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Helping a Yorkshire manufacturing business to achieve consistently high levels of growth


Everyone loves a story of a self-made hero and they don’t come much better than Canvasman. Starting out from the tiny cellar of a Victorian terraced house in 1996, the award-winning, Otley-based manufacturing business has grown to become the UK’s leading supplier of bespoke canvas products.

It is an incredible tale and BML are privileged to have played an integral role in how it has unfolded…

Canvasman, yacht at sea

Handmade in Yorkshire

Canvasman specialise in the manufacture of outdoor coverings for a huge variety of products, from boat and vehicle covers to shop canopies and upholstery. Every product they create is designed and manufactured to order by their highly-skilled production team based in Otley.

Canvasman cover sewing
Canvasman seating upholstery

"With BML's help, we've grown 25% year-on-year for the past 4 years."

Chris Salisbury, Managing Director – Canvasman

Natural Branding

Natural forms and attention to detail have always been a critical feature of the Canvasman methodology. When we were first approached by Canvasman several years ago, the passion they had for their craft was self-evident. Also clear, was the inspiration that they took from nature that translated to their design approach. Canvasman products are designed to withstand the outdoor elements. So when it came to look at the company branding, the natural option was to turn our focus on nature itself.

Also referred to as the ‘golden ratio’, the fibonacci sequence lies behind many of the world’s most seemingly complex patterns, from hurricanes to flower petals. The spiral structure of the golden ratio is also found in shell formation. Shells are designed to provide shelter from the elements and this seemed like the perfect subject matter from which to construct a nature-inspired brand identity.

Canvasman logo construction animation
Embossed business cards with Canvasman logo

"Because we can now pre-qualify clients through the website, the quality of new business enquiries has improved significantly. Our average sale value has risen by 41% since we began working with BML."

Chris Salisbury, Managing Director – Canvasman

Web Design & Development

The Canvasman product range is vast. Not only is everything they create bespoke, but they do it for a huge variety of niche markets, each with their own product languages and industry jargon to deal with.

In order to overcome this, we set about creating a visually-led website that guided users through the product selection process. The image-based navigational structure walks customers through a series of simple steps to help them identify the product most suitable for their needs.

Canvasman website
Canvasman responsive website on a smartphone
Canvasman boat illustrations

Improving Business Performance

Our strategic approach to the branding and website had a significant impact on the business. Firstly, it improved the quality of enquiries the client received because products were beautifully presented with all supporting information easily accessible. This enhanced the perceived value and helped Canvasman to justify their pricing.

Secondly, customers were able to explore the full range of Canvasman products in a clear and logical manner, rather than the limited and somewhat confusing options they presented before.

Finally, it improved the efficiency of the business by vastly reducing the high volume of administrative time they previously spent answering basic questions about their products.

The Canvasman website has more than 28,000 page views per month generating in excess of 80 new business enquiries per month through contact form submissions alone.

Google Analytics Report, June 2017
Outdoor awnings by Canvasman

Search Engine Domination

Within a few months of launch, the Canvasman website had not only made huge improvements to the customer ordering process, but had also made a significant impact on the company’s search engine results.

We optimised all on-page content for targeted search phrases, helping the business to capture the widest possible range of relevant search traffic. currently enjoys top rankings for popular searches including ‘boat cover’, ‘canvas cover’ and ‘shop canopies’.

Overall, the website accounts for a high proportion of all inbound sales leads to the business, regularly generating nearly 100 enquiries through online form submissions alone. This is testament to both the quality of the content, simplicity of the navigation and standard of coding.

Canvasman logo patch
Products and services binder cover for Canvasman


It has been a pleasure working with Dave, Natalie and their team. We chose BML because they could look after both our technical and design needs, which I found was rare in a creative agency. They also have a great ‘can do’ attitude. We were delighted with the work they created for us, which really moved us to the next level. They captured, represented and enhanced our brand perfectly and the new website is very professional. The after sales has been excellent too. I would highly recommend using the services of BML Creative.

Chris Salisbury, Managing Director – Canvasman

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