•December 28, 2006 • 2 Comments


Sunset view of the Mackinaw Bridge from Grand Hotel’s famous porch, Mackinaw Island Michigan.

This past October I had the opportunity to visit Mackinaw Island and stay at Grand Hotel for a wine seminar with some friends. In addition, I had the privilege of listening to a lecture and meeting Carlton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc. He was hired along with architect Richard Bos by Dan and Amelia Musser, owners of Grand Hotel, in 1976 to begin to give the 90-year-old landmark a facelift.


Some highlights around Grand Hotel include the dinning room, entrance floor inset, main lobby, and the chandelier in “the room with a view, ” two story Cupola Lounge.

Carlton Varney, known for his use of vibrant color and bold pattern used in contrast with organic prints, spoke with great conviction of the importance of including color throughout space in support of the human condition. And Grand Hotel, along with many other auspicious hotels that he has influenced which people seek time away to relax, is an inspiring example.


Kurt Anderson our CFO, Carlton Varney and me

But these buildings – are places different of those the likes of Arketype associates work in on a day-to-day basis. For starters we’re not sporting demitasse after lunch or ballroom dancing in our conference rooms, although at times…hey why not?


Painting around the beautifully framed stained glass windows takes time and much needed equipment to reach the second floor ceiling from the main hall floor.

Vikki Baumler-Perkins, who has recently joined Arketype as a account planner and project management, writes this about the place in which she works:

“I’m looking forward to the color injected into the new building and its rich history associated with the Green Bay area.


Off with just the top of the existing hardwood flooring, some of which is over 130 years old. All holes in the flooring in which walls were removed were restored with flooring pulled from other parts of the building.

‘What’s important to me is not so much about my personal space as it is the entire atmosphere; creative, historic, lively, colorful and unrestrained. I’ve always thought our current space was cool, but the new space will definitely build upon those feelings and perceptions even more.

“Note: My mantra at the last place I worked was borrowed from the Las Vegas ads with Penn & Teller – Freedom from Beige.”


Outside freshly stripped and stained doors await their new reclaimed stained glass windows.

Well far from beige, though I don’t believe Carlton Varney will drive Jim and I to build a place that delivers a baroque-like atmosphere, his experience will help us build upon Vikki’s mantra. After all we are a design and communication business and we need a certain amount of neutral ground to create unique and individual brand communications for our diverse client base.

jimbrian.jpg floorcutaway2.jpg

Jim speaks with Brian in the paint department…behind them shows the open floor on the top floor looking down to the main level bringing both venues together, connecting stained glass windows in the original 1873 church.


Installation of the long awaited windows on the east wall of the building.

In the end we will build a place that nurtures and promotes depth, a place that fosters creativity.

Paul Meinke

Look what else we’ve been up to at:


Extra! Extra! Extra!

•December 27, 2006 • 2 Comments


Well, we did it! We won an Emmy® from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chicago/Midwest chapter. It is the First time we entered the contest and we managed to pick up the gold winged statue grasping the world. Arketype received the award for Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence in Non-News Graphics and Animation.


The award recognizes Arketype’s work for the television commercials produced for fete, the Give-A-Kid-A-Book campaign starring Deanna Favre, and Arketype’s self-promotional demo reel consisting of various multimedia work produced by the firm. Arketype multimedia designer DeGaull Vang created the animation in collaboration with producers Jim Rivett and Shelly Young, and editor Jason Davis.

Check out the pictures below from the evening and the work at:


DeGaull Vang with the Emmy…


Jim Rivett and Milda Davis…


Milda and Jason Davis, Kurt Anderson and Megan Pichette…


Tom Lorenson, Shelly Young and Paul Meinke.



•December 13, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Part 3 of 3

“Architecture is the art of how to waste space.” Philip Johnson [1906 – 2005]

How does one build a space that can foster and promote the creative thinker in all of us?

Jim Rivett, Arketype Co-Principal and Creative Director, offers his thoughts on what’s important to ensuring an effective and creative environment:

“Workspace to me, means creative space. Working in a space that has elements of one’s soul, objects that reflect interests and one’s aesthetic sensibilities.

“Space that accommodates a rich supply of reference material, with quick reference capabilities, is also a definite advantage. Good storage for reference materials and easy access is a key attribute.


“Space is also needed to get away and sit alone to read a book; to browse through materials in a library setting so that ideas can incubate. Breakout areas are important for meeting and discussing projects in a relaxed environment that stimulates, yet soothes. Having a choice of private or open meeting areas is a welcome luxury.

“Personal workspace needs intensity-controlled lighting that’s not harsh. Anytime you have a space that can adapt to change and flex to create new formations is excellent because it keeps new perspectives alive. Music also creates a wonderful rhythm and energy to fuel creativity.


“Collaborative possibilities within space, is a future trend that will continue to yield surprising results. Space that allows for the sharing of ideas and inspires teams to excel and push forward will win out over closed and secluded office cubicles. Space with less defined boundaries, open access and less hierarchy will break down barriers.

