James Heal


The brief

British manufacturing has faced a torrid time over the last 30 years. Low cost overseas products have forced down prices, driving many companies out of business. Textiles has been hit particularly hard.

James Heal designs and manufactures testing instruments, primarily for the textiles industry, the best in the business. But with cost becoming an unwelcome battle ground in the quest for market share, they wanted to be able to compete on quality, not with discounts.

With a core focus on ensuring the business’s branding would support the high quality instruments and business growth we set out to:

• Help grow sales and profit, and position the business for sale.

• Help James Heal charge premium prices for its premium products.

• Develop a new product signature.

• Inspire a culture of innovation.

Setting the Standard

The first step of the Thompson process is to dig deep to fully understand the business we are working with. In the case of James Heal, this involved a factory tour, research into the market and competitors, one-to-one interviews with staff and conversations with the company’s international agents and key customers.

Prior to the rebrand, the business was operating under multiple names. We found it made sense to the customers to combine the various names into a single name – James Heal. This might sound obvious, but for a company that traded under five different names and identities, this was a big step.

Drawing visual inspiration from technical instruments, a simple new mark was designed to lie at the heart of the brand. Complemented by bespoke type to form the logo, the identity represented everything James Heal was about. The brand stands for being the leader in its field and the modern mark helped to provide the confidence that the business was badly missing.


Since the rebrand in 2011, James Heal has set off on an unprecedented period of business growth. From 2010 to 2016, total annual sales increased from 7.75m to 13.04m, an increase of 68%.

“A huge thank you for creating such a fantastic new identity… I am sure it will add value for many years to come.”

Amanda McLaren, Managing Director.