Being Grateful 365 Days A Year Causes Happiness

Posted by: Marilyn Trent @ 9:47 am | Date: November 30, 2014 | Comments Off on Being Grateful 365 Days A Year Causes Happiness
Filed under: Corporate Social Responsibilty,Just sayin'

As I researched the power of being thankful, I found the importance of gratefulness and how necessary it is for happiness. We have all seen people that complain and we may think, “I wish that was all I had to complain about.” But because we find it hard to step out of our ‘selfness’ and view our world from within, many times we fail to see that we are sweating bucket loads of the small stuff.

That gets me to Thanksgiving and why I feel there is a deeper meaning than the pilgrims and the Indians having a feast together. I am not alone in that feeling as I asked my faithful team what they were thankful for and none of them said, ‘money.’ They fell within the norm of what the statistics say about what really makes people happy.
ARTX_HumanX_MLT copy

Top  Three

  • Family & relationships
  • Meaningful work
  • Positive thinking

Four – Seven

  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Giving to others
  • Religion
  • Personal Freedom
  • Good Health
  • Watching TV

What I found that you could do to keep this feeling of well-being last all year long was to keep a ‘Gratitude Journal.’

Here’s how you do it:
Write 5 things that you are grateful for each day. That’s it! It’s that easy.  Simply take 5 minutes a day to reflect. You can purchase a journal, download an app (Gratitude) or, for those who want to, make your own journal.

We at Trent Design are grateful for:

Chantal Oudin:
As I try to embrace my gratitude for life throughout the year, I am certainly thankful for the season that brings gratefulness to light, allowing strangers, family, and friends to pause and openly display appreciation, kindness and love.

Jenni Hansma:
At Thanksgiving I take the time to remember how thankful I am for all of the opportunities that I’ve had my life.

I am also extremely thankful for my family & my relationship with them. I have the most kind, wonderful, and giving, parents that anyone could ask for; 2 amazing & inspiring siblings; in-laws who I enjoy spending time with; an awesome husband who loves me & our son endlessly and works incredibly hard to provide for us both; and finally, I am beyond thankful for my amazing & incredible 2 year old son.

Writing this has made me realize that it’s hard to fit the things I’m thankful for into only 2 statements. I’m also thankful for so many things that I know I take for granted every day such as clean water, clean clothes, plenty of food to eat, good health, and a warm home.

Michael Johns:
When I really think about it, I truly am blessed. At this time of year, people are normally so caught up in the chaos of the holiday’s but seldom reflect on the things that are most important. The fact that I have a family and friends to fall back on when times get tough and the world comes crashing down, a job that I love which also happens to pays my bills, a warm place to call home, and good health.

Scott McCabe:
I’m thankful for friends and family at home and interesting opportunities to apply my skills in exciting new ways at work.

Marilyn Trent:
I just can’t say enough of how happy I am about my family, friends and employees. My family is so patient and understanding with the time I have to put into my job that I love, that I will forever be grateful. I am thankful for my husband who is so supportive and helpful and my 2 children who are wonderful too. My friends who make me smile and relax; my employees who come to work everyday and do their best with a great attitude. My community and clients and my clients who have become my friends… for that I am eternally grateful. I could go on and on. This makes me want to start my own journal today and I hope this post inspires others to do so as well.



2013 Delivers Accolades All Around

Posted by: Vivian Carmody @ 12:23 pm | Date: December 24, 2013 | Comments Off on 2013 Delivers Accolades All Around
Filed under: Branding for Success,Corporate Social Responsibilty,Design,Detroit,Latest News

For Our Nonprofit Clients….

One of the things we love most about working at Trent is the work we do with our many nonprofit clients throughout the Detroit region. From the beginning, one of our core values has been to make giving back to the communities that we live, work, and play in a top priority.

Over the years we’ve been privileged to work with a variety of nonprofits from small start-ups like the Detroit Food Policy Council to those that are well known and well established such as the Detroit Historical Society and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Big or small, we can honestly we love them all!

That is why we take special pride when the national awards we win feature the creative work we did for such deserving clients. This year we are excited to announce that we have won TWO American Graphic Design Awards for the work we did with Mercy Education Project and the Detroit Food Policy Council; both awards were for branding and collateral.

We work hard to make sure that the logos and graphics that we create are not just beautiful, but that they clearly communicate the essence of the organization that they represent. The results speak for themselves:


 Detroit Food Policy Council
logos, website and collateral material


Mercy Education Project
website and collateral material

For Our Manufacturing Clients….

What are two middle-aged women, one copywriter, two young, hip designers, and three web geeks doing winning awards for the manufacturing industry? Well, we like to think its because the collective breadth and depth of age, passion, knowledge, and creativity means that we can win awards for ANY client in ANY industry. We must be honest tho… we do love the manufacturing industry (it is Michigan) and we have created a niche that we are very proud of.

