Garrod and Lofthouse

Garrod and Lofthouse were a British printing company based in Caterham, Surrey, who manufactured record sleeves.[1][2] In 1963, the company patented the design for Two-Piece sleeves that were used in the UK.[3]

The advantage of these sleeves, in the days of single colour printing, was that the 4 colour front was printed on a separate sheet to the single colour back and the two halves were then glued together as the sleeve was fabricated. The economics were that to produce say 1000 sleeves using the old method meant 4000 passes through a printing press; using the Two-Piece method the 4 colour fronts (two at a time) used only 2000 passes and the single colour backs (two at a time) went through only 500 passes. This gave a reduction in print costs of 37.5%. As the two fronts could be laminated together, it halved the amount of laminating time.

Because of these cost reductions the company were contracted to print sleeves for 90% of all EMI affiliated labels volume on the basis that they never produced a sleeve for Decca Records, their only major competitor. They are therefore credited on all original LP releases of the Beatles, including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[4]

Garrod and Lofthouse printed for most UK record companies outside Decca, and manufactured covers for France through a subsidiary Imprimerie du Nord. They were given special permission to press the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet (one of the first gatefold sleeves) and Sticky Fingers (manufactured with a metal zip glued down the front), as Decca's in-house staff could not manage the complex production to the volume required.

The company dissolved in the early 1980s, by which time sleeve manufacturing could be done by any generic process, and cassette and compact disc sleeves did not require carboard printing.


  1. "LP Output in Canada dips". Billboard. 15 September 1973. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  2. "London Gazette" (PDF). 13 June 1968. p. 6643. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  3. "Gramophone Record Sleeves Patent 943895". 11 December 1963. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. "Record Sleeve". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 13 October 2015.

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