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23 Aug 2021

Trophies: A Guide To Celebrating Success

Trophies: A Guide To Celebrating Success

Celebrating success in the workplace can be crucial in encouraging your employees and retaining their talent. Any team members who feel undervalued won’t show loyalty to your business, so you’ll see higher staff turnover, and you’ll need to hire more often. Make life easier and more enjoyable for yourself and your team by organising recognition awards!

Trophies are an excellent and cost-effective way to reward employees who have gone above and beyond. Here is everything you could need to know about trophies and a guide to celebrating success in the workplace.

Trophies Can Be A Personalised Award

Designing personalised trophies and awards is an incredible way to show appreciation to your staff, encourage healthy competition, and boost morale. Simple glass plaques and silver trophies are a more accessible option than custom awards. Still, they demonstrate much less time and dedication in your planning than a personalised item.

Recognition is much more rewarding with a personalised token of gratitude. The time and effort of personalised trophies prove how much you value your staff. Working closely with an acrylic developer like Midton allows you to decorate your awards with any design and any message you’d like.

Trophies Can Suit Any Occasion

Since you can tailor a trophy with any design you’d like, they’re suitable for any occasion. Many companies have employee recognition programmes to honour their top-performing or longest-serving employees with a bespoke acrylic award. Achievement awards are a terrific way to acknowledge those who have worked hard throughout the years publicly.

There are various ways employers can recognise employees through personalised trophies and plaques. You can create different award categories as it is understandable that not all people will be top-performing salespeople. Rewarding extended service staff members, best of the best in a department, regional management, core values and rising star employees is a great way to include everyone and make them feel appreciated.

Trophies Can Be Treasured For Years

Of course, trophies aren’t the only way that you can demonstrate appreciation for your team members. Other typical awards include gift cards, greetings cards and company meals as a celebration. While all have their benefits and are enjoyable for different reasons, high-quality trophies will last for years. In comparison, gift cards and company meals are quickly forgotten. Greetings cards are less valuable too. 

Any trophy you award to staff members can be displayed on their desk to admire for the rest of their career. A reminder of your appreciation for their dedication and hard work is always present during any workday. Doesn’t that sound like a worthwhile investment? 

Trophies Suit Customers And Suppliers Too

A personalised thank you for your customers and suppliers is a terrific way to show your appreciation to the people who keep your business afloat. Suppose you’ve seen a particularly successful product launch or your most significant year of profit yet. In that case, that is cause to celebrate – and not just with your employees! Bespoke trophies make an excellent trinket to your most dedicated customer. At the same time, deal toys are a type of trophy specifically suited to businesses you’ve decided to partner alongside! Show all your supporters what you’ve achieved together with a personalised acrylic trophy that will withstand the test of time.

Personalised trophies and awards are a cost-effective, timeless and beautiful way to honour your business’ prominent supporters. While your team members may seem like the most crucial people in the life of your company, you’d be useless without suppliers and customers, so you ought to celebrate your success with them too!

Trophies Are Particularly Cost-Effective

Employees’ dedication and hard work are often vital in making your company successful. Showing appreciation and recognising them for their continued contributions goes a long way. Introducing an employee recognition programme to your business will increase job satisfaction and productivity and improve employee loyalty. No matter the cost of your trophies, you’re likely to see a financial return on that investment in hard work.

Business success can feel tough to celebrate since it depends on a lot of factors. Your suppliers’ reliability, customer demographics, interest rates, and inflation can make or break your brand equally. What is easily forgotten is the success of your business also depends on your employees, and they’re an element of your business you can control. Celebrate and empower them!

Trophies Mean Exciting Award Ceremonies

Who doesn’t love an award ceremony? An excuse to get dressed up and enjoy fancy food with your colleagues never goes amiss, and trophies are what you need to make an awards evening happen. You’ll be thrilled to hear that an internal awards ceremony will motivate your employees since they’ll recognise that hard work is publicly acknowledged, rewarded and appreciated. After all, an awards ceremony is a public affair, which always proves more fun than a private ‘Thank You card.

If celebrating company success can’t include an actual celebration, like an awards ceremony and afterparty, then what’s the point? Of course, you can’t throw a bash every month, or the trophies will feel common and lose their special sparkle, but annually gives employees something to look forward to. 

Trophies Are Nationally Appreciated

While we’re considering awards ceremonies, you must remember that internal events aren’t the only option. You could host or attend an awards evening for your industry and meet businesses from all around the region! An external awards ceremony with personalised trophies would be an incredible way to celebrate your hardest workers publicly and spread your name amongst your competitors. Trophies are equally well-received by other businesses. They could include your logo for free publicity should you host the event.

Industry awards are a great way to build credibility for your company and attract new talent. Attending significant events and gaining recognition from authorities in your sector gives your team reason to be proud, and new confidence in your capacity as a company.

Trophies Are Easy To Design

With the assistance of an experienced acrylic manufacturer, designing and manufacturing your bespoke trophies can be completed with ease. The team at Midton will walk you through every step of trophy creation, including the initial design right the way through to manufacturing. Contact us to find out more.

23 Aug 2021

Why Buy A Resin Sculpture?

Why Buy A Resin Sculpture?

Have you considered a resin sculpture for your office? Likely not. But there are plenty of reasons your decor would benefit from a personalised art piece. Resin is a lightweight material, and it can be adapted to resemble porcelain, stone, bronze and marble! No matter your office colour scheme or theme, you’ll be able to develop a resin sculpture to perfectly suit your space or accentuate your light.

