History of Lytho

Feb 01, 2021

We often get asked how Lytho came to be and where we got the idea to build the most innovative and user-friendly Digital Asset Management system in the market. Did Lytho previously have a different name? How can a startup have 30 years of experience? In this interview with Niels Bouwman, the CEO of Lytho, we will get some answers for these burning questions. 

Who is Lytho?

We are a mature Brand Management Solution with a strong Digital Asset Management functionality at the core of our offering. Lytho is the 'single source of truth' when it comes to all digital files. Also, Lytho ensures that every user becomes a creative. Based on a Lytho template, anyone can create an annual report, brochure or social post. Lytho ensures that every piece of content created is always on-brand. This is where the name ‘Lytho’ actually comes from. We see ourselves as the lithographer of the 21st century. The lithography process allowed creative expressions to be created 'one to many'. This is what Lytho is doing now, a digital assets can appear in several variants, formats and published to tons of outlets like Instagram or Pinterest. But still there is one source, stored in Lytho just like the lithography stone back in the early 19th century.  

What’s the link between Sabern and Lytho?   

Sabern, Lytho's predecessor, has been around since 1990. Sabern is a software developer who grew up in database publishing. Simply put, converting complex product information into print-ready digital assets that are visually appealing. This could be a brochure, but also a website or an app.   

For example, to this day we still create all price lists and brochures for Kawasaki, automated for online and print. You can imagine that it is very efficient to automate this task for more than 100 types of motorcycles and a multitude of options that change regularly. We also deliver similar solutions to, for example, Makro, KLM/Air France and Ahold.   

Timeline_Updated_15.02.@2xThe path to Lytho 

Why did you decide to create a new solution instead of sticking with an already successful Sabern?  

We were structurally asking our customers for feedback over the course of several years, which was super valuable. One of the key recommendations that we got was that our clients, in addition to a strong publishing solution, are looking for a solution for managing and sharing all their files (digital asset management).  

In practice, many applications such as DropBox, SharePoint, Google Drive, and WeTransfer, are used interchangeably for sharing and managing files. There turned out to be a strong need for an unambiguous 'truth', one central place where you can easily find and manage all files. Also, we received feedback that many applications feel like 'business applications' that are difficult to master, while users were looking for the same user experience as they have at home with Pinterest and Google.  

We also learned that companies have lots of tools and software for managing different aspects of marketing like SEO, their social channels, their customer data and email flows, but there is nothing out in the MarTech space that gives an all-in-one solution for managing a brand. And managing digital assets is a large part of managing a brand. We wanted to build a solution that was easy to use, efficient, and delivered a lot more than a traditional DAM. This led to our new SaaS Brand Management solution Lytho in 2019. We are convinced that we have developed a game-changer with this offering.  

Why did you decide to change the company name 

We currently have over 200 customers and 138.000 users who use our SaaS solutions worldwide. We want to exude uniformity to our customers and we want to ensure (international) recognition. Due to the rapid success of Lytho after the introduction, it soon became clear; we will replace our existing brand Sabern with a strong new brand name: Lytho. After all, Lytho is our flagship product.

How come Lytho doesn’t have a logo 

We did indeed choose not to develop a logo, but to opt for a strong word brand. We want to show that there is no need to have a logo to have a recognizable visual identity. The moving blobs in our visual style represent the basic ingredients of the traditional lithography process: water and oil. With the blobs, we portray the unique repellent character of water, fat and ink. There is no "fixed thing". Just like Lytho is an ever-changing, growing organism, so is our branding. The changing designs provide a dynamic, lively, and energetic language. We have chosen to allow this style to come back everywhere and can vary endlessly without losing recognition.  

Lytho was named one of Adobe's most promising solution providers, can you tell us more about that?  

That, of course, has to do with our heritage. Lytho is a completely new platform, but of course we can boast over 30 years of experience. We have been a certified technical and solution partner of Adobe since the 1990s. This has helped us tremendously in developing Lytho to be a very mature platform from day one. It's nice to be recognized by Adobe, of course, but it's also an encouragement to further expand our add-ons and integrations on Adobe's Creative Cloud.   

What’s next for Lytho? 

We are now rapidly expanding to the DACH region and the Nordics because a there is a large demand and interest towards Lytho. Parallel to that we are working on our conquering the US market in 2021. Short term, we want to help connect all stakeholders to the brand for our clients and make them more efficient, consistent, and aligned when it comes to digital asset and brand management. We want everyone in an organization to feel empowered to collaborate and be able to add value to the brand without worries about being brand compliant. Lytho takes care of consistency and following processes while you do what you do best.   

Our vision is that Lytho will be so advanced and integrated to our customers’ ecosystem that no one ever has to download assets like images or presentations ever again. We will be the first solution to eliminate unnecessary time sucks in working with content for the whole company. Imagine having to never bounce from one app or folder to another looking for the right banner or logo. Never having to upload and download content from one system to another. This will be key in our journey to world domination. 

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