Bolchalk FReY's Blog

October 23, 2014, 10:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

From a PR Daily article by Beki Winchel

The baristas at your corner Starbucks will soon have permission to sport their tattoos and a few piercings while whipping up your triple-venti-soy-extra foam-latte.

The company recently announced a new dress code with an internal email. The code allows visible tattoos that aren’t on the face or throat, as long as they don’t include lewd depictions or swear words.

The dress code also now deems ear piercings (including small gauges), nose studs, black jeans, scarves, and ties acceptable accessories to the iconic green apron. The change came after 25-year-old employee Kristie Williams created a petition asking the Seattle-based coffee behemoth to allow employees to show off their ink.

“Being able to show off our tattoos lets us connect with our customers in more ways than we already do,” Williams said in the petition.

With more than 25,000 signatures, the petition couldn’t be ignored. However, Starbucks is not the only company accepting tattoos in the workplace: Petsmart and Peet’s Coffee & Tea have also approved a more chill dress code.

Will more join the trend?

Companies have to find a delicate PR balance between not turning off customers while increasing employee retention. This trend is becoming even more relevant as company cultures embrace individuality and creativity; younger employees may decide to work at startups and other organizations where they don’t have to hide bodily embellishments.

Attitudes seem to be changing, as well: A recent poll conducted by Entrepreneur reported that 78 percent of respondents thought tattoos should either be allowed in the workplace or addressed on a case-by-case basis.

It’s not just about individual attitudes and customer preferences: There are practical problems that come with covering tattoos that execs should consider.

For example, Starbucks employee Sara Frandsen told The Huffington Post covering up the ink “looks really unappetizing when you’re helping a customer and your arms are covered in milk, but you can’t roll up your sleeves, because, heaven forbid, they see your tattoos.”

The move to allow visible tattoos hasn’t made Starbucks’ dress code completely lax. The company still doesn’t allow unnatural hair color, additional facial piercings, or fingernail polish (although the latter is due to the risk that it may chip off into food or beverages). However, it is a sign of change, one that will continue to affect businesses.

One thing’s for sure: Starbucks’ move is making a lot of caffeinated hipsters very happy.

October 15, 2014, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From an article by Kate Harrison, a contributor

The Best Fonts and Spellings for the Environment

Selecting a font for branding, accessibility, and recognition has always been more of an art than a science.  However, some fonts are specific to certain uses: graduate students are encouraged to use 12 point Times or Times New Roman, many Mac lovers prefer Cambria, a font specially designed for easy on-screen reading, and most email programs default to Arial, Helvetica, or Gill Sans.

A new infographic from offers some interesting insights into both the economic and environmental costs of font and word choice.

“We felt that our decades of experience in the printing industry put us in a unique position to answer some of the quirkier ‘what-ifs’ that we encounter every day. We wanted to provide a fun exploration of some hypothetical printing questions, whilst also demonstrating that even trivial printing choices can have surprisingly far-reaching environmental consequences,” explained Olivia Wiltshire, an executive at BuiltVisible.

“The project is intended as a fun yet thought-provoking experiment, to demonstrate that even small printing decisions impact many areas. Additionally, we were more than happy to give people another reason to avoid Comic Sans!” she added.

So what does the infographic show? You can see the full version here, but the most interesting highlights are as follows:

  • Printer ink costs $4,285 per liter — almost three times more than expensive perfumes like Chanel No. 5.
  • Garamond and Times New Roman are the most efficient fonts. Comic Sans and Helvetica are the least — they use almost 1/3 more ink to print.
  •  If everyone switched to the inefficient and unfortunate Comic Sans, it would cost an additional $87.3 million per year for printing, and would be the print equivalent of 1.5 million copies of a tome the size of the first book of the Game of Thrones series!

The infographic also explores British vs. American spellings of words. If we all selected the shorter spellings of words in general use, they argue, we could cut our printed pages, and the cost to print them, significantly. For example, if we all used color instead of colour, we can save 145 trees a year; labor instead of labour would save 305.

This infographic makes you think, and is another great example of how small everyday choices can add up, both in terms of cost and environmental impact.

From a Toddler’s Doodle to a Mother’s Work of Art
October 2, 2014, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Design | Tags: , , , , , , ,



As artists, many of us were always doodling or drawing as kids. We’d create our works of art and then stump our parents as they tried to make out what it was we drew. Artist Ruth Oosterman has no problem seeing a masterpiece in her 2-year-old daughter’s work.

Her daughter, Eve, workes in black ink pen and creates sketches that Ruth then uses as the foundation for her watercolor paintings. The transformations are amazing as mother and daughter work together.





Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

10 Tips To Ace Your First Television Interview
September 23, 2014, 10:32 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Your PR rep has booked you on a local or national television show. Some people are naturals on the set; others may find television interviews a bit nerve-wracking. Here are some tips adapted from Susan Payton’s Vocus Blog.

  1. Choose Your Outfit Wisely

Now is not the time for that colorful checkered or striped shirt you just bought. Patterns render oddly on screen, and distract attention from what you’re saying. Instead, opt for bold and bright solid colors that warm up your skin tone. Stark blacks and whites may also cause a washed-out skin tone.

Keep accessories to a minimum. Women, apply makeup that will enhance your features. Your goal is to look good on screen without going overboard or detracting from your message. Both men and women can benefit from a light dusting of loose powder to keep the shine away.