Perhaps you’re still unconvinced. At Midton, we can promise that your office environment sets the tone for any workday and beautiful surroundings are worth the investment. Still, why buy a resin sculpture? What benefits will you see? This article will cover exactly why you need a resin sculpture.

Firstly, What Is Resin?

Resin is a unique compound of chemicals hardened to form a more durable material. Four types of resin are used to create art. Types of resin include epoxy, acrylic, polyurethane, silicone and polyester ‘fibreglass’ resin. If you’re planning to create objects using moulds, like sculptures, acrylic resin is the best option.

Why Choose Resin For Your Sculpture?

Resin’s glass-like lustre, strength and plastic-like composition are what make the material both attractive and versatile. It is as suitable for fluid art as it is for impressive, wall-length sculptures. Simply put, any resin material is the chameleon of art supplies and can be applied with various mediums.

What Can Be Made With Resin?

There are endless possibilities for what you can create with acrylic resin, as long as you can develop a mould for it. Rather than creating a product from scratch, you can also preserve items in acrylic. Acrylic castings are a more unusual form of sculpture. They encapsulate everyday items and can take forms other than a basic cube. Still, they’re a minor form of art that can jazz up any desk.

What Are The Benefits Of A Sculpture?

  • A sculpture can kill stress: Decorating a workplace with warm features and a stunning sculpture can create an atmosphere of comfort and familiarity. If you incorporate your calming company colours into your sculpture, it can instantly relax your staff members! Using a sculpture to liven up any dull corner of your office means that even the dreariest rooms away from sunlight aren’t stressful to be stuck inside.
  • Beautiful surroundings increase productivity: Your productivity can’t help but increase when you’re in a place that is inspiring and creative. An exciting sculpture sets the tone for your office and encourages artistic thought. Never underestimate the power of design! You can personalise a resin sculpture as much as you’d like, and it can reflect your business values in colour and text. The sight of your statue could inspire new ideas!
  • A sculpture is an ice breaker: Sometimes colleagues won’t know how to start a conversation and strike up a friendship. Having easy conversation points like a sculpture can ease staff members into comfortable chatter since everybody has experienced your artwork. Your office doesn’t need to be an art gallery, but it’s easier to talk to anybody when you find some common ground! A sculpture can provide quick common ground.
  • Sculptures can reinforce company values: Since your sculpture can be entirely personalised, the design can embody your company values. Suppose sustainability is a huge concern for your business, and you dedicate time and effort to the environment. In that case, you can design your sculpture with this in mind. Your artwork can include your desire to help the environment in printed or engraved text. You can create the sculpture with sustainable plastic
  • Artwork can be motivating: Should you incorporate your company values into your sculpture, your artwork will also remind employees daily of the mission they’re trying to pursue. On days where your team lacks confidence within their role, the statue can act as a visual reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish together. Even if everybody is sick of recycling, the artwork reinforces your ultimate vision for sustainability.

Will A Resin Sculpture Impact Your Customers?

Of course, your customers are your main priority and your top concern at any time. As beautiful as sculptures can be and as exciting as designing artwork for your office may appear, it’s understandable if you don’t believe a sculpture will impact your customers. After all, workplace decorations won’t concern fans of your business that haven’t experienced your office!

A resin sculpture is very likely to impact your customers, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Artwork, or a lack of it, will visually define your company. Just as a logo represents your brand, any sculptures or paintings you invest in will reflect your values as a brand. Suppose you favour a bright and bold sculpture. In that case, you embody a brilliant and fearless attitude, while muted tones give the impression your company is more relaxed and reserved. Your values educate what attitude your staff will display towards your customers, which will directly impact them.
  • Commissioning artwork encourages new relationships. Unless your speciality is in sculpture design and creation, you’re likely to seek the advice of experts for your artwork! Commissioning your new piece from a local artist or a bespoke acrylic manufacturer builds your presence and your reputation with other businesses. Other businesses have the potential to refer clients to you, so you could secure more customers by simply sorting a sculpture for your office.
  • A sculpture would be ideal for showing on social media. You are entirely correct when you say that few of your customers will experience your office, but you could change that with some photos. A personalised sculpture would be fabulous to document for your social media and demonstrate that you invest in beautiful surroundings for your staff. A peek behind the scenes in your office with your artwork encourages a feeling of loyalty from your fans! It’s a win-win.

Get started designing your own acrylic sculpture with our experienced team at Midton. Regardless of your brand colours, company slogan, or height and weight requirements, our team will develop artwork that you’ll be proud to display in your office! We have the expertise to create fully custom materials that’ll suit your every requirement. Contact us to begin your acrylic design journey; you won’t regret it!

13 Aug 2021

Influencers: Why They Deserve More Recognition

Influencers: Why They Deserve More Recognition

Most employers provide recognition awards to staff for reaching specific goals or working for the company for a certain length of time. Employers do this because they appreciate the hard work and time their team put into the company and want to give something back. 

Some people put in hours and hours of work and don’t seem to get much recognition in return: these people are influencers. Most of us follow them on social media and view their creative content. They work with brands and help increase their revenue. So why do they not get more recognition? It’s a job not always taken seriously, but with the rise of the influencer in recent years, this needs to change.

What Is An Influencer?

People who have built a reputation and following on social media. Influencers often know a niche subject, and therefore have followers with similar interests. Because of this reputation and audience, they have the power to affect (influence) the purchasing decisions of their followers.

