Anthony Wenyon and Jack Corbett visit another British treasure – Barnard and Westwood – holder of two prestigious Royal Warrants for Printing & Bookbinding services
Two prestigious Royal Warrants by appointment to HM The Queen & HRH Prince Charles The Prince of Wales for A history of extraordinary Printing and Bookbinding services
Beyond-Bespoke visits another British heritage treasure – Barnard & Westwood – holder of two prestigious Royal Warrants from both Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales for a history of extraordinary Printing and Bookbinding services, upholding Britain’s prestige on the world stage and supporting occasions of the highest national importance.
We experience a world of magic, passions and extraordinary skill
We meet a team of master craftsmen and tour the firm’s charming workshop in the heart of central London to experience a world of magic, passions and extraordinary skill.
The World’s Very Finest Printing
As well as providing the world’s most prestigious printing services, Barnard & Westwood also hand produce some of the world’s most important books, printed, painstakingly hand sewn, leather bound and beautifully decorated for preservation in international archives.
It is particularly noteworthy that Barnard & Westwood produce and print hand-made objects for some of the country’s most prestigious institutions including both St Pauls Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Items such as the order of service for the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now of significant historical interest and have become greatly sought-after collector’s items.
The order of service for the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Everything from Invitations, menus and seating cards to orders of service, envelopes and table plans are meticulously printed and hand-finished at Barnard & Westwood.
A connoisseur’s world, where being the best matters. The power of British ultimate luxury, taste and sophistication at its pinnacle
As well as their connection to the British Royal Households, Barnard & Westwood’s international clients include Middle Eastern Royalty, the world’s most significant Fine Art auction houses and the premier names in high fashion and couture. Where the ultimate in prestige, visual impact and tactile delight are required, Barnard & Westwood get’s the call. This is a connoisseur’s world, where being the best matters. The power of British ultimate luxury, taste and sophistication at its pinnacle.
Words scarcely do Barnard & Westwood’s workshop justice
Barnard & Westwood’s workshop can only be described as extraordinary. Words scarcely do them justice.
Whilst some more modern printing machinery is visible, much of their extensive workshop is filled with tools, presses and devices dating back many hundreds of years, used today as they were – in some cases, over 200 years ago – with the greatest of skill, knowledge and intuitive ease.
This conviction to preserve traditional and significantly higher quality (if slower and more expensive) methods has long established Barnard & Westwood as the world’s premier name in printing and hand binding.
painstaking attention to detail and strive for perfection
The care, love and attention to detail of a master binder embossing gold lettering on the leather cover of a book constructed entirely by hand is captivating. That each coloured logo or crest is individually built up colour by colour in a protracted series of consecutive processes illustrates Barnard & Westwood’s painstaking attention to detail and strive for perfection, no matter how hard won even the smallest gains.
We leaf through wonderful hand marbled end papers used within the inside covers of a book to welcome a reader and setting an atmospheric tone for the delights within.
a striking impression of a solid block of gold within a leather bound casing
The careful gilding of a books page edges provides a striking impression of a solid block of gold within a leather bound casing – craftsmen compress hundreds of pages within a specialist vice and then carefully rub gold leaf into each side of the page stack to extraordinary effect.
The most traditional commissions the firm is known for can sit ever so naturally alongside these progressive and exciting projects
Whilst Barnard & Westwood’s skills and expertise ensure exquisite books and fine printed materials remain true luxury objects to behold and treasure in the traditional sense, certain recent commissions highlight how the firm’s craft can be employed in a more avant-garde context. Cutting-edge invitations were designed and configured for an exclusive private view of an important 20th century modern art exhibition in London – gilt edging on beautiful thick card was replaced with striking primary and luminous colours (applied with similar techniques) and complimented by contemporary graphic design and art work. The results were an extraordinary triumph of traditional and modern aesthetics. We believe such forward thinking will safeguard the future of these specialist skills held so dear at firms such as Barnard & Westwood. The most traditional commissions the firm is known for can sit ever so naturally alongside these progressive and exciting projects.