Other Voices: July 6, 2018

other voices illustration by Blue Flame Thinking

Written by

Chris Beaudoin

Senior Content Creator

The truth is Chris has been doing this for a while…and after some 30+ years, he’s just as enthusiastic about embracing new ways to express our manufacturing clients’ messages through their websites, brochures and ads. While he has worn other hats in this business, including those of a traveling photojournalist and account manager, for Chris, it’s all about diving into our clients’ technology, becoming completely immersed in how it works, why it was invented and how it can make the world a better place. Then, he writes about it.

The thing about writing—technical writing included—is that in the end, you get the immense pleasure of having your little experiments with refining words and phrases lead to something that can make a difference.

Fast Facts:

  • A resolute can-doer.
  • Unhealthy attraction to skiing way too fast.
  • May know as much about space travel as traveling through the Upper Peninsula.

Natalie Suttorp


For someone who describes herself as “super laid back,” Natalie’s niche and work style often fit the demands for fast and flawless execution. She also has a love and appreciation for the colors, harmony and effortless network of communication found in nature—and how its beauty perseveres, especially under the pressures of the elements. This perspective gives Natalie inspiration when working under tight deadlines to create something not only beautiful but also functional. She’s brought her pep and dependability to delivering solutions for our clients for more than 12 years with a consistent show of empathy and clarity in creative messaging.

I habitually looks on the bright side.

Fast Facts:

  • Used to grade gemstones.
  • Likes the vibe of a black crop moto jacket.
  • Would probably rather be riding her horse.

Hannah Schrotenboer

Junior Designer

A fan and creator of both static design and animation, Hannah especially enjoys the challenge and complexity of producing animated art. Negotiating the many factors involved in creating a work that can move and interact with the space around it is what makes it fun to design for her. Being able to do both static and animation was a key reason behind her joining BFT. Prior to coming to work for us, Hannah was a graphic designer at Restaurant Partners, Grand Apps and Otterbase. To keep the creative juices flowing, she uses color theory on herself by making sure she is surrounded by bright colors and sunshine while she is creating.

There are few things in design that are more subjective—or more important—than the use of color. Color influences everything around us, including our moods, thoughts and creativity.

Fast Facts:

  • Photographer
  • Bartending
  • Can’t really beat the classic simplicity of pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce.


Davey Silver Award, W3 Silver Award, Addy Gold Award

In an industry that is heavily influenced by newsworthy and timely events, there’s always a lot to catch up on at the end of the week. Continue on for BFT’s Other Voices, a feature that shares what you need to know now. Read below for more.

Inspiring Everyday Graphic Design Articles

Design inspiration be found in everyday life, with sources literally everywhere; you just have to allow yourself to be receptive to it. Book covers, stamps, currency, paintings, coffee spills, shoelaces or album covers are all potential influences. It seems simple, but to truly see the beauty of things, you need to be intentional in quieting the noise of life and allowing the colors, typefaces, layouts and details to shine. Dig deeper! This can be the start of a trail of thoughts that lead you right where you need to be. So, keep your eyes open!

— Hannah Schrotenboer, Production Designer

Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years

While it may not seem like it on the surface, developing a piece of technology that stands the test of time is not so different from creating meaningful marketing pieces that hold up over the years. Consider the amazing engineering achievement that is the Voyager 1 spacecraft, currently the farthest human-made object from Earth. To aim its antenna properly to communicate with Earth, the spacecraft relies on small control thrusters, and the original ones had essentially worn out. In November 2017, NASA engineers successfully activated another set thrusters on Voyager 1, giving it another 2 or 3 years of life. What’s remarkable is the design robustness of the alternate thrusters, which hadn’t been fired since 1980 and had been subjected to the temperature swings, radiation and general stresses of a 40-year, 13 billion-mile voyage. That led me to ponder the ephemeral nature of the work we do in marketing communications and wonder if anything we’ve done remotely approaches this kind of shelf life. So, I got online to search for a certain piece of literature we produced in 1984 for a client in the performance chemicals industry—and I found it. They’ve added a couple of products and made a few modifications, but almost all of it is still kickin’, much like Voyager 1.

– Chris Beaudoin, Director of Content

Beautiful Story and Photography Bring Attention to Important Message

The rate of drowning on the African continent is the highest in the world: 20 times that of the UK. Despite many community leaders not being too keen on the idea of women and girls learning to swim, many are challenging the restrictions and making waves.

Education—whether in or out of the water— does serve as a springboard, providing women and girls with the sense of empowerment and the tools they need to claim their rights and challenge existing barriers whether it’s a life skill like swimming or life-altering such as reading.

For me, it was phenomenal to watch the facial expressions and body language of the women and girls shift from fear and utter trepidation to peaceful then, ultimately, to confidence and joy.

– Natalie Suttorp, Production Designer