Wey aye man, it’s propa true, our canny lad from the banks of the River Wear has clocked up his quarter century at Forepoint.
And we all know what that means – don’t we Keith? It’s time to delve into the Forepoint archives.
Let’s start at the beginning
Keith’s story begins at the University of Sunderland where he studied for a Foundation in Art & Design, before gaining his BA (Hons) in Graphic Design from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). His four-year stint in Preston included a 6-month placement with the highly acclaimed David Davies Associates – famed for developing the Next identity.
Following graduation, Keith got his break with Ben Casey at The Chase (Manchester), before becoming a Senior Designer at Horseman Cooke. However, the lure of Preston proved too strong – the fact that he’d been offered a directorship by Simon Bailey, former MD of The Point (as it was then) perhaps had something to do with it. The rest, as they say, is history!
It’s been an eventful 25 years. As well as developing an enviable, creative portfolio of work, Keith’s developed some truly fantastic relationships with colleagues and clients alike. Over the years he’s worked with numerous clients including Scandit, DXC Technology, BAE Systems and others.
Keith worked incredibly hard, but he’s also enjoyed some lighter moments:
- The 21 (s)miles swimathon to raise money for the Derian House Children’s Hospice. The event saw both staff and their young offspring swimming the equivalent of the English Channel. Thankfully they didn’t need to dodge the tankers, instead choosing the safe environment of the local swimming pool. Still quite an achievement though!
- Trailtrekker – a 100km ‘non-stop’ walk in 30-hours to raise money for Oxfam. The straw hat he wore for the event didn’t slow him down!
- A 24-hour pool (as in the table and balls variety) marathon to raise money for Red Nose Day. Keith even donned a tutu and stilettos for the event, which in itself helped to raise an additional £60. The fact that he then decided to visit the local supermarket in his outfit was not part of the dare!!
- The kidnapping of a goose from the local butty shop, obviously not a real goose. Would you believe it? The story even made the local press. We’d like to confirm that the goose was returned a few weeks later to its rightful owner, no worse for its experience.
- On accepting an invitation to a Loomba Trust event in central London, Keith was placed on a table with business royalty – the owner of Cobra beer and Mr & Mrs Vitabiotics. Shame that Keith’s name card had “Mrs” Keith Noble written on it – doh!
- Oh, then there was the great Forepoint Christmas card idea that Keith had. It involved placing a £1 bet on a white Christmas for all the clients. Guess what? It snowed that year. Each client had to be sent £5. You could do that kind of things in those days! Nowadays, we rely on delivering consistently good work.
- Finally, there was the photo shoot that Keith was charged with art-directing. The model was a contortionist: “Never before have I tried to art-direct while someone had their head on the floor and their legs bent over double.” Oh, really Keith!
We could go on – after all, 25 years is an awfully long time. However, we’re going to leave the last words to Keith’s partners in crime. First up it’s, Steve Gill: “A great working partnership with Keith was forged in early, playful, studio and creative sessions. Many moons ago a conversation was initiated by me ribbing Keith’s NE accent, whilst mimicking The Stotts (Vic and Bob). At this point, Keith took on the persona of David Stott, even keeping this up whilst answering the door to one of our valued customers… “Morning! And how are we today?”
“Soon after, we discovered that between us Keith and I could perform the ‘pantomime horse’ equivalent of a very impressive Chewbacca impression, with me replicating the front-end and Keith successfully delivering the back-end! Or vice-versa!
“25-years on, there have been so many memorable moments, so many brilliantly executed projects and campaigns and some wonderful long-term client relationships, many of which exist today.
“We’ve partied, we’ve socialised and we’ve been active in supporting many charities and fund-raising events. I’m extremely proud to have spent a quarter of my life working with Mr Keith ‘Keifer-Sunderland’ Noble. We’ve shared many personal and professional ups and downs. Occasionally it’s been emotional, but it’s also been very enjoyable and immensely rewarding. Keith you are a true gent, a good friend, a brilliant advisor to our valued clients, an all-round good-egg and most definitely a valued partner in crime!”
Next up it’s Graham: “In the words of the Stotts…. “chit chat chittle chatter…”. What can I say about Keith? A man of great integrity who always comes up with great ideas and takes great pride in doing so. Keith always puts clients first and goes the extra mile to keep them happy, to the extent that most become friends and keep coming back for more great work.
“Keith’s able to simplify the complex, to add style and wit and tackle head-on the most challenging of projects. He’s extremely passionate and enthusiastic, a man who could talk for England, but would probably rather play for them given his interest in the game.
There’s been lots of fun outside the office given a guitar, a few vocal friends and an opportunity to sing into the small hours.
“He cares for people deeply, particularly his wife Sharon, his son Harvey and his dog Enzo. He also has a passion for old cars, albeit interesting ones that respond to some TLC – and often need lots of it!
“As a colleague and friend, along with Steve, we’ve worked together for many years. We’re all very different, but I couldn’t pick a better bunch of guys to work with.
“Well done Keith on reaching a quarter century and thanks for everything you do.”