Branding wins business at Topspeed Couriers

From small beginnings in Cheshire in 1985, Topspeed Couriers has become a significant player in specialist transportation now running a large fleet of vehicles based throughout the UK, and operating services for organisations in the food chain and environmental sector, nuclear industry and criminal justice system.
Topspeed Courier’s relationship with Fox Graphics started from small beginnings too. In 2008, the company needed a version of its logo to use on software and an updated brochure, but neither company could have predicted the scale of the actual design work that followed.
Fox Graphics pointed out that the full stops in the company’s existing logo contradicted its core function, and MD Stephen Clegg decided that Topspeed Courier’s whole brand needed to be overhauled. Creating a new logo and brand to convey forward movement, Fox Graphics has worked closely alongside Topspeed Couriers for the last three years, methodically introducing the new design into every facet of the business.

High worth

“Our new branding has brought new presence and confidence to the business,” explains Stephen. “For us to make a substantial investment like this when trading conditions are tough, speaks volumes about us as a company. We look like a high worth enterprise – and we are.”
From stationery, uniforms and exhibition stands to presentation materials, ID cards and fleet livery – including Topspeed’s Formula 3 race car – Fox Graphics has brought the new branding to life in diverse formats.
One particularly challenging item was the company’s Driver’s Manual, its ‘business bible’ created and added to over a seven year period by the whole management team. Residing in an MS Word document, its 30 pages of content had become cumbersome and difficult to manage, but it contained vital operational information and the business’ whole philosophy.

Stephen routinely presented the Driver’s Manual as part of Topspeed Courier’s tender responses; customers regularly said it was a significant factor in their decision to work with Topspeed; every vehicle contained a copy; and every driver knew the Manual off by heart.

A challenge and a privilege

“It was both a challenge and a privilege to be entrusted with Topspeed’s Driver’s Manual,” explains Kate Fox, Creative Director at Fox Graphics. “My previous training career skills came to the fore. I was able to restructure the content, eliminate any repetition, and design a format that was much easier to read, learn and reference. We also introduced cartoons to highlight important content and lighten the overall tone of the document.”

Topspeed was delighted with the result

“When you ask Kate to do a job, it gets done,” Stephen explains. “I let Kate know what the problem is – it gets picked up, considered, acted on, printed and delivered to our doorstep – and it’s right every time.
“Recently we customised our company brochure and used it as the bid material for a major specialist transportation contract,” continues Stephen. “This was Kate’s suggestion, and I know that this forethought and the new Drivers’ Manual won us the business. We get a lot more from Fox Graphics than just design; we get knowledge, added value and tangible business input.”

Celebrate Cheshire @ Chester Racecourse

Twenty members pulled together and used various skills, talents and services to present the most professional stand in the show, ending the first day with an invitation to networking whilst sampling wines and canapés, which created an energetic and productive end to a successful day.

'I think we can safely say we were best in show - the stand was buzzing and the drinks reception was a sight to behold!'

'Amazing what can be done with the right attitude, passion, commitment and generosity of spirit.’

Tracy Griffiths – ‘The Business Network Chester’

Black Iris Exhibitions


Just a short story to end the week with. Back in November last year Black Iris was contacted by Helen at Nucletron asking for some help with all of the events she had to handle for 2011. Among others she had three major exhibitions planned and wanted to come up with a stand design that will run through the three shows and carry the same look and feel. Black Iris' job was made slightly trickier by the fact that the spaces have already been booked and they were not the same. Not the same floor size and not of the same configuration. One space was an island, which meant that all four sides were open; one space had one wall at the back of it and one space had two walls enclosing it. They dug into their creative head space, drank lots of coffee and then came up with a design that she was happy with and it achieved what the brief specified. The stand provided the backdrop for their equipment that they were showcasing at the exhibitions, the walls doubled up as a storage area and we built in the screens rather than have them just stuck on the face of the wall.
The three exhibitions all went smoothly and this is the testimonial that our clients posted on LinkedIn. “Maja and her team at Black Iris Exhibitions are one of the most reliable and effective suppliers I have had the good fortune of hiring as a supplier. Maja was recommended to me in the first instance and I would have no hesitation in recommending her and Black Iris Exhibitions to any company, no matter how big or small, to competently handle their events requirements. The only thing is, I wouldn't want her to be too busy to look after me, that's how good she is!” And on this note I shall wish you all a fabulous weekend and I look forward to discussing your next exhibition project.

