4 Instances of Wildly Successful Visual Merchandising

Advertising has always been used to tug at the emotions, to make us feel or want to do something in response to the advertisement itself. Whether you are looking at a shop floor design, a national marketing campaign or just a simple poster, advertisement can be extremely persuasive if gone about the right way.

Whether love them or hate them, everyone has one or two advertisements they can remember that stick out in their minds for whatever reason. We’ll take a look at four perfect examples of great advertisements that made people think, and what effect it may have had on those people.

  1. Disney Side – Disney

Why not show your Disney Side? #disneyside was a widely popular campaign that saw shoppers coming ‘face to face’ with silhouettes of their favourite Disney characters. The set up; a simple shopping centre. A seemingly innocuous paper screen is placed along one wall of a shopping centre, making it look like an as of yet, unopened shop. Passers-by wouldn’t notice anything much out of the ordinary, but if you were to walk past at the right time you might see something a little strange about your shadow.

In the video shared by the Disney Parks, the first shopper doesn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, even though a silhouetted Mickey Mouse follows his move across the centre. In fact, the first few passers-by move along without a word. The first one to notice his silhouette replaced with Donald Duck is a young man on the phone, who hesitantly waves back. This quaint advertisement was all done in fun to ‘show your Disney side’ and is a great way of generating viral interest without seemingly trying to ‘sell’ anything.

  1. Monty The Penguin – John Lewis

This heart-warming Christmas advertisement showed the day-to-day life of a young boy and his ‘pet’ penguin. They get into all sorts of adventures, with the young boy even occasionally feeding his unwanted food to Monty. At the end of the advertisement, we see Monty united with his very own female penguin friend, as a much cherished Christmas present. Mother comes down with a cup of coffee to see her son playing with his new friends, who were in fact, plush toys all along.

It is a beautiful advertisement coupled with emotional scenes and music that takes us back to our childhood days, where stuffed toys had their own voices and personality. The caption ‘Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of’ nicely rounds off the campaign and makes the message of the advertisement very clear.

  1. 2 Euro T-Shirt

Designed as a social campaign for a cause, this advertisement is a little different. A bright gaudy turquoise vending machine is placed in the centre of a busy city. Inside the vending machine? T-shirts for a mere 2€. Once shoppers have inserted the money and chosen their needed size, instead of the shirt popping out, a small video is seen playing on a hidden monitor within the vending machine. The video shows women and children working hard, sewing t-shirts and other such clothing, without breaks, often in hard, life-threatening conditions.

At the end of the video a choice can be made; to donate the 2€ or to buy the T-shirt. Unsurprisingly, most chose to donate. It can be hard for charities and companies to ask us for our custom, particularly if it requires a monthly subscription and adverts on the television only get so far. To see how easily something as small as 2€ can change a life, without expecting to see it, can quickly tug on the heartstrings and that is exactly what this advertisement is doing.

  1. We Can Do It – Rosie the Riveter

One of the oldest and most well-known advertisements globally is still making the rounds as a magnet, keychain and poster even today. Throughout the Second World War, the Us government was having difficulty keeping construction lines working, what with many men being conscripted into the army at that time. It was therefore necessary; in the wake of women gaining their right to vote, to spur on women to ‘do their bit for the country’ and to take on more traditionally male roles.

While they were paid less than their male counterparts and were soon sent back to their traditional job of homemaker upon their husbands return ‘Rosie the Riveter’ has long been used as a symbol for female empowerment, as a sign that women can and will do a man’s job, and she will do it just as well.

Whether you are trying to sell a product or just trying to promote your new brand, advertisement is incredibly important. Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been put into promotion and advertisement design in order to get passers-by to stop, look and even buy certain products. By affecting our intended audiences emotions, or urging them to get out there and do something, we essentially encourage them towards a set goal on a subliminal level, using our product. Good advertisement is a solid power, so it is a great tool to use when promoting your brand or product.

Article provided by www.propstudios.co.uk, a multi-award winning design studio with a great experience and special focus on the design, project management and installation of bespoke luxury retail window display schemes.

Home Remedies For Keeping Your Home Office Clean and Smelling Fresh!

Although you may feel most productive while at home, you are also more relaxed and more lax when it comes to working at home. You might be a complete neat freak in an office environment in public, but the difference with a home office is that there aren’t often meetings held there. You can host conferences over skype and barely anyone else enters into your office, so cleanliness might go out the window if you’re not careful.

