Signature Gifts – Who We Are
- Signature Gifts was launched in 2003 by Kevin Spindler and Mike Herbert
- In 2013 Signature teamed up with Debbi Hancock, founder of PGUK, to create Signature PG (SPG)
- Signature’s HQ is in Harpenden, Herts. SPG based in Stoke-on-Trent.
- UK newspaper archive and warehouse plus print and book manufacturing based near Wigtown, Scotland.
- The company employs over 100 people, most of whom work in our printing and archive warehouses.
The Beginning – An Archival Goldmine of History
It was the summer of 2003. Long-time friends and business-savvy gentlemen Kevin Spindler and Mike Herbert had created an exciting new company that they felt had much potential. Personalised gifts in all sorts of forms that would be manufactured and drop shipped to customers of online retail companies. Signature Gifts was born.
In 2003, online retail was still very much in its infancy, and the first e-commerce website had been set-up just nine year prior. Nine years in the gift industry is a long time however, and even back in 2003 it was clear that the upward trend for e-commerce websites was going to continue. However, not even Nostradamus himself could have predicted just how successful and in demand online retail would become. The Office for National Statistics state that in 2018, sales for online retailing of non-food products rose by a massive 17.3% from the year previous, and online sales now accounted for 18.2% of the whole of the retail sector in general. With these stats in mind, the decision by Messrs Spindler and Herbert to set up a business to supply online retailers back in ’03 was a master stroke.
It all started with the acquisition of Historic Newspapers, who owned the largest archive of original newspapers in the UK. Roughly 5 million newspapers sit safe and secure in a warehouse the size of an air hangar in Baldoon, an idyllic location on the west coast of Scotland. Newspapers held there would be as fresh as the most recent week’s editions and go all the way back to presses from the Victorian era. Papers would be picked, pressed to look good as new, and then carefully placed inside a gift box alongside a certificate of authenticity – personalised with the recipient’s name before being shipped out to the customer who had ordered it.
Original newspapers are a fantastic insight into a particular period and make for fascinating gifts to give; especially for landmark occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. The longest running Signature Gifts product shows no signs of slowing down – nearly 260,000 original newspapers were sold between January 2016 and December 2017, a phenomenal amount.
Newspaper Books – Windows of History Relevant To You
Alongside the acquisition of Historic Newspapers, Signature Gifts acquired the existing production of newspaper books that were manufactured in Wigtown, aka “Scotland’s National Book Town” and only a stone’s throw away from the newspaper archive in Baldoon. A license with the Mirror group ensured we had access to an archive of Mirror newspapers that go way back to the early 20th Century when the Mirror used to be known as The Sunday Pictorial, and meant we could create bespoke books full of newspaper content pertaining to different subject matter and time frames. Examples of these books include headlines and other major content from every birthday or other date of your choosing, and books dedicated to a sports team or event documenting successes and landmark events throughout history. These books are A3 in size and are bound in a leatherette or a choice of coloured leather covers, and can be embossed with the recipient’s name as well as featuring an easy-peel label with a personal message that appears on the opening page. Over the years, the newspaper books have constantly evolved to stay relevant in today’s market, from improved covers and embossing designs, to new lines commemorating celebrity icons such Muhammad Ali or David Bowie. Sporting books are also updated every year to include the most recent season or event. These updates provide us with the unique capability of keeping an old product fresh and relevant, and to this day they remain one of our most popular products.
Our license with the Mirror grants us access to an extensive archive of copies of the Mirror that go back to the early 20th century.
More recent articles are available in colour pages
We have an extensive collection of sports books that are dedicated to individual teams.
Check out the below links to browse our selection of newspaper books.
Expansion: New Products and a Third Production Facility
In 2009 we celebrated our 5th birthday, and had started producing personalised calendars and posters amongst other things, all designed by a highly skilled team based in Harpenden, south of the border and home to both Kevin and Mike. With an ever expanding inventory, it was decided that these new products would need their own production facility. In 2009 the third production facility opened its doors, located just minutes from the Harpenden HQ.
Our Customer Service
We take a great deal of pride in our Customer Service. Our contact details are easily found on all of our websites. And our phone lines are always answered promptly because we don’t believe in annoying multiple touchtone options.
We also provide easily accessible facilities to further enhance our after-care service. These include our online tracking service, through which an order status can be checked, as well as a facility that allows customers to change their personalisation details after ordering.
It’s worth noting that because we create and manufacture the products ourselves, there’s always the assurance that we can solve issues quickly, without having to go through numerous third parties.
Our companies are currently located in three locations in the UK. Our SG Head Office is in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, our UK newspaper archive is in Wigtown, Scotland and SPG is based in Stoke-on-Trent.