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Welcome to Carter House: a building named after Joby Carter

5 July, 2024

In June 2024, Joby was invited to the launch event for One Maidenhead, a major project in the regeneration of Maidenhead town centre which has taken six years to come to completion. The developers, Get Living, Hub and Smedvig have created 429 new energy efficient homes, a landscaped public square and the area will also feature ground floor shops and restaurants.

Joby Carter standing outside Carter House with his two books

 

There are four apartment blocks and each has been named after authors with a link to the local area. They include:

Lofting House: Hugh Lofting

Hugh Lofting wrote over 21 books including the popular Dr Dolittle series. Lofting was born in 1866 in Maidenhead and published books from the 1920s to the 1950s.. He created the famous character of Dr Dolittle in illustrated letters that he wrote to his children from the trenches of the First World War as he did not want to share the harsh reality of life in the trenches

Hornby House: Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby who wrote Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy. Nick grew up in Maidenhead and was educated at Maidenhead Grammar School (now known as Desborough School).He published his first book, Fever Pitch in 1992. About a Boy was later turned into a film with Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult

Francis House: Dick Francis

Dick Francis was a British steeplechase jockey and crime writer who wrote more than 40 international bestsellers including ‘Dead Cert’. He grew up in Maidenhead and left school at the age of 15 in 1935. As well as being an author and the racing correspondent for the Sunday Express newspaper, he went on to become the jockey to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother from 1953 to 1957.

Carter House: Joby Carter

Joby Carter inside Carter House pointing to his name above the letterboxes

Joby Carter was born in Maidenhead and was just twenty months old when his parents opened their first fair in 1977. His early years were spent travelling with vintage funfair rides from the famous Carters Steam Fair: the world’s largest vintage travelling funfair. From a young age he was fascinated by the artwork and lettering at the fair and after leaving school went on to do an apprenticeship with a traditional signwriter. Joby went on to teach signwriting in 2006 via workshop courses.

In 2020 the fair was grounded due to the pandemic so Joby used his innovative and entrepreneurial skills to find new ways to generate revenue.

With the help of digital artist Scarlett Rickard, he self-published a book all about the traditional skills of signwriting, sharing tips and tricks in print that had previously only been shared with his course students. Signwriting: Tips, Tricks and inspiration was a huge success, selling over 12,000 copies to date to over 40 countries around the world.

Inside Joby Carters book Signwriting: tips tricks and inspiration

In 2023 Joby published a second book, All the Fonts of the Fair which includes 26 hand drawn and hand painted alphabets created by Joby and his team. The fairground inspired alphabets reflect styles typically found at traditional British funfairs until the 1960s. Many of these vibrant, whimsical lettering styles are missing from graphic design manuals and typography archives. Fairground Art was declared an endangered art form by Heritage Crafts in 2023 and Joby’s book helps secure the legacy of these lettering styles, giving them a new lease of life beyond the fair,

Inside Joby Carters book, All the Fonts of the Fair

You can watch Joby talking about both books in this short video::

A published author, despite the struggles with dyslexia

In March 2024, Joby had a dyslexia assessment at the Bristol Dyslexia Centre, and it was confirmed he is dyslexic. This helped explain a lifetime of struggling with reading and writing and is a ‘label’ that Joby is very proud to receive. His Instagram post had 1373 likes and 140 comments.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Joby Carter (@joby.carter)

Publishing two books has been a great achievement for Joby and having a building named after him is like the icing on the cake:

As someone who has painted letters all my life, it may come as a surprise to know that I have struggled with reading and writing all my life. I have only recently been officially diagnosed with dyslexia. As an adult, I have suspected for a long time that I might have had it. However as a child I generally thought I was thick or stupid. Or more to the point that was other people’s opinion. I was however good at anything creative and that was much more fun than academic stuff!

The two books I have written have been about signwriting. I did them in conjunction with my friend and fellow artist Scarlett Rickard. So much of it was produced via Zoom calls, then Scarlett putting my words into text and then me proofing it. That part being the hardest for me. Such a large part of the appeal of both books is that they are visual: packed of drawings and visual workings. From one visual person appealing to another.

If you have a kid struggling with any form of neurodiversity, let them know we all have our strengths and weaknesses. My strength is my passion for signwriting. That combined with a natural entrepreneurial nature and ‘bosh’ you get a building named after you.

To stay in touch with news from Joby Carter including his free digital ‘beginners guide to signwriting’ and to save 10% on your first order, you can join his newsletter.  

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