So you know what an influencer is, but why are they such a big part of modern marketing? According to a report by We Are Social in 2019, 3.484 billion people actively use social media worldwide, 45% of the world’s population. Looking at this statistic, it only makes sense that brands target social media for their advertising. 

What Is Influencer Marketing?

The way brands advertise on social media has changed. Most social media users will scroll past paid advertisements without reading the post. A survey showed 36% of people in the UK use Adblockers on their phones. People like genuine content rather than over staged, glossy, forced advertisements. 

Influencer marketing is where a brand collaborates with an online influencer/creator to market one of its products. The process involves the influencer posting regular photos or videos about the product and the number of posts depending on the agreement. Essentially, a brand will exchange money or goods for a certain number of posts about their product. They want access to the followers, and paid advertising isn’t the way to do this anymore.

New rules state that anybody on social media advertising a product for a brand must declare this to their audience. Under the CAP Code, ads ‘must be obviously identifiable as such’. This means the content creator must include a statement such as ‘ad’ on the post itself.

What Makes Influencers Great Marketers?

They Understand Their Target Audience

Influencers have spent a lot of time and effort creating their own communities on social media. They understand what people like to see and what content gets the most engagement. Influencers know the difference between authenticity and forced advertising; they will only post about products they know their audience will love.

They Give Brands Access to a Wider Audience

Working with influencers gives brands access to thousands, even millions, of people they may not otherwise be able to target. This audience can be pretty niche. For example, if you want to advertise a tech product, you find an influencer with a keen tech-based following. This gives you access to the perfect target audience that otherwise may be difficult to narrow down.

Can Be Cheaper Than Traditional Marketing

Influencer marketing changes in cost depending on the types of influencers you choose to work with. The fewer followers, the lower the price. If a brand is short on money for advertising, targeting influencers with a smaller following, but having a keen audience, can be highly cost-effective. You reach an ideal audience for a small cost. Perfect for small businesses.

They are Trusted By Their Audience

As mentioned above, influencers have built a trusted, close community. This means their followers are aware that if they post about it, they genuinely love the product. Traditional advertising isn’t personal, like a review from a natural person is.

Ways to Support Influencers and The Work They Do

Reward Them For Their Work

If you work for a brand that has worked alongside an influencer and wants to thank them, do so! Consider a bespoke product or recognition award. YouTube currently provides plaques to creators who reach a certain number of subscribers, so why should influencers on other forms of social media not receive the same?

Interact With Their Posts

If you like something an influencer has posted, comment, share, save, like! The more interaction on their posts, the more attractive their page is to the Instagram algorithm and potential brand deals.

Understand That Paid Work is an Essential Part of The Role

Some people look down on influencers posting advertisements, but a lot of the time, this is their job. Without paid advertisements, influencers wouldn’t be possible! And most of us enjoy following them, so be understanding and support them.

If You Want To Work With Them, Ask!

If you are a new small business and want to spread the word about your new service, reach out to some smaller influencers. You don’t always have to offer money. Most people with a smaller following will exchange social media posts for a product, as long as it’s authentic to their content. Reach out to people who you think will genuinely love your product!

Hopefully, you now agree that Influencers deserve a lot more recognition! So much hard work goes into nourishing their career and following, so it only seems apt to put more effort into recognising this work. The future of influencers is exciting, and this new form of marketing is going away at any time soon.

If you do like the idea of providing a recognition award to somebody you’ve recently worked with, contact us at Midton. We create bespoke mementoes and awards, let us know your ideas, and we will do everything we can to make them come to life.

13 Aug 2021

How to Strengthen Your Business Relationship

How to Strengthen Your Business Relationship

Relationships are a crucial part of everybody’s life; they give us communication and help rid us of stress. This doesn’t just apply to your personal life. Businesses relationships are equally as important. After all, most of us spend most of our time at work, so why not work on these relationships more?

Strong business relationships are vital to the success of a business. These relationships can be between companies, clients, colleagues, and anybody you contact throughout your business journey. Not only do positive relationships help build a business’s reputation, but they also make colleagues feel appreciated and motivated.

There are many ways you can help build business relationships. Recognising hard work with a custom deal toy or financial tombstone, or any other meaningful gift can make a business partner feel recognised. Alongside physical gifts, there is a lot we can do to strengthen relationships and ultimately help a business grow.

Why Are Strong Business Relationships Important?

Strong business relationships take time; they can’t be built at the click of a finger. Relationships need to be given attention and nurtured as good working relationships make colleagues feel appreciated by acknowledging their hard work. Positive relationships attract new customers and also encourage them to return. Potential clients are a lot more likely to work with a welcoming, friendly company. Also, people are more likely to recommend your service to others.

How to Build Strong Business Relationships

With Customers & Clients

Build Your Brand & Create Engaging Content

When creating your brand, you want to create a welcoming, inviting feeling to attract customers and make them feel comfortable. When using social media, be friendly and chatty to your audience. You can even host giveaways or competitions; consider a bespoke acrylic encapsulation. Hosting these events help to connect and build some rapport.

Ask For Feedback

Not only should you ask for feedback, but you should ensure you act upon it. Don’t dismiss bad reviews; reply to the customer and let them know their problem is heard. Use this feedback to your advantage. You can better your business whilst also building trust with your customers & clients, encouraging them to continue using your service.

A study by Microsoft shows that 52% of people around the globe believe companies need to take more action on feedback provided by customers.

Get to Know Everybody You Work With

Get to know your customers & clients on a personal level, as much as appropriate. This lets them know that you care about them, not just taking their money. Alongside this, you are also getting to know your target audiences interests and needs, which you can use to improve your service.