“Floating, open office-pods for managers to integrate into the major work centers of the business will allow for a deeper understanding of workflow, needs, and employee strengths. Integrating employees into spaces with other employees that share unrelated job functions should promote a healthy culture and sow seeds for cross pollination of ideas and business strategies.”


Gregg Schneider, Luis Avalos and Shari Kangas, in creative and internal account management, all agree on one thing they like: being in the throng of activity but needing a private space to work in. This supports research that the creative thinker does not necessarily need peace and quiet, but instead, privacy. All three Arketypers still enjoy the eclectic noise and chatter, or as Jim so wonderfully put it “the rhythm and energy” that fuels creativity.

Areas for filing and desktop work are a number-one priority for Kathleen Maccoux and Bobbie Fredericks. Both have day-to-day client contact and manage projects large and small. They need the room to maintain order over the many details that must be attended to in the creative world.


One closing thought about space by a brilliant servant to new ideas, creator and inventor of the most leading-edge products of our time, Steve Jobs:

“The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind Macintosh. My job is to create space for them, clear out the rest of the organization, and keep it at bay.”

I think that might be my job here as well!

Paul Meinke

Next up, input from Arketype newcomer Vikki Baumler…“Freedom from Beige!”

Check out what else we are up to at:


•December 13, 2006 • 1 Comment

Part 2 of 3


“You can learn as much or more from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.”
— Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking


During a visual tour of our cramped quarters at 126 Pine Street, I found lots of unusual, one-of-kind items tucked throughout personal workspaces, but also an abundance of similar things. The most common items found throughout were personal pictures of loved ones, especially kids! It seems we have lots of little “Arketypos” running around as of late, a good thing I must admit.

I myself have a large restored photograph taken in the early 1920s of my grandfather, whom I’m named after but never met. Dressed in a minor-league baseball uniform, he looks out over my cluttered desk and chaotic office. A kindred spirit, I often look to his powerful image at times throughout the course of a workweek.

Perhaps this is why so many of us have images of loved ones surrounding us in our workspaces. They provide reason for our hard work, justification for why we are here 40 hours a week, and gently remind us of what we can look forward to when the workday is done.


Robb Mommaerts, Arketype designer and illustrator, notes these observations about his personal workspace:

“The current space I occupy is an eclectic mess of items that are meaningful to my past five years here at Arketype. It’s almost like a museum of objects chronicling my own little personal experiences here. Kind of like when an old person moves from his house and you find all these strange things that represent unique stories about him or events that happened during his lifetime. Each object in my workspace tells a story, whether it’s the partially mummified orange Tami left on my desk…or the Easter Island mug Jim found for me. It’s a comfortable, good space that brings me a lot of memories…good, bad, fun, weird memories.”

The second most popular item in workspaces is what I’d call souvenirs. Many folks display a travel log of items they’ve picked up along life’s journey. Here are just a few you’d see at Arketype:

• Full-size Texaco Red Star Metal sign with its green “T.”
• Henry Mancini’s Mr. Lucky album jacket with its mysterious black cat.
• Three-foot plastic reindeer that has been here forever.
• A Betty Boop radio.
• A baseball bat from the early 1900s.
• Hundreds of vinyl action figures.
• 12-inch Godzilla.
• Retro Birely’s Orange Drink Bottle Cap sign.
• Retro Coca-Cola pencil sharpener.
• Signed Broadway posters for the productions “Hairspray” and “Wicked.”
• Massive amounts of “Nightmare Before Christmas” action figures.
• Many advertising icons like Big Boy, Tony the Tiger, The Green Giant, Pillsbury Dough Boy, and The Taco Bell Chihuahua, right alongside Yogi Bear, The Tin Man, and Jesus.

Are these things essential to a creative environment? What’s necessary for developing a space that can foster and promote the creative thinker? Stay tuned for insights on these questions in Part 3 of S P A C E.

Paul Meinke

Check out what else we are up to at:


•November 30, 2006 • 2 Comments

Part 1 of 3


As kids, my brother and I built lots of tree forts. At first they were a simple series of platforms positioned throughout a tree at various levels and reached by climbing limbs or wooden ladders. I was the designer, he the engineer, much as we turned out in our adult lives today. I would develop the concept and he would orchestrate and engineer the plan. Together, we would build our space within the body of a tree or series of trees.

Many hours were spent building, but many hours were also spent playing on these simple, randomly placed platforms, exercising our imagination along with friends from down the street. Our configurations could represent a ship at sea and we were hardy pirates. Or a spaceship as we blasted off for the moon. Or the archetypical “fort” we defended while under attack by the terrible and powerful evil enemy.

Eventually we tore each tree fort apart, one after another, and rebuilt them in other locations throughout the ten acres on which we grew up. And as we did, they became more complex. Perhaps inspired by Disney’s “Swiss Family Robinson” movie, we ultimately built a structure that resembled a livable house with a kitchen nook, living and sleeping area.

I look back now and recognize that we were simply defining space. Our space. Space that was unique and all our own. A place we could escape to on a hot summer’s day, away from chores. A place to play in our own way through the power of our imaginations. And, honestly, I believe the most creative structures were those we built early on, uninhibited by outside influences such as the likes of the “Swiss Family” and their mega tree house!