We’re not saying your home office is filthy but it can be easy to forget that you have to clean and maintain it just as you would a work office. People relax once they are in their homes and this is no crime, but it is essential that you try to keep your home office clean and tidy, as studies have shown it has a profound effect on the quality of your work and your levels of concentration during the working hours.

Home-Made Potpourri
Pick a scent you like, be it vanilla, lemon or lavender and create your own made little potpourri bag! Buy a small, simple organza bag from a craft shop or off the internet and use potpourri or scented air fresheners to fill it up with lovely, subtle scents. You can also make it from scratch by using coffee beans, lemon peels or even a piece of cotton with a few drops of vanilla extract dripped onto it. In order to keep everything in place (and to reduce mess) you can place it in the organza bag and then pop the bag where your office is most likely to benefit from it.

Some bags are great for musty old paperwork drawers, whereas others benefit from staying near the fridge. Of course you don’t want to ignore any overpowering odours as that is normally a sign of something off, and you’ll want to clean that. The scent bags are just a good way of making your home office smell fresh and clean all the time!

Cleaning and Sterilising the Keyboard
People don’t often realise how dirty their keyboards can get. You type on it all day, snacking on food with your fingers without washing your hands and then absentmindedly return to the keys. Dust, nail residue, crumbs and more can built up in between the keys as well as sweat and grease from your fingers, so it is important to give it a good clean every now and then.

Make sure to unplug the keyboard before cleaning it. Most keyboard keys have a special mechanism that means they are easy to snap off and snap back on again. Use a credit card for the first few keys and wiggle it about gently so that you don’t break the mechanism, then once a few keys are free you can easily remove the rest.

Get a spray bottle and fill it with 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar slightly warmed in the microwave with a few droplets of tea tree oil. Leave the keys in another, smaller bowl of vinegar/water mixture to soak while you give the base of the keyboard a few good squirts. Leave it for a few minutes then wipe it down fully with a clean cloth. You might see a lot of gunk come off the keyboard this way, so try wiping it down with a tissue first! Dry off the keys and then wiped down all surfaces with a scented wipe (to get rid of the vinegar smell). Once everything has dried fully, you can snap the keys back into place and plug the keyboard back in. Lovely!

Regular Clear Outs
Little things like organising your paper tray every week and emptying the bin before it gets too full will really help when it comes to keeping your home office clean. It might not seem like a big deal but it can help in the long scheme of things and reduces the amount of objects you have to fiddle with when you should be working on long projects! If you have a fridge in your home office, make sure to give it a wipe down every now and then and remember to throw out of date food out, otherwise it can build up a nasty smell over time.

By making little amendments often throughout the month, you will be able to keep on top of office cleaning far better than you would if you try to do one big clear out every few months or so. If you let it build up you might be tempted to keep allowing it to get worse and worse, so it is always good to get into a regular cleaning routine before it gets too bad. Even something as small as throwing away old or broken pens every week and making sure any shavings are properly put in the bin will be a massive help in the long run.

Article provided by Supreme Office Cleaning; a professional cleaning service based in London and Kent established in 2006.

3 Reasons Why Booking a Venue Instantly Gives Your Event Class

From drafting the initial plans to sorting out the transport to and from the venue to the cuisine provided, organising an event puts a lot of strain on you. It can create a lot of pressure for you to do well, particularly if you are hosting a business event for industry partners or esteemed guests. Likewise the pressure is also’ if you have been assigned the job of finding a venue for the school dance or school prom.

Whether you were tasked to organise this event on your own or you lead a planning committee, the decision to hold the event at a certain venue can be a risky one. What if the guests have difficulty getting to the venue? What if the venue does not accommodate all of the guests? What if the venue is not able to cater to the needs of every guest? There will be a lot of doubts and worried running through your mind but it is important to remember that if you have done this our research properly and organised everything in advance, you shouldn’t have any serious issues.

Here are three reasons why booking a separate venue instantly wins brownie points for your event organisation skills.

  1. Equipment Designed to Suit the needs of your conference

From overhead projectors to interactive whiteboards, computers with PowerPoint, Wi-Fi access and conference call features available, conference events can often get pretty heavy handed on the technology side of things. With a huge range of different venues to choose from, you will be able to pick a venue that has the equipment you need to run a successful convention.

