Boydell and Brewer: Golden Year(s)

It’s true. I know we don’t look it, but this year Boydell & Brewer will be 50! That’s fifty years of leading-edge research, groundbreaking studies, and unique publishing projects. Fifty years of uncompromising independent publishing, with all the attendant benefits and risks. Fifty years of great authors and committed staff. Fifty years of editing, preparing, printing and marketing books that individually have added to our sum of knowledge and collectively have pushed boundaries, opened fresh fields of research, established new approaches and, we hope, inspired yet more authors, scholars, students and readers.

Those years have taken us from the earliest days, with Richard and Helen Barber, Derek Brewer and the invaluable backing of a handful of fine friends, to the trans-Atlantic company of today with a truly global reach, publishing and marketing hardcovers, paperbacks, and eBooks, monographs, collections, translations, editions, and multi-volume sets.

Boydell has – and remains – an unusual company, a blend of caution (wisely in the case of all things financial) and boldness (being very early adopters of eBooks and all manner of bibliographical technology, for one example). But one single overarching ambition guides everything: to publish the very finest new research from the best authors, editors and contributors. That impeccable standard has never changed and, we trust, never will.

This month we begin our year-long celebrations. Please join us because without our community we could not have done this.

On Instagram we will be charting Boydell in 50 Pictures with snapshots from our past and pictures of our present. There will be some lovely things to see so please follow us there.

Soon you’ll start hearing from current staff recalling the first B&B book that they worked on. But this is also the story of our authors and readers, so if you would like to send us your thoughts on the first B&B book that you read, bought, borrowed, referenced or even wrote please do! We would really love to hear your stories. You can email them to Sean at [email protected]

Boydell and Brewer 50th Logo

For this wondrous occasion, we had a specially designed logo created by the very talented Simon Loxley. Hear Simon’s thoughts behind his design:

“For the fiftieth anniversary of Boydell & Brewer I wanted to express in the logo the diversity of the imprints under the Boydell ‘umbrella’, the range of subjects and ideas that can be found in their books. So I decided against rendering 50 in numerals, and spelt it out instead – this gave me the capability to spread that diversity across five characters rather than two. With an ‘f’ in the middle of the word, there was the opportunity to use a long italic f, always an attractive, sweeping letterform, which immediately gave the design both weight and panache at its centre. Then the first ‘F’ was a serif letter, the ’t’ a sans serif. The ‘i’ I decided to make more geometric, almost abstract. I moved the dot off-centre, which then located it more evenly in the space between the two ‘f’s, but also suggested the unconventional, the free-spirited and the free-thinking, all qualities which can be found in Boydell books. Finally I rendered the ‘y’ in a medieval blackletter face, as a tribute to this founding element of the Boydell list when it began in 1969, and which remains such a cornerstone of its publishing today.” ⠀

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