We both started out in the trade straight from school. Ed started in 1962 screen-printing with ‘modern design’ in Dundee. Then a job in London hand cutting stencils for major clients like ‘Guinness’ was another aspiring move. Valentines greeting cards was his next challenge, learning fine art lettering, which inspired his next move….self employment. Producing mainly screen-printing graphics & signage. Nicola then joined forces with Ed in 1983, after a year in the Dundee Rep theatre designing & producing stage sets. We both work brilliantly together, obviously as interests are shared. Our customers are mostly repeat business, which is what we have striven for over the years. Being particular and ‘fussy’ is certainly what the customers want.
1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN OUR TRADE?
Ed 44 yrs Nicola 22 yrs
2. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN SIGN MAKING?
We are both very artistic and have always had a passion for producing and wanting to show our work in the commercial world
3. IF YOU WERE ABLE TO START OVER, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTELY?
Yes definitely, would have been more eager to buy the latest equipment that was around at the time, you only realise this obviously as the years go by, when your customers are demanding there products quicker
4. IF YOU HAD A CHOICE JUST NOW, WHAT PIECE OF EQUIPMENT YOU MOST LIKE TO OWN & WHY?
We are seriously considering a large format printer, as more & more customers are asking for the service on a daily basis
5. HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR BUSINESS HAS DEVELOPED, SINCE STARTING?
It has developed immensely. It has steadily turned over at the pace we wanted, from just ourselves producing work in the beginning, to nine staff printing 40,000 pieces of material a week for LEVI STRAUSS, using the latest semi-automatic screen-printing machinery. That was the most challenging contract we have tackled, and a learning curve into mass production. We went back to just working for ourselves, which we enjoy now even more, our artistic skills ‘flow’ better when the pressure is off!! No more HUGE overheads, we work all the unforeseeable hours, but at a speed we enjoy.
6. DO YOU HAVE A CHOSEN SPECIALITY?
Ed’s is his hand lettering, from sign writing one-off signs to smaller detailed fine-art signage. Nicola’s has jumped from the sign writing to CAD design and applying all vinyl work.
7. IS THERE A GOAL YOU ASPIRE TOO?
8. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE SUPPLIER AND WHY?
Good question!! All suppliers differ in either, quality products, great delivery, Terrific prices, but they all have their ‘niche’ in the market, but have bad points too….so EUROPOINT DISPLAY SPANDEX VECTORWISE RACOON Are just a few, which all have the above, but in different ways!!
9. WHAT IS YOUR PET HATE ABOUT THE SIGN BUSINESS?
Shoddy work, is our major grumble with the trade just now, people accepting Work, which we would not put out our front door.
10. DO YOU FIND THE INTERNET HELPS YOUR BUSINESS?
It definitely works for us, as communicating with customers is such a breeze And now with all the fast technology…graphic media is just a click away!!
10. HAS REGISTERING WITH THE UKSIGNBOARDS.COM BEEN OF BENEFIT TO YOUR BUSINESS & IF SO WHY?
Goodness me, do you want an answer? (ha-ha) of course it is has!! Being in this trade you learn new things everyday, from new products (especially in the screen-printing) to technological hardware, and most importantly being together as a group sharing all our knowledge to help others
11. WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE SIGN BUSINESS?
Have confidence in your abilities…strive towards producing quality and most importantly…enjoy it at the same time!!