Julian joined the bookbinding section of the National Library of Wales in 1969, where he served a four-year apprenticeship in bookbinding, becoming Head of Binding and Conservation in 1981 and Manager of Conservation Treatment Unit in 2004. He has won many bookbinding prizes including first prizes in Designer Bookbinders and Society of Bookbinders competitions and in 2017 became a Distinguished Winner of the Silver Prize in the Designer Bookbinders International Competition. He has also acted as judge in fine binding and book conservation competitions. He was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 1996 and became its President in 2007. He is also a member of the Society of Bookbinders and has been Chairman of the North Wales and North West Region of the Society. Since 2001 he has been accredited through ICON, specialising in the conservation of Western Books. While at the library he was an Instructor for the Society of Archivists Conservation Certificate Training Scheme, and over 29 years trained 47 bookbinding and conservation students and international interns.
Since his retirement from the library in 2010, he undertakes book and paper conservation as well as commissioned design and edition fine binding. He has written articles on bookbinding and gives talks and workshops on different aspects of bookbinding at conferences and regional meetings of the Society of Bookbinders. He has fine bindings in the John Rylands Library, Bodleian Library, National Library of Wales, National Library of Scotland and bindings in many private bookbinding collections in the UK, Europe, USA, Russia and Japan. In 2012 he was given Honorary Life Membership of the Archives and Records Association and also awarded the MBE for Services to Conservation Science and Bookbinding.