Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

We’re all mad here

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

One of the reasons Jen Christianson enjoys her job at Saturn Lounge is because she is constantly surrounded by creativity. In her almost sixteen years at the company, she has enjoyed seeing varying concepts come to life; whether it be in the form of a photograph, a video, or a print advertisement.

“I’m fortunate to work in an professional environment where such a creative process thrives. We have such talented photographers, directors, and designers. Outside of my job, I’m a self professed DIY Nerd. Up-cycling used items, painting, pottery, or even rearranging my decor at home. I swear the right side of my brain is always working, daydreaming really, about the current crafty project I’m working on.”

Over the years, Jen has provided various set design, construction and prop styling for Saturn Lounge’s photo and video shoots. Recently, she entered a contest sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. The contest was titled “2018 DIY Halloween Costume Contest”. The contest encouraged participants to show off their creativity; using items from their local Goodwill to create their very own Halloween costume. Friends and family, along with a panel of Goodwill judges cast their vote on all of the entries, with Goodwill ultimately deciding the winner. We’re happy to share that Jen came in first place! Congratulations!

“I absolutely love Halloween. My birthday is October 29th, so perhaps for that reason Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Plus, I get to show off my crafty side. I’ve never been one for store bought costumes, so when I came across this contest I thought to myself, I GOT THIS! My husband and I have a ten year old daughter, and I have truly enjoyed putting together her Halloween costume over the years. She decides on what she wants to be, and then I get to work hunting for the most perfect, most unique items from Goodwill. This year, Mad Hatter was so much fun to put together. The best part of the whole contest was working on the costume alongside my daughter. I knew it was going to be a good one when [in May believe it or not] I scored a giant bag of vintage wood thread spools from Goodwill for $2.99. This would become the infamous ‘thread bandolier’ that the Mad Hatter wears. It’s by far my favorite part of the costume. With only a few days left in the entry deadline, I spotted the chair at Goodwill, I knew I had to purchase it and get her in the studio for a portrait sitting.”

Other items sourced from Goodwill that went into the costume are: teacup and saucer, gold thimble, neck scarf, blazer, pants, bell sleeve blouse, craft applique’s and the $6.99 chair for her studio portrait sitting.

The Mad Hatter:

“Have I gone mad?”


“I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers.

But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”


CJ’s Spices shines with packaging re-design

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

Food Packaging & Label Design

Saturn Lounge is dedicated to creating an outstanding portrayal of your brand. From conception to creation we can handle the entire process of developing your overall branding, label and packaging design. Sometimes, we’re tasked with a packaging re-design, which was the case with CJ’s Premium Spices.

Start with Digital Color. A company with over 30 years of pre-press experience; FDA requirements, best labeling practices, required label sizes, and barcode creation.

Enter our creative team at Saturn Lounge. Eric Olson’s creative direction, and with graphic designer Malory Larson, they gave the existing spice labels a fresh, new look complete with new photography.

Since 2014 when the CJ’s company was founded, the mission of CJ’s Premium Spices has been crystal clear. In a food industry that’s inundated with seasonings and spice blends that contain unhealthy additives and fillers, pulverized appearances, their vision is to craft healthy Organic, Gluten-Free, Kosher alternatives that are both versatile and unique, consistently producing inconceivable flavor. Saturn Lounge wanted to mirror that vision in it’s new packaging, right down to the clear packaging which makes it easy to see exactly what a fresh product you are buying.

Malory shares her thoughts for when she visited Vintage Barn Chicks to see her packaging design set up in a retail environment:

“It was sort of surreal to see the final products in that setting, and then to hear people say first hand how much more they liked the packaging versus the previous version. It was especially gratifying to hear from our client that we listened to their needs and that we were ultimately able to deliver the results that they wanted”



To find out more about CJ’s Organic Herb & Spice Mixes and where to buy visit:

CJ’s Organic Potato Salad Mix

CJ’s Organic Dill Dip Mix

CJ’s Organic Onion Dip Mix



Follow me to see behind the shot

Posted on: August 28th, 2018

Not a bad gig when you get to spend it shooting at Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. Saturn Lounge photographer Ian Farnham shoots lifestyle photography for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) campaign.

