Twice recently, clients have opted to use vendors that are cheaper rather than my recommended suppliers. In both cases, this has entailed my doing a lot more work to manage the vendor and a loss of quality. It doesn’t even make economic sense as the client has to pay me for the additional time![Read more…] about Beating down prices
Hard working kitchens
Lindsay has a really interesting life story, she has overcome a number of obstacles, including a stroke two years ago from which she is fully recovered.
Just this week I was discussing internet rabbit holes and how they are a complete waste of time …. and now I have spent over 30 minutes looking at craft materials on CraftStash because they are running a bank holiday special offer with free delivery this weekend and I could get some shiny new stuff ….. Enough said.
Craft industry in the UK
For more than half the makers in the UK, crafting is a second career with, actually, quite a reasonable average income. The vast majority of them are sole traders. (Source: Crafts Council)
The area that I live in has a surprisingly high number of artists, sculptors and craftspeople in it, so much so that they hold a festival once a year and you can visit them in their studios. These visits can be a fascinating. Last year I watched jewellers, printmakers, stonemasons and glass blowers creating wonderful items right in front of my eyes.
40% of UK adults have purchased and a further 23% are considering purchasing a ‘craft object’ which makes this a substantial industry, generating in excess of £1.8 billion a year. (Source: Creative Industries Council)
I’m sure all of us know of someone who creates beautiful items (a friend of mine who makes intricate quilts comes to mind). Are you one of those who creates or are you one of those that admires (and buys)?
The nominations for the Women in IT Awards 2019 are now open – you can vote for a deserving women in the IT profession until 19 September 2018.
Why is it important to give awards to women in IT?
“As a woman in IT for over 25 years I’ve often been the only woman in the room or team or event.” – Joanna Hodgson, Red Hat (source: Jaxenter)
These women are trailblazers. Some of them work in fields that have never employed women before. Some of them work in fields where the majority of employees are men, which can be challenging. They open up the idea that women can do these jobs and do them well.
Award ceremonies like this recognise women who work in a specialist field and encourage them to continue while at the same time they publicise the kind of positions that are available to women so that others can see what is possible. Awards can also highlight businesses that provide opportunities for a diverse workforce.
Role models for the future
Women like Sally Bogg, who won the Business Role Model of the Year in 2017, show young women that they can work in areas that they might not have previously considered as a career. Sally is Head of End User Services at Leeds Beckett University, leading teams who provide IT/AV support to the university. The award is given to those who have demonstrated effective role modelling.
Whatever career you want
“I’ve gone through my career and there’s always been a burden with various records, but I just want to win races, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, so to get my first British F3 win, female or not, is great.” – Jamie Chadwick, first female to win a British F3 race (source: Jamie’s blog)
We all know a small boy who declares they want to be a racing car driver or a little girl who wants to be a ballerina – what they see as children has a strong influence on what they think will be possible when they are grown up. We need to encourage girls to dream big dreams by showing them that they can do whatever interests them.
We’ve already started discussing Christmas in the office. Colleagues have spotted Christmas items in the shops and adverts are creeping in. Now, I totally understand why, from an e-commerce shop owner point of view they need to optimise the amount of sales they make between now and the end of the year but not everyone feels that way.
Super organised mums
We mothers have to be super organised, and though I have a long list of birthdays to get through in the next couple months, I have also started planning Christmas gifts particularly for those friends and family that live overseas.
Wishing you a merry Christmas!
Top of my wish list this year is jewellery, which I think is always a special treat, like the chunky charm chains from Tilly Sveaas.
I also need/want to replace my trusty yellow Radley handbag that was ruined by a spillage this year. One that I can’t even blame on the toddlers. My beloved Radley is admired by everyone and is the conversation starter I have used to my advantage at networking events and in shopping malls.
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I’m admiring this pretty pink handbag by Kate Spade, the stripey inside appeals to my sense of humour…..although I also like the really bright cherry/vivid combo of the Cedar Street Hayden Satchel, my sister would have an apoplectic shock as she hates pink/red as a colour scheme.
These are closely followed by the usual suspects of clothes, perfume and candles. As I will probably devote my energies to the presents I need to purchase for friends and family, I may have to leave these ideas as hints for SO and other loved ones to buy on my behalf 😉
Setting colour aside, do you know what your font says about your company? Fonts can have a gender bias, an age slant and tone of voice.
A font can have tone of voice, I hear you say? Definitely. There are big shouty salesy fonts, clean clear professional fonts and friendly approachable fonts – here are just a few examples of fonts that are similar to well known brand logos – can you recognise them?
Loud fonts that sell products:
Clean clear professional fonts:
Friendly, approachable fonts:
Fonts for body copy
For corporate branding you not only need a font for your logo but you need a compatible heading & body font to carry through all of your marketing materials (and ideally every document that is generated by the company) to keep branding consistent.
Here the choice can be restricted by the output; for the website you can use a web-safe font or you will need a web font service like Google Fonts or Typekit to render the fonts correctly across visitor’s browsers.
For print purposes, it can be better to choose a font that is designed specifically for print, like Times New Roman or Garamond, Verdana and Helvetica (the latter, incidentally, look great onscreen too though any designer will groan inwardly when you recommend them).
Serif or sans-serif? The choice is yours
From a branding standpoint, the choice between a serif and sans-serif font can be straightforward but there is another consideration; legibility. On which font type is more legible onscreen, the research sits on the fence. It could be down to personal preference.
Legibility research is inconclusive as to whether serif fonts are truly better than sans serif.” – Nielsen Norman Group
Ideal font size
A more important choice in my opinion is what size fonts you are going to use. I am a big fan of clear type – although I have the best eyesight of any of my family members, I am fully aware of how difficult it can be for them to read text onscreen or off.
Regular print is 10-12 points in text documents, according to RNIB, but I have seen designers go right down to 8 or even 6 points for small print – and I’ve watched many a customer squint to read it!
One of my favourite copywriting gurus is D Bnonn Tennant and he suggests a minimum 16 pixels for online body copy.
I know what you’re thinking. “Did he just say 16 pixels? For body copy? Obnoxiously big! 12 pixels is ideal for most websites.” I’d like to persuade you otherwise…..” – D Bnonn Tennant
Of course, there are other considerations when writing, particularly online, like line spacing, paragraphs and headings, but my gut feeling is ‘why make it difficult for your customers to read your text?!’ What kind of message does that send to your customer?