Employee spotlight: We put out the d.scribe newsletter once a month (you should sign up). Sometimes the interviews we do are a little long for email, so we've collected them all here for your reading convenience.

March d.scribe employee spotlight: Tina Ilstrup

What profession other than marketing would you like to try?
I would open a retail gift shop in a small tourist town. I would be owner and chief cashier. In the summer my kids could help and my dog would always be around. I might even put my bird on display.

How do you use social media in your job?
I try to tweet at least once a day (follow me @tmilstrup) and it's often about projects I'm working on or thoughts about the world of marketing. I keep track of what d.trio is doing on Facebook (like us) and am currently focusing on LinkedIn for work to optimize our work and personal accounts - send me a linked in request if we're not already connected!

Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to play the guitar and to be able to sing. I have the passion to sing, but not the voice.

The funniest thing Jackson has said?
My son makes me laugh every day. He says his knock knock jokes are some of his best material but I'd suggest 80% of his comments are pretty darn funny. Hmm, what does that say about me? Don't comedians often gravitate to comedy because of a difficult family life?!?!

What is your favorite word?
My favorite word right now is "mama", when my 11 month old says it.

What sound do you love?
When birds start singing to signal spring — I'm ready for it.

What sound do you hate?
The sound of snow squeaking — when it's really cold and the snow stops crunching and starts squeaking. It's like nails on a chalkboard.

Where (besides MN) would you love to live?
I'm a California girl at heart. My mom grew up in California and passed on the love of the west coast to me.

What is your most treasured possession?
My kids and their unconditional love for me. Their humor and laughs. They amaze me every day with new talents and bright smiles.

If you died and came back as a person or thing- who/what would that be?
Someone really spectacular, admired by the world, that shares gifts with everyone. Either the Easter Bunny, Santa or the Tooth Fairy.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Three things that make me happy/secure are: good health, financially secure and surrounded by loving friends and family. And the little things in life build my happy moments and are just as important: a warm cup of coffee, a great dinner out, a vacation day, laughing with my kids, a bonfire, sleeping in. A new pair of shoes.

April d.scribe employee spotlight: Julie Genung

If I threw a fantasy dinner party, I'd invite: the Dalai Lama, the Beatles, Jacqueline Kennedy, Coco Chanel, Plato, Marie Antoinette.

The food I crave most/love the most: Pizza. I could eat it everyday.

The food item I wish would disappear from the earth: Onions! I really do wish they would disappear from the earth.

I keep myself balanced by: Walking my dog everyday. It clears my head, gets me outdoors and I get a little exercise as well.

The reality TV show that I would like to be cast on: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The strangest compliment I ever received was: "You're smarter than you look." Very backhanded compliment.

If I could be anything, talent and monetary considerations aside, I would be a: An artist. Either a photographer, painter or fashion designer.

My favorite guilty pleasure: Long afternoon naps on the weekend.

The top thing on my bucket list: This isn't necessarily the top thing on my bucket list, but I would love to travel and see more of the world. Lots of places I would love to see!

My favorite musical artist: I don't really have a favorite artist. I pretty much like all genres- except country.


May d.scribe employee spotlight: Jordan Bainer

If I threw a fantasy dinner party, I'd invite: Abe Lincoln- interesting enough to draw a crowd but ugly enough to not attract too much attention

My favorite restaurant in Minneapolis is: Tilia

If I could live anywhere in the world it would be: Florence (but honestly, I haven’t been to that many places)

The best book I’ve read lately is: “The Power of Habits”

What is your greatest extravagance?: Travel

If I could be anything, talent and monetary considerations aside, I would be a: Humorist

My favorite guilty pleasure: Energy drinks

Since you are from Chicago, Cubs or White Sox?: I bleed blue

If you could go back in time- what time period would you like to visit? Maybe Ancient Greece, I could just sit around and discover

What’s your favorite season of the year?: Fall, I can choose to wear pants or shorts, I have the option

My all-time favorite song: Huey Lewis – Power of Love

June d.scribe employee spotlight: Beth Seitzberg

If I threw a fantasy dinner party, I'd invite: Neil Gaiman, Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh and Jane Russell. I think that makes an interesting combination. They’re all smart in their own way.

What are you reading now or who’s your favorite author? Dune, for the fourth time. And, Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors.

How do you get inspiration for your design work? I look intensely at the world around me – billboards for typography (why does it work, why do I love it); buildings for the shapes, shadows and colors that make them up, that sort of thing. It’s relief from the information saturation we get everyday.

How do words play into design? Words are shapes to me, but also I have to have an idea or something to convey in the design, not just art for art’s sake. I need headlines or a theme to tell me a direction. If I’m not given that, I do it for myself so I have the words to frame the design.

What’s your favorite type of program to work on? Branding. I like learning about a business and figuring out the personality of it, then defining how that looks to the outside world.

If you could do anything (no barriers), what would you do? I’d just live. Go places and look at things to see how it makes me feel. Or, I’d be an astronaut, a video game designer or do this job without the deadlines.

What teams do you follow? The Bears, Cubs, University of Arizona basketball, and Manchester City Soccer.

Favorite food? Tacos

Favorite restaurant? Two Urban Licks, Atlanta

Favorite musical artist? Metallica, Cowboy Junkies, Grateful Dead

August d.scribe spotlight: the designers speak
In honor of creative summer, this month we interviewed a bunch of our designers.

