Ink, paper and passion
Our story stretches back to the 1830s – a time of inspiring change.
Charles Dickens published his first novel. Charles Darwin completed his historic voyage aboard HMS Beagle, gathering evidence to support the theory of evolution.
And in a small premises in Bristol, Taylor Brothers began printing.
We’ve been dedicated to providing high quality print services ever since, supplying discerning customers across the city and far beyond.
In 2018, another celebrated Charles – our MD/owner Charles Taylor, decided to retire, along with Nick, the other last remaining Taylor family member. Without a natural successor, he sought to secure a future for the 25-strong team proudly keeping our presses running in the heart of Bristol.
After months of hard work, a dedicated group of six employees joined forces to buy the company, beginning a brave new chapter for Taylor Brothers. Their ambitious plans for the future began with a move to new premises, providing much-needed extra space and a fresh start for the business.
Though our ownership team and address have changed, our passion for print and commitment to customer satisfaction remain as strong as they have been for nearly 200 years. We offer a full range of professional print services, combining state-of-the art technology with an unerring dedication to excellence.
Our business continues to evolve and our story continues to unfold, page after perfectly printed page...
Taylor Brothers occupies a unique position as Bristol’s oldest printing company. It was established in the 1830’s selling general commercial printing services with premises on Baldwin Street in the heart of the city and was incorporated as Taylor Brothers Bristol Limited in the 1860’s. The company has always remained in the centre of the city, close to its all-important customers.
It is reasonable to ask why has it survived and prospered over such a remarkably long period of time when so many other printers on the city have disappeared?
One possible reason is that throughout the vast majority of its long and at times turbulent history it was family owned and run. Five generations of the Taylor Family have steered it through numerous changes in technology, wars, depressions and recessions. Family values of loyal commitment coupled with careful financial management, have seen it though the difficult times and the upheavals.
Without doubt the most dramatic occurrence in the company’s history was the destruction of its period premises in Broad Weir right in the heart of the city. It fell victim, together with the occupants of a nearby bus and a number of passers-by to the last daylight bombing raid on Bristol by the German Luftwaffe on August 24th 1942. The extracts from the company’s diary and a family letter give a very human account of the subsequent hours and days after the event.
In a similar fashion the cutting for the Bristol Evening post from 1955 talks about the company’s brave move after the bombing, via temporary rented premises in Philadelphia Street, to its new purpose-built factory, home until 2018, at the end of Wilder Street, St Paul’s. This was a new start which coincided with huge changes in technology, particularly the move away from letterpress printing to offset lithography, reflecting the demands of the modern commercial print market after the second world war.
There is no doubt that one of the other major reasons Taylor Brothers has enjoyed such longevity is due to the loyalty and commitment of its highly skilled staff over the generations and the special relationships that somehow only seem to exist in a family business. 2018 was a momentous year with the company selling its Wilder St site, and the last generation of Taylors to be involved with the business, Charles and Nick who owned and managed the company from the early 1990’s taking retirement. In September, key senior staff members who had played such a major part in shaping the company’s future took their opportunity to chart their own destiny when ownership of the company changed through a management buyout. This coincided with the new team headed up by MD Nigel Millen, planning and executing the move to its stunning new premises in Chapel Way, St Anne`s in the same month.
Moving with the times and taking advantage of new technology has also been a huge part of the company’s philosophy. The ability of the company to respond to our customers’ demands has been crucial. This cannot be achieved without investment and adaptation. The last few years have been some of its most successful with digital print now a cornerstone of its services alongside high quality lithography.
So, an exciting new future beckons and a new history of a different kind will be written but hopefully underpinned with the same business values and principles that have served it and its customers so well.