Having worked in the sign industry since 1981, Keith decided to set up his own sign company in 2005 and named it after the song ‘Freebird’ by the Southern American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd (also famous for their song ‘Sweet Home Alabama').
Freebird Signs had been built on what Keith was taught in the 1980’s about the sign industry – that quality, value for money and customer service should be the driving force behind the signage you produce for customers.
Keith trained as a traditional signwriter at Hammersmith and West London College, qualifying in 1981.
Keith chose this career after his mother found him doodling on his school books and bedroom walls.....!
So rather than get a 'normal' weekend job as a teenager, such as a paper round, he instead got a Saturday job working for a traditional signwriter in West London, working out the back of a Renault 6, travelling all over London signwriting fascias, signs, even putting gold leaf underneath Hammersmith Bridge!
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After 2 years at college, Keith qualified in Signwork and, as his teacher handed him his certificate, he was greeted with 'well done - that's the good news but then the bad news is that computers will take over from traditional signwriting'.
The teacher wasn't wrong - but Keith managed to find a job with a sign company who still practiced the traditional art, even doing traditional screen printing.
By the late 1990's the traditional art was no longer in demand, and so Keith spent several years not using his skills but instead using modern plastics and vinyls.
In 2005 Keith reached a turning point (or as some might call it a mid-life crisis!).
Fed up with computers and commercialism, he decided to go back to his roots of quality, service and skill.
So he left the company he had worked with for nearly 25 years and set up his own business, putting the focus back on quality, service and skill - using his traditional signwriting skills once again.
In 2021 he still kept the quality, service and skills but he decided to stand back and just deal with window, vehicle and internal wall graphics as he's had enough with working at height and fitting posts in the ground now.
Here's another song you might know by Lynyrd Skynyrd.....
Sweet Home Alabama.