Hi, my name is Graham Hales and I am a freelance typesetter working from home, in Derby. Having served a five-year apprenticeship at a local jobbing printer as a hand-compositor in the 1970s with hot-metal, linotypesetting, monotypesetting, phototypesetting and paste-up – exploring the delights of Letraset, Rotring pens, scalpels, drawing boards and camera work in a dark room – soon after I started my own design and print-brokering business.
Eight years later I left to become a director of a small, local publishing company, Breedon Books, as its only book designer in 1989. The digital age had arrived. Quickly, we grew that company to become the largest independent football book publisher in Europe, which included the notable Complete Record of football clubs, and historical picture volumes of many towns and cities using newspaper archives. Bookshops, especially WHSmiths, loved us. Besides designing and typesetting these titles, and liaising with the printers, I often had to help hand-unload the huge transits that arrived with pallets of books, pack them and deliver them too, we all had to muck-in.
Having completed over 700 book titles, and deciding to leave in 2006, I am again primarily a freelance designer, undertaking book and cover work for the publishing industry. I have worked with a variety of clients and many of the titles produced have been either sport, biographies, history and local history, poetry and transport – some had a high photographic content.