We are very excited to share that the Eaton Steel Bar website we designed and developed won the 2013 Manufacturing Site WebAward from the Web Marketing Association (WMA). The WMA’s Web Award competition is the premier award recognition program for web developers and marketers across the globe. The website challenge was presenting a steel distributor as a high-technology, high-customer value supplier. The site features full-screen video backgrounds for the text, integration with Eaton Steel’s technology backbone and the capability of regular updates. We love it, the client loves it, and the WMA loves it… can’t ask for much more than that!


Eaton Steel’s award-winning website


And Last But Not Least, for Trent Design Itself…..



Having won a 2012 American Graphic Design Award for our 2011 Holiday Card, we knew we would need to really step it up if we were to extend our winning ways. So, for 2012 the design team created a cross-media project that ran rings around many a ho-hum holiday greeting cards. We not only designed three new clever and cool coasters, but expanded on that idea by also creating a companion website and Facebook page to add a little interactive fun. And, it worked …our 2012 Holiday Campaign won a 2013 Hermes Creative Awards & Davey Award!

Perhaps the top achievement of the year though belongs to Trent’s owner and chief creative director, Marilyn Trent, for winning the Sunrise Pinnacle Award for Business Woman of the Year. Every year the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts the Sunrise Pinnacle awards, honoring members who have made a significant difference in their community either by service, business, philanthropy or the like. This year, Marilyn was chosen to be the recipient of the Business Woman of the Year award, the highest honor the chamber gives to the woman whom they believe to have a substantial presence in her field and one who has proven to show exemplary skills in running her business. We are so proud of her achievements!

As We Head into 2014…

We have a marvelous record of award-winning work, there is no doubt about it. And, we expect to win more awards in 2014.

But while we love winning awards, what we really care about is deep strategic thinking, brilliant creative execution, and most of all, our client’s success.  We consistently help our clients achieve this good fortune because of our focus on flexibility and resourcefulness; and always being curious, tenacious and completely down to earth. The results have been the same for more than 20 – years: big, positive, and inspired change for the better… not to mention award-winning work!

Ask anyone here what we really care about and they’ll say: our unabridged approach results in solutions that will make sure our clients are first – in their market, in their category, or in whatever they are striving for.

If you’re looking for that kind of passion, strategic thinking, and brilliant creative execution for your business or organization, give us a call. We’d love to help you succeed beyond your expectations, and maybe even win you some awards along the way.

Trent Helps Ring in the Holidays with Noel Night Graphics

Posted by: Genna Cowsert @ 1:44 pm | Date: December 5, 2013 | Comments Off on Trent Helps Ring in the Holidays with Noel Night Graphics
Filed under: Corporate Social Responsibilty,Detroit

For the past 41 years, Noel Night in Midtown Detroit has been bringing holiday cheer to families from across the Greater Detroit area. This annual celebration of music and art offers an eclectic mix of performances ranging from the likes of a mobile art installation featuring neon-equipped bicycles to a traditional community sing-along on Woodward Avenue.


This year’s event, scheduled for the evening of December 7th, features over 70 Midtown venues including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Detroit Public Library – each of which will open their doors to the public free of charge! Activities will include holiday shopping, horse-drawn carriage rides, family craft activities, and performances by over 200 area music, theatre, and dance groups.

For 12 of those 41 years, Trent Design has worked with Midtown Detroit, Inc. to bring the event to life through the graphic design of its posters, brochures, and maps. We are always excited when fall rolls around and we get to put on our thinking caps to come up with just the right mix of color, fonts, and graphics. This year we chose a non-traditional color palette of bright blue and metallic gunmetal, which turned out fabulously! Kudos go to Inland Press for doing a great job printing the posters and brochures.


I’ve been with Trent for seven years and, while I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of great projects, this is always one of my favorites. I especially enjoy laying out the brochure and getting a sneak peak at all of the wonderful things that will be happening. I know that everyone else at Trent Design really enjoys this event as well — especially Marilyn and Rod who have held Noel Night parties in our Midtown Detroit office for the last two years and before that at The Inn on Ferry Street. And coincidentally, this year Noel Night falls on our own Michael Johns’ birthday, so be sure to say “Happy Birthday” if you see him at the event; he’ll be the one in the red hat!

But as much as we enjoy creating and designing the brochures and posters, we equally enjoy being able to give back to the communities in which we live, work and play. Trent Design is a strong believer in corporate social responsibility; you get what you give and we try our hardest to give back whenever we can. And isn’t that what the holiday season is really all about?

