Killer app: Bishops is on the ball with top-scoring programme

Rhys Handley
Monday, January 22, 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion may not be troubling the upper reaches of the Premier League, but its programme has run away with the cup in Programme Monthly’s Programme of the Season award for 2017/18.

Featuring interviews with current squad stars and historical retrospectives, it’s a print job only the best squad could tackle.

What did you produce?

Portsmouth-based Bishops Printers produces 9,000 copies of the 96pp perfect-bound booklet for each home match, including a pull-out poster also bound into the programme. It is then delivered directly to Falmer Stadium on match day by Bishops’ own drivers.

What did the job entail?

Editorial is supplied by Alchemy Creations in Hertfordshire, then the design is printed on to 115gsm FSC gloss for the main body pages, 130gsm for the poster inside, and 200gsm for the cover – which is also matt laminated. Bishops uses 10-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75s for the job and the booklet is then perfect bound.

What challenges were overcome?

Bishops is required to fill a massive order on a tight deadline, with the cover printed three days prior to a match and the last 16 pages printed the night before. There is also always a chance that last-minute changes will come through unexpectedly. To keep up the speed required to fulfil the job on time, Bishops managing director Gareth Roberts often has to deploy multiple Heidelbergs simultaneously on the job.

“We make sure we’re working as hard as we can to get it in on time,” he said. “We then deliver it ourselves because I want every phase of production to be kept within our payroll and our control.”

What was the feedback?

Aside from winning the award, the programme has proven popular with both Albion fans and their rivals alike, according to publications editor Luke Nicoli.

“In the ever-changing world of digital media, it’s always a challenge to come up with a publication that provides an alternative for our fans. The feedback we’ve had this season has been excellent,” he said.

Alchemy has been very satisfied with Bishops’ work too, as founder Scott Reed said: “Bishops are always understanding about the job’s demands and never moan about last-minute changes. The quality is always there and we have a very trusting relationship.” 

Do you have a Killer App? We are interested in special, difficult or simply fabulous print jobs. Contact Rhys Handley on 020 7501 6388 or


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