The alternative astrophysics of building a good print team

The Graphical Tree
3 min readApr 2, 2024

Surfing towards large format print

Florida, USA, late 1970’s. Alan Gelfland invents skateboarding classic, ‘the ollie.’ Local surfers Matt Kechele and compadre Greg Loehr, inspired, took to designing and shaping boards that could fly on the waves. Their fathers were aerospace engineers — remember the space race took off from Cape Canaveral — so a scientific approach was in their blood. Their twin-fin Kech Air followed the skateboard’s silhouette and allowed for max speed and tail release. Mission accomplished. Did you know probably the most famous surfer of them all, Kelly Slater, surfed the Florida beaches? It’s all making sense now, isn’t it? *

It’s a fun and historical story. One where looking back, you can see the river of innovation flow. Who knows what you can accomplish or invent with an open mind and surrounded by an eclectic mix of influences and knowledge, right.

How to interview for a vibrant large format print studio

We’re fortunate at The Graphical Tree that our turnover of staff is few. People stay for a long duration. This is a testament to the company and how staff are appreciated, whilst also suggesting that we’ve brought the right people into the business to contribute to its community. When interviewing we took it upon ourselves to ask potential colleagues what they did, and enjoyed, outside of work. We knew the interviewees were accomplished at the position applying for, but what was it that made them tick What could they bring to the room, to invigorate those around them and the business at large? It’s a nice question to ask because it engages the person opposite you to talk about a passion they have. So who do we have in our midst? Who was it that inspired us when interviewing at The Graphical Tree? Well, we have a BMX trickster, two mini-fashion moguls — one a vintage menswear sourcer and seller, the other a counter-culture inspired designer; a photographer with a penchant for shadows and light; a house music DJ; a fishing champion; a long-standing experienced allotmenteer and baker; a yoga studio owner; a sports science graduate; and a do-it-yourself car builder.

We believe that this all helps to make The Graphical Tree a vibrant, interesting place to be and hang out at. Hopefully, this radiates out like a set of rideable waves to you too, and the experience our customers feel is one of interested satisfaction, and enjoyment.

If you’re interested in where our staff hangs out and where the work is produced, you can read about our two production sites in the following articles. This is the piece covering our Uxbridge production site, and this covers the benefits of our central London studio.

(* Inspired by The Surfers Journal, 32.1)



The Graphical Tree

Industry-leading specialists in large format print & display, including sustainable print offerings /