Scottish print shop serves locals for 50 years

By Rhys Handley, Thursday 10 January 2019

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Local print shop Elmbank Print will celebrate its 50th anniversary of continuous operation this year.

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McLeod: "Elmbank is a relatively small print company, but the fact it has continuously traded for 50 years is a landmark event"

The business was founded in February 1969 by George Johnston and initially operated out of his own house, from which the firm takes its name, Elbank. Since 2012, the Peebles, Scotland-based outfit has been run and owned by former Heidelberg northern division manager Ian McLeod.

Its client base largely falls within a 30-mile radius of the town, including businesses in Edinburgh.

Elmbank now employs four members of staff in a 100sqm two-level high-street base. It runs digital print, finishing and graphic design services onsite, as well as outsourcing litho jobs and running a stationery shop at front-of-house.

It is also known locally for producing window dressing and will make use of its signature trade to create a commemorative decoration to be displayed on its own frontage to mark the anniversary.

McLeod said: “Elmbank is a relatively small print company, but the fact it has continuously traded for 50 years is a landmark event. It is a changing world; medium-sized family print companies are few and far between in Scotland and the north, so we are happy to serve local clients.

“When it was started by George Johnston, who passed away about 20 years ago, the firm would initially do little jobs locally and grew to take on all manner of print work. When I acquired it from the previous owners, I found we still have George’s old instruction booklets here.

“I have taken operations up a slight level by bringing in a new press and improving our graphic design capabilities, but I am happy to run a smaller enterprise with a steady base.”

Elmbank runs a Xerox J75 digital print system, as well as a variety of finishing equipment including guillotines, glue machines, laminators, folders, and a Roland perforator from 1977.

Having worked in print since being an apprentice in the 1970s, McLeod said his ambition for the company is to supply customers with “informed advice and quick, reliable turnaround” that is enhanced by customers being able to directly speak to the firm’s proprietor.

The owner’s decades-spanning career has also taken in stints at Komori, Goss International, Manroland and Canon.

Elmbank Print currently turns over in excess of £150,000.

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