Rijksmuseum. 

Year of Rembrandt 2019


Loving Vincent hand painted with Van Gogh oil colour

Loving Vincent, the worlds first fully painted animation film, was hand painted with Van Gogh oil colour. This astonishing masterpiece about the life and death of Vincent van Gogh is made using 12 oil paintings a second. Royal Talens is extremely proud that Van Gogh has been chosen as the exclusive paint to create this amazing film. The film is directed by Polish painter and director Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman.

Loving Vincent hand painted with Van Gogh oil colour 2017


Acquisition Schjerning Farver A/S

With this acquisition, Royal Talens has further reinforced its position as a leading player in artists’, school, hobby & crafts materials and colouring, drawing and writing products. Schjerning Farver holds a strong position with its eco-friendly, high quality products in the school, hobby & craft and private label market. Royal Talens sees this as a perfect addition to its portfolio in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Acquisition Schjerning Farver A/S 2016


Integration Bruynzeel-Sakura

After a period of intensive collaboration, as of 1 October 2016 bruynzeel-sakura is fully integrated within the Royal Talens organisation. With the Bruynzeel and Sakura brands, Royal Talens will strengthen its position worldwide as a leading player in artists' materials, and colouring and drawing products.

Integration Bruynzeel-Sakura 2016


Ecoline brush pens

Talens Ecoline has been a part of the creative landscape since 1930. It is known for its brilliant, bright colours. The Brush Pens are ready for immediate use and odourless.

Ecoline brush pens 2016


Royal Talens Experience Centre

Let us inspire you! At the Royal Talens Experience centre you can register for a factory tour or one of the many workshops. You can find more info here:

Royal Talens Experience Centre 2015


Royal Talens North America founded

After having had a production facility in New Jersey in the first half of the 20th century, Royal Talens established a new North American affiliate in Northampton, MA. From the new office and warehouse we service our customers throughout the United States and Canada, in order to expand Royal Talens' presence in this part of the world.

Royal Talens North America founded 2015


Amsterdam spray paint and markers

The Amsterdam spray paint and markers (both water-based) are the perfect extension of the Amsterdam assortment. The spray paint and markers are perfectly intermixable with the existing Amsterdam products.

Amsterdam spray paint and markers 2014


Talens Poland founded

To continue the growth in Poland and to give the best service and availability of the products in Poland, Royal Talens started its own office in Warsaw: Talens Poland sp. z o.o.. 


Introduction Cobra Study

Besides the Cobra Artist' Quality water mixable oil paint we introduce Cobra Study. The same high degree of lightfastness but with less pigment. With Cobra Study you can paint at an affordable price.

Introduction Cobra Study 2013


Royal Talens introduces Cobra

The innovation of the 21st century; a water mixable oil paint that produces a beautiful and durable result without having to use solvents such as white spirits or turpentine. With Cobra you can paint wherever you want!

Royal Talens introduces Cobra 2010


110 years Royal Talens

Royal Talens - renowned for its paints - celebrates its 110th anniversary on 4 October. Royal Talens has grown into an international company with strong brands and high-quality products that have been made with respect for tradition. The needs of our customers and dealers have always been paramount and that will remain so. Because together we can make a colourful future as well!

110 years Royal Talens 2009


Introduction of ArtCreation

In addition to the Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Amsterdam brands Royal Talens introduced a new brand, ArtCreation. Specially developed to allow the starting artists achieve their first successes, ArtCreation offers beginners an affordable and reliable basic quality in artists' products.

Introduction of ArtCreation 2005


Packaging award for new range of pencils

The combination of a knowledge of pigments in artists' paint with the technique of drawing resulted in an innovative product: colour pencils with a guaranteed lightfastness. It was unique in the market and in 2002 received the Best Packaging Award from the NAMTA for its revolutionary packaging design.

Packaging award for new range of pencils 2002


Expansion of Distribution Centre

Due to the constant lack of space in the centre of Apeldoorn, Talens moved in 1990 to a new, state of the art distribution hall on the outskirts of the city. From this location the products are sent to retailers in the Benelux and Germany. The company's own branches in Europe are also supplied as are more than 90 distributors worldwide.

Expansion of Distribution Centre 1999


Part of Sakura

Royal Talens became part of the Sakura Color Products Corporation, with its headquarters in Osaka, Japan. Sakura has 1500 staff worldwide and is fully privately owned. The portfolio consists of writing instruments and colouring materials. Sakura offers Royal Talens a solid foundation for expansion and commercial success.