For more information on Noel Night 2013 in Detroit and to download the schedule, visit

One Day is not Enough for Giving Thanks

Posted by: Marilyn Trent @ 12:42 pm | Date: November 30, 2013 | Comments Off on One Day is not Enough for Giving Thanks
Filed under: Corporate Social Responsibilty,Just sayin'

This week it is my turn to write the blog post and I thought “This is a piece of cake!” It turned out to be more of a difficult task than I had envisioned because it has all been said before. After some deep thinking and pondering, I decided that being grateful one day each year should be a philosophical way of responding to our daily lives. So, I did what so many others do now—I Googled it—which in this case was the search term ‘being grateful.’ What I found confirmed that there were many benefits to being grateful the other 364 days of the year.

I begin with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson who once said that in order to achieve contentment, one should “cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”

If you think this concept of gratefulness is about hearts and flowers and rose-colored glasses, you are wrong. From a self-interested point of view, you may find it extremely beneficial because studies show that expressing thanks can lead to a healthier, happier and less-stressed lifestyle.

In my business, we solve marketing and communication problems as part of our job, but in life, one has to solve problems on a daily basis as well. Many times this causes stress and gratitude, it turns out, diffuses stress.

Below are some important benefits of gratitude:

  1. Being grateful allows us to participate in and celebrate the present. Participation is key here as many other activities such as watching TV, going on Facebook and surfing the web is a spectator sport.
  2. Gratitude magnifies your experience and the goodness of life.
  3. Gratitude can reduce episodes of depression. You can’t have resentful feelings and be grateful at the same time.
  4. Grateful people recover quickly from setbacks or conflicts so the toxic emotions dissipate quicker.
  5. Gratitude makes us happier, strengthens social ties and makes us feel more connected to people and our own destiny.
  6. Gratitude makes you feel that you have more control of your life and your environment.

Again, this does not mean that you have to be a “Pollyanna” who always sees the bright side no matter what happens. Don’t shy away from the reality of some situations that simply are not good. You need to have a sense of balance and reason.

As you may have heard the phrase that “Life is 10% of what actually happens to you and 90% of how one reacts to it.” Whether you agree with the percentage breakdown or not; attitude is an important factor in happiness.

Here are some examples of ways to improve upon your 90% reaction:

  1. Keep a journal and put 3–5 things that you are grateful for each day.
  2. Know the value of little things and remind yourself that beautiful moments create lifetime memories.
  3. Whatever you focus on you will get more of whether it is good or bad.
  4. Practice random acts of kindness.
  5. Volunteer and give service to others.
  6. Exercise and take care of you.

If you would like to learn more, visit or download the Gratitude App on your iPhone and begin being grateful today. You may find that it just might make you feel good and that can be addicting.

And Happy Thanksgiving Everyday!

It Took A Community

Posted by: Trent Design @ 5:15 pm | Date: October 11, 2013 | Comments (2)
Filed under: Corporate Social Responsibilty
Marilyn Trent, beaming and smiling about her Businesswoman of the Year Award!

Marilyn Trent, beaming and smiling about her Businesswoman of the Year Award!

I recently won the Businesswoman of the Year Award from Sunrise Pinnacle Awards given by the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce. I was very surprised and was asked if I deserve it. “Maybe so, maybe not,” I answered. However, if it was based upon me proselytizing about Corporate Social Responsibility and encouraging others to get involved in their community, then I would say, yes. A business does not operate in a void. It is an integrated system of clients, suppliers and employees living and working together in the community that they reside in. I live by that credo and have imprinted it into my employees brains.

One of my clients told me recently that she volunteered and became heavily involved in a fundraiser because of my influence and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, you can give back and have a wonderful time doing it.

A Gallup survey on volunteering in the U.S.A. found that 52% of volunteers do it because they like doing something useful by helping others. Another 38% said they enjoy doing volunteer work and feeling good about themselves.

Other studies show that there is a relationship between volunteering and increased self-esteem, with volunteers reporting both greater personal empowerment and better health.

Doing for others may also stimulate the release of endorphins, which has been linked to improved nervous and immune system functions, too. Many people report a “high” from volunteering, similar to the good feelings that come from exercise. Others have found that volunteering can help fight depression. Helping others can help take your mind off your own problems and enable you to see the bigger picture. Once you see the difference you can make in another person’s life, your own
problems can seem less significant and more manageable.

So, go help others and get something wonderful back!

So why is this titled, ‘It Took A Community?’

It is because I am so grateful that I can work with my wonderful creative and production team who many have been with me for over 7 years and have helped grow the agency. I could not have achieved what I have without them. I would also like to thank Sheri Heiney for always believing in me and having a few ‘reality checks’ with real concrete advice as I grew my business. The Rochester community gave me my start and a chance when no one else would. It has taken a community of caring people from my talented friends, neighbors and my family who do so much out of the kindness of their hearts to my clients, employees and vendors. For that I am eternally grateful. Everyday I have this wonderful opportunity to get up and do what I love to do and to work with the people that I am fortunate to work with. It took a community and for that I thank my community so much!