European forests have been growing by over 1,500 football pitches every day!

Priory Press has a vested interest in renewable sources for all the paper we use. News items like this always make us stop and take pause for better or worse. Here’s an interesting factoid that indicates that Europe is pushing back and planting huge numbers of trees. Compared to the amount harvested in South America daily this is a drop in the ocean but it’s still movement in the right direction.

TWOSIDES_1-®Holly Sims

“The main raw materials, trees, are grown and harvested in a carefully controlled and sustainable way – so successfully that European forests, where most of the raw material comes from, have grown by an area the size of Switzerland in just 10 years. Paper is a uniquely renewable and sustainable product. In some countries, particularly in the tropics, there are issues over land rights and natural forest conversion to industrial plantations that are a cause of concern to the paper industry, NGOs and consumers alike. In northern Europe, where almost all ancient Forests are protected, paper comes from managed semi-natural forests where the cycle of planting, growing and logging is carefully controlled. Historical concerns in northern Europe and Canada have now been largely resolved through co-operation between legislators, campaigners and forest industries to protect ancient forests.” –

What do you think should happen to deal with difficult countries?

Amateur photographers seek out print suppliers

Both quality and paper choice are key issues for amateur photographers looking for a professional finish. So it’s an interesting phenomenon that non-professionals are choosing High Street and smaller printers to help them achieve a better finished product than a normal photo-processer would.

At Priory Press we are able to help you choose from a range of products and advise on new products or papers.  Increasingly, we expect it to become a key part of the printer’s role.

Photographers are looking for great print quality, customer service and an understanding of their work. It’s an essential part of the process.

General knowledge by consumers of the print process is on the increase but still has a long way to go. While much of the work is currently going to high end fine art printers lowering their sights slightly, there has also been a move from the larger W2P operators to corner these customers. For example, Photobox has, for some time now, run Pro accounts, offering customers the chance to store and display their work and to sell it. 

These extra services are increasingly important as the competition increases. images-2

For details of our print services please visit:

5 Medical Applications that can be 3D Printed

3D printing in medicine has been on the increase. Priory Press are interested in the advances in the field. As it gets more popular who knows what Printing firms like our may be expected to produce. The field is open to possibilities beyond our finances at the moment.  Here’s a  list of objects that have already been successfully printed in this field demonstrates the potential that this technology holds for healthcare in the near future.

Low–Cost Prosthetic Parts

This work is also being driven quite significantly by two major organisations, Robohand and E-Nable, whose 3D printable prosthetics have proliferated with wild success.

Medical Models

A group of researchers in China and the US have printed models of cancerous tumors to aid discovery of new anti-cancer drugs and to better understand how tumour devlop and grow. There are numerous examples of using medical scan data to 3D print implants made bespoke.


A modified a ProMetal 3D printer to bind chemicals to a ceramic powder, creating intricate scaffolds that promote the growth of bone in any shape. Work on this is still being developed.

Heart Valve

Cornell University in the USA, has 3D printed a heart valve that will soon be tested in sheep.


3d-printed-cardiac-modelThe USA has developed a printer that can print skin suitable for application straight onto the wounds of burn victims.

Bank of England Prints Polymer Bank Notes

Priory Press is interested in the news that the Bank of England is to reveal the full design of the new £5 note, England’s first polymer note, on 2 June.

The concept designs for the new £5 and £10 notes, which will be slightly smaller than the paper version, were unvellied back in October 2013. Mass production of the note began last September (2015).

The £5 note will feature Winston Churchill with Jane Austen on the £10 note.

A decision on who will feature on the £20 note is expected in the coming weeks. Members of the public have voted for artists “who have helped shape British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society”.

The £5 notes notes will enter circulation in September, the new £10 note a year later and the £20 note by 2020. The paper versions of each will be gradually removed from circulation once their polymer counterparts have been introduced.

Concept bank note

Concept bank note

Who do you think should be included on the £20?

Epson unveils the world’s first in-office paper recycling system!

Can it be true? Will this device be a common site within offices across the land. It’s not entirely unthinkable is it that one of the planet’s best known manufacturers of print technology should devise such a machine?


