A place where Minnesota's design community can blow its collective mind about creative expression in every medium from websites to landscapes, chocolate to bicycles.

Welcome to MNimal

Posted: February 26th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: design, Interactive, local twin cities | Tags: | 1 Comment »


If you love elegantly restrained interface design AND believe that to describe Minnesota as “fly-over country” is to seriously overlook the first rate creative work forged in the heartland then do I have a site for you! Mnimal.com is an impressive and growing gallery of websites that attain that elusive minimalistic clarity. Thanks to curator Joshua Serbus and coordinator Andrew Hafferman for including BrainstormOverload in the collection. We’re delighted to be in such impressive company.

Olympic Host Logos

Posted: February 20th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: design, opinion | Tags: , | 1 Comment »




Speaking of the Olympics I was just going to put together a collection of Olympic logos when I discovered that Web Designer Depot has already assembled 39 of them. Browsing through I was thinking that a fair amount of progress has been made. At least until I got down to the bottom where the logo created by Wolff Olins for the 2012 games in London presented itself. Hmm. It looks like the dynamic design by Italian studio Benincasa-Husmann for the 2006 Winter games in Torino will remain my favorite for at least another two years.

Olympic Action

Posted: February 19th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, photography | Tags: | 2 Comments »



I watch very little commercial television with the notable exception of the Olympics – which I watch as much of as possible. The experience is made even better because my wife is such a fun Winter Olympics watching partner. Not only does she get emotionally swept up in the events she keeps sharing interesting connections. She helped coach bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht (top) when he was just a lad of 14 and she baby sat gold medalist Lindsey Vonn (below) at the Buck Hill ski area.

Svelt New Urban Cruiser

Posted: February 19th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes | Tags: | 1 Comment »

bike-abiciThis candy apple blue Svletina looks like another nice Dutch style ride but in fact it is a new offering from Italian maker Abici. There’s not much to give that away in the image save perhaps the racy, grouped spoke pattern. But, I’ll bet you can tell the difference if you pick it up. If you want city bike style but need to lug your bike up the stairs this series is probably worth a look. And, if the Complete Streets initiative passes in Minnesota there’ll be more bike lanes in which cyclists can safely show off there style.

Citizen Architect

Posted: February 4th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: architecture, video | Tags: , | Comments Off


PBS has done it again. An intriguing look at intelligent people doing interesting things. Nothing blows up. There are no scantily clad women. No murders. No esp flashbacks at the scene of a horrific crime. And, there will be no commercials – hallelujah! If you are not used to television of this quality you’ll be delighted to know you have until Summer to work up to it. Start by checking out the trailer at citizenarchitectfilm.com.

“Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio is a documentary film on the late architect Samuel Mockbee and the radical educational design/build program known as the Rural Studio.” In short it looks like one of those stories that is simultaneously heart breaking and deeply inspiring. Reminding us of the power of our creative energies and how meaningful it can be to contribute them without thought of reward.


& Another Thing…

Posted: February 3rd, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: type | Tags: | Comments Off


The word “and” is the equivalent of verbal synergy. Granted I am guilty of being long winded at times and of lovingly constructing many a run on sentence. But, I love the word and for the way it smoothly links two ideas together in some sort of interesting relationship that just seems to go beyond what each of those thoughts could have accomplished on their own. Strange then that I rarely use an ampersand. If you’re like me and feel a need to redeem yourself to the typography gods or if you’re already a true believer in the mighty ampersand then you’ll want to take a virtual stroll over to the website 300&65. As you can already guess this site presents a different ampersand for each and everyday of the year… even on bank holidays.

Frontline On Our Digital Nation

Posted: February 1st, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: input, Interactive, opinion, video | Tags: , | Comments Off


PBS (which is arguably the only reason to own a television) hosts a plethora of quality programing including a fantastic, in depth, news program called Frontline. On Tuesday, February 2nd at 9:00 p.m. (In the Twin Cities) Frontline is airing “Digital Nation”. If you are reading this blog there is a good chance you work in a digital design field. But, whatever you do you are deeply immersed in the changes interactive media is having on our culture. Changes with far reaching consequences for everything from socialization to attention span, entertainment to warfare. Spending an hour pondering these consequences will likely be tremendously informing (and empowering if it is your job to create whatever comes next). You can see a preview on the pbs.org website.

Frontline has also been running a digital nation website about these issues where you can learn more, share your own story and take a quiz – while you email, txt, instant message and listen to music….

In a related vein NPR recently ran an interesting story about research that suggests many who think they are great at multitasking… aren’t.