The Production Team

A painting detail from The Highgrove Florilegium

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The Highgrove Florilegium open bookIain Bain has worked in printing and publishing since 1956. Although now using the Apple Macintosh computer and the Adobe InDesign page-layout software, he has had a lifelong involvement in practical letterpress printing on the hand press - which he regards as the equivalent of sail training for modern mariners.

After working as a Sales Manager for Unwin Brothers the book printers, he moved to the Bodley Head as production manager and book designer. In 1972 he became Head of Publications at the Tate Gallery where he was to spend 22 years much involved in colour reproduction and the design and production of exhibition catalogues. For two 3-year terms in the ’70s and ’80s he served as External Examiner for the University of Reading Department of Typography & Graphic Communication.

A sometime Fellow of the Society of Typographic Designers, he was given the Francis Minns Award for Book Design in 1980. He has a particular interest in the history of engraving and printing and was founding secretary of the Printing Historical Society in 1964, later serving as Chairman. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society of Arts.

Highgrove Florilegium detail by Richard Shirley SmithOriginal sketches of motifs from the garden at Highgrove decorate the text and the end papers. The decorative motifs include plants in the garden, the Princes' tree house, the dove cote and even the flock of Indian Runner Ducks.

Richard Shirley Smith studied at The Slade School of Fine Art. He has had more than twenty solo shows and had twelve mural commissions between 1975 and 1990 in London's Eaton Square, Princes Gate, Kensington Palace Gardens etc.

In 1985 he was given a retrospective exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum and at the R.I.B.A. Heinz Gallery in Portman Square London W.1. John Murray published The Paintings and Collages with a preface by Roy Strong.




Westerham Press has been voted the Best Quality Printer for three years running by Design Week and voted R&A Printer of the Year for three years running. They continually work in prestigious projects where the highest quality printing is necessary. Westerhams’ other clients include Jaguar, London 2012, The National Gallery and Tate.

The printing of both the text and the image pages were carried out at Westerham Press in Kent under the supervision of John Parfitt using Stochastic Lithography which facilitates the creation of really outstanding quality prints from the original watercolours.

Printing The Highgrove Florilegium  

Stochastic lithography is a new advancement in printing technology that can give a better print quality, cleaner more dynamic and accurate colour images, and reduce running waste. Conventional lithography uses half-tone dots of various sizes and spaces these dots at the same distance from each other.
Printing The Highgrove Florilegium  

Stochastic lithography uses microdots of a common size of various spacing according to tonal value. Stochastic screening uses smaller printing dots to create a higher image detail. Tonal ranges and colour contrasts are also improved because the variation in dot distribution increases ink densities

The text and plate pages are soft folded. Holes are then punched into them for the sewing needle. After the pages are sewn the boards of the book cover are laced on.

Stephen Conway was apprenticed in the bookbinding trade for the traditional five year term with Edward Mortimer Ltd, printers of Halifax, Yorkshire in 1974.  He moved on to work for the Scholar Press Fine Bindery, Ilkley, after two more years he gained further experience with Smith Settle in Otley and in 1985 set up his own bindery.  In July 1997 he won his first prize in the Society of Bookbinders' competition, in October 1998 he was elected Licentiate of Designer Bookbinders and a month later scooped four prizes in the national bookbinding competition.  The First prize winner, his binding of the Folio Society 'The Jubilee Years', in the 'set book' category, was gothic in feel with panelled boards and studs, rich reds and oranges in the laminated paper panels echoed the colour of the illustrations.  He also won the Silver Medal for the best book in the competition, the first prize for the open choice book and the Friends of the British Library award.

The collated and sewn books are sent to James and Stuart Brockman who hand tool the leather and apply gold leaf to the embossed leather motifs.

James was born in Oxford 1946. He was an Apprentice Gold Finisher at Blackwell's Oxford and studied under Ivor Robinson at Oxford Polytechnic 1962-68.  From 1968-73 James worked with Sydney Cockerell, Cambridge.  Subsequently, from 1973 to 1976 James started up and managed The Eddington Bindery, Hungerford for Lord and Lady Fermoy. In 1976 James started up his own workshop and is currently in partnership with his son, Stuart Brockman (James and Stuart Brockman Ltd.) James was President of the Designer Bookbinders 1985-87 and President of the Society of Bookbinders 2001-2005. James has lectured and demonstrated in Europe, Canada, U.S. and Australia and has Bindings in collections Private and National worldwide.

James Brockman & HRH Prince of Wales with The Highgrove FlorilegiumAfter taking a Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London, Stuart trained full-time as a bookbinder with James Brockman from 1995. Stuart has taught workshops and lectured in the UK, Canada, Finland and the USA. He organised a series of courses at Oxford Brookes University Summer 2001. Stuart has been awarded various prizes in The Bookbinding Competition 1999, 2000 and 2002 including first prize (Open Choice) in 2000. He was overall winner of the 2004 National Library of Scotland Elizabeth Soutar bookbinding competition. He was elected Fellow of Designer Bookbinders 2004. Currently Stuart is on both the Executive Committee and the board of Designer Bookbinders Publications. He has modern bindings in a wide range of private collections worldwide and The British Library.



Marbling work on The Highgrove Florilegium  
Each Sheet of paper is hand marbled separately according to the colour scheme chosen by Iain Bain using the traditional technique of sprinkling the colours onto a viscous fluid prepared from Carragheen moss and manipulating a pattern in the paint using a stylus.

The paper is carefully lowered onto the floating pattern and then lifted, rinsed and hung out to dry. Each pattern on each piece of paper must be controlled to check they are the same.

Victoria Hall began making decorated papers professionally in the late 1980's, having attained a degree in the History of Art & Architecture at the University of East Anglia.

She learnt through trial and error how to replicate historic marbled papers which are required by experts for restoration purposes and within 5 years had added antiquarian style paste papers to her portfolio of designs. Both techniques have a long and rich history and Victoria's ongoing research focuses on European designs from around 1700.

Marbling work on The Highgrove Florilegium  
In fact the origins of marbled paper go back considerably further. Her designs have also been used under license by clients from Bulmers (cider) to Garrard (the former Crown Jewellers) and her work can be found in private & public collections including The Royal Library, Den Haag; Newberry Library, Chicago; & the Schmoller Collection at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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