Part of Sakura 1991


Prince Bernhard opens new hall

Talens' most prestigious new development to date was festively opened by His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard: the new filling and packaging hall. The production takes places here on the most modern of machines and meets the most stringent of standards.

Prince Bernhard opens new hall 1989


Introduction of Decorfin Hobby paint

For years the Talens range included paint for folk art typical of the Netherlands: a hobby paint that was used for, for example, the Hindeloopen style and Staphorst stippling technique. Responding to the trend of increased leisure time, this range was rebranded as Decorfin: paints and materials with which everyone can create a personal atmosphere in the interior and on numerous objects.

Introduction of Decorfin Hobby paint 1982


Introduction of Amsterdam

The nineteen seventies saw the arrival of the phenomenon of marketing. Many changes were made to the range. Amsterdam was introduced: a high-quality type of paint for students.

Introduction of Amsterdam 1976


75th anniversary

With the celebration of the 75th anniversary a number of art lovers among the Talens staff requested that the management put together a Talens art collection. To this day Royal Talens has been managing this ever-increasing art collection with its aim to stimulate young professional artists.

75th anniversary 1974


Acrylic, the new paint

The catalogue of the time introduced "a brilliant acrylic (plastic)-based paint, incorporating the latest chemical innovations; a paint which is an evolution in the area of artists paints."

Acrylic, the new paint 1970


New products and introduction of Van Gogh brand

After having joined the Sikkens Group NV in 1963 the range received a new boost with the introduction of a great many new products including modern types of paint such as Polymer Colours and ETA. In the mid nineteen seventies Sikkens was taken over by the AKZO group and Talens too became an AKZO subsidiary, until 1991.

In September 1963 the Van Gogh brand was launched. In the course of the years the brand has developed into a brand that incorporates all techniques in its range.

New products and introduction of Van Gogh brand 1963


Strong growth

The 1950's were characterised by enormous growth. In addition to the expansion of factory buildings Talens opened up a new laboratory. Export also became increasingly important. With offices in a number of European countries and agencies in more than 50 countries, Talens products were becoming increasingly available throughout the world.

Strong growth 1955


Designation ‘Royal’ by Queen Wilhelmina

The high demands Talens had already set itself in 1949 regarding sound and high-quality innovation helped it acquire its 'Royal' designation. Royal Talens gives this honourable mention shape in a modern manner.

Designation ‘Royal’ by Queen Wilhelmina 1949


Building up after the war

During the war the production of many products had stopped because the necessary raw materials were simply not available. A stray bomb also caused a great deal of damage to the factory. After 1945 the company combined all its forces to start production again and the company continued to grow once more.

Building up after the war 1945


The emergence of the typewriter

The product range was expanded as a new market opened up: ribbons and carbon for typewriters. Distribution took place through the office stationer's and the emerging office machine sector for which stencils and stencil inks were then also produced.

The emergence of the typewriter 1932


New Head Office

In 1927 a new office wing was built, which still stands today at the front of the building. Behind this facade the Royal Talens head office is located. The architect of this characteristic building was Mr P.W. van den Belt. This building is now listed as a historic building and is on the list of the Dutch Historic Buildings Council.

New Head Office 1927


Introduction of the Rembrandt Soft Pastels

The company always responded to the needs of the market with the underlying concept of: "meeting an as wide as possible range in this sector". This approach led to the development and launch of the Rembrandt soft pastels. It did not take long for this product to become an international success as well.

Introduction of the Rembrandt Soft Pastels 1924


Further automation of the production

The demand for Talens products continued to grow, and in 1920 the company continued to expand and further automated the production. Steam was introduced as the supplier of energy. In the years that followed the company took over a local ink factory and built its own tin plant.

Further automation of the production 1920


First expansion of the company

With the ever-increasing production of oil colours and new products the business soon expanded for the first time. Also abroad the Rembrandt oil colours, known from the "Dutch farmer", became a success. Talens set up a sales office in America.

First expansion of the company 1912



The arrival of Rembrandt oil colours and water colours saw the start to the production of a wide range of high-quality artists' paints. This can be seen in a photo from the 1904 catalogue.



Beginning of Talens

The history of Royal Talens goes back to 1899. In that year Marten Talens founded the "Dutch Factory for Paints, Lacquers and Inks" in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn. As a family business it concerned itself initially with the production of office supplies and inks.

Beginning of Talens 1899