Please download Black Iris' Portfolio by clicking on the image below.

Elegant design for Slater Harrison



Established in 1929, Slater Harrison’s papers, boards and coatings are global brands sold in 80 countries worldwide. The laminated board, Colourmount, has been the picture framing industry’s favourite presentation material since its introduction in 1981 - but in the world of interior design, colours are constantly moving in and out of fashion. In 2011, preparing for the introduction of three new colour variations from the existing Colourmount range, Slater Harrison called in Fox Graphics for expert advice.  The two companies began working together in 2009 and have forged a strategic partnership spanning International rebranding, photography, product brochures, advertising campaigns, exhibition launches, product disks and promotional merchandise.

A fresh look at colour Working together in a series of brainstorming sessions, Slater Harrison and Fox Graphics created the concept of “taking a fresh look at colour” to launch the new Colourmount variations.  The strapline featured as the promotional theme, accompanied by powerful branding and imagery for the three colour choices.  Fox Graphics researched the concept, and art directed a studio photo shoot using a diverse collection of materials from cushions and perfume bottles to handbags, curtains, tassels and fennials. The importance of a successful launch for the new ranges was not lost on Creative Director at Fox Graphics, Kate Fox.  “Colourmount is a vibrant brand with a highly successful 30 year track record,” Kate explains.  “It was crucial to present the ranges in a professional way that would excite Slater Harrison’s distributors, and keep the brand fresh and current in the 21st century/current climate.”

Stunning in every medium Throughout the creative process, Kate was acutely aware of the many ways the designs would be used.  “Marketing the new ranges internationally has involved exhibition boards and stands, advertising, PR, branding packs for distributors and sales literature.  The new ranges had to look stunning in every medium.” According to Director at Slater Harrison, Brian Bogie, they do just that and more.  “Fox Graphics presents our products, our way.  These commissions are impactful, modern and really have the ‘wow factor.’ Brian continues, “Involving Kate in this launch from initial concept creation has been hugely valuable.  We achieved an elegant design solution totally beyond anything we have tried to do before.  Kate’s hands-on project management has really smoothed this year’s Colourmount launch at the Frame Art Show in Milan.” Feedback from Slater’s Harrison’s distributors, international exhibitions, trade exhibitions and conferences, and the industry trade press has been highly complimentary. Advertising and editorials have already featured in ‘Art Business Today’ and in the German publication of ‘Der Kunsthandel’ magazine. “The 2011 Colourmount campaign has continued to reinforce and increase the visual presence and awareness of the product, and its position in the marketplace as a design-led product, and constantly refreshing brand,” Brian concludes.


Support a little - Challenge

Any of you who have Children going to Uni this Autumn could help educate the next generation to reduce this Cancer. Basically we encourage students to take on a challenge which would be to their benefit – helping them gain:

  • Confidence
  • Team work
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Organisational skills
  • Planning
  • Sales

  Since 2010 sixth formers from several schools have formed a committee, allocating roles between them and together organised an awareness and fund raising event for Genesis. They have gained wonderful experience and great pride, as well as valuable information for their personal statements, their CVs or for interviews, to show their initiative. They have also gained knowledge of breast care, breast cancer and the latest news on the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. Please contact Kate or Genesis for more info or to download the pdf click here




Media photographers at a Brands Hatch race day recently filmed the Topspeed formula 3 car driven by Stephen Clegg – Managing Director of Topspeed Couriers and our logo is right there on the front.Never mind the business cards – How sexy is this? – Fox Graphics logo on the front cowling of a formula 3 racing car at Brands Hatch.

