Jepson & Co have been in the registration manufacturing game for years.
In fact, they are the oldest plate manufacturer in the country, so it’s fair to say that they know what they’re talking about! That’s why they provide all of our customers with their physical registration plates, and it’s also why they are the go-to company for 3D, raised digits on number plates. Join us as we take a look at Jepson & Co reign at the top of the number plate manufacturing game, from humble beginnings to present day, with innovations beginning with painted on number plates, ending with 3D, raised digit number plates and other cutting edge designs.
Let's take a look back at how Jepson & Co have innovated over the years and into the present day, with the introduction of the 3D, raised-digit registrations.
Humble Beginnings and a Desire to Innovate
With the introduction of number plates in 1904, there was a call for experts able to manufacture them. Step forward George Henry Jepson, who, with his now thriving sign writing business Jepson & Co, established in 1894, branched out into hand-painting number plates with white characters on black backgrounds.
So, after humble beginnings, George Henry shows first signs of a relentless desire to innovate and expand with the purchase of the George Mann lithographic printing machine. This technology, originally used for manufacturing multi-coloured shop window tickets for businesses like butchers, bakers and green grocers, allowed Jepson & Co to greet the year 1910 with an increase in production. They were also able to bring their own products to market, products like the embossed brass individual letters and figures that could more easily be applied to a base board. This was a pivotal moment in the company's history and gave Jepson & Co the opportunity to create easily interchangeable signs, which accelerated production substantially.
But that wasn't quite enough for George Henry, so Jepson & Co innovated further, this time developing their own range of embossed aluminium number plates which would go on to replace the handwritten method. Nationwide delivery and exports to South Africa also became common practice for the company during this time, so national orders and working with overseas distributors became integral to the business.
Around the year 1925, George Arthur Jepson, George Henry's son, moved things forward yet again with the family business. He developed a more cost effective number plate printing method of printing on a celluloid material, a predecessor to acrylic, instead of tinplate. This was done using the same George Mann lithographic printing machine purchased at the start of his father's journey at the turn of the century.
By the 1930s, the company continued to be successful, with its main business coming in the form of number plates, shop window tickets and notices for mines and factories. Unfortunately for everybody however, the effects of war began to take their toll on businesses around the country, and indeed the world. During the First and the Second Great Wars, Jepson & Co adapted to the extremely difficult economic climate facing wartime Britain and joined in the war effort, chiefly using their metal working expertise and moved away from number plates to spray and assemble steel helmets.
Two World Wars
Post-war, the business successfully adapted once again, this time due to the dramatic cultural changes in the 1950s and 60s. More and more cars were introduced on to the roads, and Jepson & Co reacted by refining production of embossed number plates. An advanced stove enamelling procedure coupled with a conveyor belt system was developed which decreased the time required to cure number plates. This meant that over 1000 blank plates could be stoved each day, ready for sale and hand digit riveting at trade customers’ premises. Eventually, Jepson & Co became masters of their own production and were producing the white and silver digits along with the blank plates all in-house, which made the business even more prosperous.
Realising that production was outgrowing the Wellington Street factory, the company moved to its current location on East Bank Road in 1976, where they oversaw change from pressed aluminium number plates to acrylic, realising the potential in the reflective material. Working with customers to define their needs and adapting quickly meant the company was able to they supply customers with this new style of plate before competitors and establish long standing relationships with customers, many of whom are still working with Jepson & Co today.
Having survived two world wars and into their third century of business, this still family-run company continues to innovate with a wide range of number plate printing technologies and methods.
Through the winter of 2019/2020, Jepson & Co carried out extensive testing and developed the premium 3D digits to add to their ever-expanding repertoire of expertise.
The all-new, self-adhesive 3D acrylic digits are another example of Jepson & Co continuing innovation. The 3mm thick digits are made with durable adhesive and available in packs of 5 for assembly. They are all tested to ensure the highest quality, are available as components so plates can be made on site, ensure a stronger bond thanks to a thick, durable adhesive and are supported by Jepson & Co's award-winning, vastly experienced team with best practice guides in place.
Jepson & Co are certified to ISO:9001 Quality Management Systems, have stringent in-house continuous improvement processes in every department and review quality performance and goals every month at board-level. This keeps them at the top of their game, and is why we work together so closely, meaning every plate you order from us comes from Jepson & Co. You lucky so and so!
In fact, Jepson & Co are so well-regarded, they were recently featured on TV's Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars, for their outstanding work within the field of number plate manufacturing. They give a fantastic insight into the process behind registration manufacturing and even print off a set of number plates for Drew Pritchard, who absolutely fell in love with the process and indeed the company. Take a look at the episode here.
So, if you’re in the market for a new number plate, get in touch with our expert sales staff who will happily match you to your perfect reg, and offer you the opportunity to display 3D, raised digit plates on your vehicle.
Give us a ring on 01642 363738 to find out more information and purchase your 3D, raised digit number plates.