With Colleagues

Recognise Hard Work

Has an employee really put some effort into a recent project, and you want to let them know just how much you appreciate them? Consider a recognition award. These can be for reaching a goal at work, or maybe to celebrate long service. Tell them face to face, thank you! And give them a memento to remind them of their achievements.

Engage With Employees

Data analysis shows companies with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable. Let your colleagues know what’s going on in the business, don’t keep secrets, and don’t forget to check in on how they are doing. Also, measure this information and make sure you do something to help employees who need it!

Give Employees Some Ownership

Let your employees have a voice! When changes are happening in the business, ask for ideas and advice. After all, the business performance relies on the people doing the job, so your employees should always say how things are run. 

Also, let your employees work directly with clients. Let them own some stock. Give employees something to manage; they will likely be a lot more invested in their job, which results in harder working employees.

Hopefully, you’ve got some great ideas to help strengthen those important business relationships. If you have ideas for recognition awards for your employees, or you would like some financial tombstones to celebrate a recent business deal, contact us at Midton. We are one of the leading memento manufacturers, creating bespoke acrylic encapsulation awards for a wide variety of businesses.

03 Aug 2021

The 7 Types of Plastics

The 7 Types of Plastics

Written by Hollie-Beth McGregor Updated August 21 –

Plastic isn’t as simple as many people may think. 

Found in a multitude of types, shapes and colours – not all plastic is born equal, each with different users and different purposes. Some are reusable, while others aren’t, due to the chemicals they contain. Due to this, some can be easily recycled, while others must be disposed of in a different way. 

To ease the process of understanding, in 1988, the Society of the Plastics Industry introduced the Resin Identification Code (RIC) system which divided plastic resins into 7 different categories. The purpose of this was to “provide a consistent national system to facilitate recycling of post-consumer plastics”. Since the invention of this system, the RIC has been recognised as the worldwide standard for plastic classification.

The difficulty people face when it comes to plastic is the limited facilities available for recycling. While most consumers do their bit by placing plastic waste into the recycling bin, most often, this waste fails to arrive at the right place. In 2019, the rate of plastic waste recycling in the UK sat on average below 50% (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, UK Statistics on Waste), meaning over half of our plastic is deposited into landfill or incineration. 

The issue at present is the cost demanded to separate and recycle these different types of plastic using specialist machines. While local councils within the United Kingdom collect recycled waste from our bins and kerbside schemes, they fail to account for all types of plastic. Additionally, which plastics are recycled depends on the facilities local councils have available – making for a difficult process. 

Below, we have outlined the 7 types of plastic, their uses, and their ease for recycling

1) PET

PET, composed of polyethylene terephthalate, was first introduced by J. Rex Whinfield and James T. Dickson in 1940, and is one of the most commonly used plastics on the planet. This holds the number one spot due to its widespread ability, mostly used for food and drink packaging purposes, due to its strong ability to prevent oxygen from seeping in and spoiling the product inside. 

Source – Unsplash 

All PET plastic bottles hold the capability to be recycled. In fact, it shows a positive history, commonly received as the most widely recycled plastic in the world. Recoup’s ‘UK Household Plastics Collection Survey 2014’ confirmed that nearly 60% of PET plastic bottles in the household waste stream are now being collected for recycling. This is a phenomenal increase from the slim figure of 3% in 2001. 

Not only are we seeing an increase in recycling figures, but the industry is constantly innovating and improving. PET plastic bottles have been redesigned so that they are 30% lighter than 15 years ago and increasing the presence of recycled plastic within the manufacturing of the bottles themselves. We have also seen a shift in marketing from big name drinks companies to encourage and educate consumers about the importance of recycling. 

2) HDPE

High-density polyethylene, or HDPE, was discovered in 1953 by Karl Ziegler and Erhard Holzkamp, created by the use of catalysts and low pressure. This plastic is quite special compared with others, due to its long, virtually unbranched, polymer chains that create density. This makes the material stronger and thicker than PET, providing a more stable and safer option for food and drinks use. The incredibly resistant resin is commonly used for grocery bags, milk jugs, and recycling bins among others. Resistant to impact, and with the ability to be subjected to high temperatures without being affected, HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic – commonly accepted at most recycling centres in the world. 

Source – Acme Plastics

3) PVC

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is one of the oldest synthetic materials in industrial production. This was discovered by accident twice; once in 1838 by French physicist Henri Victor Regnault, and by German chemist Eugen Baumann in 1872. On both occasions, these men found PVC occurred inside vinyl chloride flasks left exposed to sunlight. The essential raw materials for PVC are derived from salt and oil. PVC is the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic, coming in two basic forms of rigid and flexible. This material is commonly used in toys, clingfilm, medical supplies, and the construction industry.

Source – Green & Growing 

Although a commonly used plastic, PVC is often described as “poison plastic” due to the numerous toxins it contains and is harmful to our health and the environment. This makes this plastic the most hazardous plastic. On top of this, PVC is one of the least recycled materials, with generally less than 1% of PVC plastic recycled each year, and is rarely accepted by recycling programmes. Due to this, we recommend avoiding PVC at all costs.

4) LDPE

LDPE, or low-density polyethylene, was the first polyethylene to be produced, and can therefore be referred to as the grandfather of this material. 