After several years of working with Topspeed, Stephen Clegg suggested that I have my logo on this racing car...what a privilege – I was speechless and grinned from ear to ear – YES PLEASE. Never mind the testimonial, this in itself just blew me away.

Since then the car has been used in a highly-visible national marketing campaign with high viewing levels. Please see links for images and movie presentation below   For the race car go to: the image at the top is the back of the Topspeed car, if you scroll down the page to the i-player presentation, it has the car going round Brands Hatch.   There is another link on the page that takes you to: for more close ups of Fox Graphics logo.

Calling all employers of working parents . . .

Many of your employees are parents. Imagine them arriving at work free from family stress,
knowing their children are happy and settled, and feeling ready and motivated for a productive
day at work?!

The chances are that for many, this is a rare occurrence. Next Generation Coaching has written
a programme which is designed to help parents achieve just that. Coaching Skills for
is a unique, innovative and research based programme which combines coaching,
positive psychology, neuroscience and child development. The benefits to your company
or organisation could be . . .

  • Employees who are more motivated, focused and productive.
  • Reduced stress related illness and absenteeism.
  • A workforce that actively applies tried and tested coaching techniques with colleagues and clients alike bringing about improved relationships.

Your organisation would also be supporting many social policies – including the Government’s
Family Agenda, Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement policies.

Coaching Skills for Parents™ has already been run in the NHS, catering giant Aramark and
Citi Group and many smaller private companies, as well as in schools in London and the North

“My personal situation as a parent naturally effects my day to day ability –
if I am more in control at home, I will have more energy for work”
– Aramark employee

Your trainer . . .

Pam Drysdale, MBACP, is a licensed trainer, counsellor and clinical hypnotherapist and has over
15 years experience of working with individuals, couples and groups. She combines her
private practice with delivering Coaching Skills for Parents to companies, organisations and
schools throughout the UK. Pam has two grown up daughters so has experienced both the
delights - and the challenges of parenthood!

Pam would be very happy to answer any questions you may have, or if you would like her to
visit your organisation, please don’t hesitate to contact her at

Don’t sell yourself short

In a fast moving competitive world potential clients can take less than 30 seconds to subliminally reject a product or service. The key elements in success or failure are, Great Design, Excellent Photography and well crafted Words. Getting on the first page of a web search for a business is essential. Without the aid of these key services any marketing strategy is placed at a disadvantage.

In the case of photography the significant features of success are planning, lighting and viewpoint. This needs to be supported by good technical and creative control.

In the following case history a major chain manufacturer took their own picture and get a well worded article published in the engineering trade press. After a universal rejection of their press release the PR Agent recommended that supporting photography from Ikon Photography may achieve a better result. After the shoot the article was resubmitted and not only published but one of the images was used on the front cover of a lead publication. The power of an image is in its ability to engage the attention of several thousand potential end users of the product, through targeted publication.
01.IMG_1482small 02.007209J-024 copy small FE-NOV07-COVER.qxd

Trade Marks

Like other aspects of Intellectual Property, such as technical inventions, industrial designs and copyright, trade marks can be a valuable business asset and investing in their proper protection and clearance for use ought to be an important consideration for any business.

What is a Trade Mark and why are they important?

Any business that sells products or services has a name, maybe also a logo or other artwork defining its “brand”, and perhaps even one or more specific product names unique to the business. All of these elements may constitute Trade Marks – they distinguish your products or services from your competitors’ and, very importantly, enable your present and future customers to identify your products or services as having a particular source, characteristics and quality.

Protecting your exclusivity to a Trade Mark, ie. ensuring you alone have the rights to its use, so you can prevent others from “stealing” or misusing it or creating something close to or confusable with it, should therefore be an important consideration for any developing business, just as much as any other legal investment. Furthermore, establishing at an early stage that you are actually legally free to adopt a particular name or logo as a Trade Mark is a wise “insurance”, especially if you consider the potential cost of being on the wrong end of a legal action for infringement of someone else’s Trade Mark or being forced to re-brand yourself, your products or services.

