Exploring The Forgotten Origins of Halloween

With Halloween weekend just around the corner, the Magnatag team wanted to create something a bit different than our typical blog post to celebrate the holiday. And with a company slogan like “Show what’s happening”, what better way to bring in the Halloween spirit than with an explainer video?

There’s a lot of history behind Halloween and it’s forgotten origins. So sit back, pour yourself a glass of cider, and find out what makes the history of Halloween so mysterious!

Introducing Whiteboards We Love

Whiteboards are everywhere: in the office, behind the counter at your local coffee shop, in a coaches hand during the final moments of a championship game, in your child’s kindergarten classroom. To many people, they’re considered a go-to resource for articulating and embracing ideas and conversations.

It’s no surprise that at Magnatag, whiteboards are our passion. Our offices are quite literally filled wall to wall with everything ranging from inspirational quotes down to monthly calendars. To put it simply: we can’t get enough of dry erase products.

We believe there is something mesmerizing about a dry erase surface. That’s why we’ve decided to start a new weekly topic that highlights some of the most unique and innovative whiteboard creations.

Every Friday, we’ll feature a one-of-a-kind whiteboard design, created by our community. In the case that it can be arranged, we’ll provide you with a short Q&A featuring the artist behind the creation, uncovering the inspirations, design choices and work that coincide with the piece.

Along the way, if you find something you would like us to share, you can tag it alongside the hashtag #WhiteboardsWeLove for a chance to be featured on one of our social channels, including the Magnatag Insight blog.

For the first week of our program, we chose an image that may be familiar to some of our loyal Magnatag devotees. Created by one of our in-house graphic designers, this illustration showcases the Rochester City Skyline. Check it out below:


Have you found any whiteboards worth sharing? Mention us  on Twitter (@Magnatag)  and Facebook (Facebook.com/Magnatag) using the hashtag #WhiteboardsWeLove and we’ll share some of our favorites! We’ll be back next Friday with more eye-catching designs!

Whiteboards, Conference Rooms, and The Scheduling Institute: An Inside Look At The Dental Industry’s Best Kept Secret

As the leading manufacturer of dry erase whiteboards, schedules, and office supplies, companies frequently call upon our expertise to help create an effective means of visual communication. We’ve helped thousands of companies find the perfect solution for all their communication needs, providing facilities with the tools needed to create a cohesive and connected work environment. We recently joined forces with The Scheduling Institute in Alpharetta, Georgia, as their global headquarters underwent a massive redesign.

The Scheduling Institute is a company that is focused on helping private practice doctors change how they approach their business strategies. By teaching doctors and their staff about how to work “on” the business instead of “in” the business, dental practices that have taken part in one of The Scheduling Institute’s many workshops and accompanying classes have become more safe, efficient, and profitable. Students of the program are taught business strategies and leadership skills that help grow and maintain their practice. All along the way, instructors encourage students to find a purpose for what they do and how they can make a bigger impact on their staff, their patients, and their community.

Andrea Lansford, who’s in charge of expediting The Scheduling Institute’s creative teams, has spent a great deal of time developing internal spaces for employees to work in that will facilitate growth, creativity, and collaboration in an effort to strive for bigger goals.

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Earth Day 2016: 5 Simple Ways To Go Green At The Office

This year marks the 46th annual Earth Day, a worldwide event that was established in 1970 in an effort to exhibit support for environmental protection. Among the billions of people that plan to celebrate today’s event, leaders from over 160 countries will also be taking part in celebrations as they sign the Paris climate agreement. The agreement, which began its initial stages back in 2011 and was completed just last year, will primarily focus on combating the amount of greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

For the rest of us working folk, Earth Day is just another day at the office. Sure, we may be a bit more conscientious and recycle a couple pieces of paper and feel as though we did our part, but the reality is that few workplaces actually take part in celebrating this global event. In an effort to step up our own game, we’ve put together a list of five ways you can help your office go green this Earth Day!

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Magnatag’s Connection To The U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

On Saturday, the U.S. Olympic marathon trials will be held in Los Angeles (NBC 1:00 EST) and on Sunday over 25,000 participants will take part in the iconic Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.

The Olympic marathon trials are expected to attract approximately 350 elite runners from across the nation, all of which are competing for a total of six spots for the upcoming 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro this August.

Being dubbed by some locals as “Marathon Week”, the city is expecting to draw a larger crowd than what they typically expect for a marathon weekend.

If you’ve been following the Magnatag Insight blog, you may remember that members of the L.A. Fire Department relied heavily on Magnatag’s WakTack® magnets last year to help allocate resources for the marathon’s 30th consecutive year.

