Search Press Ltd is the leading art and craft publisher in the UK, specialising in fine art, textiles, general crafts and children’s crafts. I particularly love their huge range of watercolor painting books and drawing books, which I’ve listed at the bottom of this post
The company was founded in 1970, when Charlotte de la Bedoyere published her first book – Basket Weaving in an attic room in Kensington. Translated from a German book, this was to be the first of many titles. The format was good. The books were small, reasonably priced and packed with information, offering crafters and needlecrafters new ideas and inspirational designs. Lotti, as she is known to everyone at Search Press, went on include hot trending topics such as pin and thread and candlemaking. The market loved them and she so she continued, introducing full colour publications and a successful series of practical art books – the Leisure Arts.
Move to Tunbridge Wells
In the early 1980′s, Lotti moved to Tunbridge Wells, establishing a warehouse and offices in a quiet corner of the North Farm Industrial Estate – where they are today. She continued to publish an increasing range of popular books, developing new series and commissioning larger titles. Then, in 1997 following her decision to retire, her son, Martin de la Bedoyere, took over as Managing Director, with his wife Caroline, their Sales and Marketing Director. Both directors from Heinemann publishing, they have continued with the strong traditions at Search Press Limited that Lotti had built up over 27 years.
Publishing over 100 titles each year
With a team of 26 people, most of them long-term employees, Search Press now publishes up to 100 of its own titles each year, as well as distributing titles for other publishers. From the commissioning of an original idea to the final delivery of books into the warehouse, the publishing process is carried out ‘in-house’. A few books are bought in from other sources and labelled with the Search Press ‘stamp’, but they are always checked by them before they are printed, so that they fit in with the Search Press style and publishing policies. Search Press have a strong and dedicated team, with everyone playing their part in the process, from the warehouse staff to the sales and marketing team, production department, accounts and designers and editors.
Recently, the Search Press offices and warehouse were extended and they now have a craft room which can be used for workshops or demonstrations by their customers, authors or organisations. Having also established themselves with offices in Australia and the USA Search Press are continuing to expand and develop their list with new exciting ideas.
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New Search Press website
The biggest development to date is their new website (link below). Through their new website Search Press are planning on keeping everyone up to date with their books, news and happenings on a regular basis and you will be able to place your orders online for all of their latest titles.
Inspiring my watercolour creativity
It’s no coincidence that most of the watercolour books in my possession are published by Search Press. Not only do they cover such a wide range of watercolour techniques and cater for all levels of technical ability, they’re all very easy to follow, they’re wonderfully inspiring, and they make you feel that no matter your skill level, anything is possible.
Connect with Search Press on the internet
Search Press have several websites and social media accounts, use the following links to connect with them and keep updated of competitions, new releases, and free projects:
40th Anniversary Celebrations
Search Press watercolour books in my collection
Full list of my watercolour books here>
Ian is an aspiring watercolour artist, passionate about painting the world around him in watercolour and sharing his experience with others.
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