A book publisher and a book printer are rarely the same. Over the ten years that the News Chronicle style series was produced, the actual printing was not done by the newspaper, but contracted out to printers all around the country to get the best price and terms. As the series reached a peak, and the print runs grew very large, each reprint was (I assume) given to whichever printer gave the best quote. I have no idea how this process was organised, but the result is that it is possible to find the titles with different printing credits on the back cover while the rest of the book will be exactly the same as before.

I-Spy printerPage & Thomas, Chesham – seem to have done the early titles. A few titles were produced at two printers, so At The Seaside 1962 edition was printed by John Gardner, Liverpool, but the cover was done by The Hollen Street Press (as was the 1961 Road Transport edition). The 1963 edition was all printed by Blake & MacKenzie, Liverpool.

History was first printed by Peverleys Ltd., London. Dogs by William Byles & Sons Ltd, Bradford.

Other named printers include Charles Birchall & Sons, Liverpool; George Gibbons, Leicester; Dawson & Goodall, Bath; Morrison & Gibb, London and Edinburgh; William Byles & Sons, Dudley Hill, Bradford and the Silverdale Press, Hayes.  Loxley Brothers in Sheffield did one run, and are still in existence. I have used them myself in the past for work, but when I asked said they had no archives. Today they have given up competing with the Chinese and gone over to just doing greetings cards.

On the Daily Mail 1949 series, the printer was James Heap, based in Stoke On Trent.

One thought on “I-Spy Printers

  1. Hi Simon, Always a great read no matter what subject.
    I-Spy (apart from being the first i anything; well before the iPod!) are now owned & published by Michelin… who I happen to work for. If you need any modern info, just let me know. Keep up the great work on all the areas.

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