For special events like the L.A. Marathon, The Los Angeles Fire Department utilizes Magnatag’s Waktack® magnets to mark specific resources located within a designated area, like the 26-mile stretch from Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

LA Marathon

“We use a map and label the WakTacks® by fire resource [ambulance, fire engine, bicycle medical team] to show where they are on the LA marathon course. The WakTacks® work great because we can move them in real time as resources move,” said Edward Tumbleson, a situation leader of the L.A. Fire Department.”

Don’t expect a change in procedure for this year; with the both the marathon and trials occurring within a two day span, expect the L.A. Fire Department to be out in full swing, providing essential services to athletes throughout the weekend.

Magnatag® Visible Systems designs, manufactures and direct-markets over 2,300 magnetic printed whiteboard kits, calendar planners, maps, custom boards, WhiteWalls, RotoCube Bulletin Towers, magnets, whiteboard accessories and other information display systems for industry, hospitals, schools, business and government. Call a Visible Systems Specialist at 800-624-4154 or visit their website at www.magnatag.com.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is a safety agency protecting people in one of America’s largest cities. The LAFD has 3,246 uniformed fire personnel who protect the people and city of Los Angeles. The LAFD includes 106 neighborhood fire stations across the entire department. For more information, please visit www.lafd.org.


Planning For The New Year With Magnatag

At Magnatag Visible Systems, we practice what we preach. So as we begin to plan for the New Year, many people around the office are turning to our GiantYear® 365-day dry erase calendars to help coordinate various plans around the office.

Our marketing department houses a three-month variation of the board, which displays important dates for advertising publications, as well as other digital releases. The marketing team likes to treat this editorial calendar as a public domain of sorts; since contracts with publishers and online outlets are ever changing, there is a constant need for people to be in the loop with the what’s, where’s, and when’s of every advertising campaign. The whiteboard calendar is a hands-on tool for everyone in the office, providing an open opportunity for editing as needed.


Other members of our team, including managers of our I.T. department, use their GiantYear® calendar to stay on top of on website updates and new product launches:

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How are dry erase markers made?

How many times do you think you’ve used a dry erase marker? Hundreds, perhaps even thousands of times? Some of us interact with these objects on a daily basis, but do not have the slightest inclination of what they are made of and how they function. I was recently writing on one of Magnatag’s own whiteboards earlier this week and I found myself asking this same question. So I did some research around the office. I questioned our R&D department and in turn, I developed a better understanding for how dry erase technology works.

In order to gain an understanding for how dry erase markers work, we must first examine and understand the science behind permanent markers. Permanent markers are made up of three components: colored pigments, a solvent (be it water, alcohol, or another solution entirely varies on a manufacturer to manufacturer basis), and a polymer. Permanent markers commonly use an acrylic polymer in their ink, which helps the marker stick to the writing surface. The polymer, in addition to the solvent and pigments, is then mixed to form the ink of the marker. The ink is then stored in a polyester reservoir that helps contain the ink inside the plastic casing of the marker. Top that off with the plastic casing and a felt tip and—voilà—you have just created a permanent marker! Of course, this is much easier said than done, but you get the picture.


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Writing as a Lefty 101: Eliminating The Smudge

Every lefty writer has smudged his or her handwriting on multiple occasions. A few years ago we listed a few simple methods for helping lefties better manage smudge marks on dry erase surfaces. We recently spent some more time studying lefty habits and picked up a new list of techniques that can help left-handed writers avoid sloppy handwriting.

Avoid a hook-style grip.

Writing with your wrist hooked is one of the worst practices for lefty writers. Given the structure of your wrist, those that choose to write with a hook-style grip are constantly smudging their words as they continue to write. A popular way to combat this smudging is by adopting a new grip when dealing with a pen or pencil. Commonly referred to as underhand, this method of handwriting has the user pulling the pen or pencil away from their body, thereby eliminating the dragging sensation of the hand. You may have seen this method of writing used in the past, as those who choose to write with fountain pens often utilize it.


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Five Of The Most Common Dry Erase Surfaces

Here at Magnatag, we are constantly evaluating dry erase surfaces to determine the best materials for use in our boards. Given that there are so many surfaces to pick from, we have taken an extreme amount of care in examining every possible surface to ensure our customers receive the best-possible product for their dollar. For instance, we choose to use a porcelain-like material (a hybrid of porcelain and proprietary-coated steel) when it comes to the production of our whiteboards; this material gives our production team an opportunity to print anything our customers request, directly on the dry erase surface! To give you a better estimate of what other types of whiteboards you may find on the market, we have put together a list of the most popular materials manufacturers use when producing dry erase surfaces!


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Celebrate Thanksgiving With Magnatag

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, everyone in the Magnatag office can’t help but think of all the delicious food that will be on our plates this coming Thursday. So we decided to take a break from our traditional whiteboard-related posts, and poke around the office and gather some of our employee’s favorite holiday dishes! Here are some Magnatag-appoved recipes that you can try this Thanksgiving:


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