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.

Big Table Studio’s Big Opening Night

Posted: September 25th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, local twin cities, posters | Tags: , | Comments Off

Opening night at Big Table Studio boasted a great turn out not to mention some great poster art and delicious treats. The collection included prints from the Hamilton Wood Type collection and local artists like Adam Turman, Tooth, RedBlackBrown and many others. While the beer and Tank Goodness cookies are surely all gone it is worth the trip over to 375 Wabasha St N in Saint Paul to check the scene. Follow along via Twitter @bigtablestudio and stay tuned for the upcoming Halloween Poster Show.

Artcrank Interbike “Early Bird” Prints

Posted: September 25th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes, design, posters | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

It was fantastic to be part of the first ever ARTCRANK Interbike Poster Show. There were some great designs and I’m anxious to see more photos from the show. In the meantime I printed an edition of 50 but could only send 30 to the show so for those who have expressed an interest there are a few posters for sale in my Etsy shop. They’re cheaper than they were at the show and you don’t even have to go to Vegas. Speaking of in the meantime more views of it are available here until the new BrainstormOverload website is developed.

Artcrank Interbike Sneak Peeks

Posted: August 31st, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes, design, events, posters | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Since the general public won’t be able to attend the ARTCRANK Interbike show it seems like a good idea to compile a list of all the sneak peeks provided by the artists. I’ll add more as they become available and update when new images are released.

Big Table Studios – Official Show Poster
Aaron Hansen
Adam Turman
Anne Ulku
Blaine Deutsch
Bobby Dixon
Chelsea Brink
Colby Brooks
Derek Ballard
Emory Allen
Eric Ruffing
Erica Birkman
Farizwan Fajari
Jason Craig
Jeremy Loyd
Jerome Daksiewicz
Levi McGranahan
Matt Giordano-Bibby
Pete Locke
Sarah Richardson
Todd Zerger
Tom Gundred
Victor Beuren

Artcrank Interbike Poster Show

Posted: August 20th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes, events, posters | Tags: , , | Comments Off

The list of artists selected to participate in the first ever ARTCRANK Interbike Poster Show at the International Bicycle Expo “Interbike” in Las Vegas was just published. Artists were chosen from previous Artcrank shows around the world – hailing from as far away as the UK, Singapore and Brazil. I’ve added artists locations and links to their websites where I could find them. (If anyone notices I’ve got the wrong info or can fill in any blanks please let me know). Looks like a stellar line-up and I’m stoked to be part of it. A portion of poster sales will benefit People for Bikes – a worthy cause with a website designed right here in Minneapolis by folks I had the pleasure of working with at Colle+McVoy. You can follow the buzz on Twitter at @ARTCRANK and #artcrankINT. Also check out Jerome Daksiewicz @daksiewicz he’s been gathering artists’ twitter handles.

Aaron Hansen – San Francisco
Adam  Turman – Minneapolis
Alex Westgate – Toronto
Anne Ulku – Minneapolis
Angelina Elise
Axel Geittmann – Denver
Blaine Deutsch – St. Louis
Bobby Dixon – Austin
Chelsea Brink – Minneapolis
Chris Peel – UK/LA
Chris Piascik – Connecticut
Colby Brooks – Portland
Derek Ballard – Salt Lake City
Djohan Johari – UK
Douglas Richard – Brooklyn, NY
Doug Ross – Santa Cruz, CA
Emory Allen – Minneapolis
Erica Birkman – Salt Lake City
Eric Ruffing – So. California
Farizwan Fajari – Singapore
Greg Hubacek – Minneapolis
Hydro74 – Orlando
Jason Craig – Minneapolis
Jeremy Loyd – Dayton, OH
Jerome Daksiewicz – Chicago
Kirsten O’Laughlin – St. Louis
Laura Mensinga – Toronto
Levi McGranahan – Indiana
Matt Giordano-Bibby – London
Matthew Lolli – Connecticut
Matt Oxborrow – London
Mathias Valdez – Pueblo, CO
Paul Rogers
Peter Locke – London
Rachel Sleeman – St. Louis
Sarah Richardson – St. Louis
Stevil Kinevil -Soquel, CA
Todd Zerger – Minneapolis
Tom Gundred – Valencia, CA
Two Rabbits – San Francisco
Victor Beuren – Brazil

Eyeo Festival: 3 Days of Pure Awesome

Posted: June 29th, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, local twin cities | Tags: , | Comments Off

Cindy and I (aka BrainstormOverload) were delighted to be able to attend the Eyeo Festival in Minneapolis June 27-29, 2011. The presenter and attendee list was stuffed with big thinkers and doers from around the world and Minneapolis can be proud to have been the destination for this awesome data visualization pilgrimage.

The sold out show clearly blew the minds of all 350 attendees, probably the minds of the building’s regular tenants and in all likelihood the minds of any students who inadvertently strayed too near the McNamara Alumni Center. In fact* even dogs as far away as Lake Nokomis are said to have been so inspired they scratched insistently at the computer keyboards of their owners in a vain attempt to create something beautiful and useful.

There was so much beautiful and useful in evidence that I can’t possibly do it justice here. No worries. I’m sure someone who ignored his or her parent’s advice and became a jounalist will manage to do it. Here instead are a few links and references mentioned durring the conference to start your exploration into this burgeoning discipline that is at once both design and code.

I particularly enjoyed the presentations by Jer Thorp. Check out his work at the New York Times Research and Development Lab and his personal stuff at blog.blprnt.com. He had a way of making everything sound fun, inspiring and easy. I’m pretty sure the last of these will prove to be untrue more or less the instant I myself try coding in Processing. His Kepler Exoplanet project is super cool. Jer had a number of memorable quotes including this advice about taking a job “It doesn’t matter what the company is but it really matters who the people are.”

