The Interview Series: Alan drury at Alan Drury Signwriting in England. Beta tester & CorelDRAW Graphics Suite user.

My Interview series now continues with Alan Drury who runs his own business ”Alan Drury Signwriting” in LIttle Chesterford, Essex, England. I interview people I have come to know through Corel forums, and who are fellow beta testers of and fellow CorelDRAW Graphics Suite users.

And some of us have met in real life.

Your Name:
Alan Drury


Style & type of work you produce? 

Mainly vinyl lettering for vehicles and signs, large format is output by others from my Corel Draw generated files – same applies to litho print I supply. Letterheads/Compliment slips/Cards and leaflets are printed by various tradr printers from my files

You like myself is a user of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. What was it that made you discover , and drew you to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite? 

Draw was demonstrated to me by the supplier of my sign software, they both integrated well and now Draw is the only one I use for putting together artwork for print.

What year was it? 

Early nineties 

Which Programs do you use, Corel and none-Corel programs? 

Corel Draw, Corel PhotoPaint, Signlab, Photozoom, WYSIWYG Webbuilder, Pstill

Do you use any analog tools in conjuntion with your work? 


Which year was it you started your business, your work?

Left school in 1974 and started work as traditional signwriter, self employed but sub contracting in1979, on my own 1980 ish

Would you recomend CorelDRAW Graphics Suite? 

Yes, absolutely for the type of work I do I wouldn’t want to be without it.

What, more importantly, made you begin working with the work you do today? After all you could have made a career as a hairdresser or something in that line instead, like any other human being. 

I saw a van being signwritten (by hand) when I was about 11 years old and I was fascinated by it, from that day on that’s what I wanted to do, computers give me the same interest

What is that you like with your work? 

The variety, I even enjoy sorting problem files which others send me

In an interview in the Digital Artist Magazine, who interviewed me a few years back, I was asked what I would like to see in future versions of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Is there anything you would like to see? 

Speaking with my signmakers’ hat on I would like to see more vector tools in general and things like extrude made more plotter friendly

Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning? Coffee, normally instant (sorry Stefan)

It´s BRUTAL Alan, but I kind of have to live with this revelation, I just gotta… Oh, man. But if I made a visit I would accept it 🙂 – or tea, after all you live in england. And I am a tea drinker as well.

What do you think is important to think about running your own business or in your line of work, to think about. Is it discipline or and something else? 

Certainly discipline especially working from home (its very easy to be distracted and go for another coffee:) but also to provide a service to the customer with a good product at the right price.

For someone just starting out, what do you think they should think about? 

As above, service, product. price. Keep tabs on cash flow and make sure suppliers are giving you the service you require.

Is there any big change in how and what you worked with when you first started out. Have the business changed in any way? 

My business has completely changed, I started working with only a paint brush, palette and mahl stick to rest my hand on, I could spend a couple of days in a workshop/barn signwriting a van, now everything is vinyl or and digital print and because of computers I now supply printed garments, business stationery, build simple websites and host them and I’m a registrar with Nominet here in the UK so I can supply .uk domain names directly. Core business is still vehicles and signs though.

Thanks Alan, as always nice to talk with you.

Stefan Lindblad
January 2012
Copyright Alan Drury & Stefan Lindblad

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