Called the PaperLab, users put waste paper in one end, and then new, bright white printer paper comes out. Epson says this process is more efficient than sending paper to an off-site recycling plant, and it’s also much more secure. The PaperLab, which breaks paper down into its constituent fibres before building them back up into new sheets, is one of the most secure paper shredders that money can buy.

Within three minutes of adding waste paper to the PaperLab, it starts pumping out perfectly white sheets of new paper. The system can produce around 14 A4 sheets of paper per minute, or 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour workday. The PaperLab can also produce A3 paper too.

Now what do you think of that?  The PaperLab will go on sale in Japan sometime in early 2016 with other regions possibly coming joining later. Epson hasn’t said a word about price, but it’ll likely be very, very costly to buy (think £50,000+).

Saddle Stitching

How does Saddle Stitching work?

Saddle Stitiching is probably the most common binding method. It is the process of binding pages together using staples known as stitches along the spine. This is a straightforward method for printing documents of up to 48 pages.

Why should I use saddle stitched?

It is the ideal solution for printing smaller booklets such as your annual reports, magazines, and brochures, and other short paper programmes.


What size should my saddle stitched booklet be?
There is a variety of choices. You can choose any size from A4 portrait, 1/3 A4 portrait, A5 portrait or landscape, or 210 x 210mm square.

What paper can I use for saddle stitched booklets?
You can have a silk, gloss or uncoated in a range of weights and thicknesses and we recommend you laminate your cover for a quality finish.


• Silk coated paper has a smooth feel with a discreet surface sheen. It offers excellent ink to paper contrast and printed colours appear distinct and clear. A recycled option is available. (130gsm – 350gsm)

• Gloss coated paper has a shiny surface and very smooth finish. Colour is sharp and stands out well. Ink dries quickly and the need for lamination is reduced. (130gsm – 350gsm)

• Our premium uncoated paper is more absorbent than coated papers. Printed inks appear flatter due to this absorbency and the paper has a soft finish. A recycled option is available. (100gsm – 350gsm)

• Matt lamination gives a soft, contemporary effect. Gloss lamination gives a higher quality shine finish than gloss card. Lamination is most useful with solid colours or images to enhance their vibrancy or where you want to protect your printed documents.


Can my saddle-stitched booklets and documents be printed digitally?
Of course! One of the many benefits of digital printing is that you can print the exact amount that suits your needs, from a short run to a large quantity. Get in touch with our expert print team to find out how digital printing will work best for you.


The Origin of Christmas Cards

Ever wondered who invented the Christmas Card? It’s one of those ‘Chrissmassy’ things that we all take for granted but never truly stop and think about. It’s always nice to receive a card from pals and family we don’t see often enough and now they’re often printed on recyclable paper, they’re no longer as big a problem as they once were.

So Priory Press have the know how and processes to print your corporate christmas cards, get in touch to put your orders in for next year. Planning early is the way forward!


So here it is: next time the question of who and when the Christmas Card was invented comes up in the pub quiz you’ll know the answer, right?  As it turns out it’s all a  relatively recent phenomenon, with the sending of commercially printed Christmas cards originating in London in 1843.


Previously, people had exchanged handwritten holiday greetings. First in person. Then via post. The first Christmas card designed for sale was by London artist John Calcott Horsley. A respected illustrator of the day, Horsley was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a wealthy British businessman, who wanted a card he could proudly send to friends and professional acquaintances to wish them a ‘Merry Christmas’. Cole was famous for modernising the British postal system, managed the building of the Albert Hall (but he has his own impressive story). We digress…

The first Christmas card’s inscription read: ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you’.  Of the original one thousand cards printed for Henry Cole, twelve exist today in private collections.

Printed cards soon became the rage in England; then in Germany. But it required an additional thirty years for Americans to take to the idea. In 1875, Boston lithographer Louis Prang, a native of Germany, began publishing cards, and earned the title ‘Father of the American Christmas Card’.

