William Smith Group 1832 has a history which dates back over 185 years. A family run business, we have diversified in many different and unexpected ways.

Life did exist before we became one of the UK’s largest distributors of self-adhesive vinyl. Our very first invention, a horse-drawn mechanical street sweeper, paved the way for us to adapt and grow, evolving as a manufacturer of snow ploughs, tar sprayers, mobile cabins  to  a modern and innovative business which services the sign and graphics industry in the current day.

Key milestones of William Smith…


  • Became a limited company
  • Partnership with 3M began


  • Became the first company to invest in plotters
  • Offered pre-spaced letters and logos for the first time


  • Scotchprint graphic sales peaked 1998
  • Media and other consumable sales began to see a significant rise in 1999
  • Material distribution became the core of our business


  • In 2005 we became the sole UK distributor of the ROLLSROLLER applicator
  • HP Latex print technology launched in 2009
  • Increased hardware range with more printers, cutters and laminators


  • Company introduces late evening ordering up until 6pm
  • In 2015 we launched an ecommerce website, providing customers with access to products at the click of a button
  • Our partnership with Arlon began 2011
  • We started distributing VION in 2015

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  • Global manufacturer Avery Dennison become a partner of William Smith
  • A new warehouse with treble capacity is built on the outskirts of Barnard Castle
  • The company launches the Smith brand to sit alongside the already existing William Smith distribution arm

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  • The company diversifies into architectural markets and launches the Architextural brand as a result
  • Because of growth and the various markets the company operates in it launches William Smith Group 1832
  • William Smith Group 1832 rennovates the old factory and turns it into a dedicated training facility. 

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