Introducing The Society
The Society was founded in 1944 by a Bristol printer, William R. Brace. He visualised an organisation which would enable printers to exchange views and experiences, pass on hints and tips, and generally promote a spirit of craftsmanship and friendliness. Although the British Printing Society (BPS) is now bigger than in those early years, its activities show that those ideals have not been forgotten. The Prospectus of the Society may be seen by clicking Society Prospectus.
The affairs of the Society are run by an elected group of members known as the Executive Council, or EC. The Council is elected by postal secret ballot and the results are announced at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is generally held during April or May each year (see also the Annual Convention on the 'Events' Page).
The Rules of the Society may be seen by clicking Society Rules.
Membership of the British Printing Society is open to anyone interested in printing, whether on an amateur or professional basis. Members include those who print for pleasure or profit, typographers, teachers, club officials and private publishers. Their common interest has proved a basis for lasting friendship. Overseas members are welcome. As the Society has grown, so has the scope of the benefits it can offer to its members. Full membership can be taken out by an individual, or by two persons living at the same address.
The current membership subscription is £24.00 (applicants living outside the UK who wish for the society magazine to be sent airmail, or those applying for Group membership, should add 50% to this figure). To join, please complete the application form which can be printed from the link seen by clicking Membership Application Form; remember to enclose a cheque (made payable to 'BPS') for the appropriate amount for your subscription and post it to the address given in the membership form. Alternatively payments maybe made using 'PayPal' (or credit/debit cards) by clicking PayPal .
An annual Membership List is published shortly after the AGM and sent to members. The List shows the name, membership number and other details for all members, and gives contact details for the officers of the Society.
The Society publishes its own monthly magazine, Small Printer (click Here to see a typical front cover) which is distributed free to all members. No other magazine caters in quite the same way for the small business or hobby printer. Its contents include official and membership news, reviews, articles on the various aspects of printing, instructional features, correspondence, ideas and suggestions, details of suppliers and members' small advertisements. Small Printer reaches all society members, whether they live. Most of the content of Small Printer is contributed by members having something useful or interesting which they would like to share with other members. Click here to email the Editor, Small Printer.
A limited number of back issues of Small Printer are now available for sale. Details of this offer, including details of which particular issues are available, may be found by clicking Sale of Back Issues of Small Printer .
Together with the magazine, members also receive 'the bundle', which may include items such as examples of members' work, forewarning of Branch Open Days, and other items of interest. Members are encouraged to produce their own items for inclusion in the bundle and there is no charge for this unless the item contains advertising. Co-operative publications are occasionally produced either by Branches or informally by a number of members working together.
Small Printer includes advertising at very competitive rates. Click Small Printing Advertising Rates. The magazine also run classified ads for members wishing to dispose of, or buy, particular printing related items.
For information regarding advertising, email by clicking Advertising Manager or telephone him, Tony Jewell on 01474 748532.
Enquiry ServiceA free printing-enquiry service is provided to members which can be obtained by emailing Here.
Use of the Library is restricted to Members of the Society.
The Society has a library of several hundred books. These include advanced and elementary works on printing and crafts related to it, business organisation and costing, private press books, and specimens of printing. These books are available only to members resident in the British Isles. The loan period is eight weeks and no charge is made but borrowers are required to pay return postage. To borrow a book the Member should contact the Librarian (see Membership List for details). To view the catalogue click Library Books List.
The Library also includes a large collection of machine manuals. To view a list of what is available click Machine Manuals. Machine Manuals are not available for loan but copies may be purchased for the cost of copying, postage and packing. Please contact the Society’s Librarian for further information (see Membership List for details). This service is only available to BPS members.
In addition to the booklets and leaflets for distribution through the Bundle, from time to time the Society has published books of special interest to printers. These have usually been Co-operative publications, to which a number of members have contributed.