By Published On: July 26, 2022

Drawing positive conclusions

We love helping marketing leaders find new ways to make their brand work harder—whether they’re looking to reinforce their existing customer dialog or resonate with them in new ways. From a visual standpoint, it can be taxing to consider every tiny detail, so it’s helpful to have an idea of the feeling you’re trying to convey (hence, brand guidelines).

An element that’s often overlooked, but which can provide an extremely customized and intentional look to a brand is illustration. The moods and style they can convey are limitless, so it’s extra important to match them to the other elements of a brand. The major benefit of illustration is getting a “hand-made” or customized look, which can’t be achieved with stock illustrations. We’ve used illustration a handful of times with success (see examples below) and we urge anyone who’s looking for new ways to expand their visual language to consider hiring an illustrator. We just happen to have a talented one on staff.

Hand me that wrench, please

We’ve been working under the hood of the d.trio machine for many months now, and what started as a tune-up has turned into a full-blown overhaul. That’s all we can say for now. Well, except that next month this newsletter and some other things about us will look dramatically different than they do now. Are you intrigued? Good.

Can we keep him?

Sam came to us through a temp agency early in 2017 when we needed help on a few big projects. Not long into his stint, we knew we wanted him to be a permanent part of our team—and he agreed. It took some finagling, but Megan made it happen. If you pay attention to this newsletter at all, you know Sam is a foodie, so a boring lunch wasn’t going to suffice for his 5-year anniversary celebration. Good thing we found Guacaya Bistreaux with its Latin and Caribbean Inspired tapas and libations. It was absolutamente fantastico and a great way to celebrate a special day.

Brand equity at play in economic theory

As part of Beth’s EMBA coursework, she was tasked with making a presentation to demonstrate her knowledge of and ability to apply and interpret economic theory. Not surprisingly, she struggled a bit with separating economic analysis from brand analysis (the thing she does in her sleep). Especially in this scenario, where the case study was about a company that focuses heavily on developing and building their brand equity around quality. Her presentation addressed the question of whether they should reduce their prices to compete with discount manufacturers entering the market. When taking branding, audience, and of course, economic theory into consideration, her answer was this: No. No way. Please don’t. Do we think she’ll pass? Absolutely.


Where can people like Sam and Lauren go to see a live string quartet playing music from their favorite science fiction and fantasy films like Star Wars and Dragonheart, dimly lit by (electric) candlelight? There’s a theater for that: The historic Granada Theater in Minneapolis.

Megan traveled to Naperville, Illinois for the wedding of some friends (well, we think they’re friends, but the lack of wedding photos with the wedding party makes us wonder if they crashed it). JK. She and Quentin enjoyed a fabulous reception at a gorgeous, refurbished farm on the outskirts of Chicago. 

Danette joined a few of her fellow cyclists to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of Utepils Brewing. Utepils makes fabulous German-style beers and has been bike-friendly since the day the opened their doors. What started as few friends riding together turned into an incredible cycling community and Danette loves being a part of it.

You know that silence you hear right before someone is about to give you bad news? That’s what Beth heard when she asked “is it broken?” to the nice HVAC repair guy who was summoned to inspect her air conditioner. After the silence, a chat ensued about heat exchanger cracks and geriatric AC units, followed about a week later by some nice HVAC installers. While she is a little taken back by the unexpectedly large hole in her bank account, she’s choosing to see the bright side: Some nice new working thingies to heat and cool her house—all under warranty.

About the Author: cat-tonic

Born of curiosity and enthusiasm, we’re a scrappy group of smart, passionate marketers who work hard and play hard. We show up every day and fight for our clients who are making the world a better place. We listen with curiosity, explore deeply, ask hard questions, and sometimes put forth ideas that might make you squirm. Because we believe the status quo is good for growing mold but not much else. The way we see it, change is the way forward and the magic happens when curiosity, math, science, instinct, and talent intersect.
Glossary of Creative terms
Intelligent Creative in Action