Luxury Leader | Richard Osborne, Managing Director of Pureprint Group
Walpole’s Luxury Leader series focuses on member CEOs and MDs, to discover their vision for their brands, how they define success, and what inspires them. This week we meet Richard Osborne, Managing Director of Pureprint Group – printers of the Walpole Book of British Luxury – on the importance of being both makers and manufacturers, and the thrill of taking a project from concept to creation.
Grammar school educated, Richard chose not to go to University but instead started his career working at a Lloyds Underwriting Syndicate. Shortly afterwards he became a non-executive director of a small printing and publishing business, where he loved the fact they were manufacturers and makers – and to this day still enjoys the thrill of taking a print project from concept to creation.
What and does British luxury mean To You?
Heritage and function, combining craftsmanship and the best choice of materials. Less is always more.
What is the vision for the company?
To attract print from luxury brands and high net worth individuals, by offering a highly individual service and an artisan approach to what we do, but underpinned by an industrial capability.
What do you see as the future of luxury products?
Good design and always improving manufacturing techniques mean we constantly evolve, making differentiation more subjective and closely connected to the values of brands. New materials will challenge the conventions of what luxury looks like too, and so true luxury will need to work harder to be identified as such. Exclusivity and performance will be key. We see this in the world of books with short number editions being produced, using a combination of complex production techniques and layering of beautiful materials, to provide a tactile experience that new digital medias cannot compete with.
What inspires you?
The challenge of making. Being part of a team that has grown a business from small beginnings to now employing nearly 500 people in just 20 years. And developing the skills we need so we can produce beautiful printed and collectable books for discerning clients all around the world.
What is your key piece of advice for someone entering the luxury market?
To be involved with a product you are passionate about. I still enjoy bringing a copy of a book we have just printed home and giving it pride of place on my coffee table, before it goes in the bookshelf where it will remain relevant for many years, ring fenced from changing technology.
In a parallel life what would you be doing?
I’d have had the confidence to have visited new cities around the world much earlier than I did. Discerning clients want to work with the good companies and capable individuals, for too long we waited for them to find us. I now try and travel a week of every month.
My favourite luxury?
A quiet hotel room and a perfect pillow… in a busy city.