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Company history

Wearset is a long-established, highly reputable company with a forward-thinking outlook and a dedicated team of longstanding employees. Here is a condensed version of the company’s history and also a deeper look at the culture that binds us together.

Company Timeline

David Staward started the company as Wearside Tradespools in 1983, working on supplying tradespools and keyboarding services to larger typesetting companies he knew through his 25-year career in the printing industry. Shortly afterwards, he was joined in partnership by Brian Tait, allowing the business to expand into proofreading services and build links directly with publishers.

By 1987 the company was providing typesetting services directly to publishers and had expanded further with two experienced hands joining from the print industry – Michael Carruthers and John Anderson.

The business had outgrown its original home by 1991 and moved from Sunderland into the current offices in Boldon. At the same time, the company changed its name to Wearset to better reflect the nature of the business. However, the winds of change had started to blow and experiments with an Apple Mac using the Quoin system had demonstrated the advantages of wysiwyg and future potential for desktop publishing. Over the next couple of years investments in QuarkXpress, Adobe Font Folio and the creation of a digital illustration studio cemented Wearset as one of the leading prepress suppliers in the country.

The expanding business took its next step in formally creating a project management department which allowed customers to delegate production control of their titles to a high-trust supplier. This proved popular with our customers in the academic and educational areas, which, along with their need for complex page design and artwork, led us to perfect our integrated working methods.

The company now had a structure based around four key teams – typesetting, studio, quality and project management. It became a limited company, with David, Brian, John and Michael as directors. In 2006 Andrew Cordiner joined the company as Commercial Director to allow David and Brian to approach their retirement. Sadly, David passed away in 2008 after his prolonged struggle with leukaemia, but the company continues to thrive based on his principles of quality, service and flexibility.

At the start of 2009 the company underwent a management buy-out, meaning our customers can remain confident of continuing to receive the highest possible levels of service.

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