Today, Arketype is defining its ultimate “playhouse,” a space in which we will live and create powerful solutions through imagination, design, and strategic thinking. There’s no question we’re cramped for space now…but how to maximize all that generous new space?


Space–not the universe and its dimensions, but space as we define the distance between objects and the area between entities–can be quite personal.

For example, a typical westerner’s “personal space,” or the comfort zone between two people is as follows: a bit over 24 inches from right or left, almost 28 inches in front, and not quite 16 inches behind. Think about that the next time you’re standing in line at the movies. Also good to know when having a one-on-one conversation in a hallway.

However, this information isn’t quite helpful when developing a layout and designing workspaces within a 17,000-square-foot office building!


Preparing to fill the flooring on the second level requires the ability to apply Gyp-crete. This mixture of sand and gypson, mixed outside, is brought in by hose to the area in need and poured. It will harden within 24 hours, pending depth.

According to a Deloitte and Touche study, the national average of workspace allotted an employee in a corporate headquarters is around 200 square feet, (roughly a space 10 feet by 20 feet). This may seem large but it’s actually down from 287 square feet, the average just three years ago.

Multiply this out by our 25 associates and one arrives at 5,000 square feet in personal workspace by national standards. This is about what the entire Arketype facility currently occupies…and that square footage includes all other office areas such as our lobby, meeting rooms, conference room, library, editing suites, kitchen, break room, mock-up/workroom, and washrooms, not to mention general storage! Our space is severely limited and our forward move soon will give us some breathing room, not to mention a place for a Ping-pong table!


Leveling the second floor with Gyp-crete

Making space work and making workspaces at 612 Stuart Street gets a bit more complicated than found wooden boards, recovered bent nails, and trees that sway in summer breezes!

Next up…some talk about “space” at a personal level from those on staff.

Paul Meinke

Check out what else we’ve been up to at:


New office flooring joist installed.

Floating Holidays

•November 30, 2006 • 7 Comments


This year’s tree installation, for the YWCA’s and The National Railroad Museum’s fundraiser, may not look traditional but its makings go back as far as the late 1800s. The game of Ping-pong originated in England, and also went by the names Gossima, Wiff-waff, Table Tennis and Flim-flam. At the turn of the century, the name Ping-pong stuck and was probably derived from the sound of the celluloid ball hitting the wooden or vellum bats.

Standing at over 12 feet high, this year’s tree is comprised of over 1,500 ping-pong balls, PVC piping, wire and wood. Eight fluorescent spots from below illuminate the installation.


Bobbie with wire and Ping-pong balls attached.


Kurt getting started at the top, on the ground.


The material, Ping-pong balls and lots of wire.


1,345 and still making and counting!


A brief moment before lunch.


Setting the center post, makes magic happen…


…drawing others to join in…


…illuminating a Zen moment…


…makes the final product worth the drive!

Always engaging, the holidays bring family and friends together, and nothing is more fun than a game of table tennis! Always needed, how about a floating holiday, taken on the spur of the moment to catch up on last minute shopping?!

From all the associates at Arketype, may your holidays soar!


Paul Meinke

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•November 26, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I thought for the week of Thanksgiving that a post of some of the spectacular windows at 612 Stuart Street might be fun to see. Being that most of us are out celebrating the holiday with friends, family and even complete strangers, this will be a “picture post.” Even my time this week has run short! I hope this will illustrate some of the wonderful beauty that illuminates through the walls spilling into the inner spaces that we will soon call home.


Tom Pecor from the Glass Haus told me that many windows in places of worship tell stories. Stories told in the form of pictures. This was done years ago because most folks in congregations were unable to read. So thus born the picture book, only told through the windows that brought light to the main congregation area. The following windows, some from the original structure built in 1873 and others installed in 1910 within the new addition, illustrate a combination of both leaded glass windows and those painted by artists that tell the story of the Christian faith.


This is the upper window that faces the west. There are two of these in the building, both hand painted with three main sections and seven subsections. This window runs completly from the main level up to and through the second level. In the late 1920s a loft was added to accommodate more people. This covered the very center of the main window.


The lower half of the large windows were made of painted, textured glass with the center pictures pulling from various stories of faith.


This type of window continues throughout the newer addition in smaller corner windows and the windows that appear in stairwells.


Window lights that appear over the west and north entrances are also similar.


In the original [1873] building, the pulpit or alter area windows are made of leaded glass in pattern shapes. These windows are not painted but made from various colored glass cut and embedded between lead.


This runs true to the double windows that appear in the bell tower, soon to house Arketype’s library…


…and in what was once the original main congregational hall, main level and loft. One can see that the windows bottom and top, work together in design and form.

Coming up next, S P A C E, “The final frontier?” As Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise explore one type of it, we shall explore another.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Paul Meinke

P.S. I took several more pictures today, Sunday, while down at the building removing a door window with Kurt Anderson. Will update this page again tomorrow with new pics!

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