Source – Polymer Solutions

This plastic has less mass than HDPE, hence why it is considered a separate material for recycling. LDPE makes up for about 56% of all plastic waste, with 75% of this coming from residential households. The plastic is characterised by low-density molecules, with significant chain branching – including longside chains that make LDPE less dense and crystalline, supporting a thinner and more flexible design. It holds the simplest structure of all plastics, meaning it is cheap and easy to produce. 

Unfortunately, this plastic is quite difficult to recycle, and is not often recycled through the curbside programme. 

5) PP

J. Paul Hogan and Robert L. Banks of Phillips Petroleum Company discovered polypropylene, or PP, in 1951. At this time, they were attempting to undertake the simple task of converting propylene into gasoline, but a new catalytic process was discovered for making plastic. 

Polypropylene is the second-most widely produced commodity plastic. This is a hard and sturdy material, with heat resistance, widely used for hot food containers, alongside thermal clothing, and car parts.

Source – Omnexus 

Although this plastic shows promising use, and a lot of this plastic is created, only a small fraction is recycled. This is mainly due to its difficulty in recycling, and services that are offered. Because of this, PP should unfortunately be avoided where possible. 

6) PS

Polystyrene, or PS, was discovered accidentally by German apothecary Eduard Simon, while preparing medication. This was found by isolating a substance from natural resin, although at the time, Simon had not realised what he had discovered. It took German chemist, Hermann Staudinger, to research the polymer and expand its uses. 

Source – Waste 4 Change 

Since then, polystyrene has shown huge popularity, and not for positive reasons. Known by the commercial name, Styrofoam, PS is a very inexpensive resin and easy to create, found everywhere from drinks cups, to insulation, to packing materials. However, since polystyrene is lightweight and easy to form into plastic materials, it also breaks effortlessly, making it more harmful to the environment. It is not considered biodegradable, and is among the worst types of plastic. Beaches all over the world are littered with pieces of polystyrene, endangering the health of marine animals. Animals do not recognise this material as artificial and often mistake this for food, causing serious effects on the health of birds or marine animals might swallow it. 

In addition to this, polystyrene is not accepted by many curbside collection recycling programmes, and is not often separated and recycled where it is accepted. 

7) Other Plastic

If a plastic cannot be identified with the above-mentioned six types, it filters into group number seven. These remaining plastics include the likes of polycarbonate, polylactide, fiberglass, nylon, and the material we specialise in here at Midton, acrylic. 

Source – Midton for Tom Palmer

Making sure we recycle our plastics is now more important than ever. It was predicted, in a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (LINK: (http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf), that by 2050, the number of plastics in the sea would be higher than the number of fish. Everyday, around 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans, with Britain contributing an estimated 1.7 million tonnes of plastic annually (LINK: https://www.condorferries.co.uk/plastic-in-the-ocean-statistics). 

One of the greatest difficulties we face when recycling plastic is knowing where to put it, currently lacking the public facilities needed to recycle plastics to prevent them going to landfill. 

Here at Midton, we’re dedicated to making this easier. That is why we offer our acrylic recycling scheme, taking back any acrylic we’ve worked with to ensure it is recycled and reused throughout our processes – eliminating as much waste as we can. 

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    30 Jun 2021
    People Planting Trees in Romania

    One Tree Planted: Romania, Reviving the Carpathians

    One Tree Planted: Romania, Reviving the Carpathians

    One Tree Planted Romania

    Written by Hollie-Beth McGregor Updated June 21 –

    This month, our communications team picked our One Tree Planted project. Mark, our Communications Executive, picked to fund a project in Romania, reviving the Carpathians. With our sales this month, we have been able to donate close to 1,600 trees to this project, while donating over 60 to our national grove with Trees for Life. 

    In the Făgăraș Mountains of the southern Carpathians, significant surfaces of forest were clear-felled during the period of 2005-2015, and have not been replanted. This project, combining Foundation Conservation Carpathia and One Tree Planted, aims to plant 200,000 within this region. Speaking of the project, One Tree Planted explains: 

    “The Carpathia Project does not just replant clear-cuts of the past with the most common species, but recreates the natural forest composition, already adapted to possible future climate change”.

    The Carpathian Mountains form some of the largest contiguous forests on the continent, containing an extraordinarily high number of species – home to the largest European populations of large carnivores. This land has been victim of illegal logging with many thousands of hectares of forest lost, posing a severe threat to the integrity of the Carpathian ecosystem. 

    So far, this project has used eleven different tree species, amongst them European Yew, which has been reintroduced into the southern Făgăraș Mountains. Further ecological benefits are the restoration of the forest floor, where erosion and heavy rainfall has caused lost topsoil and negative consequences for aquatic fauna. 

    Saplings for this project are grown in local tree nurseries. During the following years, the saplings will be checked and replaced where needed. Those that own the land where this replanatation will happen, have guaranteed the protection of forests in perpetuity on these properties. 

    This project is alongside Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC), who were founded in 2009 by 12 philanthropists and conservationists with the goal to stop illegal logging, and to protect a significant surface of the Carpathian forest in the form of a completely protected area for future generations. Ultimately, the aim of this project is to return the land to the public domain for permanent protection in the form of a National Park. From this, they aim to create a world-class wilderness reserve in the Southern Romanian Carpathians, large enough to support significant numbers of large carnivores. 

    Outside of this project, FCC works on a wide variety of social issues. Additionally, like One Tree Planted, the organisation hires its rangers from the local communities, providing important jobs and income opportunities. A large portion of the daily labour within this project is made up of Roma families, who are in economic despair, but have found a stable source of income through this programme, and thus aren’t forced into illegality and timber stealing. 

