AIC Archive Celebrates 25 Years In Business

Portugese Stockphoto Agency AIC is celebrating its’ 25th anniversary


AIC Arquivo Internacional de Cor as an independent company started 25 years when the father of the two current owners, Conceição and Maria Guimaraes, turn AIC in an independent operation from the printing company. As a department of the printing company it was set up by 1970 and run by internal employees. In the hands of the two sisters, the priority was to get relevant content and a wider portfolio of collections. The next obvious step was to get to expand the market, visit clients and create business relations with the creative teams and art buyers, introducing them the collections and start getting the briefings. The reality by then was 100% analog with transparencies and originals going back and forth in between the clients and the stock agency and so it was for about 14 to 16 years. The size of the sales team was teetering as necessary.

New collections and new photographers brought AIC as one of the former agencies operating in the Portuguese market as a generalist agency where all type of content was available to answer to the market needs. With the internet advent the market suffered a 180º turn into a totally different way of doing business and the presence in the market for most companies, not only in this area but generally speaking for most businesses.

In a time where budgets represent a much smaller slice of what used to be, in a time where millions of images are available for a handful of cents, a market saturated with automated digital subscription services, and the increased accessibility of advanced digital technology, AIC changed the company strategy by focusing on providing professional service on niche content and premium collections both rights-managed and royalty-free stock photos. With the market development new products and services were brought on board to answer to different market needs.

25 years in the market is a remarkable achievement for any business these days, considering the economic difficulties Portugal has been into since the last decade and considering that AIC is an independent company, despite the world trend for the vanishing of small companies pushed out of the market due to a sequence of recessions, acquisitions by larger industries and the huge challenge that represented the transition from the old and analog technology and procedures to the digital era.

AIC is known for its superb service and for the unique high end portfolio of niche and specialized collections known for its quality, creativity and innovation and that is the way to go by keep following closely the market needs and trends which led to the market placement the company has today.

AIC has a seven full time team dealing with the editorial and advertising markets, selling more than 2.5 million images. The two sisters remain at the company management by bringing for the decision center the support of consultants for the different activity areas.

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses