Westley Richards & Co. Ltd. In Pursuit of the Best Gun 1812-2012. The second edition starts to take shape.

Cover Design 1

A week ago Colin Townsend and I started work on the second edition of our bicentennial book, ‘In Pursuit of the Best Gun 1812 -2012’.

I first met Colin 20 years or so ago whilst he was creative director at Zappia & Zappia, a design group here in the Midlands. Colin has worked with me now for most of my time at Westley Richards, time he has spent casting his superb eye over most of the things we do. I have heard whispers that he cannot understand why on earth he continues to come in to work with me under the ever increasing demands, criticism, general abuse and disappointment when his ideas are summarily dismissed. I guess it is a sort of love hate relationship we have endured over the passage of time! Certainly from my side I rely heavily on his judgement and the quiet polite manner of his telling me ‘no Simon’, it doesn’t actually require words, it is a look.

Colin was responsible, amongst many other things, for the design, layout and production of our bicentennial book, a book which received widespread acclaim and was certainly unique amongst the histories of the gunmakers so far. It was certainly a publication we were very proud of.

A designer of the ‘old school’ Colin is barely able to use a computer, certainly when we started the book he couldn’t and I have always thought that a good thing. We have always put everything we have worked on together based on his wonderful, traditional, felt tip ‘scamps’, such as you see here. Each and every ‘scamp’ is a little piece of artwork, one which immediately conveys a mood and message so much better than the computer generated versions of the modern designer ever could.

So today Colin brought in these 8 designs for the 2nd Edition book cover, they had no doubt taken him some days to produce and it took 10 minutes to decide which direction we would go from these.

I hope you like seeing the process behind the design and that you like our choice when you see it. The new edition of the book which we aim to release later this year will have an additional 32 page chapter, one that will show the guns we hadn’t quite finished when we went to press last time and will discuss entering our third century as we exited the great recession of 2009!

Of course you still have time to influence our choice so please do so in the comment box below! Me may listen…..!

Cover Design 2

Cover Design 3

Cover Design 4

Cover Design 5

Cover Design 6

Cover Design 7

Cover Design 8

22 thoughts on “Westley Richards & Co. Ltd. In Pursuit of the Best Gun 1812-2012. The second edition starts to take shape.

  1. There is no dispute. The ‘Gun Parts’ cover for sure.

    The Bishop is very nice as well, and though he was an integral figure in the company’s past, Westley Richards is, at its core, a gun making firm. I can think of no better display of the best gun making process than to show the parts of the whole.

    Wonderful.

    • Thank you Peter! I welcome the input and hope your comments and vote are the first of many!

      There will always be dispute!!

      Simon

  2. Morning Guys & Gals

    I like the Cover that shows the gun parts. No only is a gun nothing more than the sum of many humble parts. Much like one day at Westley Richards..just another day. But when put together they can create a masterful image. Whether its be beauty of guns or beauty of words and pictures in time. After all but what is everything but a sum of parts!! It is timeless, parts have been a player since the inception of Westley Richards!!

    Anyway that is my nickel’s work,

    In Christ
    Vance

  3. I saw on ‘The Explora’ that a second edition of your book is in the works. Simon asks for feedback, so here it is:

    Cover style: I vote for the walnut stock blank. The first edition shows metal in the form of color case hardening, so the other essential part of the gun, the wood, naturally follows in the second edition. Like the color case hardening it is simple and elegant, and accentuates upon opening the cornucopia of wonders contained within its pages. Then use the photo of all the bits and pieces of the gun for the inside board covers.

  4. I too prefer the ‘Gun Parts’ cover.

    It shows those elements that remain unseen once the gun is built and yet without which it would not function. Furthermore, each part is representative of the gunmaking team and their individual efforts that contribute to the finished weapon.