Also remember that just because you may be having original design work done for you by Fox Graphics, this does not mean you will automatically have freedom to use and protect for yourself any Trade Mark embodied in the work. Indeed, Fox Graphics gives no warrant, nor takes any responsibility for ensuring, that any Trade Mark element of design work they produce is legally free for trade mark use or open to registration for yourself, regardless of whether such a Trade Mark is provided by you or created by Fox Graphics.

Furthermore, simply having a limited company name registered as such at Companies House does not give you any automatic right to use an element of that name as a Trade Mark, which is governed wholly by Trade Mark Law.

How can I establish whether I am free to use my Trade Mark(s)?

Before you adopt a new Trade Mark, it is advisable to have a formal search done to check that it (or something close to it) is not already owned by someone else. If it is, then legally you may not be free to use your Trade Mark in your particular business. Such a search typically costs in the range of £150-900 (not including VAT, UK only and per Mark searched), depending on the level of searching required and volume of results produced, and typically takes 1½ to 3 weeks.

It is unwise simply to rely on the fact that you may believe you know your market and your competitors and have not seen your proposed Trade Mark out there up to now, since you cannot expect to know about all relevant registered Trade Mark rights that may exist but which perhaps may not be in use or, being used in your precise commercial field.#

Of course, however, it may be that your attitude to risk leads you to conclude that such a search is not worth the cost, but this should always be balanced against a view as to the potential risk and cost to your business of having to defend a legal action for infringement and/or having to undergo a rebranding exercise.

A Trade Mark search cannot completely remove all risks associated with adopting a new Trade Mark, but often it is worth factoring in the cost of consolidating the legal Trade Mark position along with the often more significant cost of an overall design/branding exercise, of which a Trade Mark is just a part.

How do I protect my exclusivity to my Trade Mark(s)?

The simplest, quickest and cheapest way is to register it. A Trade Mark registration gives you exclusive and wide-reaching legal rights to stop unauthorised or misleading use by others of your Trade Mark or something similar to it. The protection, as is also the deterrent effect of a registration, is also immediate. The process of registering a Trade Mark typically takes 3 to 5 months, with a typical total cost in the range of £400-700 (not including VAT, and assuming there is no opposition to it being registered). A formal Trade Mark search as above will normally also establish if there are any obstacles to your being able to register the Trade Mark for yourself.

If you opt not to register your Trade Mark, you may still get some degree of protection for it by simply using it in the course of your business. However, since in this case any protection comes from the reputation you build up in the Mark, it can often take at least a few years to establish any such “common law” rights. Stopping an infringer on this basis is therefore usually much more difficult, time-consuming and expensive, so relying on an unregistered Trade Mark for protection is often a false economy. In these circumstances, the use of the “TM” symbol adjacent the Trade Mark is a wise precaution, as it also is when you have an application to register your Mark and it’s still pending. Only once a Mark is actually registered can you (and you should) use instead the “®“ symbol with it.

How can Fox Graphics help in all of this?

We can put you in touch with a qualified Trade Mark Agent/Attorney who can:

  • advise on the selection of new Trade Marks;
  • conduct any searching that may be necessary to determine the availability and freedom for use of a new Trade Mark;
  • act on your behalf in applying for and obtaining a Registration of your Trade Mark(s);
  • advise you on protection for your Trade Mark(s) abroad, if this is relevant to your business, and organise corresponding registration(s) of your Trade Mark(s) in other countries;
  • advise and act on your behalf on infringement issues, eg. where enforcement of your Trade Mark rights is needed or if you are accused of infringing the rights of others;
  • advise on trade mark transfers and licensing issues

Please contact Fox Graphics if you would like help with any of the above, so we can put you in touch with the appropriate legal professional.