Industrial Publishing: the printed voice of manufacturing in the Midlands


Focusing on the manufacturers of the English Midlands, this research considers the development of ‘Industrial Publishing’ from its emergence in the eighteenth century through to the end of the twentieth century, when the issuing of printed matter became an important ancillary manufacturing activity and industrial publishing finally became a recognised professional adjunct to business.

This project defines industrial publishing as the production and issuing of printed material, which utilises the skills of traditional publishing — authorship, editorial direction, the commissioning of artists, designers and photographers — and which necessitates the supervision of printing and distribution. However, these customary activities are executed by an industry for which publishing is not the primary business; it reflects the company that produced it and its distribution is managed through non-retail outlets. Industrial publishing falls outside the domain of advertising and is beyond the interest of public relations departments.

This research considers the design, production and distribution of industrial publishing, the companies that issued it and the printers that produced it, in order to shed new light on the printing industry in the Midlands, and the workings of the regions manufacturers.

Members involved in this research

Professor Caroline Archer-Parré

Dr Malcolm Dick