If you are unsure as to whether or not your potential venue provides these features, all you can do is ask. Bear in mind that it may not be enough that a venue does provide all these features; you might need to run them at the same time. Check if sufficient power outlets are provided and whether or not running costs are included in the booking, otherwise you might find yourself paying some nasty surprise fees.

 

  1. A Neutral Location to Discuss the Future of the company

If this is a business conference and you are looking forward to networking, the concept of meeting at a neutral location can be quite an attractive one for potential partners. It puts them at ease and allows them to enjoy themselves in a more relaxing environment, which would not be the case had you hosted the event in your own company offices or conference room.

When making connections, it is important to get a potential business partner to trust you before making any arrangements and they may not feel as if they can speak freely at your own conference rooms. A booked venue provides a neutral location where you can discuss the nature of your partnership and the future of this partnership with the business.

 

  1. Catering Services provided by the venue

Do not worry about sorting out the catering options.  In many cases event venues are specifically designed to cater to the needs of your party members and so long as you have notified the catering staff of any dietary requirements beforehand you should have no issue. Some venues even provide several choices in order to meet your catering requirements, so if you are having a formal dinner, a choice of menus is always beneficial and makes a good impression on your superiors.

Some venues may include the price of the wine in the booking costs per head, others may include just one free half bottle or one free bottle per head with extra charges applying afterwards. It is important to realise that most, if not all venues will not allow you to provide your own cuisine, so making good use of the catering options provided is essential.

 

At the end of the day it is not about scoring points with anyone in particular, but if you have learned anything from booking your first event, even if it is just to be a little more conservative with the budget provided, you can chalk that up as a win. When it comes to organising business events, everyone is going to have that one event that might not go so well, but if you prepare adequately beforehand, you should have no problems. Stay calm and do your research before jumping in and making a booking out of the blue. In all honesty, the very fact you have chosen an external venue in favour of a boardroom or in office meeting room for the event speaks volumes. Good luck!

 

Article provided by www.bestvenues.london, an online venue sourcing service that is completely FREE to customers. Looking for a unique, quirky or unusual place for your event? Best Venues specialises in providing the perfect place for your celebrations!

The Rise of CCTV

CCTV has had a huge effect on the way in which we treat security systems, protect our valuables and monitor illegal activity. It is certainly something we take for granted considering its recent emergence and high-tech characteristics.

You are likely to find CCTV everywhere in the public domain as well as in domestic and commercial properties. There’s no doubt CCTV has become something we simply accept for what it is, so how exactly has it turned into one of the most important security features of our generation?

The vast majority of businesses nowadays will take full advantage of CCTV to prevent intruders from getting away with stolen property. In addition, consumers have invested millions in having CCTV installed for their premises to encourage tighter security that reduces the risk of theft. Ultimately, it helps prevent anxiety surrounding the potential for robbery and theft and gives both domestic and commercial property owners peace of mind.

Over the years, CCTV cameras have taken many different shapes and have subsequently developed to become more efficient in catching criminals in the act, from bank robberies to speeding. Here’s how this fascinating bit of tech has evolved over the years.

Before Commercial Use

CCTV was actually first introduced to monitor V-2 rockets in 1942 in Germany, with engineer Walter Bruch using the technology for monitoring purposes only. This is the earliest documented use of CCTV. However, it was soon as introduced on a commercial scale and in 1949, the system was promoted by an American government contractor.

This was CCTV in its infancy, so it could do little more than monitor live events and didn’t have the capability to capture or record events. This meant that anyone using these systems would have to be watching a live feed and note down anything suspicious.

The First Video Recordings

It was recognised that the data provided by CCTV could be incredibly valuable to detectives and government officials, so methods of capturing and recording this data were thought up and tested. These were first introduced as highly primitive reel-to-reel recording systems which used magnetic tapes.

These tapes needed to be swapped manually which cost a lot of money and proved to be both difficult and unreliable. These systems were relatively rare due to the cost of manufacturing, so it’s no surprise operatives soon got tired of threading tape from the used reel through the recorder onto a new empty reel.

The Age of VCR’s

It wasn’t until the introduction of VCR’s that surveillance technology was unearthed once again and rapidly developed to create far more reliable, cost-effective and efficient CCTV systems. VCR’s, or video cassette recordings, were widely available in the 70’s and it was this technology that was passed over to those working on new and improved surveillance cameras.

