We took a moment to meet the other half of the leadership team, Friederike Slee, who runs the business alongside Simon.
Read below as we talk about the signage industry, what her role is in the business and her approach to the industry.
1. What is your job description within FASTSIGNS Hammersmith?
2. Tell us a bit about yourself, where you from, what you do outside of work?
I'm German and a trained landscape gardener and landscape architect by training (I can drive a digger and front loader). I've lived in 5 countries spread over 3 continents (Germany, NZ, UAE, Switzerland and UK). My days are split between the office and being a mum to two busy and creative girls.
3. What’s a fun fact about you related to work?
Most of the times when I go to meet a client they expect a man (due to my name and the perception of it as it's a male dominated industry) - so the surprise is always on my side.
4. Tell us about your background as a designer/installer/consultant?
Starting off as a landscape architect and working on sites, I've been working in the creative industry and doing design consultations for nearly 20 years.
5. What does your typical day usually entail?
A little bit of everything. Starting with keeping the other boss (Simon) in check. :) I oversee a lot of bigger projects and consultations. My day includes a combination of emails, site surveys, client meetings, design consultations, preparation of design and costing. Never a dull day.
6. What is the most interesting part of your job?
That no one day is like the previous. You never know what kind of jobs might end up on your desk and how every project is guaranteed to be different. I love the variety and that there's always a new challenge and something to find out and explore.
7. How do you approach a client brief/enquiry?
I listen. I think this is key to understanding a project. Secondly, ask questions. This helps you understand the client and their requirements in more detail. And then usually I try to slightly challenge their initial idea to ensure that we get the best results. Often clients’ have an idea but don't really know what they are after so listening is the most important element of our work and then applying all our knowledge to the situation.
8. How do you ensure every project is completed to the highest possible standard?
I always ask myself if I would like it - so I measure by my standards and if it doesn't pass my approval it's not good enough for the client. 'Would I be happy to receive that?' is always on my mind.
9. What is the ‘trickest’ signs/graphics to produce/install?
Anything new that we haven't done before. This presents a big learning curve both in the planning, production and installation phase. But this is also how we learn and grow.
10. What is your favourite type of signage to work on?
Any architectural signage. For example built-up letters and large wall graphics. Those which create an impact. And that requires a more technical approach with multiple aspects to keep in consideration or plan for.
11. What advice would you give a business interested in new signs?
Find the best balance between what you can afford and what you want. Don't overspend but spend enough to ‘wow’ your clients. Don’t go cheap for the sake of it - know what you can afford and find a good solution in your budget. Signage is worth every cent you invest in it. It is the image of your business and the way you communicate with potential customers or visitors.
12. What do you think is the benefit of investing in good signage for your business?
It's your first impression. Your biggest piece of advertising. It’s the cherry on top. You put a lot of effort into building and growing your business, why not showcase all that effort in top quality signage.
13. What are you looking forward to in the year ahead (2021)?
Growing our business and helping others to do the same.
14. What is your dream destination?
I always dreamt of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and would love to go to Nepal and Angkor Wat (Cambodia). But also would love to go to the Maldives and back to India. At the moment I'm happy to take a plane ticket taking me anywhere. The travel bug is big and I have a long wish list for places I’d like to visit.
15. If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I'm pretty happy with the path I’ve been on and what I do now... so never thought about it.
Give Friederike a call to find out how she can help you with your signage enquiry. She’s full of ideas and creative solutions. You can reach her and the rest of the team on email@example.com or 0207 751 1121. They are more than happy to help.