Why we're loving ... Mick Pollard traditional signwriter, Mick the Signwriter

WHY: Mick Pollard is a traditional signwriter. His advertising credits include the current Kettle Foods campaign, for which he hand-painted each print execution.

Mick Pollard traditional signwriter, Mick the Signwriter
Mick Pollard traditional signwriter, Mick the Signwriter

Inside Pollard

- How did you get into signwriting?

I was in an infantry battalion and was so dangerous with a gun they took it off me and sent me to train with the Royal Engineers as a signwriter. Joke. In them days, each battalion had a domestic pioneer section that undertook repairs. I could earn a penny doing private stuff for the blokes, and when we went on exercises, we got to play with explosives and booby traps.

- What sort of projects do you do?

I have the ability to take on just about any type of work. I have lettered coffins, ships, aircraft, shops, walls, honour boards, vans, cranes, floors ... be it a coat of arms or a logo, plain or fancy lettering. A signwriter must be able to do lettering from a half-inch to 25 feet, marbling, graining, airbrushing, gilding, glass decoration, murals, pinstriping, carpentry, design work, coach painting, french polishing, heraldry ... in short, signwriters are a real but disappearing asset to their local community because we add beauty and style to our urban landscape.

- What are you most proud of?

My customers respect my knowledge and ability, and trust me to produce a job that will be effective advertising for their business, because a hand-painted sign has something that computer-generated signs lack: eye appeal. It doesn't matter how big or what materials it's made from, or how quickly it was made - it's the look that matters. A computer-made sign is generic and does not have a soul, so is generally not so effective as a piece of advertising.

- What inspires you?

Within the signwriting world, there is a thing called a letterhead meeting, where we learn new techniques. Some of the talent on show is really awesome, so we each up our game. No secrets are withheld, so if there is a method I am unsure of, I can phone other signwriters and get the information I need. Also, if a customer needs a job doing in Glasgow, say, I can pass that job to the nearest man.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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