Thanks to this new technology, CCTV was given a new lease of life and could now be used in many different ways. Screens no longer needed to be monitored by staff, with systems running by themselves and recording collected data. Business found this new form of CCTV to be extremely handy, especially when it came to catching thieves who, unexpected to them, had been caught stealing private property overnight.

Like most groundbreaking technologies, these CCTV cameras were far from perfect and still had their flaws. Only so much data could be stored on one tape, meaning that any criminal investigation required shelves upon shelves of tape recordings to be stored like a library, taking up plenty of office space.

The Introduction of DVR’s and NVR’s

VCR’s could only take CCTV so far and soon enough, in the 1990’s; DVR’s (digital video recorders) were introduced. It was these systems that enhanced the user-friendly experience of CCTV cameras, with installation and the collection of data becoming far easier. Digital recorders meant that video tapes were no longer required, so the age of countless amounts of tape stored on shelves was eradicated to the relief of many.

This takes us right up to date and to the introduction of NCR’s, or network video recorders. These systems process and encode footage before streaming it to NVR’s for storage purposes or remote viewing. If a firm has multiple site locations or various departments, NCR’s are incredibly useful and allow for CCTV throughout an entire network.

CCTV has reached greater heights since its introduction in 1942 and, with the technology in such high demand, it’s likely that it will continue to develop and give us even more assurance about our levels of security on both a domestic and commercial level.

Article provided by Stephen Parkes of www.rentrifone.com, a London based Security Company specialising in door entry systems, CCTV, access control systems and digital satellite TV systems.

I’d love to Work There! 4 Stunning and Stylish Office Designs

World Best Office Design

When we think of offices we think of the typical boardroom, black and white and grey desks, whiteboards or interactive boards, pie charts, graphs, pictures of long landscapes etc. We think of an environment that is essentially, stifling, boring to work in. This is not our fault, it is how many forms of media has portrayed offices for over 50 years, in books and comics and even in films and on television shows. We have been brought up to believe that an office job is stifling of creativity; it is a boring and unwanted place to be.

However many of us will spend a great deal of time within an office, whether it is for meetings or as a part of a desk job, or even doing paperwork at our home office. So why must it be portrayed as something unwanted, hellish? Surely it would make more sense to create an office environment that overwhelms the senses, engages the creative mind or even encourages free thought? Because that is not the ‘official’, ‘professional’ sense of what an office should be.

Some of the largest marketing and business companies worldwide are well known for their unique brands, their stance on revolutionising the world as we see it and their office spaces are no different. We’ll have a look at four national and global companies that take a very different approach to the layout and design of their offices, and why these designs have helped their brands become so successful.

Invention Land
Self-marketed as ‘The World’s Largest Invention Factory’ Invention Land is a place where ideas are born and solidified. The company boasts having sold products in over 1200 online and retail stores, with numerous industry awards claimed by Invention Land alone. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Invention Land, Invention Land’s offices contain a number of ‘themed’ exhibits where ideas are able to bounce around and grow in a colourful and creative environment.

Step aboard the Pirate Ship Discovery, for example, a tech office designed on the deck of a Pirate Ship. With dangerous waters swimming below and a full cast and crew of model pirates, this section of the office is to encourage game design. In contrast the Nursery Nook, designed after the Woman who Lived in a Shoe, is where children’s toys, books and nursery products are designed. The Nursery Nook also doubles as a place of rest; an ideal location for some of the world’s busiest mind, when things get a little bit too much. a

Google
Everybody who knows at least how to search for something on the Internet and their Aunt Mildred knows about Google. As one of the leading companies for innovation and as one of the companies leading the online industry, the Google offices are certainly something else. Boasting a wide range of different seating arrangements, from angled plastic chairs to beanbags to ‘rest pods’, the Google offices are a place for work, ideas and even rest.

One particular unique element about the Google offices are their cafeterias. Known only as ‘cafes’ the eateries present in Google offices encompass a wide range of cultures and styles. Whether you are looking for a quick sushi lunch, a refreshing coffee, or you just want to sit down with a simple sandwich on a secret garden-esque rooftop, it seems Google has every option. Plus, employees eat for free!

