Cranfield’s aim is to fill your life with spectacular hues. Which is why, for three generations, the home of Caligo inks, Spectrum Paints and the Cranfield brands of Artists’ Oil and Traditional Printmaking inks has used a time-honoured dry-colour process to create something special. Designed by craftspeople for craftspeople, our products are served up with an equally vibrant service and attitude. The results have inspired artists the world over – providing them with colours that last so their reputation does too.
Colour has been in the family’s blood since the late 1920s, when George Craine Snr. (our present MD’s grandfather) started at Johnson & Cumbers. Working in London’s Sugarhouse Lane, a hub for the ink making industry and where the Olympic Village now stands, George Snr. learnt his craft in an age when the artist’s needs always came first.
As the needs of conventional printers changed and the traditional colour making skills, machinery and methods began to die out, George Craine (Junior), preferring the ‘old ways’ and knowing them to be more suited to artists’ products, set up the Cranfield Group in 1976, using traditional processes to create top quality dry pigment inks.
Cranfield was born. Artists found that there were fewer and fewer artisan colour-makers around. When they realised Cranfield had the knowledge and the machinery to create dry-colour inks they flocked to them. George responded by making sure he understood exactly what these artists needed – and the rest is history.
In 2009 we finally found a paint maker whose values matched our own – and Spectrum Paints joined the Cranfield family. The Spectrum brand had enjoyed an enviable position in the British art scene of the 1960s and 70s.