Friday, 19 Jul 2019 12:00 GMT

Award-winning bookbinder invests in Polar

Less than a year after investing in a second-hand 92cm Polar, Ludlow Bookbinders has decided to take deliver of a new Polar N78 Plus.

Ludlow Bookbinders, which describes itself as a company “steeped in the finest traditions of English craft bookbinding”, produces short-run, leather or cloth-bound books in bespoke limited editions, complete with slipcases or Solander boxes.

In addition to this, the rural firm also offers edge gliding and foil backing in-house, as well as having access to a network of craftsmen such as silversmiths and engravers.

Both machines will work on the company’s award-winning bespoke books, as well as photograph albums and other leather-bound, cloth-bound and bespoke goods.

Each year the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) holds the British Book Design and Production awards. Ludlow Bookbinders has won several of these awards for its bespoke books.

Last year, the firm was awarded the Best British Book for its Anthropology of the RAF, produced by Extraordinary Editions to celebrate the centenary of the RAF.

There are very few of us left and we rely on bibliophiles needing these rarified books. As there is always a market for top quality it seems the future is bright

The leather quarter-bound book is presented in a leather Solander box which is foil blocked on the front. The outside of the book was created using quarter-bound goat skin in the RAF colours. Digitally printed onto Monkton paper by Pure Print, the book features an unusual post-bound which the company says works well.

In addition to this, Ludlow Bookbinders also won the overall Best Book of the Year award in 2017 for Havana – which also won Best Art Book – a project the firm describes as a difficult binding due to the weight of the paper.

Commenting on the installation of a new guillotine, Paul Kidson, managing director of the business, says: “The second-hand Polars retain their value astonishingly well and the price differential between new and second-hand was so close that we decided to buy new.

“I haven’t a bad word to say about the whole experience of dealing with Heidelberg UK. Business is proceeding along positively. There are very few of us left and we rely on bibliophiles needing these rarified books. As there is always a market for top quality it seems the future is bright.”

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