Behind The Scenes.

In our day-to-day we get plenty of chances to art direct and be in the makings of pieces for clients but it is a rare instance that we get to work on Rizen. This Monday we had the opportunity to with Travis Swartz on our own video shoot. The video is a spin off of our original Helping Underdogs Win piece and it’s pretty great. Unfortunately, we can’t share much more with you because well, we just can’t. But, what we can say is that we are excited to share it with you and we invite you to join us at Ignite Boise where it will premier. 

From Helping a Client to Helping an Industry.

Rizen was recently approached by Hailey Minder, Assistant Winemaker, at Telaya Wine to write a guest blog piece. We welcomed her insight and prospective and hope you enjoy her point of view on how work can affect more than just the client. 

If you are from Idaho and have spent any amount of time outside of the Northwest United States you know a certain refrain well. You meet someone and start polite conversation which leads to the obvious question, “Where are you from?” Your reply is never a specific town or a broad region, it is your home state, “Idaho.” No matter who asks the question it is always the same ultra-witty response of “Oooooohhh… the Potato State!” Yep, never heard that one before, so clever.

Few people know we are actually the “gem state” and just happen to have “famous potatoes,” but even fewer people realize we have some truly amazing industries outside of our lumpy brown agricultural mainstay. No matter how many great discoveries are made, commodities produced, or species saved in Idaho, they will all take a back seat to the tubers that made us famous, and because of that instead of getting upset about the constant refrain, we should embrace it and sometimes take ourselves a little less seriously.

Rizen Creative has a fun and witty way of getting points across, they also tend to be honest and forthright. In the past few years they have worked with the Idaho Wine Commission on several projects, two of which are great short movies that help explain the phenomena of being from “the potato state” as well as introduce the fact that Idaho does wine as well as it does potatoes.

At Telaya, what we find interesting is how helping one underdog – the Idaho Wine Commission – find their voice and a fun way to express what they stand for, Rizen has impacted our entire Idaho wine industry. Of course the video brings awareness to the Idaho Wine Industry, more traffic to the commission’s site, more interest in trying some awesome wines; but Rizen has also caused many wineries to reconsider how serious we are about a product that, let’s face it, is really fun. We have fought so long and hard following other peoples rules about how wine should be perceived and stuffy ideas about how wine can be enjoyed, that we started to lose sight of why we started making wine and how much fun we have doing it.

Most Idaho Wineries are a true Idahoan’s spot. Laid back ownership, honing a craft that is extremely finicky and sometimes exasperating, while completely worth the effort (sound like potato farming or agriculture in general to anyone?). While we all want to strive to make exquisite wines, I think most people would also remember they want to enjoy doing it and as a short second want to show other people how fun and wonderful the process is.

The next time you have wine (and hopefully after reading this article it will be an Idaho wine…) in your glass, or mug, or mason jar, hold it up for just a second and think of all the laughter, silliness, hard work, and Idahoan heart that went into that glass.

Oh, and if you’re looking for something to pair it with, we all love potatoes too.

-Hailey Minder


Hailey is a fourth generation Idahoan. She lives in Boise with her husband who is an Idaho River Guide, and their dog. Her favorite Idaho wine is Telaya Syrah and favorite potato recipe is twice baked potatoes. When she isn’t making wine in the great state, you can find her exploring the many, many acres of back country throughout Idaho.



2015 Marketing Survey Results.

Our annual Marketing Tactics Survey is complete, and we are excited to share the results with you!

A few highlights from this years survey:

  • For the third year in a row, none of our respondents plan to decrease their overall marketing efforts.

The amount of money spent on digital marketing continues to rise. Two-thirds of respondents said that they plan to increase digital marking tactics this year; as compared to a 28.5% increase in traditional marketing.

An overwhelming amount of our respondents are using social media organically (i.e. not paying for any form of social media advertising).

Interesting in reading the full report? Click here to DOWNLOAD THE 2015 IDAHO MARKETING TACTIC SURVEY RESULTS PDF HERE.

Interested in last year’s results? Find them here.

MoMA Recognizes Susan Kare.

You may not know her by name, but you’re probably familiar with her work.

Susan Kare is best known as the graphic designer responsible for the original Macintosh icons and typefaces. Her work was so groundbreaking (and still widely used today) that her original graph paper sketches are going to be featured in an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

That’s right. Icons. At MoMA. Who else can say that?

Ron even has one of her prints hanging in his office. It’s rather… iconic.


Are You Laughing At My Art?

“Advertising – the most fun you can have with clothes on.”

We were rolling in our chairs laughing this week as we got a visit from the hilariously-witty Jeff Leedy. A Fine Art Humorist, Jeff has developed a unique style that started with a background in advertising and then transitioned into fine art. He has an energetic, pastel-infused style that jumps of the page and delivers with it a punch of humor (need something here to describe the type of humor). After earning his BFA degree at Syracuse University School of Fine Art, he worked his way up into top MYC agency, Young & Rubicam, where he illustrated in a  pen and ink style. After being inspired by the beauty of his homes in Sausalito and the Mendocino Coast, Jeff now resides in Boise Idaho and works as a freelance ‘humorist.’

