History of Lion
LION has been in business since 1977.
Browse our photo album to see some pictures of us over the
years, as well as cover artwork from the Lion Trade Catalogue going
back to 1980. Below that you can read a potted history of the
History of Lion
LION was founded in 1977 by Martin Harrold and started as a
picture framing business specialising in aluminium frames. With a
background in vehicle parts marketing Martin soon saw that there
was an opportunity to distribute picture framing supplies as well
as offering a framing service. Within a few years distributing
supplies had become a much greater part of the business and with
the move to the current premises in 1987 LION disposed of its
framing service to concentrate on distribution.
To begin with, LION specialised in supplying framing hardware
and sundries using a catalogue and trade shows to present the
products to customers. Over the years this catalogue became widely
available. As the company grew more product ranges were
added, significantly framing equipment and a range of digital
printing products under the Fine Print brand. More recently
there has been a significant extension of the moulding ranges, both
traditional wood mouldings and LION's own polymer mouldings under
the Minerva brand. The Lion team is over 60 strong and works from
nearly 70,000 sq ft of warehouse facilities.
In January 2001 LION South opened at Hayes near Heathrow
offering both a trade counter and a van delivery service into
London and surrounding areas. In 2010 a second van route was added
and the warehouse was doubled in size.
Lion has been an active member of the Fine Art Trade Guild for
many years and was a founder sponsor of the Guild Commended Framer,
GCF, qualification and still hosts the test in the Birmingham
A regular exhibitor at trade shows both in the UK and abroad,
LION exports to over 60 countries. The Lion website with on-line
ordering is also offered in both French and German. An associate
company in Russia, LION Art Service, established over 14 years ago,
is a significant supplier to Russian framers and galleries.
LION celebrated its 30th birthday in 2007 with a
Framers Event at the Birmingham warehouse which has since been
replicated both in Birmingham and at Lion South. Recognising that
education is vital for the continued growth of the framing trade,
LION is a supporter of the Fine Art Trade Guild's ' Meet Learn
Celebrate' and is planning new training initiatives of its own.