Facebook
Another company well known for its variety of seating and meeting rooms, the Facebook offices are a mish-mash of wooden decks and soft cushioned areas, with lush bean bags in conference rooms and sun sparkled patios perfect for quick luncheons before rushing off to the next meeting.

One quirky feature in the Facebook offices are that many of its conference rooms are drawn from pop culture, such as Awesome Town, or a blend of characters and cocktails such as Darth Jager and Jar Jar Drinks. The company also offers a number of recreational rooms, designed to help employees wind down or calm down after a particularly stressful session in attempting to build the future for everyone. Whether you fancy a round of Guitar Hero, or a refreshing game of chess in a quiet room is more your ideal, Facebook has it all.

Zynga

Known for really changing the social gaming industry, Zynga has taken some great steps towards bringing video games into a more mainstream media. While some ‘hardcore gamers’ find this to be a step away from the ‘Golden Era’ of video games, many others welcome this new casual foray into games, as it brings people closer together for a mutual love.

 

The offices at Zynga are no different, with a number of social and friendly competitive games dotted around the office, such as an arcade, the Zynga offices even have their own ‘take your pet to work’ week, which does wonders for relaxation and productivity, encouraging creativity in all forms.

While these revolutionary offices are well known for their business success, it may be a few more years before these designs are more widely circulated. However it is certainly a step in the right direction and works well for bringing the ‘office environment’ back into the list of ‘places in which we’d love to build a career’.

 

Article supplied by www.completeinteriordesign.co.uk, a commercial interior fit out and office refurbishment business comprised of highly experienced designers – serving Surrey, Sussex and London since 2012.

How 3D Printing has Affected the Design and Implementation of Specialty Industry Equipment

Although not currently readily available for your average Joe to go out into the street and buy one, 3D printers are fast becoming the popular technology of today. If you have a little bit of technical know-how, and don’t mind a fairly hefty printer taking up space, you can even purchase a 3D printer for yourself, or at least purchase all the parts to build one.

3D printing is a wonderful new technology that is still in its final design stages at the moment, but if you’ve been following the technical news you may have seen some of the fantastic things already printed with 3D printers today. There are a number of problems the modern world faces that may be solved – albeit not overnight- by the implementation of 3D printers into the workplace, into the factory setting, even into hospitals at some point in the future.

So what does this mean for engineers who specialise in creating bespoke equipment for industrial companies or computer programs? Some experts have expressed concerns that this new 3D technology may make the applications engineering business market obsolete; however this is not necessarily the case.

How do 3D Printers Work?
Like with any sort of 3D design or modelling, a design must first be built in a 3D modelling program. The design has to be flawless, with all surfaces accounted for; otherwise there will discrepancies in your printing. Unlike our brains, computers cannot make assumptions and so will only work on what they have been given, so make sure all the gaps are filled in!

There are three main ways a 3D Printer will ‘print’ each object; Direct 3D Printing, Binder 3D Printing and Photopolymerization. Direct 3D Printing uses inkjet technology to move a nozzle back and forth, dispensing a fluid onto the printer tray. Unlike inkjet printers however, this printer uses waxes and plastic polymers as opposed to ink, and also move up and down as well as left and right, creating a structure which solidifies to create a cross-section which will eventually become a 3D object.

Binder 3D Printing works in a similar way, although instead it uses two separate materials in the printing layers which come together to form a single layer. These materials are a fine dry powder plus a binding element, normally liquid glue. The final method is Photopolymerization, whereby drops of liquid plastic are then exposed to an ultraviolet laser beam. This then converts the liquid plastic into a solid, forming the print.

What Can You Make with a 3D Printer?
Like with many of these inventions, often the only limit to what you can print is your imagination. Everything from spare parts to figurines to working instruments and even coffee cups and clothing! It is all dependent on whether or not the materials needed for these creations can be condensed into a liquid or powder form; such as the 3D printed clothing, which uses the Photopolymerization method to solidify thermoplastics into a wearable form.

Scientific breakthroughs have seen people being able to 3D print scans of an unborn child, 3D printing skin grafts and even managing to successfully 3D print a working synthetic ear. There are whispers in the works that 3D organ printing is in development; however it is not yet entirely clear whether or not this is a hoax. Regardless, 3D printing skin grafts is still a fantastic feat.

