The Oxted firm is known for its expertise in print production including bespoke and fine art books. The new service is targeted at creative professionals, artists and individuals who want “superior limited edition books at an affordable cost”.

“For the last year we’ve been honing this process. It’s been a long road but we’ve finally got there,” said Hurtwood partner Francis Atterbury.

He said the venture was inspired by his own experience producing a print-on-demand book based on his father’s memoirs. The late Rowley Atterbury was the founder of Westerham Press.

“I put together a book online and when it arrived it was just disgusting. It was just paper sandwiched between cardboard that would fall to pieces,” Atterbury explained.

“People want a book because they want to look at it for years. They want permanence.”

The Artisan Book range is available in three sizes. The books are printed on Mohawk Superfine paper using HP Indigo digital presses, with hand-binding, custom foil blocking and a choice of nine cloth colours.

The key production partners are Precision Printing in Barking and J Muir Bookbinders in London.

Referring to the quality of the binding on the Artisan range, Atterbury quipped: “If in 150 or 200 years you think the binding is showing signs of wear, simply soak it off and re-bind!”

The launch event featured books produced for the artist and Royal Academician Humphrey Ocean and photographer John Swannell. Attendees included publishers, art galleries and designers.

Ocean said: “Print of any form is like memory. There is depth to this, it’s subtle, it’s delicate but it’s indelible. That’s what I love about working with Hurtwood and Artisan Books.”

Atterbury has long been an advocate of digital printing and the book formats made possible using the latest B2 models. Next week he will speak at the Frankfurt Book Fair on the topic: “How the HP Indigo 10000 allows craft to thrive”.

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