Proofing With Nancy Buffington.

As a standard practice at Rizen Creative we spend a good deal of time proofing all of the work that leaves the shop. Proof reading, just like everything we do, requires practice and attention. For this months edition of “lunch, lounge and learn” we brought in local writing extraordinaire Nancy Buffington (Boise Speakwell) to give us some helpful tips and tricks.

Through the exercises and lessons brought by Nancy we learned about the basics of grammar and punctuation, as well as the all import voice in which you are speaking. In advertising we know that the reader of anything that we produce is the only person who matters. It doesn’t matter what WE think of the writing style, it only matters what THEY are going to think about the writing style. Nancy discussed how different forms of punctuation can be used to change the voice of your writing from casual to formal, and to write how you speak. If it’s not something you would say to someone in conversation, then you probably shouldn’t write it. People want to feel like they are being written to by a real person, not a machine. Great advice that can be applied across so many of the mediums that we work in.

Again, a huge thanks to Nancy for joining us and for imparting so much of your knowledge on us in such a short amount of time.

Idaho Youth Ranch – 2014 Annual Report.

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we have the opportunity to put together the Idaho Youth Ranch Annual Report.

Every year we partner with the team at the Youth Ranch to compile the multi-page document. The design, while consistent over the years, has evolved. The cover changes each year to conceptually demonstrate who the Youth Ranch is and their mission. This year we decided to show readers that it takes a lot of hands to make the Youth Ranch a successful organization. From thrift store workers to family councilors to administrative staff to the many employees who make each of their outreach programs a success.

The annual report highlights a number of success stories including youth from the YOUTHWORKS! program, Anchor House and Hays Shelter Home. What a great way to demonstrate how the donations and funds from the thrift stores are used to help youth.

Check out the digital version HERE and sign up to receive a hard copy in the future.

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Microsites, Sharing, and Tattoos.

As microsites continue to gain traction as a legitimate promotion tool, we are always keeping an eye out for interesting ways that people are taking advantage of them. There is no arguing that social engagement is huge right now. People love the opportunity to tell their story, or share their ideas with the world.

The question at hand is, how do you promote the release of the complete Sons of Anarchy box set? Well you could buy a bunch of paid advertising and plaster it all over the internet. Or you could encourage fans of your show to interact with your website and tell their stories. In exchange they are organically spreading awareness for your product with no hidden agenda. They just want to tell their story and share it with their friends, driving more awareness and potential customers back to your website.

It sounds simple, but in order to be successful you have do a few things…

First you have draw people in. Sons of Anarchy did this by creating an interactive experience that their fans are going appreciate. They are telling the stories behind the tattoos of each character in the show. Something that isn’t talked about in great detail in the show, but it as the forefront of most viewers minds. This is accomplished beautifully on the site with interactive links showing the sketches and final artwork, discussing the backstory of each piece, and giving users the opportunity to share it.

Second you have to give users a reason to share. In this example there is no money or prize for sharing, but what they have done is created an emotional connection between the characters of the show and the viewers. If you believe every tattoo has a story, which most do, then by telling the characters stories you are giving viewers even more reason to tell their own story. Brilliant really.

And finally, you have to build it right. This site is well designed and the user experience, for the most part, is remarkable. We are suckers for easter eggs and this site is packed full of them.

Take a minute to explore the site and who knows, maybe share your own tattoo story!

Click HERE to visit the site.


2015 Women’s Business Symposium.

Yesterday Amaya attended the 4th Annual Women’s Business Symposium, Building Your Business From the Inside Out. The day became with a presentation by keynote speaker, Linda Clark-Santos, Ph. D. speaking on “Building Competitive Advantage From the Inside Out.” Linda has an impressive corporate background working with companies from Starbucks to OreIda. Her open presentation set the tone for a day focused on focusing inward to prosper and succeed outward.
The remainder of the day was full of informative presenters from a variety of Treasure Valley businesses and backgrounds as well as a discussion lunch panel. As you will see from the list of speakers below, this wasn’t a women exclusive event but also men that empower a female presence in business.

Speakers included:

Lynda Bruns, Red Sky
Carolyn Casey, Founder, Women’s Aha! Camp, Facilitator, Author, Speaker
Paul Cooperrider, Idaho SBDC
Denise Dunlap, TECenter
Doug Dvorak, Dvorak Marketing Group
Jennifer Hooft, Higher Resources LLC
Cathy Light, Leadership Balance
Betti Newburn, Idaho SBDC
Maureen O’Toole, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage
Jeff Reynolds, Wevorce
Rick Ritter, Idaho TechConnect
Jan Salisbury, Vistage Chair