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.

Proper Print Signing

Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, local twin cities, posters, resources | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Despite my excellent introduction to print making at the capable hands of Doug Minkler and Wayne Thiebaud college was a long time ago and I’ve been struggling to remember the accepted standards for numbering and signing a limited edition set of prints. It’s not something people ask about at parties nor is it something that comes up in the course of the interactive design that’s dominated the last ten years of my career so my brain seems to have filed it accordingly. But careers change and I’ve been trying to orchestrate my return to more general design and to print making so I figured I’d better refresh my memory. Enter the interwebs. Faster than I could dig out my old school books I turned up a great explanation that is thorough but concise. In short the edition goes on the left, title in the middle and signature on the right. But, take a quick look at the article on About.com for the nuances and then sharpen your pencil to identify those Trial Prints (TP), Artists Proofs (AP) and limited edition prints I look forward to seeing at the upcoming Artcrank, Artisan Activist and Poster Offensive shows.


ARTCRANK-MN 2011

Posted: January 12th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes, events, local twin cities, posters | Tags: , , | Comments Off

BrainstormOverload is delighted to be amongst the forty outstanding artists just announced for ARTCRANK Minneapolis. Show opening is April, 2 2011 at Shelter Studio. Time to crank the sketch book into overdrive.

2&21 CollectiveAaron PumortAdam TurmanAesthetic ApparatusAllan PetersAmy JoAngel BombAnne UlkuBjorn ChristiansonBrian Hartley SagoBryan DunnClinton LugertCourtney Billadeau • David Dresbach • Derrick Emory AllenDWITTEvan NaganJoanne Grobe • Joe Hasbro • Jordan A. Smith & Jared A. May • Karl MadcharoKelly MunsonLaura Brown • LovelyMpls • Maranatha WilsonMegan RademacherMettle VeloMilton UnPaper BicycleRobert PflaumRyan CarlsonSara LintnerSpencer HaughSteven JockischStudio On FireTerrence PayneTim Kramer •  Todd ZergerVadim GershmanZara Gonzalez Hoang

Check out ARTCRANK’S Flickr pool of past shows.

Also check out the Sheehan Photography blog for an ongoing, daily featuring of ARTCRANK participants.


No Coast Craft-O-Rama

Posted: December 1st, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, local twin cities, posters | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Artists have been starving since long before the recession and this is your chance to help. This weekend (Dec. 3-4) the No Coast Craft-O-Rama returns to Lake Street to bail you out of your gift giving quandary. Every dollar you spend at this spectacular, cosmopolitan event held at the Midtown Global Market will stimulate the local economy, benefit talented local artists and impress friends and family who were dreading another bit of lead-based-plastic-disaster imported from the land of cheep labor at great expense to the environment. Don’t wait for hope and change – go get it and celebrate a life well designed, well crafted and well lived.

Poster by Too Many Suitors.


A Polite Gathering at Poster Offensive 5

Posted: October 30th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, events, local twin cities, posters | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

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.


Micro Studios

Posted: October 15th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: interiors, posters | Tags: , , | Comments Off

As you know we’ve been searching for “inspiring home offices” which has proven to be something of a contradiction in terms – yielding less than inspiring results. The kind of space we have in mind might better be called a “micro studio”. This isn’t a great search phrase either because no one else seems to use it. But, it conjures a better picture of an inspiring and functional creative space of the sort you can fit into your home. On this new tack we’ve discovered two places worth sharing.

While they are small design offices and not in a residence they suggest a format that could be achieved at home. First is this room at Mattson Creative in Irvine, California. It must work pretty well because Ty Mattson produces some gorgeous work in it including posters for the TV series Lost. See more of his studio space and work at his site and blog. The other office is Raw Design Studio which is featured in the next post.


Poster Offensive Prints

Posted: August 11th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, local twin cities, opinion, posters | Tags: | Comments Off

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.


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.).


Freedom of Expression

Posted: December 11th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: competitions, opinion, posters | Tags: | Comments Off

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Two things I’m very fond of are posters and human rights. Living in the United States means I am fortunate enough to be able to take my human rights more or less for granted and spend my time enjoying and designing beautiful things. Time others must spend simply enduring a repressive environment. I’m not going to suggest that a collection of posters is going to change conditions in your average, totalitarian, military or religious dictatorship directly. I do believe, however, that we are all connected somehow and that the energy and direction of large numbers of people has a subtle influence on events.

If this is true then the time you spend and empathy you feel while viewing the collection of 100 posters assembled by Posters 4 Tomorrow is time well spent and energy well directed. Share the link or do a design of your own for next year with the goal that as the belief in and expectation of freedom of expression spreads so too will the reality of it. Imagine all the amazing creativity that could be unleashed when every person is free to speak, draw, photograph and sing to their heart’s content.


Oh Hang Astronomy

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

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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.


Things Are Looking Up

Posted: November 6th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, design, posters | Tags: , , | 8 Comments »

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There’s something special about a great poster. It’s not exactly an illustration and yet it isn’t exactly a design either. Brilliant posters are a magical kind of hybrid that appeals to a wide swath of humanity. The truly brilliant ones communicate their intent even when the words on them are in a language that is foreign. So it is with a new series of posters that Simon Page designed for the simple pleasure of it. He chose the International Year of Astronomy (2009) as a foil for exploring his passion for geometric design and came up with eight posters reminiscent of the space race of the 60′s that none the less feel really fresh. My favorite part of the story is that response to his designs has been so overwhelmingly positive and so wide spread that representatives from the IYA2009 actually contacted him and the posters are in production now. Tell me that isn’t what you dream about happening to one of your side projects. Nice work Simon, kudos to the IYA2009 for recognizing a good thing and acting on it and thanks to my bro the indefatigable supplier of interesting links, coder-surfer-man-about-town and self-styled Emperor of the Universe for bringing them to my attention.

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