Jake Barton got off to a slightly formal start on the morning of day two but had the audience in the palm of his hand by about 3 minutes in. His work at Local Projects is extremely thoughtful and well crafted. He emphasized the importance of prototyping early and often and also of inviting the client into that process. He also shared this advice: “Interaction design is a series of constraints and instructions. Make as many of the cues as possible non-verbal.”

Nicholas Felton who summed up his work as “Telling larger stories with fewer words.” shared the obsessive process behind his beautifully designed, personal annual reports. He’s accepted a position at Facebook and I hope it entails him redesigning the UX from top to bottom. On the way to Facebook Nicholas created Daytum as a way to collect your own personal data.

Here are a few more links worth surfing to on the intergoogle:
Crowd favorites: eyeocollection.blogspot.com
Data viz lab at Columbia: http://www.spatialinformationdesignlab.org/
Amazing project from Moritz Stefaner http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/
Crowd sourced music video: http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com/
Chrome Experiements: http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

More is on my mind but my mind is actually starting to bleed which causes the synapsis to misfire so I’ll add more after I give it a rest.

*not actually in fact.

Ap Design on Meet The Press

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Exactly two years ago I was designing an application interface for Creed Interactive’s client Frank N. Magid Associates. This application scrapes the internet and compiles trending news items. It was so successful the client patented it and we just found out that MSNBC is now using it to fuel Meet The Press. They call it the MTP Political Trend Tracker and even introduced it on the show (not that you can really see the design). Of course BrainsotrmOverload is already world famous so this is no big deal to us but we thought you might like to know.

Here’s a look at the original design.

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.

Artisan Activist Show

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, local twin cities, posters | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

The cold and wet spring evening didn’t dampen the spirits nor it seemed the attendance at the Artisan Activist Poster Show last night at the Aveda Institute in North East Minneapolis. There was a terrific variety of creative expression, printing techniques and even some cool creative reuse of paper that was in perfect keeping with the Earth Day celebration. I was surprised how many prints were not signed and numbered (meaning that technically they’re not limited editions). Just the same, there seemed to be a steady stream of eager purchasers so the Audubon Society should receive a solid donation which is after all the point. We came away with a lovely letter press print entitled “Nest” by Selina Larsen. Speaking of point my lovely wife who is standing in front of my print seems none the less to be pointing at something else… hmm.

Update: There are still some posters left which can be purchased here.

Seems like there are always a couple of cute kids at poster shows.

AIGA-MN Portfolio 1 on 1

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

Last weekend I had the pleasure of again volunteering to review student portfolios at AIGA‘s Portfolio 1 on 1. I met with seven designers and as always enjoyed the wide variety of work and presentation skill generated in part by the different schools represented. For the most part the students I met seemed happy, confident and prepared to start their professional adventure. Perhaps what I dig most is that we share a field that can somehow find a place for them all despite (or perhaps because of) their variety.

I’ve listed them below (in the order I met with them) with links to their websites but need to give an extra shout out to Carly Wright; who not only had the initiative to dust off an old letter press in the basement at CVA but engages in the classy, old-school tradition of sending thank you cards. So I now have the cool collector’s item shown above. (Look for me on Antiques Road Show in 30 years when I’m old and she’s famous). Best of luck gang!

Joanna Wishard – Art Institutes International Minnesota
Katie Wolff -  University of Wisconsin, Stout
Cary Wright – College of Visual Art
Kirstin Wulff - Mankato State
Natalie Wynings – University of Minnesota
Jenny Zanatta – University of Minnesota
Jonathan Sollie – University of Wisconsin, Stout


Artisan Activist Poster Show

Posted: March 21st, 2011 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, local twin cities, posters | Tags: , , | Comments Off

April is going to be a postery month. Three weeks after Artcrank 2011 the Artisan Activist show will open to benefit the Audubon Society’s Mississippi project. The show opens April 22, 2011 at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis (7-10 p.m.) and will feature posters from 56 artists, designers and photographers. I’ve tried to compile a list of artists with links so you can get a preview of their work. The list includes the usual suspects (so you know the show is going to be incredible) but I’ll bet there are a few names you are not yet familiar with so it’s worth clicking through. Hope to see you at the show along with the very talented:

Kristian Bjornard
Jacey Braband

Genie Castro
Viet Do
David Dresbach
Eric Drommerhausen
Bill Ferenc
Dale Flattum
Carson Giblette
Alex Griendling
Erik A. Hamline
Margaret Hanson
Kevin Hayes
Jade Hoyer
Gregory Hubacek
Amy Jo
Craig Johnson
J. Zacharay Keenan
Ben Levitz
Katherine Lamm
Selina Larsen
Michelle Lee
Jason Lindke
Sara Lintner
Jason Loeffler
Justin Martinez
Alex Mekos
Sam Michaels
April Mueller
Chad Olson
Meg Olson
Travis Olson
Jeff Orluck
Sarah Osborn
Chelsey Paul
Andy Powell
Aaron Purmort
John Reichel
Lucas Richards
Jesse Ross
Natalie Schaefer
Eric Schlauch
Suzanne Schllissel
Chris Strouth
Peter Skwiot Smith
Kendra Sundvall
Aleksandra Till
Emma Trithart
Lisa Troutman
Anne Ulku
Tony Venne
Jessica Vollendorf
Nonnie Wong
Todd Zerger

To the best of my knowledge this is the complete list. If I’ve missed anyone or linked to the wrong site I hope you’ll let me know.

Updated 03.29.2011