Park Benches – Perfect for Creating an Inviting Outdoor Environment

A great way to make an inviting outdoor environment is to use park benches on your property. It does not matter if they are simple or elegant, a park bench will show your neighbors that you would like the outside of your home to be enjoyed by everyone. Park benches are also a great way to meet people since when people see a park bench in a nice outdoor environment, they usually want to sit down and relax for a while.

In a way park benches are a sort of open invitation for people to have a seat and relax enjoying the outdoors. They can sit down and take advantage of whatever you have around the outdoor areas of your house whether it be a beautiful garden, a pond, or just a nice open space to have a seat. Park benches will also create some beautiful outdoor areas where you can sit with friends and family just visiting or having a little get together. They are also a great place to sit with your neighbors and catch up on the gossip in the neighborhood! The inviting atmosphere that park benches bring about can be a great social atmosphere while enjoying the outdoors.

Park benches are also not especially for the backyard or front lawn as they can also be placed near the front entrance to your home or driveway. Having a park bench placed in the front of your property will give the message of openness to everyone passing by. If you do not want people lingering around your property you should not place park benches where people will be walking by as it can be sending the wrong message when in reality you do not want them hanging out there.

Park benches, along with most types of benches, can be made from a wide variety of materials such as wood, concrete, and metal. Some of the more attractive benches can be made of wood as there are several types of wood that are common with benches. Pine is attractive but is not one of the longer lying woods. Cedar and oak last a little longer and are very attractive woods as well. One of the better woods for benches is teak, which lasts longer and is a very beautiful wood.

One way to ensure that your wood park benches last longer is to weatherproof them. If you do not weatherproof your wooden park benches they can warp, split, and become brittle as well as being less resistant to insects. For metal benches it is also a good idea to coat the metal with some type of rust resistant covering to make sure that the metal does not rust and will stay more stable for a longer period of time. There are many styles of park benches to choose from whether it be a Hyde Park teak bench or a personalized concrete park bench. The style is up to you as they can be great additions for around the outside of your home.

Graphic Design: Degree Or No Degree?

Through my design career I have come across many job adverts for a graphic designer 'with a degree'. It always made me feel a little frustrated – "If I do not have a degree do you automatically assume I will not be good enough to join your company?". Surely a designer's portfolio and / or experience should say more than a piece of paper with a qualification on it.

I studied for a higher national diploma in graphic design at college and when the course finished I had the chance of pursuing a degree in graphic design or go for an advanced diploma in art and design. One of my lecturers told me that the degree contained more theory work where the advanced diploma was more practical. I opted for the practical work … after all that's what graphic design is.

The advanced diploma was only a year of study but most of the work was project based even if the deadlines were a bit too generous at times. However, since leaving college (armed with my qualifications) I admit that I learn more during my first design role and by teaching myself. That kind of education never stops with the design world and technology continuously changing.

This led me to question the importance of a degree as a designer and I know that I'm not the only one to ask this. In my honest opinion a degree does not automatically make someone more creative and successful than a designer who is self taught or who has learnt on the job. Their portfolio should be the strongest reflection of their skills and abilities especially when it comes to finding employment. Do companies advertising for a designer 'with a degree' honestly think that they are going to employ a better designer or is it a status thing?

Now I know that things have changed since I was at college so I thought I had a look at what degree courses my local college offers and found that they offer a BA in Art and Design. Here are the modules:

Year 1: Visual arts; applied crafts; digital arts; site specific design; graphic design; performance related design; web design; animation; self-employment; video production; community art; textile design; teacher or lecturer.

Year 2 : Creative skills and concepts; integrated project; visual literacy; digital applications; specialist options: skills development; contextual studies; personal development planning.

Year 3: Creative practice; contextual practice; specialist options: skills application practice; research skills; critical and contextual studies; pathways and concepts; professional and studio practice; professional and contextual studies; creative futures.

I did not study most of this stuff and I've spent 9 years in design studios working on a wide variety of projects of all sizes and with good feedback. I'm now working full-time as a freelancer trying to grow my own business. I like to think that I turned out okay without a degree.

So I guess my question is … does a degree make a better designer or is it all down to natural creative flair, experience and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends?

Culinary Concepts – How To Create Them And How To Serve Them

Famous chefs can spend 15 hours or more a day trying to create culinary concepts. When they get it right their restaurants gain acclaim, the diners delight and may even pay hundreds for just one course.

