Designing Your Own Line of Stationery with Barnard & Westwood

Hugh Thomas

Barnard & Westwood is a 90-year old company that specialises in bespoke stationery. Bear in mind that you will be building, from scratch, no ordinary stationery set, as the company like to utilise the best techniques accumulated over the past century and beyond to create a finished article unique from anything else. They are perfectionists in what they do, but a lot of that you’ll discover for yourself.

From the start you’ll begin to realise why the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Hunter, Dom Pérignon, Burberry, Holland & Holland, Sotheby’s, and the Royal Family (details of which the company are not permitted to go into) employ Barnard & Westwood for their services. For a clientele that are themselves typically scrupulous in presentation, it’s a huge compliment to the exhaustive methods the company puts into attaining the finest of details.

Before your consultation, you will receive a walking tour of Barnard & Westwood’s workshop. This is the best way to get an idea of the sheer perfectionism instilled in the manufacture of the company’s products. Those that man the printers are experts in their field, and the tools available to them some of the rarest in the country. For instance, there are only two people left in the UK who service the die-stamping printers that Barnard & Westwood rely on.


The experience itself is a very sensory one. Barnard & Westwood have their own design tool on their website where the customer can be quite liberal in creating what they desire from scratch, and are quite welcome to, but this hardly compares to the hands-on approach available when visiting the workshop.

As part of the experience, you are able to feel the various paper weights, see the unerring depth of colour in die-stamp printing, smell the freshly-laid ink, and hear the click-clack of the 1930s printing machines. Once more, Barnard & Westwood can provide you with an array of samples to work from, which is just the sort of thing one needs if inspiration has run dry.

metal stamp


Though it’s recommended people visit the workshop for a consultation to attain a better understanding of embossing, die-stamping, and the full extent of options available, the following process can be done via Barnard & Westwood’s online design tool as it would at the workshop.

  1. Choose from a wide selection of correspondence cards and letterheads that will form the basis of your 200-piece stationery set.
  2. Weights. Attain a desired paper weight for the cards and letterheads you’ve chosen. While letterheads tend to be thin, correspondence cards can be much denser.
  3. Colour. To simplify things, B&W will provide a range of colours with a ‘smooth and laid’ texture. There is the option to explore different paper types separately.
  4. Tissue linings. From the colour palate you’ve gone for, select a tissue lining to match the colour of your paper.
  5. Typefaces. Choose from a selection of 10 different fonts.
  6. Die-stamping ink. In order to obtain the best clarity, your design will be etched onto a metal plate before being stamped onto paper. The final part of the process allows you to decide on which colours to use for the printing.
  7. At the end of your consultation, Barnard & Westwood will provide you with an estimated time for the completion for your stationery set, as well as its delivery.

Personalise Your Stationery Set with Barnard & Westwood


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