What we’re reading: IDEA+OLOGY

When it comes to the creative process, everyone has a method to their madness. In the book Idea+ology, Tether founder and designer extrodinaire, Stanley Hainsworth, writes about the designers that have inspired him throughout his career. Featuring over 30 creatives around the world,  Idea+ology is broken up into four parts:  the spark, the struggle, the work and the resolution.  Each chapter section highlights different artists as it dives into their source for inspiration and idea development. Stanley brings up a great point by asking where we get our inspiration from these days, expressing that “if designers look only to each other for inspiration, we will eventually be feeding on ourselves and will turn into an inbred creative family looking increasingly homogeneous.” This book highlights some wonderful stories of successes, failures, happy accidents and experiences that have brought beautiful design work to life.

Telling stories of being inspired by your morning cereal, travels to bull fights, how a tiny monster characters becomes an entire library of sketches and doodles that builts a career, and lets you into the lives of some wonderfully interesting people. Stanley has a beautiful way of writing about his experiences with these friends and this great and easy read is layered with examples, doodles, logos and stories that will encourage you to get off the computer and take a stroll to find your next big idea.

A great read for anyone’s office, check out Stanley’s book and website here and be sure to take time to read about Tether as their slogan summarizes this idea perfectly. ‘We are the stories we tell.’

Also, keep in touch with our local AIGA Idaho chapter as there is talk of brining in Stanley Hainsworth for a morning coffee session at the end of January!

Rizen Top Tracks of 2014.

We listen to a lot of music while we work. Our speakers pump a huge variety of music from rap to indie rock,  EDM to jazz, but there are a few tracks and artist that are close to each of us. It was difficult to pick our favorite tracks, but we narrowed it down to just one song of 2014 and one song we are still listening to in 2014.

Here are the results!

Top tracks of 2014 (in no particular order)

Top tracks we are still listening to in 2014

Aaron Draplin & the Art of the Side Hustle.

VANS launches an #offthewall documentary series, portraying some of their favorite story tellers to show commitment to originality. Its a collection of creative minds speaking to the power of imagination.

Featuring Aaron James Draplin, founder of Draplin Design Co. and creator of field notes, this design Portland super-power shares his love for hoarding and junking as he takes camera crews through his collections of patches, matchbooks, stamps, old tape measures. “It makes me sad that things don’t feel this awesome anymore.”With a great sense of humor, Draplin brings a comical banter to most of his events, some of which include: documentaries, motivation speaking events, a Skillshare class and  Ted Talk . He has an energy that is easy to get swept up in and his love for his craft is more than inspiring. For one example, he begins this session with 665 Examples of bonafide design that encompasses his last 14 years… And one turd.Take a look at his video here and be sure to check out his site for more inspiration.

Sharable Content.

As we play in the social media space on a daily basis, we are constantly challenged to create sharable content meant to stand out in a sea of ads and information overload. In an article on Entrepreneur.com, 7 secrets to sharable content are discussed

1. Social Validation – We as humans crave a need for approval and a study showed that people were 32 percent more likely to like an already ‘pre-liked’ post.* We as consumers are more like to like and share something, if the people around us consume and share the same content. An effective way to get consumers to share is to make the sharing buttons clearly visible.

2. Entertainment – Positivity is more likely to go viral in a post so write content that triggers positive emotions. Content that brought out intense emotions such as happiness, excitement, anger, frustration and awe was also more likely to be shared. “61% of online sharers share interesting things; 43% share funny things and 29% share content that is unique.”*

3. Practical value – Informative content also rides high on our share scale as consumers enjoy enriching the lives of others by sharing useful and interesting information. This can be done by creating content that answers the most asked questions among the target audience, while providing them with tips and tricks on how to solve these problems.

4. Beliefs and causes – With an increased trend in personality quizzes flying around the internet, it is shown that people are more likely to share content that will ‘help define themselves to others.’ People will share to show who they are and what they care about.  Catering content to specific audiences and studying the needs of specific demographics helps identify hot topics that lead to more shares.

5. Interest - Consumers share content to grow and keep relationships and therefore use sharable content to reach out to old friends and make new ones. Creating content that can spark discussions is an interesting way to engage this behavior that will also lead to sharing.

6. Incentive – Including discounts, exclusive content and giving recognition to the top sharer gives consumers a reason to share  content as it makes them feel unique.

