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.

We’ve Moved

Posted: April 11th, 2012 | Author: Todd | Filed under: advertising, architecture, artifacts, bikes, chocolate, competitions, design, downloads, events, food, illustration, input, Interactive, interiors, landscape architecture, local twin cities, opinion, output, packaging, photography, posters, resources, transportation, type, urban planning, video | Comments Off

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've moved our blog


Simple Talk for Tough Times

Posted: May 9th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, illustration, local twin cities | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Congratulations to Marcia Carlson for being recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association as the 2011 Caregiver of the Year for her creation of the book Simple Talk for Tough Times. This book, already in its second printing, is being distributed throughout the Allina Health System. Marcia’s background in social work and long experience with healing environments among other things helped guide her authorship of a simple book that helps adults diagnosed with cancer talk to the children in their lives about “the elephant in the room” in a way that kids can understand and learn to accept. Kudos to the rest of the team as well: Sandy Herrala, Connie Fiebiger, Melissa Berggren, Adrian Lewis and John Dailey. I am very pleased to have been included on the team as the illustrator.


The Illusionist – Classic Animation

Posted: March 4th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: illustration, local twin cities, video | Tags: , | Comments Off

Computer generated animation has come a long way but there’s still something about old-school, hand rendered, animation that takes me back to my earliest movie-going days. Having partially nurtured a love for drawing I can’t help but gape at the mind boggling effort and skill required to create a feature length animated film. If, like me, you grew up when Disney was better known for Bambi than for Bieber then take a look at the trailer for The Illusionist. If you like what you see you’re in luck. The Illusionist is currently playing in Minneapolis at the Riverview Theater. Granted it’s showing at 4:00 p.m. but admission is only 2 bucks. So, call in sick, gather some loose change from around the house and go pretend you’re a little kid with imagination gears that mesh perfectly at 24 frames per second.


Pyramids and Totems

Posted: November 21st, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: illustration, input, photography | Comments Off

I looked out over Pyramid Lake.

Todd did a little airplane concepting.

Surely the trip to California for work and good family fun will be inspirational if this was just the beginning.


Illustrator Casey Anderson

Posted: November 4th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: illustration, local twin cities | Tags: , | Comments Off

Recently graduated from Northwestern College local illustrator Casey Anderson is ready to unleash her work on the Twin Cities. Check out her website for more of her endearing and whimsical work. There is something optimistic and personal coursing through her portfolio that (particularly if you have been recently bombared with dark political negativity) will brighten your day. Expressions of simple joys. Now that’s something we could use more of. If you need a double dose check out Casey’s blog Imitation of Life for more. Better yet drop her a line via LinkedIn and hook her up with some work.


Temps est un Cadeau

Posted: October 30th, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: illustration, input, video | Comments Off

Feeling swirled by the windy fall and rush of the pre-pre-holiday season, I was cursing the pace of life the other day. In my wishing for more time, I was reminded of a poignant and beautiful video we found a number of years ago. Thankfully the intergoogles worked and I found it again. Le Cadeau du Temps was created by illustrator, Corey Godbey, and set to a tune by Map. It needs no preamble; just watch, enjoy, and if your wish for more time comes true, I highly recommend you share it. <<click the image to see the video>>


Sanna Annukka

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: design, illustration | Tags: | Comments Off

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I stumbled upon Sanna Annukka’s wooden birds this past winter and I’m still groovin’ on her gorgeous style. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about her work that compels me to go to her website nearly every week to see if there is something new to find. She has mentioned Nordic folklore, and spending summers in Finland as inspiration for her work, and I think the gravitational pull has to do with seeing a story in every one of her prints. In this one below, my mind’s eye sees little girls running and dancing and exploring a vast land full of fjords and forests.

design_sanna annukka_02Certainly that’s what I did as a young girl in Hawaii.

And her fennofolk below…the detail is delicious. The middle one, I like pretending her name is Annika and she’s what I’d look like in two dimensional form.

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Check out her website or commercial portfolio for more. Perhaps you already have a few of of her designs she did for Marimekko or the band Keane. Some day her work will grace our studio walls but for now, I’ll just continue to visit her website for weekly fjord dreaming.

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Gotta Go Number 5

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

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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.).


Mouse and Elephant

Posted: January 22nd, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: illustration, local twin cities, output | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

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I recently had the opportunity to do some illustrations for Allina Hospitals (specifically Unity and Mercy in Anoka County) to support a book they are producing. The book provides guidance to adults who are newly diagnosed with cancer with strategies and understand to aid them in talking about their condition with the children in there lives. As such I hope you never get to see this book – I wish no one needed to. But I’m glad to have contributed a little to helping those in such a difficult situation.

In the illustrations the idea of the cancer present in a loved one is represented by the elephant while the child is represented by the mouse. The flower offered by the elephant is eventually accepted by the mouse as the series progresses and symbolizes an acceptance of the idea of the cancer which leads to an ability to begin to understand it. At first the mouse does not want to let the elephant into its life. Once it does it is confused by its nature. As the two attempt to come to terms they grapple with barriers to understanding but eventually persistence pays off and a relationship is possible. So, a happy ending at least.


A Fortunate Calendar

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

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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.

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