Share this story...

derek lfr ed

Live with people you love, work with people you trust and respect, and write as if your life depends on it because, one day, it just might. Who said that? I did, and apart from the writing bit I think it works as an ideal life principle for just about anyone.

Of course ‘ideal’ is the catchphrase here. Not everyone has the opportunity to make that step into an ideal world, some will spend their lives with people they have to put up with (at best) and work in a job that fills them with loathing alongside people they hate. My heart goes out to them.

At some point I must have done something good enough to earn some luck. I’m married to my ideal partner and I work with people on Large Format Review (LFR) who offer a level of support, enthusiasm and professionalism that allows me to enjoy my job without undue pressure. This isn’t some sort of smug statement about how well off I am, it’s more profound than that. It’s about making the right choices and seizing opportunities when they present themselves.

I’ve been working within the sign industry for nearly two decades, and I have gained a number of friends over the years. The majority of people I’ve got to know have been hard working and intelligent businessmen and woman who know when to roll their sleeves up but also when to have a good time. I haven’t spent the last 19 years grinning like a loon but I have spent most of it smiling and laughing while talking with up-beat, positive characters who pepper their words with humour and more. So many off-the-record conversations, non PC, blue, vulgar and strange − long may they continue.

Gates of change

When the chance to work with Marc Burnett, Abi Ricketts and the LFR / Format team came onto the radar it felt very much like I was being invited to join an exclusive club whose motto is proudly displayed over the bright doorway ‘Sit scriptor habere nonnullus fun’ (Let’s have some fun) and laughter peals from the windows. Abi’s welcome grin has become one of the highlights of S&D UK and Marc’s rapid wit is notorious. Now I join them.

Work hard, we’re told, and enjoy the rewards. Joining LFR feels like earning a reward for doing what I enjoy most, writing. Polishing some decent prose or taking a poor sick puppy of a press release and nursing it back to life are meat and drink to me. Stripping out over-enthusiastic superlatives to uncover an item of real news or putting boots on the street and visit a supplier, manufacturer or workshop to create fresh copy and tell a good story well, this is what makes the week sing. I work out of the public eye most of the time and it’s my words that have to enter the spotlight. When the stage they must perform on is LFR, one of the best, most prestigious in the business, I’ll make sure they’ve polished their shoes and washed behind their ears so they’re fit for their new audience.

After 19 years of being made to feel welcome by the sign family I stand at the gateway of change and, strangely, it feels like coming home. But now it’s time to work, it’s a new day, but, to repeat the words Marc used when he gave me my invitation to join LFR, let’s have some fun along the way. Let me know what you think, contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cheers

Derek