  1. Practice Your Sound Bites

You know the topic of your interview, so spend time thinking about the key points you want to get across. And remember: even if you’re interviewed for 10 minutes, the news channel will likely whittle that down to just a minute or two. So keep your comments succinct, and work on developing “sound bites” or key points, that will leave viewers associating you with your message.

  1. Send Questions To Your Interviewer

If it’s an option, your PR rep will send the reporter or anchor who will be interviewing you some questions to ask that you’ve already got the answers to. This will guide the interview toward familiar waters and keep you from hemming and hawing while you think of a response.

  1. Body Language

You’ll likely be nervous or amped up during your interview, but strive not to let it show. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer and avoid glancing off set. Keep your hand gestures to a minimum. Keep them in your lap if they want to wander on their own. Keep your feet on the ground, or feet crossed away from the camera so that viewers don’t see the soles of your shoes.

  1. Slow Down Your Speech

People often speed up their speech whenever they get excited or nervous. Remember to pause, take a breath, and respond slowly and clearly.

  1. Practice Before The Interview

It can make you more comfortable if you practice a faux interview beforehand, either with your PR rep, a friend, or in front of a mirror. This can show you what you’ll look like to your audience and help you correct any issues like slumped posture.

  1. Engage Your Interviewer

You are having a conversation with your interviewer. Have good eye contact, listen carefully, smile when appropriate and respond to their questions in straight-forward manner. On old trick is to repeat the question at the start of your response as you gather your thoughts.

  1. Forget Your Audience

If the idea of thousands — or millions — of people watching you on television will send you into paralysis, don’t think about it (easier said than done, right?). Instead, focus on the fact that this interview is all about you and your topic and the person interviewing you. You’ll feel less pressure to perform well if you ignore the rest.

  1. Keep Your Answers Concise

You might want to wax on and on in response to an interview question, but resist. Give more than a “yes” or “no” response, but wait for the interviewer to ask more questions.

  1. De-Stress Just Before Your Interview

If you’re a nervous ball of energy before your interview, tense up all the muscles in your body for a few seconds, then release them. Practice deep breathing and calm thoughts, and you’ll do just fine!

Katie Garber

How to improve your search engine ranking
July 31, 2014, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It may sound intimidating to boost your search engine ranking but it is easier than you think. The key is to remember that content is king!

Here is how to get started:

Assign natural phrases as your keywords – anticipate all the different search variations that could lead users to your website and strategically assign them to each page of your website.

Utilize targeted keywords – only assign keywords that you can incorporate into the various elements of your website. Pay close attention to the page title, page headline, body copy and meta description and links. These are the main areas that Google reviews.

Create engaging content – good content will always beat SEO so don’t overload your copy in keywords at the sake of flow. Instead focus your efforts on writing engaging content that naturally introduces keywords into your copy.

Get mobile – SEO relies heavily on website engagement so make sure you choose a responsive or mobile friendly platform.

Be social – Your company’s social media pages are a great source to drive traffic to your website. Create and share engaging content on these media sites and provide a link back to your website.

Katrina Noble

Media Director

See What You Want to See
July 3, 2014, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Design | Tags: , , , , , , ,

As designers, we’re always looking for different ways to see things… we want to be the one that sees something differently and shows it to the world. In one of their recent ad campaigns for Jeep, Leo Burnett France did just that.

In this campaign, Leo Burnett France created 3 optical illusions that can be seen when you turn the advertisement over. Now, this wasn’t just a cool optical illusion to include in the advertisement… it actually supported their entire concept.

On their website, Leo Burnett France said, “When one is the happy owner of a Jeep, we know that at any time we can go where we want to, see what we want to see.” This idea is reinforced in the advertisements because the viewer is welcome to see whatever they want to see… a giraffe or a penguin; an elephant or a swan, etc.

What do you see?

Jeep05      Jeep06

Jeep03      Jeep04

Jeep01      Jeep02

Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

Hunger Games Entices Fans with Stunning Posters
June 26, 2014, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Design | Tags: , , , , , ,

I promise I won’t geek out on you (well, not completely anyway), but when I saw these posters for the upcoming Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1, I knew I had to share them!

If you follow the books and/or movies, you’ll know that at the end of Catching Fire, the Capitol is in a bit of trouble. With the people of the districts beginning to believe in Katniss and Peta, the Capitol must convince everyone that the way they run things is just fine… no need for change. As a lead-in to the next movie, a website and series of posters has been created to get the audince involved and help to hype up the movie.

Well, I can honestly say that I’m a sucker. It totally worked on me! I checked out the website for the Capitol and it is really well done. In addition to their modern design of it, I love that the creators made the website as if the audience is one of the people from the districts… you can see President Snow in all his glory as well as sign up to watch “Capitol TV”. CLICK HERE TO SEE WEBSITE.

More than the website, I was totally intrigued by the series of posters they released for the movie. Each one features a different district and an unsung “hero” from that district. For one, the photography is great–there is such detail, and each photo alone tells a story. The design of them is also something that I love. The series has a very simplistic design… featuring each district’s number, their symbol as well as a minimal amount of copy. If you look closely, the Capitol’s logo is also featured along with their motto, “Panem today. Panem tomorrow. Panem forever.” This touch makes the posters that much more real… drawing the viewer in as if they are living in this world with the Capitol and all of these districts.

Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer


Panem01 Panem02 Panem03 Panem04 Panem05 Panem06


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