For the rest of us mere mortals dining is a pleasure also, as is cooking for those of us who enjoy it when we have the time. Many people prefer to work strictly according to recipes created by others whereas others love the idea of ​​creating something unique in terms of culinary concepts.

How is it possible to come up with this type of culinary success in your own home? One of the largest secrets is to understand the energy of food and on top of this it is necessary to have a good palate so that it is easier to know almost subconsciously what ingredients will work together.

Of course it also makes sense to model restructured chefs who have trained and been working for years. Currently the world's top restaurant is located in Denmark and the owner chef of this restaurant only works with local ingredients. He and his team wander around in the local nature finding ingredients later to be served in delicious dishes. This is one important tip, to connect with local produce and work with seasonal ingredients.

On top of this it is a wonderful experience to listen to your inner voice about food and ingredients. On a subconscious level we often know what would be good for ourselves and our families. When we practice tuning into this we will find the best ingredients for the creation we wish to make at that time. When we cook intuitively we can produce great dishes.

This is a practice that can take time to learn but it can bring some excellent results. The reason it works is that only 12 per cent of our mind is conscious whereas the remaining 88% is subconscious. In our subconscious we hold our more primitive instincts, of which survival is central. To survive we need to eat food and to be healthier we need to eat food that varied and offers us a complex range of nutrition. So ask your subconscious before you start trying to create a culinary success.

Yet do not forget that even when the creation is delicious if it is not presented nicely then some of its qualities are automatically lost to the senses. We initially eat with our eyes, so create a work of art on the plates. This comes more naturally to some than others but again with practice the presentation will improve.

Finally ensure that the table is also as beautiful as possible. This does not have to cost a lot of money. In the same way as creating from quality local ingredients the table setting for your culinary concepts can be simple, but stylish, with a feeling of balance.

Out of Home Advertising Spotlight – Truckside Advertising

Truckside advertising campaigns are used to broaden the reach of a national, regional or local campaign. They add variety, frequency and value to a broadcast campaign or can stand alone as very efficient campaigns.

For those trying to "go green," truckside advertising is a great, though often overlooked, alternative to mobile billboards. Truckside ads are posted on working trucks that will be out regardless, while mobile billboards are on trucks that operate solely for advertising purposes.

Benefits of the Medium –

Truckside advertising can be used as a broad branding medium or as a target-specific medium (such as retail trading zone areas). If advertisers want to add a bit more to their truckside campaign, event promotional options can make great additions.

Truckside advertising is not bound to any demographic market or geographic location, so the reach is endless. This mobility allows for coverage where other types of OOH may not be available.

Truckside also provides the option of a national mass reach campaign, known as "Over the Road". This flexibility in campaign execution makes truckside advertising appealing to both large national companies and smaller companies alike.

Many national advertisers learned on the concept years ago when trying to get their brands in front of consumers in a timely, efficient manner. Truckside easily accomplishes that task because of mobility – an advertiser's message can travel from New York to Los Angeles on one media vehicle. Plus, posting full-color graphics to trailers allows for greater impact.

How It is Purchased –

* An advertiser can buy General Market GRP showing levels.

* An advertiser can purchase dedicated routes to reach specific demographic targets or geographic areas. These smaller routers make it an efficient medium for local and regional companies.

* "Over the Road" advertising can be used as a mass medium to reach markets across the US by purchasing a campaign along Interstate routes. It can also be used for regional coverage.

Markets Available –

Market availability is unlimited. About 95% of the US population can be reached using truckside advertising .

How it is Measured & New Technology –

Tracking systems (such as GPS) have been available for a number of years. However, new companies have emerged that measure audience circulation, impressions during a certain period, and other types of campaign auditing. Some fleet media companies offer online Internet systems allowing advertisers to pinpoint the location of their mobile fleet ads in real time. Some services can also provide data that can be interfaced with other databases to produce demographics by route, fleet or time of day.

SAMI (Satellite Automated Media Information) web-based technology, for instance, addresses the needs of agencies and advertisers by providing credibility through audience measurement and tracking. It allows advertisers to schedule, track, sell and audit their truckside advertising campaigns. Proof-of-performance reporting is available next day, including maps and digital photos. One company currently offering SAMI technology is Moving Images Media, with truckside advertising available everywhere in the US