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.

Today in the Studio Garden (03)

Posted: April 29th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: | Comments Off


There was a brief window of beautiful filtered light this morning before the forces of evil gathered enough power to cloud the sky in an ongoing effort to make sure my parents (who fly in today) never see Minnesota at its best. So even though it is gray outside you can have a sunny spot on your computer occupied by this Vinca Minor which is one of the few things in the garden that seems to grow slowly.

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Today in the Studio Garden (02)

Posted: April 28th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: | Comments Off


It’s another lovely day and the crabapple tree in the bsol studio garden is in full splendor. Here’s a new desktop background you can download to help you celebrate Spring wherever you find yourself.

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Today in the Studio Garden

Posted: April 27th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: | Comments Off


One of my favorite things about working at BrainstormOverload (in addition to the gourmet hot cocoa) is the studio garden. Like all the other projects at bsol it’s a work in progress but one that is particularly wonderful in Spring when the garden seems to change almost daily. Why am I keeping all this blooming goodness to myself you demand? Good point. In an effort to share this is the first in a series of desktop calendars I’ll post (not daily but regularly) here on our blog. The calendar makes it useful and I’ve always liked the texture of type over a photograph. Each date following a vertical line is a Monday. I’ll also provide the plant name in case you are inspired to work in your own garden which I highly recommend as a terrific creative outlet. I’ll start with the following standard (Mac) screen resolutions. Let me know if the size you need is not represented.

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On Earthday Remember to Water

Posted: April 22nd, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive, local twin cities, output | Tags: | Comments Off


Earthday is the perfect day to launch a new site for Minnesota Waters, an organization dedicated to helping citizens protect and preserve the abundant lakes and rivers in Minnesota. in partnership with Creed Interactive we’ve created a site that includes an events calendar, publications, trainings and a forum, as well as, providing a template and hosting so each lake or river group can have its own website. If a group already has a site they can be linked to from Minnesota Waters as the organization pursues its goal of being the most comprehensive directory of lake and river advocacy.

If you live near a body of water (and if you live in Minnesota chances are that you live by several) check out the directory and see if you can volunteer a little of your time or talent to help. If you’re an interactive designer and don’t see your favorite body of water listed that may be the perfect chance to have a large impact while you live the Earthday goal which (as I’m sure you are aware) is to make everyday Earthday.

Mpls is Top Bike City… St. Paul?

Posted: April 15th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes, events, local twin cities | Tags: , | 2 Comments »


Bicycling magazine recently released its rating of America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities and Minneapolis came out on top – displacing a number of other epic bike cultures for which I have nothing but respect. So rather than take this opportunity to gloat I’ve got two questions. First, how did this happen? Second, where is the other Twin City? After all many of us regularly cycle from one city to the other. For that matter many of us cycle further afield to Eagan, Minnetonka and other cities. It would be cool if both of the Twin Cities registered on the bike-ability scale. As a transplant to Minnesota I don’t get too bent out of shape that Saint Paul and the surrounding cities gets lumped under the title “Minneapolis” but in this case Saint Paul isn’t actually included because it is woefully behind.

It turns out that the answer to both questions is bike advocacy. And the moral of the story is that if you enjoy the bike scene in Minneapolis you owe a pretty huge debt to all the advocates who gave so generously of their time to help make that scene possible. Pay that forward by getting involved. By helping Saint Paul catch up. The movement is already happening and you can help. There are a few upcoming meetings to push forward efforts for bike-ways in Saint Paul. For instance, Jefferson Ave. from downtown to the river. There is a public hearing coming up on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at 15 Kellogg blvd (in the City Council chambers) Email me if you are interested in more info. Or just show up so the powers that be can see that the human powered set is passionate about the ride-ability of both cities.

More on other projects coming soon but you can also download the Central Corridor Bike Walk plan and see if you want to get involved with this effort. Coincidentally, the latest issue of Momentum magazine (free at One On One) has an article on bicycle advocacy.

The Gathering Tree

Posted: April 8th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: design, output | Tags: | Comments Off


Spring is the perfect time to be working on the design of the printed materials for another wedding. My brother-in-law Geoff and his lovely fiancee Tina were inspired in part by Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and in part by the forested landscape of the upper peninsula of Michigan where the wedding will take place. One of the ideas behind the design is to play with the perception of a single (albeit abstracted) tree form and a grouping of trees that represent the way family and friends grow together and merge as a result of the union of the couple. The save the date card is being printed now but through the miracle of the interwebs you actually get to see if before the guests.