The Geographers’ A to Z Map Company Limited is the largest independent map publishing company in the UK, producing iconic products such as the London A-Z and many award-winning maps. The business started in 1936 as The Geographers’ Map Company Limited and now produces over 320 mapping products in lithographic print as well as print on demand.
In common with many other book publishers, A to Z moved a proportion of its print to China some years ago. There were two main reasons for this; firstly, to reduce cost and secondly, due to the use of more durable sewn binding for the same cost as perfect binding. However, it has since moved this work back to the UK, with some being placed with Belmont Press. A to Z came across Belmont Press as both companies were suppliers to the London 2012 Olympic Games. A to Z then selected Belmont to produce some of its standard map books, which were litho printed and bound.
Belmont Press had to meet strict criteria to supply to the London 2012 Olympic Games, and The Production Manager at A to Z was impressed by Belmont’s environmental and quality certifications.
He also examined the set-up and ethos of the business, commenting: We don’t like to change suppliers very often, so we try to be thorough and look at every aspect of supply. We’ve had our fingers burnt in the past and don’t choose purely on price, but quality and delivery as well.
“Belmont Press ticked all the boxes – the quality has been excellent and they are very competitively priced for the print that we need. They are also very nice people to deal with!”.
Print on demand
Aside from our lithographic work with A-Z, we have also helped develop an online ordering and digital printing service for its large format maps. With demand for some of their product lines having reduced, A-Z required a service that provided copies of their maps via a print on demand service. This helped reduce wastage and ensured A-Z's spend matched the revenue generated by customer orders.
Belmont's system is integrated within the A-Z website. It receives customer orders automatically, sends print on demand requests to our digital press and posts direct to A-Z's clients. The process is a seamless one and all publications are printed and despatched within three working days from order.