Using 3D Printers to build Speciality Industry Equipment
Although currently there are a limited number of uses for 3D printing, new and exciting discoveries are always being made, so there may be a time in the near future where we can even ‘3D print’ metal objects for use in engineering. As it stands the 3D printers can only currently handle plastics and similar materials, but this is still incredibly useful for small programs, stabilisation trays and even spare parts for 3D printers!

It is not clear how close we are to seeing a 3D printer with the ability to create industry specific parts and equipment, but due to the way 3D printing is progressing so far, it is safe to say that it is certainly not outside of the realms of possibility at this moment in time.

What this Means for Engineers who specialise in Bespoke Equipment
If harnessed correctly, this could be a turning point for engineering for the better. 3D printing is at the moment still unfinished, however more and more uses for 3D printing technology are being discovered to this day, so it is not to be dismissed as a passing fad.

By creating the initial bespoke ‘design’ for the equipment, there is still a need for engineers and designers to complete this design process. Once this design has been created for the bespoke piece, the 3D printer can then mass produce that single part, allowing for far less discrepancies, once a design is finalised and approved.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be less of a demand for human engineering when it comes to bespoke equipment, only that bespoke equipment may be easier to mass produce, with the help of a fully operated, working 3D printer. Of course due to the materials used in the printer, this only works for small equipment pieces and will not be implemented for heavy machinery at the current time.

When it comes down to it, machines can only go so far when innovating human engineering. While programmed machines can perform a task to a speed and precision far better than a human worker, it will still require a manual input of the initial design, or any edits needed to be inputted manually. It is for this reason that we will continue to see professional application engineers working alongside programmed machinery, to create a faster, brighter future for the rest of us.

Article supplied by Mike James, a content writer for www.appeng.co.uk, a UK based application-engineering specialist operating from the East Sussex studio since 1983.

5 Office Tools For Helping Left Handed Children

Office Cleaning Tips

Written by Sarah O’Reilly of http://www.whiteleysoffice.co.uk/, an office furniture specialist based in Kent and renowned for providing a high-quality, full project management service for all types of office design.

Around 10-12% of the worldwide population is known to be Left-handed, making lefties in the astounding minority. However handedness is not always a gift or a curse, it just makes getting used to certain tools a little harder for children! Whether you or your partner is left-handed, by some strange stroke of chance your child has started to exhibit left-handed tendencies; gripping the pencil in his or her left hand, using the left hand to do many tasks and so forth.

When it comes to schooling and education for your child, you may have to think about buying them some left-handed friendly equipment so that they can easily adjust to school life without having the odds turned against them (or their hand!).

This may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re five or six years old and you’ve just finished painstakingly writing your name on a piece of paper in bold, colourful letters, only to make a right pig’s ear of it by crimpling and ripping the paper instead of being able to cut it like the other children do, it can get very frustrating very quickly. These minor annoyances are things that right handed people take for granted, but it can really start to grate on you.

Kit your child out properly for his or her new school with this selection of left-handed friendly office tools which helps them to celebrate and nurture their difference.

  1. Scissors

Left-handed scissors are an essential part of any pencil case! It is likely that your child will be doing a lot of cutting and sticking, particularly in primary school, whether it is mixing and matching shapes, putting together a project or even making a cardboard diorama. Classrooms do provide left handed scissors, but often they are few and far between and are old and grubby. Provide your child with a fresh (and safe) pair of left-handed scissors so that they are never left out.

  1. Notepads, Journals and Portfolios

Spiral bound notepads can be the biggest perpetrators when it comes to annoying left handers, as there seems to be no comfortable place to put your hands when writing in said notepads, apart from the centre of the page! Left-handed spiral bound notepads are designed to open to the right, with the spiral on the right hand side. You could always just flip the notepad upside down, but your rules may be a little skewed as well.

The same principle works for folders and portfolios. It may look strange at first but it certainly saves your child’s hands from enduring metal imprint marks from the notepad or folder whenever they have to write or take notes down in any detail!

  1. Pens and Ink Pens

Graphite pencils and ink pens are often the bane of existence for left-handed people. Ink pens can help people to create beautiful calligraphy and were the staple in Victorian England, however they are simply not designed for left-handed people. Ball-roller pens are also a little awkward, as the way left-handed people write forces the ball to roll in the opposite direction, meaning the ink can come out in splurts and splatters.