Visit here to see how similar photography by Saturn Lounge has been put to use for this campaign by Milwaukee ad agency Nelson Schmidt. This past spring WEDC launched a unique ad campaign with the objective of attracting Chicago Millenials to Wisconsin.



Ten Potential Young Entrepreneurs

Posted on: August 28th, 2018


When Tim Baumstark asked Saturn Lounge owner Jim Kohlhardt if he could bring in a group of high school students for a tour, he didn’t hesitate to say yes.  “When asked, I have always welcomed high school students here at Saturn Lounge; I love to show young creatives and artists that there is a rewarding career path ahead if they pursue their passion.”

Tim Baumstark is part of the leadership team with the Racine Creative Center and has been a long time client of Saturn Lounge. This summer Tim along with ten local teens participated in a pilot program through The Prairie School’s Center for Developing Excellence STEAM Academy that simulated the process they would undergo to launch their own startup company, in this case, a crayon company. It made sense to expose these teens to Saturn Lounge as photography, video and all the marketing is all part of the project.

To bring the simulation to life, real world exposure was built in to the workshop which gave the participants a chance to meet professionals in the field and see how they work with clients. Saturn Lounge was lucky to be included in exposure.

To get started, students had to name their company, assign officers, and create a mission statement. Next, they worked on company branding at The Racine Creative Center using Adobe Creative Suite to create their company’s logo, box and crayon labels. They also photographed their product for advertisements.

At the Saturn Lounge the students participated in a professional photographic set-up and discussed the concept of creating a marketing strategy for their product through the use of still and video photography.

“This program helped me understand the process of designing in the real world.”


— Tyson T


For more about these ten potential entrepreneurs journey at the Racine Creative Center visit here.

TNT Pro Series

Posted on: July 25th, 2018


At Saturn Lounge, we are dedicated to the proposition that we are only successful if we do everything we can to help you and your brand(s) thrive. When our client TNT Pro Series asked us to revamp their packaging and label design for one of their products called TNT Pro Ignite Stomach Fat Burner Body Slimming Cream, our creative team got to work.

TNT Pro Ignite is the ideal training aid for the serious athlete and anyone looking to sweat away the pounds using a colorless, non-staining advanced workout enhancer specially formulated to open pores, improve circulation, and produce more sweat during exercise. Because this product works best alongside a healthy exercise regimen, Creative Director Eric Olson wanted to showcase strong visuals behind the brand. Saturn Producer Shelly Nordquist sourced the talent, and finding talent like Kacey Stefan, Julia Papillon, and Cashis Klae help build that perception right off the bat.

With ‘strong’ visuals to run with, our Graphic Designer Malory Larson went to work on the jar and box design for the sweat cream. Overall, Saturn was meticulous with the design, not settling until it was perfect for the client.

Client: TNT Pro Series

Creative Director & Photographer: Eric Olson

Producer: Shelly Nordquist

Graphic Designer: Malory Larson

Talent: @kaceystefan @jpapillon @klaescottfitness


The TNT Pro Series Mission

At TNT Pro Series our mission is to help you to transform your life.  Transformations are not easy, but we aim to help you get the most from your workouts and accomplish your fitness goals, because we want you to succeed.

The innovative technology behind TNT Pro Series was designed to increase the body’s calorie burning metabolism by elevating the heat produced in the body using a special heat generating Neoprene rubber, which is best known for its ability to keep the body warm.

This helps trap body heat which in turn increases core body temperature.

By increasing the body’s core temperature, the wearer is able to create a thermogenic environment in their body which helps to burn more calories in less time. 

Florida Sunsets – Perks of shooting on location

Posted on: July 23rd, 2018

Oh, the perks of shooting for clients on location. Zak Gruber and Michael Swan captured these beautiful Florida sunset images while location shooting for Saturn Lounge.



Follow me to see what I am

Posted on: July 23rd, 2018

Zak Gruber captures this green and gold aerial view of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


KW2 appoints Saturn Lounge for HIV Stigma Elimination Campaign

Posted on: July 23rd, 2018

Client: Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Ad Agency: KW2

As part of its work to reduce HIV-related stigma, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, (DHS) has just launched a media campaign, “HIV in Real Life”, which began running in Milwaukee County starting on July 9, 2018. DHS collaborated with Madison ad agency KW2 to tackle the creative for the campaign. KW2 is a full-service marketing and communications firm specializing in producing work that is original, creative and effective. In order to achieve the visuals for the necessary creative collateral, KW2 approached Saturn Lounge to provide the photography and video production for the original campaign.