  5. I don’t feel this is too much hot air for the blog so am posting comment on behalf of A.N Other! Simon

    This too much ‘hot air’ for the blog so here you are, in order:

    8. Gun Case Croc – Too predictable, not good use of the space. Doesn’t highlight W-R.
    7. Materials Stock Black – Same
    6. Bishop, Historically critical, had his day in the sun in the first book.
    5. Engraving Plates, Gorilla had his day in sun also.
    4. Gun Wraps, I see all kinds of great guns on the blog all the time. What gun deserves that cover?
    3. Green- Something about it I like.
    Tie – Parts & Finished Locks – W-R method of delivering parts to Gunmakers and actually producing and delivering guns for clients is such a differentiator from the rest of the business. I think these two make that case. The finished locks ‘this is our marquee achievement’ (among others). Parts – modern economy of scale – yet leveraging the methods of handwork of the best quality Gunmakers, and more importantly the way forward. The parts are interesting. That transparency does not exist with any other maker.

    So no earth shattering insight there. That said, none of them are a mistake at all. It will be fun watching this develop and come together. Sorry so long winded!!

  6. And another ‘very well said’ one received by email:

    My two cents, err pence worth….
    Any number of people could design your book cover with most of the examples offered.
    Very few would have the eye and the insight to simply hone in on Bishop’s hands and the gun they are holding. I would offer that you and your company are in the tradition business as much as the gun business. If the detachable lock was invented today and you possessed all the modern machinery to make it you would still play hell to sell such a remarkable development without 200 years of tradition to back you up. Tradition brings respect and, even with your wonderful, almost frenetic drive and creativity I think the catalyst for your success stands to some degree on the shoulders of those clever, great characters who showed up at their benches and offices for now over two centuries.

  7. I must confess to liking the “Bishops Hands”, there’s something subtle about it. Looking forward to the book coming out, I missed out on the last edition simply through dithering, I won’t make the same mistake again.

  8. Good afternoon, Simon. Vance asked me to weigh in on your cover choices and of course, I had an opinion. Since this book will grace my coffee table as your other one,
    I am attracted to the the Gun Parts Cover. I fine it to be different, interesting, and very good conversation starter. Not many people knows or see what it takes to build a fine gun. The handwriting of the title needs to be cleaned up a little. But I look forward to seeing your results. Take care.

    • Thank you Charlene, I learned long ago to ‘keep the ladies happy and hopefully they will let their men buy guns!’ so your vote probably carries more ‘clout’ than Vance’s…even though it is the same cover!
      Best Wishes, Simon

      • Simon
        A lady I know (wife of my closest friend so nothing inappropriate) took up rifle shooting and joined my rifle club. In her case, her husband does not just allow her to buy guns, he buys them for her!

        As for me, I actually don’t ask permission, I just brace myself to feel the wrath!

  9. Bonjour Monsieur Clode Simon.
    It is still me, you know, French which annoys you all the time with his questions 😉

    But I note that my questions have been the subject of several posts in your blog. 😉 my questions inspire you! Short.

    First of all bravo for the work that your made and the sharing. I am among the first ones to have bought the book, moreover it was dedicated to me by all the team W. R including you Monsieur c. Simon. And I am certainly going to order the second edition.

    Now my question is; do you intend to make a version in French?

    very cordially

    Djamel Talha (Best of makers only gun)

    • I am not sure to which questions you refer as I believe this is the first comment approved of yours to date. Anyway thank you for your inspiration if that is the case!

      I am afraid I don’t have a plan to do a French version of the book, it was hard enough doing in my mother tongue!

      Simon

  10. I liked the gun parts initially — very striking — then thought it looks awfully busy, maybe best on the inside covers? I think # 6, the finished locks …

    Or maybe the Bishop’s hands — but is that too obscure?

    OK, # 6 it is

  11. Numbers 6 for me. I think Vic’s got a point that the gun parts looks somewhat busy, and the locks are such an iconic WR component and set off well by the hatched background.

    The parts would look great as an inside double spread I think.

    As ever, collective thanks to you for such a great resource as the Explora.

  12. Bonjour
    no, it was not here. I sent emails directly to your inbox. I do not know if you Remind, that’s me that you ask about the Golden Age, the CNC, how to rearm the mechanism of the droplock etc …
    to hearing from you
    best regards
    Djamel Talha

  13. Pingback: In Pursuit of The Best Gun 1812 – 2012. The History of Westley Richards by Jeremy Musson with Photographs by Terry Allen. The Second Edition. | Westley Richards

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