    Here at Midton, we’re proud to support a project that has such a wide-spread impact on the Roma community. We encourage you to check out both our tree planting partners, One Tree Planted and Trees For Life, to find out more about both organisations, and how they make projects like this possible. 

    Planting Trees in Forest

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      18 Jun 2021
      Acrylic Casting in Lab

      What is Acrylic?

      What is Acrylic?

      Acrylic Casting in Lab

      Written by Hollie-Beth McGregor Updated June 21 –

      Origins of acrylic 

      A synthetic resin, acrylic is produced from the polymerisation of methyl methacrylate. Poly(methyl methacrylate), also known as acrylic, is a transparent thermoplastic – often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Acrylic is often sold in sheet form under brands such as Altuglas, Plexiglass, Perspex, and Lucite. As an acrylic manufacturer, here at Midton we work with both sheet acrylic and cast acrylic, for acrylic encapsulation. 

      Like all plastics, acrylics are polymers. The word, polymer, derives from the Greek word poly, meaning many, and meros, meaning a part. Thus, a polymer is a material made up of many molecules, linked in a chain. These polymers may have hundreds, or thousands, of molecules linked together. Additionally, these polymers have properties entirely different from its individual component parts. 

      The first acrylic acid was created in 1843, with methacrylic acid following closely behind, formulated in 1865. Acrylic was a British discovery, found in the early 1930s by chemists Rowland Hill and John Crawford at Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in England. ICI registered the product under the trademark Perspex. Around this time, chemist and industrialist Otto Röhm of Rohm and Haas AG in Germany attempted to produce safety glass by polymerising methyl methacrylate between two layers of glass. The polymer separated from the glass as a clear plastic sheet, which Röhm gave the trademarked name Plexiglass. Both Perspex and Plexiglass were commercialised in the late 1930s.

      Following this, Dupont, in the United States, subsequently introduced their own product under the trademark Lucite. The first major application of the new plastic took place during World War II, when acrylic was made into aircraft windows and bubble canopies for gun turrets. Civilian applications of PMMA followed after the war, and are now an integral part of today’s society. 

      What is it made of?

      Polymethyl methacrylate as a polymer, derives from the basic molecule (or monomer) methyl methacrylate ([CH2=C(CH3)COOCH3]). Methyl methacrylate may be formed in several ways. A common way is to react acetone [CH3COCH3] with hydrogen cyanide [HCN] to produce acetone cyanohydrin [(CH3)2C(OH)CN]. This, in turn, is a reaction with methyl alcohol to produce methyl methacrylate. 

      PMMA is produced by free-radical polymerisation of methyl methacrylate in mass or suspension polymerisation. During polymerisation, one leg of this double bond breaks and links up with the middle carbon atom of another methyl methacrylate molecule to start a chain. This process continues to repeat itself until the final polymer is formed. Controlling the proportion of these monomers produces changes in elasticity and other properties in the resulting plastic. 

      Properties of acrylic 

      A clear, colourless polymer, acrylic is available in pellet, small granules, and sheet form – which go on to be formed through all thermoplastic methods. Acrylic is suitable for processing by injection molding, casting, extrusion and thermoforming. Additionally, the material is a thermoplastic, which addresses the way it responds to heat. 

      Thermoplastics become liquid at their melting point (160 degrees Celsius in the case of acrylic). This means that they can essentially be heated, cooled, and reheated without significant damage. Instead of burning, thermoplastics liquify, allowing molding and recycling. Due to this, PMMA is endlessly recyclable, making it a sustainable plastic. In contrast, thermoset plastics, such as resin, can only be heated once. This first heating causes thermoset materials to set, causing a chemical reaction that cannot be reversed. If you attempt to reheat a thermoset plastic, it will burn. This makes thermoset materials a poor candidate for recycling. 

      Acrylic is a tough, highly transparent material that can be coloured, moulded, cut, drilled, and formed. In terms of properties, acrylic exhibits glass-like qualities such as brilliance, clarity, and transparency. The plastic has 10 times the impact resistance of glass, with half the weight. 

      Commonly used throughout society, acrylic is used throughout architecture and construction, lighting, design, automotives, electronics, and medical supplies. As an bespoke manufacturer, we’re here to help with any project you may have in mind. 

       

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        18 Jun 2021
        Laser Cutting Acrylic

        Acrylic vs Polycarbonate

        Acrylic vs Polycarbonate

        Laser Cutting Acrylic

        Written by Hollie-Beth McGregor Updated June 21 –

        Acrylic and polycarbonate are two of the most popular clear plastics, and are often seen as direct competitors. There are, however, very distinct differences in each material that make for more appropriate use in their own jobs. So, what are the differences?

        Make-up  

        Firstly, both materials are formed in a different manner. Acrylic plastic polymers are formed in a process called bulk polymerisation. With thickness and shape of the project considered, either batch cell or continuous method processing is used to form the plastic.

        Polycarbonate differs from this, composed of Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phosgene. There are a few different ways to create polycarbonate, one such method being free radical polymerisation. The use of BPA in polycarbonate is home to much debate surrounding the toxicity of the chemical. Some research has shown exposure to BPA has cause for health concerns. 

        Properties 

        Both plastics are noted for their light weight qualities, half the weight of glass but with a much stronger impact resistance. 

        Acrylic is the stiffer of the two plastics but also proves to be more scratch resistant than polycarbonate. While both plastics appear clear, polycarbonate falls behind acrylic in translucence. Particularly when working with thicker sections, acrylic proves to present much higher clarity. This makes acrylic the more logical choice for design projects, awards, and tombstones. Acrylic is often favoured in projects that do not require strength, and where the visuals are key to the design.

