18 November 2019 People

Peter Jarrold dies after long illness

Peter Jarrold helped establish the reputation of the Norwich company as one of the finest printers in Europe, winning major contracts and earning admiration and respect of an entire generation in the industry.

Peter Jarrold, one time chairman of Jarrold & Sons and leader of what was at the time one of the finest printers in the UK, has died aged 86 after a lengthy illness.

Peter Jarrold succeeded his father John Jarrold in the business having served an apprenticeship with a printer in Switzerland where he gained an insight into high quality offset litho printing. He led Jarrold into becoming one of the leading colour book printers in the country, from high quality art books for Thames & Hudson to long run publications for the Milk Marketing Board.

When book printing shifted to Italy and Spain, Jarrold switched to high quality perfect bound magazines, notably Good Housekeeping and Vogue, using web offset rather than gravure and sheetfed offset.

Peter served as president of the BPIF, as had his father John, and was active in many local organisations, founding the John Jarrold Print Museum in 1982. He was also active on a European level working with similar independent print businesses across the continent on technical and business issues.

He retired in 1999 having been head of the business for 20 years. One of his later acts was to persuade Charles Jarrold to return to the family company. Charles says: “Peter was chair of the business, and instrumental in encouraging me back into the industry properly in 1998, so I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. 

“He took a keen interest in all the family, especially my generation, and meeting him, frequently for lunch, was always invigorating and great fun.  Peter was always so engaged with everyone, and especially customers. He understood instinctively that getting to know and understand Jarrold Print’s customers’ needs was key to making good business decisions. His energy, humour and sense of fun will be sorely missed.”

The company’s training scheme was admired and recognised across the country and many of the apprentices and trainees from Jarrolds have gone on to run their own operations locally and further afield.

Sean Smyth, now a consultant with Pira, was among these. “Peter really was one of the gentlemen of print. He was chairman of Jarrold Printing while I was there. I first met him when he interviewed me about a job and an interesting discussion about his daughter's graduation ceremony ensued.

“Peter would join investment negotiations, supporting the business at the forefront of technology which helped us win multiple awards and do clever things in book, magazine and catalogue printing. He knew everybody in print and publishing (and beyond) and was brilliant in developing partnerships, with suppliers as well as customers. I learned a lot from Peter and remain hugely grateful for the opportunity he gave me, and many more notable figures in the industry. The industry is poorer for his passing."

« »
Jarrold's factory

Jarrold's factory

Peter Jarrold was an old school printer who led Jarrold to become one of the most respected web offset printers in Europe, earning contracts from the likes of Conde Nast for Vogue. He founded the John Jarrold Print Museum in memory of his father who had sent him on a six month mission to switzerland to learn about printing.

Explore more...

Peter Jarrold, 1933-2019