Thankyou Butler & Tanner!
A month ago, photographer Bob Mazzer, book designer Friederike Huber & I visited the historic printing works of Butler & Tanner (Britain’s oldest established printer, in Frome since 1845) to see the printing of Bob’s book UNDERGROUND which I published yesterday.
No-one knew that a couple of days later the company would go into administration and, on the day of our visit, we were told that it had been the longest factory tour ever – on account of Bob’s insistence upon photographing every aspect of the production of his book. Yet now these photographs exist as a poignant tribute to those people who made Butler & Tanner one of the great names in British printing.
I have no doubt that there will be future editions of UNDERGROUND and other books of Bob Mazzer’s photography, but the one to have will always be the legendary first edition which was also the last book ever printed by Butler & Tanner.
The Master Printer who printed UNDERGROUND
Bob Mazzer & Friederike Huber
Fred checks the cover
Checking the colour quality of the photographs
The covers roll off the press
Plates ready to print UNDERGROUND
Bob’s son Arthur gets into a discussion with a printer
Reject prints of the cover
Completed pages ready for collating
The binding department
The women of the binding department
Bob’s son Arthur sleeps all the way back to London
Photographs copyright © Bob Mazzer
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