About me 2

Career highlights over the years
• TECHNICAL ILLUSTRATOR – 1979 to present
• 3D MODEL MAKER – 1979 to 1983
• PHOTOGRAPHER – 1994 to present
• COLLEGE LECTURER – 2002 to present

Nigel Frey was born and educated in London, where he has lived and worked most of his life.

In his younger days, Nigel was becoming ever more interested in science and technology. This was clearly evident in his fascination with major projects such as the supersonic airliner Concorde and the Apollo 11 space mission to the Moon.

Furthermore, his growing interest in cinematography was expressed through the visually stunning and thought provoking imagination of Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey and David Lean’s film Lawrence of Arabia.

At around the same time, his interest in car design started off with the Bertone Jaguar Pirana concept car (of 1967), together with the work by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This was then followed by his study of the designs of high speed trains (including British Rail’s experimental APT tilting train prototypes in the early 1970s and Japan’s Bullet trains).

Nigel’s original plan was to become an architect, but instead went on to complete a BA (Hons) Degree in Graphic Design course in 1979 at the University of the Arts London – London College of Communication (formerly known as the London College of Printing).

It was in his final year at university that he produced a thesis on contemporary car design and as part of his research, visited car factories at Aston Martin (in Newport Pagnell), AC (in Thames Ditton), Panther (in Byfleet) and Vauxhall (in Luton).

Once he graduated, he immediately embarked on a career as a technical illustrator with Irwin Technical Ltd in London. This involved producing technical illustrations and overhead projection cells, mainly for the Ministry of Defence.

Then in order to broaden his work experience, he went on to work for a model making company, Adrian Marchant Ltd in New Malden, Surrey. It is here that he developed skills working on life size models of knights in armour, TV set backdrops and props (for the BBC) and model making assembly work for Thorpe Park amusement park (using fibre-glass, latex and polystyrene).

In yet another change in direction, he went onto magazine and brochure design work in 1981 with VNU Business Publications. However, his big commercial break took place in 1983 when he began his freelance career as a magazine and brochure designer, artworker and technical illustrator for many of London’s leading publishing companies. These included Haymarket Publishing, VNU Business Publications, EMAP Publications, Argus Specialist Publications, Centaur Communications, Redwood Publishing, The Builder Group, Dennis Publishing, RadioTimes, Usborne Publishing and the advertising agency Gannaway Ltd.

During the early 1980s, he also freelanced for the exhibition display company Service Photography and Display. Work included London Motor Show stand graphics for the Ford Motor Company and window displays for Thames Television’s then headquarters and studios in Euston Road (London).

It was also during the late 1980s that Nigel worked for Mekon Ltd who specialised in artwork for music record album covers. Of note was his involvement in the artwork for Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason vinyl record sleeve based on the design by Hipgonosis.

His work with publishing companies continued until the early 1990s when he moved towards studio and location based commercial photography, which he continues to specialise in. His photography commissions have ranged from magazine based editorial work for Northern & Shell Plc, marketing work for various colleges and product work for a wide range of artists specialising in glass, jewellery and ceramics. Furthermore, he has photographed portraits and social events (at London based venues such as Trinity House and the Grosvenor House Hotel).

By now, Nigel had accumulated many years industry experience. So in an attempt to encapsulate all the various skills (including the latest in studio photography, post-production digital imaging and desktop publishing), he also expanded into lecturing in further and adult education colleges in 2002. His 22 years teaching experience has been mainly thanks to the South Thames Colleges Group (where he also obtained full teaching qualification status). His final teacher training course was completed back in 2009, in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University.

He covers Adobe Photoshop software and photography. He has also had much experience in teaching students exclusively with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

Furthermore, Nigel has also provided private training in the above subjects to art centre and museum marketing departments, book publishers, journalists, artists and photographers.

Photograph by Laurence Bispham