By Jo Francis, Monday 15 April 2019
Matt is 41 years old and has been working in print for 24 years since starting as an apprentice planner/platemaker at book printers WS Maney & Son.
He loves football and plays in the West Yorkshire veterans’ league and supports “the mighty Leeds United”. Matt has been happily married to his sixth form sweet heart Tracy for 16 years and they have “two fantastic children in George and Ayla”. “They keep me young and remind me that no matter how good or challenging things may get with work, there is a life outside of print to be cherished.”
Why did you get into printing?
In some respects I fell into it. I was studying A levels with a view to going on to University like some of my friends. Upon successfully getting those A levels I did a bit of an about-turn, wanting to earn money, so I sought a job where I could learn a trade and apply those skills
What would be your dream job?
It’s been hard work with some strokes of luck but I’m kind of in it, which I know is a horrible cliché. I always wanted a job that had variety every single day and gave me the opportunity to meet different people and manage teams
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Robert De Niro because he’s my favourite actor and does the best portrayal of any character. I try to live life to the full and have had a few bumps and scrapes along the way but sadly nowhere near enough drama or danger to really justify him as being my choice!
What would you most like to print?
We are not really in the market for it at Acorn, although I have tried, but I love football programmes and so it would have to be Leeds United’s match day programme
What is your favourite film?
True Romance, a modern cult classic
What is your favourite TV programme?
‘Luther’ probably edges it, but I like ‘Line of Duty’ and ‘Silent Witness’ too
Sweet or savoury?
Savoury definitely. Porkpie sausage roll. We love a bit of beige in the Acorn office!
What is your favourite album?
The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses
What is your greatest ambition?
To be a great Dad
What’s your greatest fear?
Not being a good enough Dad
Who or what makes you laugh?
I love going to see stand-up comics, the closer to the bone the jokes are the better. For my 40th I saw Kevin Bridges at Hammersmith Apollo and I laughed so hard it hurt!
What piece of kit would you like to see invented?
Technology drives our industry forward and I know I should say something that automates our finishing and packing processes further, but I can’t stand negative people so some really cool tech that can read and warn people when they are being negative, maybe with a mild electric shock if they don’t self-correct!
Where would you like to be right now?
On holiday. I love my holidays and spending quality time with the kids. I tend to work like crazy then two-or-three times per year escape for a compete shut down on mobile phones, emails, tablets, etc
Which superpower would you like to have?
A lot of my time is spent travelling whether that be miles in the car or on the train, so it would have to be high speed like my daughters favorite character ‘Dash’ from the Incredibles.
Where would you go if you could time-travel?
Back to 2000-01 to relive Leeds United’s Champions League run which coincidently was the year I started work at Acorn
What was the best business deal that you’ve pulled off?
There is one particular niche magazine contract I always look back fondly to, because it was my first fair sized deal at £300k and it took me almost three years to convert. There was very little focus on pricing it was all about quality, capability and reliability. We did a lot of listening and undertook so much trialling to convince the publisher that a number of spec changes together with a move from sheetfed to web could really work for them and assist them in growing the business. It’s been under contract for 12 consecutive years now and has grown from one magazine to three, with additional supplements each month
Very good at the minute. Work-wise we are just a month or so away from our new 32pp Lithoman web press being operational and that will really boost Acorn’s capabilities. Personally, if I can just see Leeds United make it back to the Premier League then that would crown it… fingers crossed!