Just over ten years ago, Jonathan Taylor-Horne, owner of the multi-discipline design agency All Saints Design, marched out of his then office in the Law Courts at Exeter Castle, down the hill and into the offices of Simpkins Edwards. He needed an accountant. They were on the doorstep. But would they be interested in handling the accounts of a small design agency?
Within seconds of meeting Partner Mary Jane Campbell, Jonny got the answer that he was hoping for – of course Simpkins Edwards could help. Working with SMEs is one of their specialities. After all, today’s start-up could be tomorrow’s big success.
And, in a way, so it proved. Jonny, as he likes to be known, has worked in the print and design world for over 23 years. Alongside his personal and business partner, Suzanne Coughlan, he has worked with clients ranging from Harry’s Restaurant in Exeter to major corporates including Tesco, EMI, Sony and the BBC.
“We have no boundaries,” says Jonny. “We design identities, packaging, books, brochures, advertising and marketing campaigns, apps and websites; you name it – we have the ability.”
Over the years Jonny has built up a network of top-drawer freelancers. “We work with the best of the best”, he says. “We are a hybrid agency. We provide creative design which explores new territories. Whatever our clients’ needs, we can assemble a crack team of specialists. As a result, we are bigger than our number in so many ways.”
Rebranding is one of Jonny’s loves. He’s been working with Chord Electronics, which provides high end audio for Hi-Fi enthusiasts and professionals, for two and a half years – totally transforming their image and packaging. “These guys produce everything from DAC to large amps,” he says. “They win What HiFi and T3 awards right, left and centre. For them image really matters and that’s where we come in.
“We’ve also been working with Peck and Strong in Crediton who produce artisan cakes, flans, tarts, shortbreads, brownies and flapjacks for customers ranging from local cafes and stately homes to heritage centres. They’re a really forward-thinking business that wanted a complete review of their printed materials, branding, packaging and website in the run up to their 40th anniversary. The transformation has been stunning; it’s a piece of work that we’re really proud of.”
Jonny’s client pedigree is right up there and, with such strong branding expertise, it’s little wonder that All Saints Design were chosen to create Simpkins Edwards’ new corporate identity, which was launched just last year. As Sharon Roberts, Marketing Manager at Simpkins Edwards, says: “Jonny was a breath of fresh air. He advised us to put the rebranding out to tender and promptly blew us away with his design, winning the competitive pitch hands down.”
Ten years after first walking into Simpkins Edwards’ office, All Saints has grown from strength-to-strength, aided by advice from Mary Jane and her team. “Right from the very beginning, Simpkins Edwards has been there to help, no matter how big or small our need,” says Jonny. “They advised us on becoming VAT registered and outlined the tax advantages of moving from being a limited partnership to a limited company. They handle our business and personal tax, advising on dividends and tax efficient remuneration strategy, and they’ve given us invaluable guidance that’s helped grow our business.
“Most recently Simpkins Edwards have helped us move to QuickBooks. It’s taken us from using a rudimentary spreadsheet to a position where we have an instant snapshot of the financial health of the business. This enables us to manage cash flow and to plan and invest more effectively. We also know exactly where we are with our VAT; a job that used to take 30 minutes, now only takes 5 – it’s a revelation.”
“Thanks to Mary Jane and her team,” Jonny adds, “we have a strategy in place that ensures we always have the funds to pay our corporation tax. We are tax efficient and we don’t need to worry about our end of year tax returns. We trust them implicitly and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. “Through their expertise, and the knowledge that they are always there to help us no matter the nature of our query, we can focus on what we do best; helping businesses make the most of their branding and marketing materials.”