You know the name, now get to know the person. Graeme Richardson-Locke, head of associations and technical lead at Fespa, talks about being a fan of The National, his love of photography and the Yosemite National Park
How and when did you start your career in the industry?
I first picked up a squeegee to print merch for local gigs in Brighton in 1984 — one colour only, stencil made in the bath and I couldn’t testify to the washfastness, as I was 16 and less concerned in those early days! In the same year, I got a job as a trainee screen printer for Halo Signs, which was a proper outfit.
What’s your most overused word or phrase?
Currently ‘Does it offer lasting value?’ is a favourite, but sometimes it’s ‘Oh, S*#T’ as I fall off my mountain bike on a trail!
Which three words would your friends use to describe your personality?
Enthusiastic, loyal and nerdy.
Which tune can’t you get out of your head at the moment?
I’m a massive fan of The National, so their latest single with Bon Iver, ‘Weird Goodbyes’, is my earworm of the moment. That one is always changing.
Staying upright on a mountain bike trail can be tricky at times, admits Graeme [right], pictured here with his wife Anne and their four sons
Salt and vinegar or cheese and onion?
Cheese and onion.
What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you at work?
There have been many great moments: I’ve been in this industry for nearly 40 years and have met many generous, funny and creative people who have taken the time to help a curious printer become better. I’ve enjoyed being the recipient of several industry awards, including a Fespa Silver award in 2015. I became a member of the Fespa judging panel back in 2016 and am looking forward to the privilege of repeating the process this year. A most treasured moment was having Michel Caza [co-founder of Fespa] as a house guest over a couple of days to discuss the technical minutiae of screen printing.
What’s your hidden talent?
I’ve become a pretty useful photographer. Portraits are a pleasure, although spending time this summer in Yosemite trying to emulate Ansel Adams with my medium-format Fuji GFX was way up my list of amazing experiences!
What’s your greatest ambition?
To contribute in some small way to building sustainable business and reducing pointless consumerism.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
One scotch, one bourbon and one beer in the company of John Lee Hooker.
Is there another job you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve never been happier than I am at my job now, but if I’d chosen another path it would have been as a fine artist.
Where is the best place you’ve visited?
That’s tough. Tokyo was incredible, but probably pipped to the post by Yosemite National Park.
Which gadget or app couldn’t you live without?
My Fuji GFX medium-format camera.
If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?
The late Right Honourable John Smith, former leader of the Labour party: “How do we achieve a political system where those in power use the privilege to serve the best interests of the majority? Or, more simply, can we clone kindness?”