The “HIV in Real Life” campaign features Milwaukee community members who share their stories about staying healthy while living with HIV, staying HIV negative, and the stigma they encountered in their lives because of their diagnosis. The campaign by KW2 included: YouTube Videos, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter Posts, Online Banners, Transit Bus Shelter, Bus Wrap, Posters and Website.

The final website with complete visuals and long form videos may be viewed here:


Photographers: Eric Olson, Ian Farnham; Assistant Photography: Connor Bruesewitz; Producer: Shelly Nordquist; Post Production Retouching: Mark Heinrich

To join the HIV in Real Life campaign and download an image to use on your social media page, visit:

HIV in Real Life Media Campaign Resource Library

The HIV in Real Life media campaign aims to reduce HIV-related stigma through messages of hope and positivity. Addressing HIV stigma is central to ending the HIV epidemic because when people experience stigma they are less likely to access HIV testing, adopt safe behaviors, or be adherent to their HIV medications. This campaign features a number of Milwaukee residents who shared their stories about staying healthy while living with HIV, staying HIV negative, or encountering stigma in their lives.

Look for HIV in Real Life ads around Milwaukee and on social media. These images are available for all to download and use on your social media pages. If you would like to order a poster for your clinic or community space, see below to make a request for free posters. – Wisconsin Department Health Services

Finally, a message from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many people living with HIV who seek appropriate treatment are able to maintain an undetectable viral load, which means they can live without fear of passing HIV on to others, but the first step is getting tested. Nearly eight in 10 people living with HIV in the United States reported feeling stigmatized for their HIV status, while nearly two out of three say it is difficult to tell others about their infection. Addressing HIV stigma is central to ending the HIV epidemic because when people experience stigma, they are less likely to access HIV testing, adopt safe behaviors, or be adherent to their HIV medication.

“With advances in medicine and the dedicated work of our community partners, the goal of ending new HIV transmissions in Wisconsin is within reach,” said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer. “We want people to know the facts about HIV so that together we can reduce fear and stigma and help people stay healthy.”

DHS would like to share the following facts and resources with the public:

Free or low cost HIV testing. Getting tested is the first step, and DHS sponsors HIV testing at numerous agencies across the state. Testing is confidential and only takes 20 minutes and a finger stick. Find a list of places to get free or low-cost HIV testing in Wisconsin. Select Walgreens locations in Milwaukee are also offering free, confidential HIV testing that takes one minute to perform. Learn more at (link is external).

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). With only one pill a day, people who are HIV negative and at high risk can reduce their risk of becoming HIV positive by up to 92%. The medication is available by prescription from your primary care physician or infectious disease physician. Learn more about PrEP.

Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U). In 2017, studies showed that people living with HIV who were able to maintain an undetectable viral load through antiretroviral medication (ARVs) did not pass on HIV through sex. This means that people living with HIV who are able to stay in treatment can live without fear of passing HIV on to others through sex. Learn more on the CDC website (link is external).

Meet Mary Carroll

Posted on: June 25th, 2018

Mary graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and a minor in International Film and Media studies. She admits she didn’t do much with her Psychology degree, except for the ever constant analyzing she would do all day long of every person she meet. (she’s kidding.) After graduation Mary began a video production internship with a real estate network that quickly turned into a full time position. Mary claims that after three years of learning everything she’d ever need to know about buying and selling a home, she decided to leave Chicago for Milwaukee. She took a Marketing position with a landscaping company and moved all of her worldly possessions to the Brew City. After a year or so she decided she wanted to branch out. She found a Digital Marketing role position with a very small company that provided just that. While with them Mary was able to learn a lot about digital marketing, use her video production skills and became well versed at balancing multiple clients from various industries. Which brought her to Saturn Lounge. “I was lucky enough to hear about the open Project Manager position from Saturn Lounge Graphic Designer, Malory Larson. When she described the job to me, I instantly knew I’d be a perfect fit. Since starting in April of 2018, I have already jumped in head first. After just 3 months I already feel like an integral part of the team and I have learned so much. I am very excited to be here and I hope to stick around for quite some time.”