Today more than two billion Christmas cards are exchanged annually, just within the United States. Christmas is the number one card-selling holiday of the year.


file647 Henry-Cole-1st-Christmas-Card





Beyond freehand

Writing text using ink was done by hand for centuries. Woodblocks began to grow in popularity and importance from around the 2nd Century AD in China. The production of woodblocks was  labour intensive and mistakes were easy to make. This focus on human labour made text documents extremely expensive. But a potential solution arrived in the creation of movable-type printing by Bi Sheng in 1040 AD, which used ceramic materials and also wood. By the 12th Century, bronze movable type was being used in China.

 Europe came relatively late, and independently of China, to the print revolution. Between 1436 and 1450, Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith, developed techniques to cast letters using a hand mould. Visit this earlier blog we edited about it all here.


Join Woodland Trust’s Tree Register

One of the UK’s oldest and biggest wild pear trees has been chosen by the British public as ‘Tree of the Year 2015’ as reported by the Woodland Trust this week.

The winning tree is based in Cubbington, Warwickshire. Known simply as the Cubbington Pear Tree it received over a third of the 10,000 votes cast in the Woodland Trust’s ‘Tree of Year 2015 Contest’.

“Those who voted for our tree clearly care about the protection of our natural environment, and I am truly grateful to them for showing their concern,”  said Peter Delow, Cubbington Action Group Chairman.

The tree joins the Suffragette Oak from Scotland, Peace Tree in Northern Ireland and ‘Survival at the Cutting Edge’ from Wales in the European Tree of the Year contest alongside 12 other countries in February 2016.

But as the Cubbington Pear Tree sits on the proposed Phase 1 line of the new HS2 rail link  it could be lost once construction gets underway.

Believed to be over 250 years old, the Cubbington Pear Tree is a local icon which has stood for generations at the top of a hill near South Cubbington Wood. It is thought to be the the second largest in the UK.

The Cubbington Pear Tree is one of 20 ancient, veteran or notable trees within the HS2 Phase 1 construction boundary. Another 18 lie within 200m of the proposed phase 2 route.

Show your support for a national tree register. If you’re concerned about the future of Britain’s threatened trees then show your support in our V.I.Trees campaign.


Priory Press are members of the Woodland Trust and fully support the regeneration of our forest and trees in the UK and around the world.

photo by F.Wilmot c/o the Woodland Trust



The use of ink can be traced back about 40,000 years. Ink colouration to enhance imagery and tell stories predates writing. The oldest caves paintings are found in El Castillo, Spain and Sulawesi, Indonesia.  The first paintings to depict the natural world are between 30,000 and 32,000 years old and can be found at Chauvet Caves, France.

In this era, the ink used was based on red, ochre and black manganese dyes, but also plant sap and animal blood. Since then, the material of ink and its characteristics has changed incredibly.


Words and pictures remained an artistic means of communication for more than 35,000 years. Writing emerged in the Sumerian region of Mesopotamia around 3,200 BC, and it was produced either by creating impressions in clay or through carving into other surfaces. The development of writing with ink took place around 2,500 BCE, at approximately the same time in both Egypt and China.

For their pigment, the inks used a type of carbon called lamp black, which is created by partially burning tar with a little vegetable oil. The pigment was suspended in gum or other glue, to ensure it adhered to the host surface. There was a strong need for the writing to endure, and the carbon ensured this. The advent of ink-based writing also went hand in hand with the use of the first paper in the form of papyrus, made from the pith of the papyrus plant, a type of sedge. However, papyrus was fragile, it couldn’t be folded, and was susceptible to both dry and wet conditions. So parchment, made from animal skin, began to replace papyrus at the start of around the 1st Century.


India ink was used in China from the 4th Century, and was also the type of ink employed for writing the Dead Sea Scrolls. Carbon-based inks such as India ink are pigmented, and they have great durability, so light and chemicals don’t cause fading. However, they also require paper that’s absorbent, because they will flake off of non-absorbent surfaces such as parchment. As a result, around the 8th century, inks using chemical precipitation were developed further and became more common. The first wide spread ink was iron gall with a tannic acid base. This was deployed with a quill pen to parchment or vellum, making this the standard mode of writing from the 12th  to the 19th Century.


Part two to follow in December 2015.