We’ve incorporated our blog into our new website. Same unique combination of posts about chocolate and bicycles, design and architecture but in a shiny new wrapper: brainstormoverload.com/blog We hope you’ll drop by and linger as long as you like.
We just got our fifth annual Winter Solstice cards back from the printer and are excited to sit down and write notes to family, friends and clients. Since we can’t send a card to every amazing person out there we are also happy to carry on the tradition of sharing the design here. Please feel free to download the print quality pdf (trims to 4.25×5.5 inches to fit an A2 envelope) for your personal use with our best wishes for a happy solstice and a terrific new year.
Here’s how we arrived at this year’s graphic: The total number of minutes of light or dark for each week in 2012 have been added together and turned into an equivalent line length. Months are colored (blues for night and warm tones for day) to evoke seasonal color shift and changes in the quality of the light. Each line is divided into segments with a full segment equal to 1000 minutes of light or dark. Note: All the times are relative to Minneapolis, MN. Because the moment of the solstice is at 11:30 p.m CST if you find yourself east of the central time zone Winter Solstice will actually arrive on Thursday the 22nd.
It was a beautiful Fall morning for a 5k and great to see so many participants running in the official shirt. Now wear them out among the unsuspecting public and our plan will be complete (see previous post). Also, have to give a shout out to our good friend Tom Flint who took time off from deadlines at GdB to play at the run with his band.
Our shirts were popular with the cool kids.
And the little kids (some of them preferred to wear them backwards).
Father and son teams liked the shirts.
They were also a hit with the girls.
Speaking of hits – someone get Tom and the band some shirts!
We just executed step two (delivery) in our evil plot to inject over 400 long sleeve Runnin’ with the Law 5k shirts into the wardrobes of Minnesota runners. In step one we designed a blue and blue on blue design that we hope will flatter even the potentially pallid complexion of midwesterners heading into winter. We hope the fun, dare we say handsome, design will inspire frequent wear long after the race to insure massive spread. The kid size shirts (on black) are super cute so in addition to running clubs and offices we expect that our design will find its way into elementary schools. Think of it, an entire generation will develop a new appreciation for design. They’ll grow up demanding it for every event and BrainstormOverload – in addition to becoming world famous – will achieve its goal of becoming the most powerful design force in the Universe.
The final step (distribution) will happen at race check-in which is at the Lake Harriet band shell and starts at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, October 15th. The race starts at 9:00. Hope to see you there. We’ll be the ones laughing maniacally and photographing the design outbreak.
Our fourth annual Winter Solstice card is done just in time for the blizzard that hit the Midwest. We’re celebrating the longest night of the year because it means the days will once again start getting longer (we confess it’s the Summer Solstice we love best).
In this year’s design the arcs of color represent the amount of light and dark in hours and minutes as converted to degrees around a circle. Though the circles are nested, their thickness is adjusted so the surface area of each arc is also an accurate measure of hours of light and dark. Sunrise and sunset are indicated in their relative positions around the circles with midnight at top and noon at bottom. The moon will be full on the Winter Solstice ensuring that even the longest night will not be all together dark. All times are relative to Minneapolis which is at 44 degrees latitude and Central Time.
We had 75 printed, which obviously isn’t enough to send one to every single one of our millions of readers worldwide. So, we hope you’ll download the pdf version and think of us on December 21st while you’re enjoying a warm fire, warm food and warm company.
Check out the graphic design section of our portfolio site to see all four years in the series.
Sanna Annukka‘s latest divine creation. Perfectly timed for the winter solstice. Even if it is just minutes at a time, we celebrate the return of aurinko to our skies.
The American Institute of Architects convention in Minneapolis begins today and continues through Friday (Nov. 5). There will be lectures and a large exhibition hall full of the kind of shinny objects that architects find irresistible. You can follow the convention on Twitter: #aiamnconv
Also making the scene at the convention will be the Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (notice that landscape architects have a full on “society” while architects have to settle for just an “institute” but that’s a topic for another post). BrainstormOverload was delighted to help ASLA-MN prepare to make a strong impression at the convention. We helped develop the concept and designed presentation boards and t-shirts featuring Theodore Wirth as the central theme for the year. To learn more about Theodore Wirth, who has had a lasting impact on parks nationwide, click on the image above for a larger version. It will be a yearlong campaign so watch for more.
Poster Offensive 5 opened last night with a show at the Rosalux (formerly Frank Stone Gallery). Many terrific posters taking on important social issues like sex, politics, religion, food safety… all the stuff you’re not supposed to talk about at family gatherings. This and the very reasonable prices make these posters ideal holiday gifts! The show was very well attended and Cindy and I bumped into a number of creative class stars including Zara and Quan Hoangzalez, Kyle Phillips, Judson Koehn and Peet Fetsch. Not to mention landscape architects Bret Wieseler and Erica Christenson with whom we enjoyed some fancy eats at The Sample Room prior to the show. More photos on PosterOffensive’s flickr photostream.
I’ve finally finished printing, trimming, signing and numbering my entry into Poster Offensive 5. A limited edition run of 40 in metallic blue on 100 lb. cover (Grout Gray) by French Paper. I’ve got lots to learn before I achieve the technical skills of poster artists I admire but I’m pleased with my first screen printing project since my professor Doug Minkler introduced me to the medium 20 years ago.
The Poster Offensive is a collection of posters each of which express a strong opinion on a social or political theme of the artist’s choice. Wars often spark a headlong rush to develop technological advancements. Yet at the same time our use of those advanced technologies for wanton killing and destruction diminishes our connection to our humanity. What will we be when we have “advanced” to a state where we premptively kill our enemies via satellite – never looking our advisary in the eye? When it becomes easier to eliminate a problem than to address it? When the weapon in our hand looks the same as the joy stick connected to a child’s video game? Will something fundamental to our humanity have retreated as far as our technology has advanced? That’s the question I hope will be asked when looking at my spin on the classic “Evolution of Man” illustration.
It should be a thought provoking show. The Frank Stone Gallery in Minneapolis will host the show from October 28 through November 7, 2010 with an opening reception on Friday, October 29th.
Cindy and I have been volunteering with the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition (SPBC) to help make Saint Paul a more cycle friendly city. We’re both delighted to be able to contribute something beyond our voices at meetings. You’ve already seen Cindy’s terrific visualizations for the Saint Paul Greenway which we hope some day will connect to the Minneapolis Greenway. It is our hope that our logo design will help rally cyclists to the cause. More information is available on the Facebook page with even more coming on the soon to be launched website.
The logo is a 17 tooth cog representing the 17 District Councils in Saint Paul and is portrayed in hot colors with asymmetrical details to convey the coalitions energy. I chose the cog because it is a distinct part of every bicycle from fixie to recumbent. Certainly the wheel is also a universal component and very emblematic of cycling but it is the cog that translates the rider’s energy into forward motion. In this way it is the perfect symbol for the SPBC as we turn the energy of passionate advocates into forward progress. We hope you’ll join us or join your own local cycling advocacy group. Each person can really make a difference.
I created several alternate configurations to help ensure consistent application by the variety of volunteers needing to satisfy an equal variety of marketing opportunities. Single color and solid versions are also in the works for things like silkscreen applications. Special thanks to Andy Singer and Matt Cole for their insights and advice.