More Q &A from Mary Carroll:

Where are you from? I was born in Sherman, Kansas, but moved to Illinois when I was only 10 months old. I lived in St. Charles, IL all the way through high school before moving to Chicago to attend Loyola University.

Your best kept secret? Is this a trick?

What’s playing in your car right now? Typically, comedy podcasts about murder. Or, Top 40 radio.

Who’s your favorite superstar? Literally any member of One Direction.

How would you describe yourself? I would say that I’m funny, kind, a loyal friend, compassionate, independent, an ambivert, and pop culture obsessed

What is your favorite food? CARBS! Specifically, pizza and pasta.

Where did you go to college? Loyola University Chicago. Go Ramblers!

What is your best achievement? I always hope the “best” achievement is yet to come.

Who would you most like to meet and why? Julia Louis Dreyfus, because I think she’s one of the funniest people alive. She has 9 Emmy’s, the most of any other actor! Do you know who doesn’t have 9 Emmy’s? Jerry Seinfeld, that’s who.

What character trait do you most admire? Knowing the exact right thing to say at the exact right moment.

What do you do for fun? Spend time with my family and friends, go to the movies, peruse Netflix, and attend live concerts.

Follow me to see the shot

Posted on: June 25th, 2018

When our client Visa Lighting approached us to photograph a trade ad and a video project for their outdoor pendant catalog, we got to work. It took 560 feet of grass and 15 gallons of green paint to turn the set green. Of course we can’t forget about Ellie the model and Bear the dog, who brought the image to life. Check out the final ad below.

Thankfully, our interns Maria and Lauren were up to the task in painting the bay back to white!



Photographer: Robert Ness

Videographer: Zak Gruber

Producer: Madeline Herbert

Set Construction: Connor Bruesewitz

Milwaukee Ballet – Swan Lake

Posted on: June 25th, 2018

Everything about the Milwaukee Ballet’s magnificent production of “Swan Lake,” ending the 2017-18 season on a high note, was simply beautiful.

Saturn Lounge was proud to be a part of the visuals behind the masterpiece. Odette, a role cherished by countless dancers around the world, is certainly a role that Luz San Miguel was born to play. Her stunning portrayal of this innocent and tormented Swan Queen was truly flawless. The Saturn team was happy to host Miguel in our studio, where she elegantly posed and danced her way through the set. The photo and video shoot was headed up by Creative Director Eric Olson, and backed up by Scott Ritenour, Michael Swan, Ian Farnham, Mary Carroll, Kiera Hankes and Malory Larson. Produced by Shelly Nordquist.


For future Milwaukee Ballet on stage performances visit here:

How does your design stack up?

Posted on: June 21st, 2018

Being in the advertising business for the last 35 years, we know that there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to branding and creating a  label or package design. It all starts in the creative process, says Eric Olson, creative director for Saturn Lounge. Being a leading expert in graphics over the years, Saturn has the experience and the right people. Whether a company is rebranding itself or launching a new product, first and foremost a design needs to be developed. After a client reaches out to Saturn and expresses the need for a packaging or label design, Olson and his team of creative professionals designers research their client’s company, any existing branding guidelines,  target audience and competitors to get a better understanding of the direction they’ll need to take. “We immerse ourselves in the lives of their consumer so we can figure out what drives them; what do they want in a product?” Olson says. Using their artistic freedom Olson’s team delivers the client with multiple, exclusive hand-drawn designs, looks and color palettes—but only in black and white initially. “Colors could affect which design or look they like best. We want them just looking at the image.” And for Saturn, everything is personalized to the individual client’s wants and needs to put out the best possible design. Saturn understands that when consumers are presented with multiple brands of the same product, they’re buying the image. “This isn’t a mass-marketing thing, it depends on the product,” Olson says. “We want to translate a real, authentic feel of the brand into the image or packaging.” Hand-drawn lettering, graphics and food photography really bring out the personality of the product, but the packaging makes it one cohesive creation. “We do it for anyone when we do branding, we just apply it to different products,” Olson says. “We literally start from scratch.” When applicable, Saturn will recommend new photography for the label or package design and for marketing purposes. Looking for something new? Give Saturn Lounge a call.