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


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.


Gridulator

Posted: September 30th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive, resources | Tags: , , | Comments Off

I remember enjoying math in school and grew up to become a good little modernist who savors the mathematical implications of layout design. However staring into the headlights of an oncoming deadline is not the time I want to discover an error in the numbers underlying a layout. This is where Gridulator rides to the rescue like a digital cavalry grinding out the hard work so I can enjoy the spoils. This fabulous tool makes it easy to experiment with grid systems you might never have thought to try which can bring a freshness to your work just when you need it most (cue cavalry again). Gridulator is the product of David Sleight – aka Stuntbox which in the spirit of the web I recall fondly from the early days he has generously shared. (Cue anti net neutrality, proprietary, corporate profiteers… who get crushed by the aforementioned digital cavalry in a blaze of righteousness).


Speaking Screenfluently

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: design, Interactive, resources | Tags: , | Comments Off

Not too long ago The FWA was the primary source of influence for interactive design. HTML has made up a tremendous amount of ground on Flash in recent years with HTML 5.0 promising even more innovation. As The FWA has responded by focusing on the elite an abundance of sites curating collections of excellent css based designs have sprung up to sustain the insatiable appetite of the designers in the trenches. We’ve mentioned here previously MNimal, PatternTap and RefreshStyle and are delighted to ad Screenfluent to the list. We’re pleased to be a part of the collection.


Read: Rework

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: input, opinion, resources | Tags: , , | Comments Off

I just finished reading Rework by the founders of 37 signals Jason Fried and David Hansson. The authors’ brilliance is in making all the advice sound intuitively spot on, straightforward and achievable. It’s a reassuring book to read if you are starting out on your own. It was written to give you the confidence to work in ways that make sense to you rather than trying to recreate in miniature the bureaucratic, wasteful and often self-destructive habits many large companies develop over time. Jason and David lambaste growth, workaholism, meetings, delegation and many other tenets cherished by large companies.
If you’ve spent time in a traditional advertising agency were the lion’s share of a project’s time-line is lavished on the search for “the big idea” the authors fire a shot across that bow as well saying: “Ideas are cheap and plentiful. The real question is how well you execute.” If you are considering or have already started out on your own even this particular heresy will ring true. You are full of ideas. What you need are freedom and clients to partner with so your ideas can take flight.
Thanks to the recession the 1099 workforce is full of top level talent that may never return to the big agency world. Smaller scale projects seem plentiful and now is an amazing time to take your ideas and your inspiration for a ride. But as the authors say “…it won’t wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”


500 Solutions for Working at Home

Posted: June 30th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: architecture, interiors, resources | Tags: , , | Comments Off

arch-500-solutions-book

My brother gave me a great book by Ana G. Canizares entitled 500 Solutions for Working at Home. It’s 423 pages of solid inspiration organized by type, including studios design for personal use, architecture, design, art and services. Each case study includes not just beautiful photographs but details, square footage and floor plans. This book is full of clever solutions from humble to lavish. At $15 new / $8 used (at Amazon) your investment could be as little as one and a half cents per studio solution. Of course there is a ton of inspiration online but it can be hard to track down and usually won’t come with this level of detail so this book is pretty good way to augment your search.


For Interactive Types

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive, resources, type | Tags: | Comments Off

type-google-font-directory

If you’ve seen enough Arial, Times and Verdana to last a lifetime I’m happy to report that more progress is being made on improving the typographic experience online. Google has joined the open source type crusade with the launch of Google Font Directory. While still in beta part of Google’s effort includes standardizing the experience of type across browsers which means not only readers will benefit but developers have something to fall in love with as well. For more on this topic also see post: The League of Movable Type.


It's Refreshing To Be Noticed

Posted: January 17th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: design, Interactive, resources | Tags: , | Comments Off

interactive-refreshstyle

The recent (and long overdue) restyle of my portfolio BrainstormOverload has been recognized by the good folks over at RefreshStyle.net. Hopefully you recognize it there in the bottom-left corner. Who’s behind this collection of “refreshingly stylish web design” you ask? In a word – Canadians. While those of you living below the Mason-Dixon Line may be challenged by this notion I can assure you that Canadians love design just like you do. But don’t take my word for it – check out 350 Designs (the makers of RefreshStyle) for yourself. It’s fun to see sites for brands you aren’t familiar with. Oh, and if web design isn’t your thing you’re in luck. There is actually a suite of sites including: StationaryStyle.net, DrupalStyle.net and ArchitectureStyle.net. If you don’t love any of those things seek immediate medical attention.


Sortfolio

Posted: January 11th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive, resources | Tags: | Comments Off

interactive-sortfolio

As you are no-doubt well aware the internet currently resembles the imagined offspring of a mad love affair between your attic and your garage. We all know whatever we are looking for is in there somewhere we’re just not sure where. Hence the current explosion of sites like notcot.org and materialicious.com that simply aggregate cool stuff. They don’t editorialize much – if at all. They don’t even provide much context beyond the central organizational theme. As such they are like a dresser – simultaneously no big deal and amazingly useful.

For those of us in creative fields there are many excellent portfolio sites like behance.net and design:related.com that provide lots of organization along with tools, community, rating systems and the works. However, there has been an open niche for a super simple mechanism for simply finding cool stuff when “cool stuff” equals portfolios and “finding” means in a specific city. In another stroke of minimalistic brilliance 37Signals has come to the rescue by launching a new tool called sortfolio.com.

Here you can browse for web designers and companies by city and budget range. There are larger, paid modules followed by smaller, free modules. I am digging the way new modules automatically load as you scroll down the page. Check it out and get yourself listed so the wide world can find you without having to go through all that stuff they’re saving for when Antiques Roadshow comes to town.


Turning on the Pattern Tap

Posted: December 5th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: design, Interactive, resources | Comments Off

interactive-patterntap

The navigation design for the new BrainstormOverload portfolio site has been accepted into the jurried collection at Pattern Tap. There are many sites that agrigate beautiful designs but Pattern Tap takes a more utilitarian approach that is actually quite useful. Well designed user experience components (headers, forms, login functionality, etc.) can be browsed as collections and serve as inspiration to help overcome your own design challenges. It has proven to be a valuable resource so I’m excited to have contributed something in return. Thanks again for Jeff Zerger and Colin Petit for the development on the bsol site.