About Insignia



Established in 1981 by Robert Appleton Insignia is essentially a family business and is still run today by his daughter Claire.

Back in the 1980s Robert Appleton was the Chairman of a church furnishing company called Vanpoulles Ltd. (www.vanpoulles.co.uk)

One of Vanpoulles’ main suppliers was (and still is all these years later) a Belgian company called Slabbinck BE (http://www.slabbinck.be) who design and manufacture sacred metal items such as chalices and ciborium, along with liturgical textiles such as vestments and chasubles, bishop’s mitres and the like.

Slabbinck realised that their craftsmen involved in this skilled and detailed work making bespoke religious items could put their skills to work creating bespoke banners and flags for clubs and companies too.

Following this line of thought Marc Slabbinck, one of the Directors of Slabbinck, thought that there could be other organisations who would be interested in having all kinds of bespoke products made to their own design.

Marc discussed his ideas with Robert and his enthusiasm was infectious.  In October 1981 Insignia Ltd was established with Claire joining in April 1982.

Marc and Claire travelled the world researching the finest suppliers and manufacturers and set about researching the market.  Finding out what customers wanted and searching out more and more new and reliable suppliers of quality products to expand the range.  Eventually there were enough products to create a UK catalogue and once they were printed, Claire started on the envelope stuffing and stamping by hand!

Over the years the quantity of catalogues increased, and at one point grew to around 150,000 per year, so the envelope stuffing and stamping was no longer just Claire’s preserve!

The orders started to come in.  Slowly at first but as Insignia’s reputation grew, so did number of orders.  It is still the case now that 2 out of every 3 new customers come to Insignia due to personal recommendation.

We are proud that the majority of our customers have been with us right from the start.

These days, with the rise of internet use, we send out far fewer catalogues though they are still available on request for those who enjoy them.    

Insignia  now has an offering of over 90,000 promotional products available to its customers