Heaven and Hell: With Scott Braker and James Archer
- Credit: Contributed
Scott Braker and James Archer are owners of Coastline Graphics at Bury St Edmunds.
They think outside the box, which is reflected in the exciting projects they undertake, ranging from wrapping trains for the BBC, helmets for RAF fighter pilots, to full branding, design, packaging and more.
They champion many charities.
During the pandemic they have donated over 10,000 stickers to the NHS, to help staff identify each other as they adapt to wearing their PPE.
What’s the impact of Covid-19 and how are you adapting?
J: This pandemic has affected us all in so many ways in both a personal and business sense.
During the first lockdown we had to adapt really quickly to the new working landscape, juggling working from home, furloughing and looking after staff and ultimately keeping the business running.
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We received little help from the government (other than the Job Retention Scheme) and had to find new ways to continue trading and paying the bills.
We created a ‘return to work guide’ to help other businesses make their workspaces Covid secure in preparation for the end of lockdown, this proved immensely popular and kept our printers running full time.
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More recently we have had to adapt our working environment to be safer for our staff.
One-way systems to avoid contact, social distancing and face masks have become the new norm in the work place.
We have also found that we can really take advantage of technology.
Zoom meetings, cloud based servers, working remotely and all the processes involved have actually worked really well.
It all does have an effect but I think it shows the British resilience that we can carry on (without too much moaning).
What advice can you give to our readers?
S: Just keep communicating - with friends, family and colleagues and embrace modern technology until we can all come face-to-face again.
What is your connection to East Anglia?
J: I grew up in the Yorkshire Dales before moving to Suffolk and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve got a lot of family scattered across East Anglia.
What is your East Anglian Heaven?
S: Thetford Forest mountain bike trails.
Spending time there, either early in the morning, or, after work, combines being
in touch with nature and keeping fit.
What is your East Anglian Hell?
J: I love East Anglia, I love its diversity in both people and landscape but I have to say it is very flat compared to the rolling hills of the Dales!
What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?
S: Not the most beautiful building in the region, but, the British Sugar Beet Factory in Bury St Edmunds, as upon seeing it on the horizon, from the A14, I know I’m close to home.
What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
J: Way back when events were allowed to proceed I loved the Suffolk Show in the summer and the Christmas Market in Bury St Edmunds in the winter.
What’s your specialist Mastermind subject?
S: Family Guy.
What is always in your fridge?
J: Milk, a cup of tea in the morning (and throughout the day) is essential!
What’s your simple philosophy of life?
S: Never stop learning! I’ve recently become a huge fan of podcasts, which, I listen to whilst fitting graphics... working and learning!
What’s your favourite film?
J: Tough one, for me I would have to say Back to the Future! Love that 80’s nostalgia, Michael J Fox and that DeLorean!
What was your first job?
S: My first proper job was turkey plucking for a local farmer when I was 12. This still remains the worst job I’ve ever done.
What is your most treasured possession?
J: Family, especially during these difficult times.
Who do you admire most?
S: My Dad! At 76 he’s still crafting and building homes and still runs rings around me.
What is your biggest indulgence?
J: A good Blackwing pencil, this brand release a limited run of unique drawing pencils each year and I’m an absolute sucker for anything limited edition!
What do you like about yourself most?
S: My hair. Being bald frees up my mornings, so, for every man that’s going bald - embrace it!
What’s your worst character trait?
J: I absolutely hate being wrong!
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
S: Mexico, for the sunshine and culture.
Best day of your life?
J: Getting married. Everyone says it should be the day your kids were born but to be honest both of those days involved my wife in quite a lot of pain for a long period of time whereas on our wedding day we were surrounded by family, friends, food and drink in the countryside before flying off on our honeymoon in the night!
Having kids is amazing but as far as the best single day goes - our wedding day!
What’s your favourite breakfast?
S: Eggs Benedict. I love a fry-up, but, Eggs Benedict just pips it.
What’s your favourite tipple?
J: Rum! I created my own brand of rum last year and I won’t pretend I don’t enjoy the odd glass!
Take a look at www.adriftrum.co.uk (shameless I know!)
What’s your hidden talent?
S: Still searching! Hopefully, one day I’ll find it.
What’s your earliest memory?
J: Learning to ride my bike, I must have been pretty young but I remember the first thing I did after cracking it was to teach my younger friend who was probably a bit too young to be riding a bike.
Tell us something people don’t know about you?
S: I used to be a graffiti artist when I was younger, having commissions in Covent Gardens and my local high school.
Oh, and I used to break dance!
What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
J: An old teacher once muttered under their breath ‘you’ll never amount to anything’ or words to that effect.
I say that's the ‘worst thing’ but to be honest that has provided a good source of motivation ever since.
Tell us why you live here and nowhere else?
S: It’s my home! It’s been my home since I was a year or so old and it’s where all my family and friends are.
What do you want to tell our readers about most?
J: Just how proud I am of our business and the way we’ve adapted
and embraced change during these difficult times.
Coastline has such a huge variety of clients in every walk of life and the many diverse services we offer them mean that we always have something interesting going on.
Whether it’s branding a new project and all the excitement that involves, the continued work we do for clients that we’ve worked with for over 30 years or the charity work we have been involved with, it all means that life is never boring!
This pandemic has made us even more adaptable and I am so pleased with how we have all coped together as a team.
We donated over 10,000 stickers to the NHS to help staff identify each other as they got used to wearing their PPE and cut thousands of face-screens FOC when the PPE was difficult to obtain.
Looking out for each other is so important these days.
We have been involved in so many amazing projects over the years and just when you wonder what’s next, an email will come in on a Monday morning with the next exciting project.
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