blank white wall = freakin’ genius idea

Debbie is a genius. Well…Debbie had a genius idea. And a freakin’ genius one at that!!

For more than a year a large, blank white wall in the office had been staring us in the face day after day. It was asking for something. Something unique. Something creative. And that’s what it got! 18 square blank canvases were turned into beautiful art by designers, account managers, accountants, web programmers….and Ralphie, the office cat. On the due date, our newly created canvases came into the office, the identity of the artist known only to one of us, and we all had to guess who created each one. It was really fun, and somewhat surprising, to see the amazing amount of creativity and thought that went into each piece. The unexpected bonus was the team-building benefit, and our new art installation is beautiful, to boot!

The video says it all…

september 23rd, 2010 | posted by admin | people + place

a little tidbit about little cars


We were recently talking about little cars at work and it made me remember a car my dad bought when I was 9 or 10 years old. My brother and I used to sit in that car (just like the one in the picture) for hours and practice our clutch, shifting, and steering skills. Of course it wasn’t running and wasn’t going anywhere.

When it was time for me to learn to drive on the road, I was ready to go! However, the first vehicle I ended up driving was my dad’s old 4-door Dodge pickup that was 6-7 feet wide and what seemed to be 20 feet long! Believe me–4-door pickups were NOT popular when I was 15.

I didn’t practice my “reverse” skills on that little Subaru, so I’ll tell you about the brick retaining wall I knocked over with the Dodge pickup another time.

september 14th, 2010 | posted by marie | people + place

on the horizon


Hearing and seeing new things are all part of downtown Boise life. This morning was no exception. Hot air balloons were continually rising from above the Connector–probably about 15 in all. Boise is such a great place to live and work! more »

september 2nd, 2010 | posted by marie | people + place, press

graphic design with the planet in mind

sustainable-packaging-courseIn an on-going effort to offer our clients up-to-date, relevant knowledge about packaging trends, we invited John Bernardo of Sustainable Innovations to hold a seminar at Foerstel last week on The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging. What an amazing and complex subject, as well as timely and important to our industry!

John’s long history of consulting to assist businesses with their triple bottom line and sustainable operations, along with his association with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), GreenBlue, and the Dupont Innovative Packaging Awards provides him with a strong knowledge base and true, hands-on experience.

At Foerstel, one of our requirements in package design development is to consider the sustainable potential for each project, and we encourage and assist our customers in doing the same. John’s seminar was based on the SPC’s 8-part definition of sustainable packaging, which provided a deeper understanding of how these criteria can be integrated into packaging development. This definition has been widely adopted throughout the packaging industry and provides a common vision,  framework and strategies that work towards more sustainable packaging.

A key point in the seminar was that trade-offs are an inherent part of pursuing sustainability. The SCP definition considers all facets of design and production, which results in the bar being set so high that today there is no such thing as a completely sustainable package. But there are eight steps, so the key is to choose one or two to focus on initially,  determining which aspects of Sustainable Packaging are most important to your company and its mission and vision. It’s important to inform your suppliers of your interest and emphasis on Sustainable Packaging. The other key point that we found interesting is that committing to sustainable package design and production reduction typically saves money in the long run.

Many thanks to John for a truly fascinating and significant seminar, and thanks to Treasure Valley Packaging Group and our client, Kelly Kunzweiler of Good Cow, for attending the seminar with us!

september 1st, 2010 | posted by admin | causes, sustainability