What percentage of the time are you completely satisfied with how a project comes out?

Melinda Moore: I'm probably completely satisfied with how my work turns out 80% of the time... And it usually depends upon how much time I have to work on it;)

Mark Zukor: Is this a trick question? Is any artist ever COMPLETELY satisfied with how a project comes out? Isn't there always something you'd change?

Brenda Johnson: Ha! About 10% of the time. 90% of the fun of being creative is the concepting stage. Implementation and production on anything always has it's hangups.

Beth Seitzberg: Almost never. There’s always something I’d like to change or try or do differently next time.

Holly Jacobsen: I would say 80-85%

What do you do when you are in need of inspiration?

Melinda: When I'm in need of inspiration, that usually means I need to get out of the house and explore. It doesn't really matter where I go, just anywhere with color. I try to take as much in when I travel on vacations too, and store that energy for when I need it!

Mark: Design is all about communication—which is a kind of storytelling. So when I need inspiration, nothing fires up my creativity more than watching a truly great movie. It's storytelling at its best—an art form that reaches all of our senses. Plus, movies are a great way to relax and escape, which is always good for recharging your creativity.

Brenda: Travel to foreign destinations. Or, drink wine, sit in a sunny spot, close my eyes and imagine I'm in Piazza Della Signoria. Once I'm "there", the creative juices flow like an artisan spring.

Beth: I stop trying to make things and just look at things. Or I use the other side of my brain for while, do a puzzle or do some code.

Holly: watch Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and/or Amadeus

Besides working as a graphic designer, what other creative activities do you enjoy? (photography, writing, music, vegetable sculpture)

Melinda: Besides Graphic Design, I love photography. I take billions of pictures, and all of my kids have perfected their "cheese" just to get rid of me.

Mark: To keep the creative juices flowing I draw, play the drums, and write. I'm currently working on an adventure novel for kids.

Brenda: Photography and making anything out of repurposed materials … fine art, jewelry, sculpture, handbags … you name it!

Beth: I draw some, I collect random bits of junk and try to make things out of them, I look at things.

Holly: music, cooking, movies

What’s your favorite color? Why (if you have a reason?)

Melinda: My favorite color is royal blue. It's the perfect color... it never goes out of style.

Mark: If I had to choose, I'd say white. I LOVE white space! Nothing else has as much power or conveys as much emotion as white space in a layout. It's so simple, but it speaks volumes.

Brenda: Green. It's a peaceful color, representing growth and regeneration.

Beth: Black. Or blue. But probably black. It’s classic and clean and besides, I work in an agency.

Holly: Blue. I think because of my grandma’s eyes.

SEPTEMBER d.scribe employee spotlight: SHERYL DOYLE

Can you tell us what inspires your work? What do you love about being a marketer? I enjoy the variety and the sense of accomplishment.

It’s Fall! Do you have a favorite Fall moment? I LOVE it all – the food, the colors, the weather, the fashions and the feeling of new beginnings.

If you could have a glass of wine with a famous personality (living or dead), who would it be and why? I would choose my not so famous, but much loved departed father. I didn’t get to spend much time with him as an adult. I would love to ask him all the questions I never got a chance to ask and introduce him to my children.

What are you reading now or who’s your favorite author? I am finally reading the last book in the Harry Potter series. I read a variety of works, but lean towards fictional authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice.

Tell us about the last great movie you’ve seen. I haven’t watched any recently. But when I do, I prefer comedies: Bridesmaids, The Hangover, Forty Year Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Dodgeball - you get the idea.

If you could travel for 3 weeks (with no budget constraints), where would you go? I would travel to Europe –France, Italy, Germany and the UK for starters

Here’s a big one: what is your ultimate shopping destination!? New York City - Madison Avenue to browse, Fifth Avenue to buy.

November d.scribe employee spotlight: Fred Driver

What inspired you to go out on your own and be one of the founders of d.trio? My business partners Megan and Maureen inspired my latent entrepreneurial spirit.

What’s the favorite part of your job? Creatively solving customers’ most knarly marketing challenges and providing an open, fun, relaxed and respectful environment that allows our employees to do great work and grow professionally and personally.

What do you do for fun? Bike, golf, fish, attend Gopher basketball games and make people laugh.

Did you have a mentor in business? If yes, how did they help you? I learned the most from two former bosses. One was the owner of a 500 square foot clothing store in downtown Minneapolis who taught me the basics of selling and street-level customer psychology and the other was the director of marketing at a large, regional bank that taught me how to boil complicated problems down to their essence making them easier to manage and solve.

Do you consider yourself creative? And, if yes, how do you express your creativity? Yes, but not necessarily in an “artful” sense. I am curious by nature and seem to have the ability to connect the dots in unconventional ways that spawns creative ideas.

Who’s your favorite partner (just kidding)? That’d be “Megeen”. A combo platter of both, which makes sense since people constantly mistake one for the other.

All time favorite classic movie and current favorite? All time classic favorite is “How The West Was Won” (1962). Best new movie I’ve seen (aside from Led Zeppelin’s reunion concert video) is “Argo”.

What makes you belly-laugh? Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, South Park, The Simpsons. Family Guy, Dennis Miller, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, The Onion.

If you couldn’t be a marketer, what would you be? Stand up comic, cartoonist, actor or pro golfer.