        Polycarbonate excels in its strength. While acrylic has 10 times the impact resistance of glass, polycarbonate shows 30 times. This makes the plastic virtually indestructible and therefore is often prioritised in the likes of construction projects where a greater withstanding is required. Additionally, it is far more flexible than acrylic, meaning it can endure wear and tear. 

        In terms of heat, the use of acrylic isn’t recommended in areas close to heat or fire, ranked as Class 3 in terms of fire resistance. Polycarbonate can withstand these temperatures, and is Class 1. While both plastics may expand and contract with changes in temperature, they will both withstand weather changes and will not permanently shrink over time. 

        Machining and Handling 

        Both plastics can be cut with conventional tooling, but acrylic cuts easier and offers more precision in this, this is especially beneficial when working with sheet. Particularly with electrical tooling, acrylic works with greater ease and noticeably less resistance. Additionally, if requiring a glue joint, acrylic will offer a cleaner finish. The exception to this is when drilling is needed, where polycarbonate can be safely drilled with a standard bit and 99% of the time suffers no damage. Acrylic, however, will withstand drilling but becomes more likely to break the closer you drill to corners. 

        Where acrylic truly stands out in terms of machining and handling, is its ability to be polished. This has two key benefits to a project. First, the finished product will ensure a high shine is obtained. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, any scratches that occur subsequently down the line, are able to be polished away and repaired. Unlike acrylic, polycarbonate cannot be polished, meaning any scratches obtained cannot be repaired. 

        Colour and Clarity 

        Both acrylic and polycarbonate offer a better clarity than glass, letting in more light. Acrylic has a light transmittance of 92%, while polycarbonate offers a light transmittance of 88%. Therefore, acrylic is marginally clearer than polycarbonate, and is also UV resistant. This UV resistance is pivotal in longstanding pieces, as polycarbonate, that is not UV resistant, develops a yellow hue over time, whereas acrylic holds its colour and clarity. Furthermore, where damages or clouding occurs with acrylic, the piece is able to be polished to its original state. 

        In terms of colour, acrylic is available in a bespoke and varied colour palette. Here at Midton, we have the ability to Pantone match our acrylic to fit your vision or company branding. Using this match, we have the ability to offer this tint in whatever translucence your project requires.  While polycarbonate is available in a standard broad range of colours, there is a far more limited variety available. 

        Cost

        Acrylic is a cheaper alternative to polycarbonate, with polycarbonate costing about 35% more. 

        Our Verdict 

        Through our work here at Midton, we have worked and experimented with both acrylic and polycarbonate. In our experience, acrylic is more suited to our line of work. Both are well-suited to individual needs, but acrylic triumphs for small batch design projects. With UV resistance, a large spectrum of colour options, and the ability to be polished, acrylic suits the needs of our clients.

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          11 Jun 2021
          Children in Bali

          One Tree Planted: Bali

          One Tree Planted: Bali

          Children in Bali

          Written by Hollie-Beth McGregor Updated June 21 –

          After working with One Tree Planted and Trees for Life for just over 6 months, we’re pleased to say we have now donated over 10,000 trees! During this time, we have donated to projects all over the world, in five different continents. Here at Midton, we’re proud to work with such important organisations to do our part in restoring our planet. 

          This month, it was the turn of the despatch team to pick our One Tree Planted project to donate to. Together, they picked a project in Bali, Indonesia. This project focuses its efforts in the Tejakula Protected Community Forest, in the Buleleng Regency area of Bali. With a combination between agroforestry and reforestation, One Tree Planted will plant approximately 20,000 trees. At Midton, we will be donating over 1,700 trees to this project! 

          The Bali Community Forest aims to implement forest farm practices, raising awareness of the co-dependency between good forest husbandry and sustainable livelihood. This will allow villagers to obtain long-term financial benefits in addition to the environmental benefits from the project.

          The main purpose of the planting is to maintain and restore ecosystem services by restoring degraded land, protecting water sources, reducing natural disasters, protecting biodiversity, and mitigating climate change. Within the Tejakula forest, forest fires are common, with flash floods and landslides occurring after heavy rainfall. 

          The area for planting is part of protected forest, with significant wildlife such as deer, porcupine, various eagles, forest fowl and other bird species. Following natural disasters, these species often descend onto local farms to forage as they cannot find food in their normal foraging areas. One Tree Planted intends to plant native fruit trees in the barren upper reaches, so that wildlife have more food sources, and therefore less incentive to descend to the lower-lying farms. 

          Tree species to be planted have been selected from three forest layers, closely recreating a natural forest. Of the 20,000 seedlings planned to be planted and maintained, 73% are forest trees and 27% fruit trees. The bulk of these trees will be grown from seeds harvested from the surrounding areas, with 10% of the trees grown from grafted stock from high quality commercial strains. This allows for a wider mix of trees that will be productive faster. Each hectare will see 600 trees planted, depending on species and land condition.

          To support this project, three nurseries will be set up at the edge of the Protected Forest areas, allowing for easier pedestrian traffic, monitoring and better access to water. Plants will be shaded with a shading net, to be slowly rolled back after three months, allowing young seedlings to harden and increase their survival rate in the dry and hot field conditions. 

