Celebrating 25 years delivering exceptional print

Profile: Bob Stillwell print consultant

In the latest instalment of our Profile interview series we speak to one of our print consultants, Bob Stillwell. After a long career in advertising, print and publishing, including working with American Express and BBC Worldwide and a brief appearance on Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson, Bob now works for JPS Limited as a technical and colour specialist for web and gravure print.

Describe your role at JPS Limited in a nutshell?

My role is to press pass printed material, mainly consisting of 4 colour mail order catalogues, to the highest possible standard and ultimately to achieve a result that will satisfy clients.

When did you start working with JPS Limited?   

In 2002. I was officially due to retire then from BBC Worldwide when the opportunity with JPS Limited came up, but the BBC then retained me for a further two years so I found myself doing two jobs. I would often fly out to Italy after a day’s work at the Beeb to do a press pass for JPS Limited and fly back to be at my desk in White City the next morning, but because of the time difference often be there before anyone else.

Hectic times, but good fun.

What’s the one thing you love most about your job and why? 

Quite simply the people. My employers at JPS Limited must be some of the nicest people you could wish to work for. I have had the privilege of knowing Bridget Petty for a great many years and our paths have crossed continually over that time as we made our separate ways in the industry.

Being able to meet new people in the printing business, as well as maintaining old contacts, is also a great benefit of the job as well.

How did you end up in printing / print production?

My involvement with print first started at an advertising agency (later to become part of Saatchi & Saatchi) and then became more and more important through a long career that took in The Burton Group, The Rank Organisation, American Express and finally production management at the BBC working on their TV spin-off titles including Top Gear.

What did you want to be when you grew up and why?

I always had a yearning to go to sea, but after school ended up joining a leading London advertising agency as a junior which was a wonderful experience as you worked alongside incredibly eccentric characters that you would never normally expect to meet in a month of Sundays.

What is your biggest career challenge to date? 

Being hauled in front of a camera by Jeremy Clarkson without notice and told to do a piece to camera for Top Gear without a script. I thought it would end up on the cutting room floor, but amazingly, it was broadcast. I was told later that they were looking for an older man and I was the only one they could find!

What can make a ‘ordinary’ print project become ‘extra-ordinary’ and why? 

I don’t know really – I wish I had the answer to that one. I put as much effort as I can into every job I pass. Every job is unique in itself and deserves to be treated as such.

If you were on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?  

Not wanting to spend too much time as a castaway, I would take a rescue flare, desalination kit and a live chicken as I do like an egg in the morning.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? 

Walking away tired, but happy from a printing press knowing that you’ve done your utmost to achieve the best possible result.

What was your first record or CD? 

Bill Haley’s ‘Rock around the Clock’ on a 78rpm disc.

What has been your career highlight so far? 

Probably working for the then Burton Group producing mail order catalogues for their Womenswear division with total responsibility for design, fashion photography, repro and print. Complete fulfilment in one job. Fantastic.

What’s your favourite brand and why?   

The John Lewis Partnership because of their commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction.


Other posts from the blog

JPS Celebrates 25 Years

The JPS team celebrating at The Ivy, London Reflecting on the past, present and future of print in the digital age Since 1994 independent print management specialist JPS Limited has built a reputation among retailers and print suppliers for exceptional levels of service, quality and technical knowledge. Reflecting on a quarter of a century, directors John and Bridget Petty discuss changes in the industry, how JPS has adapted to provide fully integrated solutions, and their views on the future of…

Read more

Gracious Made appoints JPS Limited

Gracious Made, which sells stylish and quality-crafted homeware products, appointed JPS Limited to produce the business’ first printed and mailed catalogue. Founded by husband and wife team Harry and Sarah, Gracious Made was created to fill a void the couple noticed when trying to buy high quality homeware products and gifts which promote good Christian values. The business also provides charitable support to those in need.   Bridget Petty, commercial director of JPS Limited said: “Gracious Made is a really interesting business…

Read more

Plenty of cheer at our Christmas bash…and a toast to 2018

We love to host a Christmas party with our clients, suppliers and industry friends to raise a glass (or two) to a successful year working together to deliver fantastic print campaigns. The event, held in Covent Garden in London, rounded off a great year for the JPS Limited team. We’ve built relationships, existing and new, with the leading brands in fashion, home and lifestyle. Delivered innovative print campaigns that have generated outstanding results and return on investment. We’ve even found…

Read more

Hair today, gone tomorrow…to charity

JPS Limited junior account manager, Zoë Gibson, has pledged to shave off all of her hair to raise funds – and donate her hair to make wigs for children – for two charities which support children and their families coping with cancer. On 16th December, Zoë, aged 25, aims to raise £1,000 for the Leeds based charity, Candlelighters which helps support families facing children’s cancer in Yorkshire and the Little Princess Trust, a cause which provides real hair wigs for…

Read more

The Edit. managing the effect of the paper price increase, part 1

In the first of two articles to explore the recent paper price increase we interview John Petty, managing director of JPS Limited, and reveal his top tips for managing the rise without compromising on brand integrity, quality and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Read more

The Edit: Managing with the paper price increase, part 2

 Part two of our managing the effect of paper prices series, John Petty, managing director of JPS Limited, reveals five more top tips for coping with the rise without compromising on brand integrity, quality and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Read more

Profile: A journey into wanderlust with David Gordon at BAM, Bamboo Clothing

To say David Gordon, founder of BAM, has a varied CV would be an understatement. Between running a successful activewear clothing label, he also jets around the world competing as pole-vaulter, he has completed an impressive man-haul expedition across Greenland with a team of Gurkhas and has a stint as a trainee stunt man on his list of achievements. It may come as no surprise that David tells me he’s a man who rarely stands still for long… “I like…

Read more

JPS on tour: A paper mill, sub-zero Swedish temperatures and a ghost hunt

A few weeks ago, two members of the JPS Limited team jetted off to Sweden to attend a papermill academy hosted by Stora Enso to learn all the ins and outs of paper production, unaware that this trip would, among other things, lead them into a hunt for an infamous ghost-horse.   Day one. 11pm. What goes bump in the night Natalie Bishop, key account manager, and Zoe Gibson, junior account manager, embarked on the training programme to help their understanding of the…

Read more

Profile: Natalie Bishop

In our next Profile, we speak to Natalie Bishop, key account manager at JPS Limited. Based in the office in Otley, Natalie has been a member of the team for ten months. In her interview, we find out who her Hollywood celebrity crush is, along with why she loves The White Company’s brochures. Q. When did you start working with JPS Limited? A. I joined the JPS team in May 2016. Q. Briefly describe your role with JPS Limited. A.…

Read more

Look Book: Summer hot list

In our latest instalment of Look Book we review the Spring Summer print in fashion and lifestyle. So, let’s see which catalogues, brochures and direct mail campaigns have caught the eye of the JPS Limited team… Taking the top spot as our absolute favourite is Hush. It’s a brand, for us, that always gets it right. We love the mix of matt and gloss papers in this catalogue. It feels great and the difference in texture helps differentiate sections within…

Read more