Fast facts

Business:
Typocolour

Managing Director:
Jonathan Hare

Website:
www.typocolor.com

Phone:
01695 720551

Location:
Skelmersdale

Based in Skelmersdale, Typocolor is a family business with more than 40 years’ experience of producing colour promotional products such as colour cards for large paint manufacturers including Crown and Dulux as well as for the automotive, cosmetic and construction trades. 

Managing Director Jonathan Hare explains how this global company has evolved to succeed in a truly challenging market. 

“My father founded the company in 1972. He worked for ICI at the time and having heard about the problems companies such as Dulux and Crown were having in finding someone who could accurately and consistently reproduce their paint colours on colour charts, he saw an opportunity. 

“He invented a machine which could print colour cards as well as doing the really difficult bit – making sure the colour on the cards matched the paint in the tin. 

“My father went into production, working on his own for Crown and Dulux.  At the same time a firm in Germany was doing the same thing but struggling with the colour matching. It was actually these two business clients that brought the two of them together and effectively financed them into the market.” 

The quality of the cards the company was able to produce meant that they experienced significant growth in the 70s, 80s and 90s as the home decoration market grew, but then as Jonathan explains, advances in technology meant clients decided to cut costs by printing digitally or just offering online representations of their product colours. 

typocolor

“Colour cards are essentially a marketing tool,” says Jonathan. “So as digital technologies improved there was a tendency to want to save money in this area. 

“It did have a significant impact on Typocolor and our competitors, but in the last 10 years the market has almost come full circle. 

“It became apparent that for large scale projects, such as construction projects where consistency in colour really matters, digital representations of colour simply couldn’t match up to the traditional printed versions. As a result clients increasingly had claims made against them when batches of colour didn’t match the samples, costing them much more than what they’d have paid to have colour cards produced.

“What we’re seeing now is a shift back to physical representations of colour by large professional suppliers of colour because they can be confident that what we produce is an accurate and consistent representation of their products.” 

The last decade has also seen significant changes to Typocolor itself, with the German and British sides of the company splitting to become two separate family businesses. 

To guarantee the company's survival at a time when many competitors were struggling, Jonathan, who runs Typocolor with brother in law Andrew, decided to downsize, focusing on projects with key clients such as Dulux and Crown. 

“As the sole UK provider of colour cards, Typocolor has always operated in an international market. 

“We’re lucky that the global companies we work with have really supported us through changes in the industry,” says Jonathan. “They’ve recommended us to different parts of their business which has enabled us to expand into France, the Netherlands, the Middle East, Russia, South Africa and Brazil. 

“We’ve succeeded because we downsized, but it’s been tough, and bringing Cassons on board has really helped to stabilise the ship financially.”

Supplying a full range of accountancy, bookkeeping, taxation and payroll services to Typocolor since 2009, Cassons has in effect become the company’s ‘third man’, says Jonathan. 

“Cassons is a safe pair of hands, we can trust them and they understand the boundaries of our company. 

“They’ve seen us through some tough times, but thanks to them I don’t have to worry about the financial side of things – all the reporting, all the taxation information is up to date and nothing is missed. There’s always someone I can speak to. 


 

Jonathan Hare

“Cassons have had a big impact on the way we’re able to run the business. In a lean business like ours there’s not much spare management capacity, and the expertise they have leaves me free to concentrate on the business itself.”


 

And Jonathan is full of praise for Cassons’ Client Relationship Partner Carlton Cooper, who provides advice and support on business structure, streamlining accounts and helped to put Typocolor’s workplace pension scheme in place. 

“Carlton’s very effective”, explained Jonathan.  “When we need things to happen, he makes them happen very quickly. 

“It can be difficult to work with family businesses, but he’s a great listener and knows exactly when to offer advice.”

typocolor and cassons

Carlton elaborated:  “We have an excellent working relationship with Jonathan and the team at Typoclour.   We provide a full back office service with the provision of bookkeeping and monthly reporting services, leading up to annual compliance reporting.  This means that Jonathan has completely up to date figures throughout the year about all aspects of the business.

“I ensure that Jonathan is completely at ease with the monthly reporting and we have regular strategic reviews to interrogate the numbers in more detail with him.  Jonathan has very clear objectives for the business and we work closely with him to help him ensure he achieves them.  He is running a fantastic business and we want to make sure it stays that way!”

Jonathan concluded:   “For us, the biggest thing is to have confidence in the people who are taking financial care of the company, and that’s exactly what Carlton and Cassons have given us.”

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