Inspired by the Past, Innovating the Future
For those in the know, the name Leach comes with a long list of accolades stretching back to the late 1800s. As a British heritage brand specialising in printing, we have witnessed huge changes within the industry and have remained at the forefront of modernisation.
As we move into our 131st year, our innovative graphic displays are coveted the world over and used in all manner of sectors. Keep reading for a whirlwind tour of the Leach journey through history, from its inspirational past to its innovative future.
Pioneers in Print Production
The story begins in 1891 when a 20-year-old Victorian lad named Arthur Holdsworth Leach bought a photography studio in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. Despite his age, Arthur was a hard worker and soon built up a respectable business with a reputation for high-quality workmanship.
Known as A H Leach & Co, it was one of the oldest photographic laboratories in Britain and part of a rapidly developing industry. Arthur became well known for his efficient hand-printing, as well as for his hand-coloured black and white images before colour photographs became commonplace.
In 1892, Arthur began taking on print production for other photographers, with work escalating during the First World War due to the increase in demand for portraits. Leach Photowork was created in 1919 to satisfy the new advertising market and still forms the basis of the business today.
Historic Claims to Fame
The mid-twentieth century saw the Leach brand reach even greater success. In 1950, we secured our first major heritage client, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, followed two years later by the first official portrait images of Queen Elizabeth II used on the iconic stamps.
In 1960, the business produced the first run of publicity prints for The Beatles and secured its first retail display roll out with Joseph Hepworth tailors in 1962. Leach even made it into the Guinness Book of Records in 1974 with the production of the world’s largest jigsaw.
More Recent Accolades
In the decades that followed, Leach continued to develop its reputation as one of the world’s leading visual display creators. The expansion into the world of digital imaging came in 1991 followed by winning The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2008.
After becoming part of the Chargeurs group in 2018, the business continued to develop its product ranges and to take on ambitious international projects. Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, in 2022 Leach successfully rebranded and launched a new Eco Materials range.
Turning Inspiration into Reality
At Leach, we believe the world is our canvas. During our long history, we have continually innovated and expanded our products to achieve ever more creative outcomes. Our team have been part of some truly remarkable projects, from the Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre and Belfast Grand Opera House to the more recent Corian® interactives for the ‘Oman Across the Ages’ exhibit.