7. Aesthetics – Making content easy to read and pleasing to look at will increase engagement. Visual hierarchy plays a key role and should be taken into account when thinking about typography, colors and pictures.

In all instances, information that triggers intense emotions paired with interesting visuals seems to be the way to go when it comes to sharable content. Research your demographics, look at trending topics and aim to evoke emotional responses to trigger shares and start discussions.

*study by Ipsos


Rizen Thanks + Giving.

A big thank you to everyone that contributed to Thanks + Giving this year.                                        Your generous donations helped us make the holidays a little bit brighter for a family in need.

Sue Cook, Sue Cook Designs

Travis Swartz’ Family

Impac Services

Janis Reid, Northwest Bank

Consilio Business Managers

Happy Holidays,

The Rizen Family


Hank Patterson’s Reel Montana Adventure

“The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.”

-Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Last night was Hank Patterson’s Boise premier of the “award-winning-feature-documentary-award-winning film”, A Reel Montana Adventure. The documentry, which included a supporting role by Rizen’s own Katie Meyers, followed Hank, this cousin Wally, a film crew, and a few six-packs on an adventure following the Norman Maclean’s footsteps. Hank and crew visit some of the spots Norman himself definitely (not) lived, visited, ate, and fished, including shadow casting on the very rock Brad Pitt invented showcased fly fishing in the 1992 Oscar winning movie A River Runs Through It.


2014 Holiday Cards.

Each year Rizen chooses a local elementary school to partake in a holiday greeting card artwork contest. Kindergarten, first, second and third graders are asked to draw their favorite winter activity and the results are awesome.

The Rizen team then chooses their favorite designs to be featured on our holiday cards. Throughout the month of December we will be sharing the runners-up with you on our Facebook page. We invite you to come check them out, you have to see them for yourselves.

Thank you to Morley Nelson Elementary School for proving this years entries.

Here are our 2014 winners


Southwest Idaho Travel Association.

The consistent challenge for all companies is keeping their marketing fresh and engaging. Our client, the Southwest IdahoTravel Association (SWITA) has accomplished just that with their recent eye-catching signage installation at the Boise Airport. SWITA, responsible for regional tourism destination marketing, has one primary mission, to increase overnight visitation to Southwest Idaho by promoting the area. Working in collaboration with SWITA and partner, Catapult3we created a unique “window” design that utilized the established backlit signage as well as fabric wall backdrop. Standing over 8.5 feet high and spanning more than 29 feet wide, this space was transformed from a traditional advertising display to a vibrant, visual collection of activities that pique a visitor’s curiosity on the possibilities of the fun to be had in our wonderful region.

Next time you are in the Boise Airport, take a hop down to the baggage claim area and check it out. For more information about SWITA’s good work, click here


STRATEGOS – A Deep Space Experience.

In our industry the words “out of the box”, “unique” and “different” are used all the time. But in many cases, people aren’t really prepared to reach out side of their comfort zones. When our friend Lane Packwood came to us to build a website for his marketing strategy company, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to REALLY stretch the boundaries.

The Challenge
Lane was looking for something that represented the transition from a broad point/wide of view to a very focused perspective. The quote “The fox knows many things… But the hedgehog knows one big thing” is the backbone to Lane’s strategic development process. The primary objective of the website was to offer visitors a unique web experience, while at the same time visually representing the “fox and the hedgehog” concept.

The Solution
The idea of developing a complex scrolling site came up multiple times early on in our process, as did the concept of space travel. So we decided to combine the two with the objective of honing in on a specific target. Bringing in a mascot to accompany your trip through space came up a little later, but worked well with the overall theme. And thanks to the crew at DreamPorch we were able to implement these complex animations throughout the site.

The Outcome
The Strategos website is a great example of the collaborative power of the creative industry in Boise Idaho. Copy provided by Lane Packwood in collaboration with Jessica Holmes, hedgehog animations developed by DreamPorch and website design and development produced right here at Rizen Creative. We appreciate the opportunity to work with other like-minded individuals and organizations to bring concepts like this to life.

Experience it for yourself! Click HERE.



Playing In The Nursery.

In preparation for Rizen’s newest bambino, our own Jeremy James has been busy illustrating in chalk. Two of the four nursery walls were painted in chalkboard paint and covered with fun, original artwork. With creative direction from his lovely wife Leni, the nursery is truly one of a kind.

We would like to congratulate Jeremy and Leni on the birth of their first child, Severin Qru James.


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