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.

Gorgeous Design Rocks

Posted: June 11th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts | Tags: , | Comments Off


Despite liking rocking chairs just fine it has always seemed to me that for the most part they are not as attractive as their stationary brethren. Certainly, I have never been inspired to post about one before but this rocker designed by Reno Bonzo is just too damn sexy to ignore. Learn more about the Gaviota Rocker or purchase at the Bodie and Fou website. For instance, it won a Brazilian design award, is priced in British pounds and ships from France. That’s not just a chair it’s a world tour. The only problems I have with this rocker is that I have a house full of small rooms and no legitimate need for a rocking chair. The obvious solution being to move to a bigger house and have children. If that is not an option for you consider adopting some great grand parents.

The Competitive Landscape

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, downloads, events, landscape architecture | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »



Thank you to everyone who attended the ASLA-MN seminar “The Competitive Landscape – Insights to Help Landscape Architects Use Marketing to Define the Terrain”. It was a pleasure to meet you. I hope you learned a few things and came away enthused about the opportunities to market yourself or your company in exciting new ways that benefit both you and your audience. Please feel free to download the presentation so you can continue the conversation.

Download Presentation (19mb  pdf)

Gotta Go Number 5

Posted: March 20th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, design, illustration, local twin cities, opinion, posters | Tags: , | 2 Comments »


The list of participants in Poster Offensive 5 has just been released. The official manifesto says “The Poster Offensive is an independent, non-partisan poster show, which utilizes the politically potent medium of the poster to showcase contemporary interpretations and critiques of political and social issues.” But don’t let the warm and fuzzy language fool ya. There has been no shortage of sharply pointed and passionate posters in years past.

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.

Here’s the list of 71 artists and and as many links as I could turn up without hurting myself. Certainly enough talent to keep you busy for awhile: Kent Aldrich of Nomadic Press, Brian Beatty, Cranky Pressman, Landland, James Boyd-Brent, Chelsea Brink, Thomas Brodahl, Ross Bruggink, Bill Burns, Anchalee Chambundabongse, Candy Chang, Mike Davis, Jamey Erickson of Sevnthsin, Bill Ferenc, TOOTH, Zara Gonzalez, Austin Gullixson, Chad Hagen, Jessica Hall Burns, J. Namdev Hardisty of The MVA, Robb Harskamp, LovelyMpls, Amy Jo, Ben Hribar, Greg Hubacek, Aesthetic Apparatus, Steve Jockisch, Jeff Johnson, Craig Johnson, Josh Journey-Heinz, Daniel Kent of ikhoor, Joe Kral, Selina Larsen, Ben Levitz, Steve Marth, Justin Martinez, Patrick Maun, Aaron Melander, Samantha Michaels, Lukas Mills, Bill Moran, Kelly Munson, Sarah Osborn, Vahalla Studios, Ben Pagel, Jamie Patrick Paul of Lost & Found Dept., Eric Plumb, Aaron Pollock, Andy Powell, Aaron Purmort, Adam Ramerth, John Reichel, Lucas Richards of MouseSaw, Jesse Ross, Chip Schilling, David Schwen, Scott Shore of Lure Design, Johnny Slocum, Mickey Smith, John Solimine of Spike Press, Krista Stout from Papered Together, Mate Steinforth, Colin Strandberg of The Work Steady, Jason Teegarden-Downs of Delicious Design League, Emma Trithart, Adam Turman, Tony Venne, Burlesque of North America, Dustin Yerks, Nick ZdonTodd Zerger of BrainstormOverload and Peet Fetsch (who is also organizing the Poster Offensive effort! Thanks Peet.).

Time and Tide Waited for 3 Years

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, design | Tags: , | 1 Comment »


While looking for info graphic inspiration on the site informationisbeautiful.net I found this gorgeous tide chart designed by Wilfred Castillo as a student project (at San Jose State in California) three years ago – back in 2007. Definitely beautiful enough to hang in the house except it isn’t available. Sorry to get your hopes up but better to have loved and lost right? Willfred’s site showcases some other nice work you can’t have too and is worth a visit.