          As One Tree Planted strives to support local communities, 177 families from the various surrounding hamlets will be directly involved in establishing and running this project. Other community benefits include better yield due to improved soil and water retention, and eco-tourism opportunities. As an added incentive, the planting will include trees with multiple benefits for farmers such as edible fruits, and plants with herbal and medicinal uses. 

          Here at Midton, we’re proud to support projects like this with One Tree Planted. This month we managed to plant over 1,700 trees with One Tree Planted, alongside planting over 60 trees in our Scottish grove with Trees for Life. With over 10,000 trees now planted, we can’t wait to see what the next few months bring. 

          Trees planted in Bali

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            07 Jun 2021

            What Does Branding Include?

            What Does Branding Include?

            Branding is a crucial part of marketing, and it facilitates the relationship between your business and your audience. At its most basic form, your branding is the message that you send to potential customers and your current clients. Your branding is the promise that your product or service makes to any buyers, and your logo, your slogan and your bespoke products should be representative of that message.

            Developing a recognisable brand sets expectations and enables customer understanding by explaining what your business is passionate about straight away. What makes you different? What experience are you offering? What memories and stories accompany who you are? Every element of your business needs to align with your branding, or inconsistency makes your message seem inauthentic.

            But what does branding include? How far does it span? Let’s explore that with this guide to branding.

             

            Branding Begins With Purpose

            The essence of a brand is the purpose that they’re trying to fill! Whatever need you’re addressing with your business is the very core of your branding. 

            For example, at Midton, we offer quick acrylic manufacturing bespoke to any client’s needs. Our brand needs to appear adaptable, functional and friendly to facilitate that purpose! If we didn’t seem approachable and agreeable, clients wouldn’t feel able to discuss their plans with us at length, and if we weren’t adaptable, then a quick turnaround would be impossible. Our purpose informs our personality!

             

            Branding Informs Logo Design

            Any physical or visual representation of your business should be influenced by your brand message. If you’re a very corporate company and friendliness isn’t a primary concern, your colour scheme will suit being muted with a minimalistic logo. Straight away, you’re giving the impression that you are professional rather than personable. You can say the opposite if you favour a bright logo and unusual font.

            Further down the line, your logo will be featured on any mementos or marketing gifts as a direct insight into your brand. Make sure your design aligns with your purpose and your personality!

             

            Branding Influences Packaging

            A deep understanding of your purpose will help you to understand and identify your customer base. Anybody who needs your product or services needs to feel compelled toward your packaging and your advertising. Packaging and advertising are an extension of your logo, a physical representation of your brand message, so make sure you continue to reflect the same colour scheme and level of formality.

            Your packaging and your advertising need to instantly reflect and address your purpose, as these are the recognisable, tangible elements of branding.

             

            Branding Dictates Office Design

            You guessed it! Office buildings are a further physical representation of your brand and its message. Suppose one of your core values is friendliness. In that case, complimentary amenities and communal entertainment like pool tables showing you’re investing in your employees and their relationships will immensely suit your brand. Of course, you’ll include your colour palette and your logo in office decor where appropriate.

            Tasteful decor, all the way down to bespoke acrylic lighting, can illustrate and support your brand message before you even advertise or develop your packaging.

             

            Branding Guides Hiring Decisions

            Naturally, you’ll gravitate towards hiring employees that suit your brand personality! If your services are high end, you want team members who are well-spoken and formal to represent your business. When your branding is more dynamic and fun, you’re more likely to choose candidates who are confident, humorous and enthusiastic. Branding influences way more than just your aesthetics.

            Your brand values will also help to develop your approach to team-building! How your team interacts together demonstrates how they’d interact with customers, so healthy professional relationships are key.

             

            Branding Affects Physical Marketing

            Since your brand purpose helps you understand your customer base better, you can design incredible and impactful physical marketing gifts. You know your customer demographics, so you know whether your audience would better appreciate a sentimental acrylic embedment for display or a branded stationery set. Carefully chosen and beautifully crafted marketing gifts demonstrate how highly you value your audience.

            The most intelligent physical marketing pieces are helpful in daily life and incorporate your logo in some form, so your brand is always at the front of your prospects’ minds.

             

            Branding Structures Your Website

            Think of your website as your online real estate! Just as your physical office reflects your brand, your website should highlight your brand values too. Remember and reflect on your target customer’s age, and build your website with that in mind. Older customers won’t be able to navigate your website with as much ease, so your menu has to be clearly visible and as simple as possible. Otherwise, your website copy isn’t going to resonate since it isn’t getting read!

            Remember to stick to your colour scheme and add your logo onto every page so your branding appears consistent. You want your web pages to seem unmistakably you!

             

            Branding Enforces Your Social Voice

            Similarly to a website, your social media platforms act as online advertising for your business while allowing actual conversation with your customers. You stress the importance of teamwork and celebrating one another’s achievements in your business? Then make sure you upload photographs of your recognition awards ceremonies to your Facebook page and your Instagram! Any insight into the lives of your employees gives your company a more apparent personality.

            Respond to comments and messages with helpful advice and language that suits your brand. Successful branding is all about conversation and delivering the right message, so don’t miss an opportunity!

             

            Branding Advises Business Relationships

            Since branding encompasses your core values as a business, it helps you identify suitable business partners supporting your company message. If environmental sustainability is a crucial concern for your business, and you’re actively investing in becoming more eco-friendly, any suppliers or manufacturers you work alongside shouldn’t contradict that. 

            If you’re searching for a talented, considerate acrylic manufacturer to refresh your office with branded merchandise or bespoke acrylic lighting, contact us at Midton.