Buying special gel pens and rollerballs designed to be used by left-handed people use quick drying ink so that there are no smudges caused by your hand. There is even a collection of soft grip pens designed to help children find the most comfortable way of writing with a pen!

  1. Home Desks

Particularly at University lectures, you can get those weird wrap around desks which makes it very hard for left-handed people to write comfortably without twisting their wrist around or arching their spine awkwardly so that they can properly rest their arm upon the desk. While this is unavoidable in schools, there are a number of desks designed for home use that are friendly to both left-handed and right-handed people. Shop around!

  1. Tech Accessories Cases

Phone cases and tablet cases often open out to the left. In some instances this is no problem, as the case will easily fold behind the phone or tablet, but it can get frustrating. With specially designed left-handed tools, the cases fold out to the right, leaving your left hand unhindered from the bulky case!

All in all, being left-handed does not disadvantage your child in any way. They’re not going to have trouble concentrating, or learning how to spell or write if they are left-handed. It is just that the tools of the trade can get a little frustrating to use for left-handed people. And this doesn’t just stop at writing tools; clashing elbows at dinner, using a can opener and even shaking hands can be a little awkward for left-handers! However you choose to look at it, there is nothing wrong with a left-handed child; it can just get a little awkward to use right-handed tools at times!

How To Choose a Reputable Courier

When it comes to choosing a courier for a package – whether it is a delicate package or a large parcel or something that is worth a lot of money – it is important to do your research first before jumping in with the first courier that you cross paths with. Although many couriers will be widely known due to marketing and ease of access, depending on the style and size of your package they may not be the best courier for you. Likewise, if you want to have your package delivered quickly, the same courier service responsible for swift service may not have so many positive reviews when it comes to ensuring the package’s safety.

Similar to any online service that you are unsure of, taking care and putting the research in will hopefully save you from bitter disappointment later on. Some of the key things to look out for when choosing a good courier are:

Know your Parcel
For a start you need to know the dimensions (that’s height, width and length) and the weight of your parcel, as well as its intended destination. Knowing the specifications of your parcel will ensure that you can get an accurate quote online and will also ensure that you pay the right amount of postage up front with no nasty postage surprises – although import tax may still be required of the recipient depending on the destination of the parcel.

Price
Pay close attention to the price. Obviously you’ll want to go for a good deal, but if the prices seem too good to be true, then in all likelihood, it probably is. Unlike cheap produce or chocolate that you can buy from a supermarket, couriers are providing a service and a certain amount of labour will go into this service. Essentially, as they say, you get what you pay for…

Along this same vein, be careful that you are not overcharged for your service. Use price comparison websites or compare prices yourself manually, as the price comparison websites will always give the lowest price which may not be reflective of your parcel’s dimensions.

Delivery Style
Does your courier request a particular pick up and drop off time? Will they give you a tracking number? These are the sort of questions you want to be asking, as they are an indication of a good courier who provides a dedicated service. By asking for specific pick up information they imply the intent to see to it that the package is safely picked up and delivered. Obviously you can never be 100% sure of a delivery service but if they are requesting specific information, it gives further proof that this is a courier company that cares about its service.

Tracking numbers and information is also useful to have as you can check up on your parcel as it makes its journey. Particularly helpful if you’re running a small business and are sending out valuable stock, with closer relationships perhaps with your customer base.

Reviews!
With today’s technological world, it is very easy to find reviews online if the courier is genuine and reputable. Try to read a small sample of reviews before you decide to buy. Check whether or not the reviews sound genuine as unfortunately there are scripts that people can write in order for them to generate fake reviews online on behalf of their products. If there are a number of reviews of varying lengths and in different writing styles, then you’re probably in the clear.

Please bear in mind that many large companies may not have 100% positive feedback. In general people are more likely to make a comment on something if they have a complaint about it, which is why we may see more negative reviews than positive on a service online.

Personal Experience
Finally, Word of Mouth is still in existence, even if competing with the web… so take advice from friends if they have used a courier before. If you are completely unsure, ask a relative or a friend who has used a courier. Chances are somebody you know will have needed a courier service at some point in their lives, so it is always good to ask.

Happy posting!

Steven Korrell is an online content editor for www.randlogistics.com, a market leading parcel broker delivering goods across the UK and all around the world.