Not for Those With Two Left Feet

Posted: March 8th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, design | Tags: , | Comments Off


You probably recognize Keen as the manufacturer of those slighly clunky looking but seriously comfortable shoes that stylistically you either love or hate. Well they’ve turned their attention to socks and while I was skeptical I have to say the redesign is a big improvement. The most obvious thing about Keen’s hybrid socks are that a pair comes as one left and one right sock. The idea here is that the deliberate asymmetry will improve fit and wear. What’s less obvious but more welcome is the absence of a seam along the top of the toe box (which always drives me crazy). Keen has created a seam that is super low and smooth and put it on the bottom where surprisingly it is virtually unnoticable. There are a few other details that make the sock more supportive or more flexible in key spots. Lastly I think they actually look pretty sweet which is important if you are designer and everyone expects you to exude style from head to toe. Check out my feet or keenfootwear.com for more.

Beautiful Sand by Andres Amador

Posted: December 26th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, landscape architecture | Tags: , | 1 Comment »


Andres Amador an artist operating out of the creative miracle that is the San Francisco Bay Area creates beautiful, expressive patterns in the sand of beaches at low tide. Attendance at Burning Man in 1999 (just before the world was scheduled to end if you recall) set him on a path exploring the expressive arts with a particular interest in flow. While his website is not as lovely as his work I do love the amazing photos, his simple, heartfelt explanation in general and this line in particular: “To wield a flow instrument is to learn to listen to one’s self.”

Andres credits many sources of inspiration but presumably it is this flow of self-aware body movement that is the primary contributor to his creations. They really are quite remarkable and worth the time spent clicking through the photos on his site which also contains some videos and even an interview on CNN. He also does light sculptures, gives workshops and insights into team building which are probably much more interesting than anything you’ve experienced through your HR department.




Happy Winter Solstice

Posted: December 16th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, design, downloads, output | Tags: , , | 7 Comments »



Winter Solstice has been celebrated by many cultures for many thousands of years. And why not – it’s a big deal. What better occasion to gather together and find comfort in our connections with friends and family than the longest night of the year? Modern life often finds us far from our relations which is why sending a card is such a nice tradition. The time it takes to create, write and subsequently read brings us closer to one another. Granted it’s not quite the same as an all night, star-gazing, bonfire amidst the megaliths but it’s a nice bit of ceremony none the less.

So, in an effort to celebrate connections with colleagues, friends and family I’ve created the third annual, limited edition, BrainstormOverload Winter Solstice Card. Since I can’t send one to everyone I’ve linked to a pdf version of the design here. It won’t have a personalized note that way but given how I’m inclined to go on perhaps that’s best.

In the design on the front of the card each season’s solstice (or equinox) is represented by two arcs. A gray one for night and a colored one for day – the length of each being determined by the number of hours of light or darkness translated into degrees of circumference around a circle where 360 degrees signifies 12 hours. Possibly more than you wanted to know but it underscores how everything in Nature is simultaneously beautiful and meaningful. I hope it will bring a little color and connection to your evening on December 21st and that 2010 is a beautiful and meaningful year.

Download printable pdf version

A Fortunate Calendar

Posted: December 15th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, design, illustration, local twin cities, output | Tags: , | Comments Off


The second annual RedBlackBrown Collective calendar is done and available just in time for everyone who thinks ahead… but not too far ahead. Six designers, three Asian restaurants and 12 fortune cookies went into producing these limited edition, silkscreened, desk calendars. Now we’re looking for 100 good homes and offices where they’ll be well loved by design savvy people who would like something a little snazzier than the calendar the insurance company sends. Printed on cover stock by French Paper Company the calendars reside in a CD jewel case that folds open to stand proudly on your immaculate desk or works just fine closed on a stack of papers you would like to avoid dealing with. Either way it’s your call – just do it with style.

Calendars can be acquired from any RedBlackBrown Collective member you can lay your hands on or by clicking your mouse (which you probably already have your hand on) using this link for the RedBlackBrown Shop.

More pictures on flickr
Featured on notcot.org

High Style for Nursery Schoolers

Posted: December 5th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, bikes | Comments Off



I just discovered that Sacha White the craftsman behind Vanilla Bicycles (which I’ve given up owning one of and contented myself with a their t-shirt instead) created a tricycle for his daughter. I remember loving trikes as a kid so I imagine she is one psyched little jr. cyclist. At 10 grand a copy I don’t expect you’ll see the kids around the neighborhood riding them any time soon but the original post by Wired is a good read.

Oh Hang Astronomy

Posted: November 19th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, events, illustration, posters | Tags: | 2 Comments »


Prints of the International Year of Astronomy posters designed by Simon Page are now available on inPRNT – in two sizes no less. Spruce up your crib by ordering two and shipping is free. Original post.