07 October 2016
Most of us take for granted the incredible advancements in technology over the past decade – e-books often replace dusty paperbacks on the tube, self-publishing has revolutionised the industry and printing on demand no longer sounds fantastical. But when Bob Books was founded in 2006 by Chairman John Brown, the landscape of publishing looked very different.
As one of the first print-on-demand houses in the UK, Bob Books paved the way and has since established itself as the most well-loved and trusted platform for creating, printing and publishing photo books.
The idea was born when publishing entrepreneur John Brown, founder of John Brown Publishing, the enterprise that launched Viz among many other iconic magazines, decided to make a photo book for his wife Claudia. Calling on Bob Design partner Mireille Burkhardt, he learnt about her father’s book binding business in Switzerland. It was there that they could print a single copy of a book, using the highest quality papers, traditional binding and latest technology. And you needn’t be an expert designer! It would look and feel professional, completely at home next to the photographic books held in museum shops.
Other partners included Peter Norris, Chairman of the Virgin Group and Hans Burkhardt, Chairman of bubu Bookbinders, each bringing a varied and expert skill.
Since then, Bob Books has developed into a truly unique platform. What sets them apart is in the detail. No short cuts, no compromise on quality, it expanded steadily and carefully: adding products, a design service and new creation tools including an iPad app and PDF to Book. They even launched an ABC Book app for children this year.
Among many additions to the company, the Bob Bookshop remains the most innovative to date. An integrated online bookshop allows customers to share and sell their books to family, friends and strangers all over the world with the same interests. For no effort and the capacity for professionals to make sales and showcase their work, this is self-publishing at its best.
Bob Books believes in nurturing talent and regularly gives talks to students in art colleges advising on how to use the easy Bob Designer software to create portfolios to present themselves to the creative industry. They also run a popular book of the month competition, giving a platform to young designers and photographers and regularly hold events for people working in creative industries.
Fast-forward ten years and Bob Books is the UK’s top supplier of photographic paper photo books and a favourite amongst both amateur and professional photographers and designers. Bob Books also won The Good Web Guide’s Best of British Website of the Year in 2015.
So with lots of new developments planned including exciting product launches in 2017, Bob Books looks set for the next ten years!