Bell & Bain

Bell & Bain

Company information

Binding success

Bell & Bain is a brand that’s synonymous with printing in Scotland.

The Glasgow-based printer and bookbinder has been producing books and journals for almost two centuries since it was founded by James Bell and Andrew Bain in 1831.

“We now have two operational plants and expect a third over the next five years, with a 50% staff increase”

The firm might be one of the older printing companies still in existence in the UK, but it has been quick to move with the times. In order to expand during a difficult few years for the UK economy, Bell & Bain has focused on maximising the use of its machines while maintaining high standards and fast turnaround times for its customers.

Low interest rates have helped, making it easier for the company to invest, with the firm pouring £8m into the business in recent years. That investment has helped the company to stay at the forefront of the printing industry. Its facilities now include equipment such as Fujifilm’s full-colour Jet Press 540W, which delivers a finished book in a single pass, and the latest generation of KBA printing presses, which can print almost one million sheets a week. The equipment allows the firm to print and bind a wide range of business, educational, financial, medical, scientific and religious books and journals.

Bell & Bain has been investing in manpower, too. “Over the last seven years the workforce has grown from 60 employees to 120,” says Stephen Docherty, who is part of the management team that has owned Bell & Bain since the end of 2009. “We now have two operational plants and I expect a third over the next five years, with a 50% staff increase.”

  • 1831 - The year in which James Bell and Andrew Bain founded the company

Those employees help the company to serve more than 600 clients, including major publishers such as The Open University, Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. Bell & Bain is now looking to grow its client list through expansion overseas, adds Stephen. He explains: “The opportunities will be to maximise on a weak pound and spread our wings to America.”