About Joby Carter

Joby Carter is one of the country’s foremost traditional signwriters, using techniques learnt from master signwriter Stan Wilkinson, who in turn learnt from a pedigree of signwriters going back to the 19th century. Using traditional materials and techniques, Joby is also proficient at coach painting, lining and gilding, and has worked extensively in the fairground world as well as on vintage restoration projects for his clients.

Joby grew up on Carters Steam Fair, the world’s largest travelling vintage funfair, surrounded by beautiful traditional paintwork. He was enthralled by letters almost before he could read, and would spend his days at school doodling them in the back of his exercise books. Stan Wilkinson, who was working at Carters at the time, noticed Joby's keenness to learn the art, and set about teaching him to paint letters and to "line out" the rides and wagons. It was a long apprenticeship, but one that left him with that seemingly effortless skill and expertise that only comes from a lifetime’s practice.

What marks Joby apart from his contemporaries is his passion for authenticity and the tradition of fairground painting and the decorative arts of the 19th and early 20th century, in addition to an open mind, a sense of fun and irreverent humour. Joby curated Peter Blake’s The Museum of Everything in 2010, and has been involved in many other unusual projects from steam boat restoration to painting large panels for the Brit Awards in 2012.

Joby now works both with Carters Steam Fair, and on restoration projects for other people, from vintage vehicles to caravans. His colleague Aaron Stephens works with him at their paintshop near Maidenhead in Berkshire. Joby and his team can also carry out ground-up restorations of vintage vehicles and fairground rides, from woodwork to welding, interior fitting and paintwork.

If you have a project that you'd like to discuss with Joby, you can contact him here.

If you’re interested in learning some of the techniques of traditional British signwriting, click here for more information on Joby’s painting courses in signwriting and coach painting.

Click here to watch a great little BBC film about Joby's work.

Scarlett Rickard

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