How to Find A Property Conveyance Solicitor

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If you are in the process of buying or selling property, you may be searching for a good conveyance solicitor to work with. There are many types of lawyers and legal professionals who you can choose to work with, but not all specialize in real estate law. For example, a criminal lawyer may have a profound understanding of criminal law, but he or she may not be aware of all of the nuances associated with real estate law. The process of conveyancing can be intricate, detailed and confusing at times, and there are many laws related to various components of the buying and selling process. Working with a procession with experience in this area of the law can be beneficial.

 

Certifications and Affiliations

Many individuals who practice real estate law have local certifications and affiliations related to this specific area. Some of the associations and organizations that offer certifications and membership require lawyers to meet minimum guidelines regarding training, continuing education and other relevant factors. You can begin researching some of the certifications and affiliations that solicitors in your area may be affiliated with, and you can research the educational or membership requirements that are in place for those. This can help you to determine which certifications and affiliations are most relevant when you are searching for a solicitor in your area.

 

Experience and Expertise

You can also read a solicitor’s professional resume posted online to learn more about his or her qualifications. Some specialize in certain niche areas of real estate, such as residential or commercial real estate law. Some may have graduated from a prestigious university, and they may have been working in the field for many years or even decades. Experience matters when you are looking for a real estate lawyer to help you buy or sell property, and the more experienced professional you can find, the better.

 

Conveyancing is a complicated process, and the law touches on many related areas in a real estate transaction. From the sales contract to property inspections, appraisals, mortgage financing and other areas, the law spreads into each of these areas. A solicitor’s knowledge, skills and support in this area can help to guide you through your transaction. However, not all solicitors have the same qualifications and experience, so pay attention to each of these points carefully in order to make the best overall decision possible. In addition to these points, you may also consider interviewing a few professionals to find one whose personality you enjoy. After all, a real estate transaction may take several months to complete, and you may work closely with your professional throughout the process.

Why Business Owners Hire a Lawyer

Whether you run an online business or are constantly present at your company’s location, it is important that you are aware of liability laws and how they may impact you. Even if you operate a virtual company and have employees who work from an office, your business may be liable in the event that they are injured. Personal injury lawyers can work with your business to ensure that it is protected from liability claims. It is in your best interest to meet with a lawyer prior to starting your company so that you can deal with any potential liability issues.

 

Investing in Business Liability Insurance

One way to protect your business in the event of a personal injury lawsuit is by investing in business liability insurance. This type of insurance provides your business with coverage in the event that an employee wins a lawsuit against your company. If the employee is awarded a judgment by the court, the insurance policy will pay for the judgment amount. You do not have to worry about draining company funds to afford the claim of an employee.

 

Workers’ Compensation Claims and Lawsuits

Often, an injured employee will want to seek workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a form of financial support that pays for all of the worker’s expenses during his or her time off of work. People typically only associate workers’ compensation claims with those who work in the construction industry. The reality is that numerous other individuals, such as working mothers, may also have workers’ compensation claims. An entire family may depend on the income of a working mother. If she becomes injured at work, then the family may need a source of income from a workers’ compensation award to survive.

Because state statutes typically limit the workers’ compensation award that an employee may receive, the employee will typically try to sue the business or other individuals responsible for causing the injury. Workers compensation lawyers can help your business prepare for a lawsuit if an employee has maxed out his or her workers’ compensation benefits.

 

Potential Liability in Owning a Business

If you plan on owning and operating a business that hires employees, then you must consider investing in insurance to protect your company. Hundreds of carriers have authorization to write workers’ compensation insurance policies in your state. An employee may also be eligible to receive compensation from a public carrier. States typically have their own state-run workers’ compensation funds to provide benefits for injured workers.

If a business owner fails to invest in workers’ compensation insurance, he or she may be subject to penalties under the law. A business owner may need to pay a hefty fine and may also face penalties for misrepresenting records. Failing to have workers’ compensation insurance for businesses with over five employees may be a felony or misdemeanor crime in one’s state.

 

Prepare Your Business for Success

Your business should always be prepared in the event of a lawsuit. If an employee is severely injured on the job and suffers from a permanent disability, then he or she may be entitled to unlimited benefits. Make sure that you are ready to handle any employee claims by speaking with a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer may help you find the right insurance policy or assist you if an employee has already filed a lawsuit.