Dave is head of brand consultancy at Fat Media in Lancaster
After going to art college, where I studied commercial art & design, I was offered an apprenticeship with Johnson Signs of Carnforth as a sign writer and gilder where I spent just over two years. My first real job was as a sign writer with a painting contracting firm up at Heysham Power Station where I worked for a year to save enough money to start my own signwriting business in 1982.
How do you relax after a hard day’s work?
I like to walk with my wife and two Border Terriers Ollie and Izzie in the woods close to my home in Southport as much as I can. When not doing this, or socialising with friends in Southport, Manchester and Liverpool, I like to clay pigeon shoot – something which is completely absorbing and a great way to end the weekend – whatever the weather.
Proudest moment in business?
Setting up my own marketing agency in Manchester back in 2004 which I ran for 10 years before Joining Fat Media. At the end of 2003 I decided I wanted to go my own way and take advantage of the exciting opportunities which existed in Manchester at the time, and get involved in some really exciting projects and companies. I moved to Manchester and threw myself into my business, the culture and of course the social life. It was a great time and I enjoyed every minute of it working with some brilliant people, agencies and brands.
Most embarrassing moment at work?
Going back to my early days as a sign writer I once spelt a client’s name incorrectly on the side of a new white van I’d just lettered in bright red paint.
What is your biggest vice?
I absolutely adore chocolate as well as anything coffee-flavoured! The drink obviously, but also cakes, mousse, truffles, ice cream. The list goes on. For obvious reasons I spend a lot of time at Atkinson’s coffee shop and café.
Who is the biggest influence on your life?
Although he passed away 10 years ago it’s still my father. He taught me patience, respect and to always do things to the best of my ability.
Word of business advice?
Don’t underestimate the value and power of good design. Having, for instance, a strong brand is a business critical element in presenting a professional image to the outside world and helping to both establish and promote credibility, trust and engagement.