Yep, that’s right. I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties for ages now. Not for a lack of things to talk about; there’s plenty, but it all seems to be going into the book at the moment. There is one thing that has been a blocking force though: running my own business.

From Sole Trader to Ltd.

At the start of this month, Mark Boulton Design Ltd. started trading. This switch from Sole Trader (then LLP, then back again) to Ltd. is for a number of reasons:

  1. We’re set to grow. Currently Mark Boulton Design employs a bunch of freelancers on a project by project basis. The difficulty with this is, I need someone to manage that workflow whilst I Art Direct the output from the team. This is going to be much more straight-forward as a Ltd company.
  2. Tax. There are tax reasons for going Limited. As a Sole Trader, any income over £33,000 is taxed at 40%. As a corporation, you pay 19% (or it might be 20 with the new budget) on your profits (if your turnover is up to £300,000). As a director of a company, I’m also taxed on the salary I draw from the business. It is common-place for directors to take a small salary (which is taxed at normal rate), and then top it up with Dividends (which are taxed at 10% or 32.5%), therefore making some savings there.

Getting out of the house

That right. Hopefully—all being well— - Mark Boulton Design Ltd. will be relocating to the hussle and bussle of media central in Cardiff: Cardiff Bay. (you know, where Torchwood is filmed). I’m not going to talk too much about it in case I jinx the whole deal but it could be very, very cool.

Why move? Working at home isn’t easy. In fact, it’s really tough. I remember talking with Andy Budd about this during @media last year. The distractions aren’t really the problem. The feeling you’re not escaping the same four walls is. Also, if we’re going to grow, there’s no room and I’m going to find it difficult to recruit full-time staff if I’m not located in the capital.

Five Simple Steps

I know that book is late. I’ve not been neglecting it however, I was just very naive to think that it could be completed in a month or two. In fact, It has worked out rather well for one simple reason. The book will now be released under Mark Boulton Design Ltd. instead of me personally. I know that doesn’t make much difference to anyone who buys it, but it will mean that for every copy sold, the tax man will take £2 instead of £4.

Release date? Well, I’m not going to give a date. I have a date in my head though but I’ve learnt the lesson from last time. As I’ve told a few people now, it will be ready when it’s finished and not a moment later.

Not being slack anymore

A couple of things to talk about tomorrow. There will be an update from Flow (with screenshots) and an article on Masthead design here at I’ve been thinking a lot about Mastheads recently for one reason and another, and I thought it would be prudent to document my thoughts on how masthead design fits in with grids, ratios and whitespace.