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  • Direct to Media PrintingDirect to Media Large Format Printing - Print your image directly to a material of your choice. Print directly to Perspex, aluminium, wood, glass, Dibond, Slate and more.
  • Professional Photographic PrintingProfessional photographic printing including C type prints, Giclee prints to black and white prints. Lambda prints, large format Lightjets and Duratrans.
  • Photographic Framing and MountingFull bespoke photographic framing options from classic wood frames, card, Fomaex, Perspex photo mounting to specially designed lightboxes.
  • Creative Retouch ServicesA talented team of London creative retouchers who combine expertise with creative advice for professional photographic services.
  • Photographic Film Processing & ScanningPhotographic film processing and scanning, offering a wide range of high quality photographic film lab services in London.
  • Student Photographic Printing & Processing Student services for photo printing, mounting and framing plus film lab services for end of year shows and exhibitions.
  • 1980

    Ben Richardson and his best friend from school, Mike Trevillion, set up Metro as a two-man operation providing black and white printing from premises in Great Titchfield Street. Charlotte Wylie joins them soon after, so they have to start behaving themselves. An energy and passion for the business soon earns Metro a reputation for quality and innovation and establishes the UK's original photographic imaging company.
  • 1982

    The business rapidly expands as a skilled and committed team is established, and R-type printing is introduced.
  • 1983

    The team pass round the hankies when Mike leaves Metro to start a new project. He remains thankful they didn't buy him a carriage clock! Ben takes over the challenge of keeping the business moving forward, whilst maintaining and improving their core values of client and staff care. Meanwhile, the lovely Chris Jackson joins to set up the colour department.
  • 1985

    Metro relocates to larger premises in Great Sutton St, and introduces E6 processing at Clerkenwell Rd. Always looking for new ways to best meet the needs of its clients E6 is soon expanded into a 24/7 facility.
  • 1990

    Building on the success of their 24/7 E6 lab, Metro open another in Chelsea. At the same time a colour laser-copying department opens in Clerkenwell Rd.
  • 1992

    Two photographic hire studios are opened in Peartree St.
  • 1993

    As an industry innovator, Metro expands into the field of electronic imaging, to run alongside their traditional silver halide-based imaging.
  • 1995

    Metro moves into its new premises at 76 Clerkenwell Rd. The five-storey building has been completely refurbished to provide the most up-to-date facilities, including a purpose built daylight hire studio to complement its existing studios.
  • 1996

    The colour department is expanded to respond to the increasing demand for C-type printing. A 24/7 C41 colour processing and contacting service is also introduced.
  • Jan 1998

    Metro opens a third branch in Soho, offering 24 hour E6 and C41. The Retouch department needs more space and moves from the Electronic Imaging department (now Digital Services) into the basement of this branch. Pre-Press is added, to complete the services offered by Retouch.
  • Mar 1998

    Metro recognises that an increasing number of photographers want to work on a one-to-one basis with its renowned specialist printers. They launch Metro Art to produce custom prints of the highest quality and guarantee a level of service second to none. This exciting new department is given its own premises in Great Sutton St, and a mounting and finishing department is also launched.
  • 2001

    As the business evolves Metro Online is launched to offer a range of services to manage visual assets online. Never a company to rest on its laurels, Metro then buys a controlling share in the lighting hire company Direct Lighting to complete their end-to-end service, which now also includes film sales. Direct's Steve Knight is given a nice cup of tea, a posh biscuit and welcomed into the family.
  • 2003

    A keen eye for what's going on in the industry sees Metro launch a Digital Shoot Hire department to cater for the increased migration to digital capture.
  • The Horsemen


    It's cheerio to the Chelsea branch, as the migration to digital continues, and howdy partners to The Horsemen, as Metro acquires this company to become the largest and most respected player in the market.
  • 2006

    Metro, Direct and The Horsemen are consolidated to become trading brands of The Metro Group. Direct also moves to new premises in Waterloo and a hire studio is incorporated and run as Metro Studios.
  • 2007

    Metro's characteristic adaptability and flexibility, which has kept them thriving at the forefront of an ever-changing market, sees them relocate to cosier premises in Great Sutton Street as the demand for film processing and printing continues to decline.
  • LYJ logo2008

    Metro closes the Soho branch and shakes off the past with a new logo. Direct take over the running of the studios in Hercules Road and form a new partnership with Little Yellow Jacket following the disbanding of The Horsemen brand.
  • 2009

    Metro take delivery of one of only ten Superwide Lightjet 500XL printers making us one of only two commercial printing labs in Europe to be able to print to 72” wide.  It is the only photographic printer in the world which can print to 10ft x 6ft in one section making it the number one choice for fine art photographers.
    The Lightjet had to be craned over the building into the courtyard at the back whilst Great Sutton Street was closed a wall was dismantled and rebuilt around the printer!
  • 2011

    A very busy year - Metro launches the new online print service – Metroprint.  This colour-managed, print ordering service provides all the expertise and professional service Metro have always offered with the added benefit of not having to leave your screen.

    Metro continues to expand and introduces
    its Inkjet Creative Studio offering the latest
    generation Epson machines so clients can now
    experiment with outstanding quality prints of up
    to 64” in a uniquely equipped studio facility.

  • 2012

    Metro is granted the Royal Warrant by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. This is a mark of recognition of our close relationship as a supplier and over many years, to the Duchy of Cornwall, as well as a commitment to the highest standards of service and excellence. To date HRH The Prince of Wales has granted only 159 warrants making us one of a select group of companies and individuals.

  • 2012

    The Metro mounting department expands to now include bespoke, handmade frames. Our new finishing department opens in Vauxhall and offers a full range of mounting and framing options as well as Lightboxes. This end-to-end solution is the perfect package for artists looking for production management, printing, retouch, finishing and installation all under one roof.

  • 2013

    Metro spots a gap in the market and develops the free Metroprint Instagram app for iPhones and Androids, to compliment the current print service for online orders. Being a professional fine art lab and at the forefront of the business, Metro now offers full services on all levels to hobbyists, amateurs and pros alike. 
  • 2014

    Forever looking for new and innovative services to offer clients, we purchase a Jetrix Flatbed Direct To Media printer. This new machine opens up a whole new range of services we can provide as the image is printed directly to the material, cutting out the photographic print option. This means a faster service, quicker turn around times and of course multiple options for print. Choose from Perspex, Aluminium, wood, glass and so much more - limited only to your imagination. 
  • 2015

    A busy year for Metro: we went to China with The Photographers' Gallery to produce over 400 prints, we gave our iconic Front of House at Great Sutton St - a brand new gallery space! We kick it off with a Direct to Media exhibition to co-inside with the widely acclaimed Clerkenwell Design Week, proving that not only are we a photographic lab, but we work with all creatives, word wide. We also design a brand new site for Metroprint, now users can order prints, mounting and framing from their computer, tablet or phone.
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