In 1935, renowned New Zealand literary figure Denis Glover, together with a partner, borrowed £100 for a new press and formed The Caxton Press. They set up in an old wooden shop at 129 Victoria St where they stayed for fifteen years.
Following a move to 113 Victoria Street, the business was developed by one of Glover’s original partners, Leo Bensemann, and Dennis Donovan. They sold the business in 1978 - handing the reins to the current shareholder and managing director Bruce Bascand. Peter Watson , director joined in 1983.
The computer age transformed the printing industry. Caxton continued to incorporate the latest printing and creative technologies, yet at the same time keeping its long tradition of fine quality and craftsmanship.
When the Canterbury earthquakes devastated the region in 2010 and 2011, Caxton’s building's sustained considerable damage. The business was kept running throughout, despite being locked out in the CBD 'red zone' for 10 weeks. But the quake damage prompted a desire to relocate and build Caxton’s base bigger and better than before. In October 2014 Caxton relocated their printing presses to our new location in Wigram. The customised building will allow Caxton to deliver a higher level of service to our customers.
Caxton is dedicated to being sustainable. We choose to make a difference through environmentally friendly production, while maintaining our printing craft precision.
We want to lead by example and this is how have achieved our sustainability goals:
- We were one of the earliest Christchurch companies to be recognised by Christchurch City Council’s TargetZero programme for our environmental practices.
- We minimise our landfill waste by recycling all offcut paper, cardboard, aluminium printing plates, plastic bottles and plastic wrap from pallets.
- We offer our non-recyclable dry waste to the Recovered Materials Foundation and Creative Junk for public use. All other dry waste goes to EnviroWaste for further sorting of recyclable material. Overall, less than 5% of our waste goes to landfill.
- Our newest printing press makes use of leading technology to reduce paper and chemical waste, energy consumption and even noise.
- We run inks with environmentally friendly vegetable oil content.
- We prefer paper from sustainably grown fibre.
- We use a water-soluble lo-chem CTP and platemaking process.
- We use energy-saving lighting throughout our building.
Caxton is proud to be a Christchurch printing company and we aim to give back to our community. One of the organisations we support is Christchurch’s Court Theatre. The Court Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre that stages local productions. It relies on sponsorship and funding to do so. For over twenty years Caxton has been designing and printing for The Court. We produce their show programmes, posters, fliers and other promotional print work.