Winter Solstice Card 2014


We managed to carve out some time to prepare for this year’s winter solstice and are delighted to have put the analog results in the mail to our clients. As is our tradition we’ve posted a print quality pdf for download for any of the roughly 6 billion people we can’t mail one to.

For this year’s graphic each quarter of 2014 is represented as a circle divided into two arcs – one for the total hours of light and the other the total hours of dark in Minneapolis, MN USA. The arcs for each month have been colored using a gradient that represents the quality of the light (nobody said info graphics can’t have a subjective layer). The circles are then set concentrically and each one rotated 90º clockwise.

Winter Solstice Card 2012

After today every subsequent day will enjoy a few more minutes of sunlight as we rotate inexorably back toward the planetary orientation we like to call “cycling season”.  Just in time to celebrate (it’s been a very busy year) we’ve finished this years winter solstice Info graphic card. We’re excited to deliver them to our incredible clients whom we appreciate very much (it’s been a very busy year). It’s also become a tradition to provide a print quality pdf for download, so we did. We’re all in this thing called Winter together after all and we really appreciate the requests we get every year. So, with that stay warm and enjoy.

For this year’s graphic each month of 2012 is represented as a circle divided into two arcs with the total hours of night on the left and the total hours of day light on the right. The arcs for each month have been colored using a gradient that represents the quality of the light (nobody said info graphics can’t have a subjective layer). The circles are then set concentrically and overlapping each other to cause the creation of serendipitous effects, labeled as minimally as possible and voilà.

We should add that these are the product of a completely manual process. We add everything up by hand, rotate all the angles one at a time in Adobe Illustrator and adjust all the details until we’re happy with them. Probably “there’s an ap for that” but we enjoy spending the time with the design. Check out cards from past years.

Winter Solstice Card 2011

We just got our fifth annual Winter Solstice cards back from the printer and are excited to sit down and write notes to family, friends and clients. Since we can’t send a card to every amazing person out there we are also happy to carry on the tradition of sharing the design here. Please feel free to download the print quality pdf during December for your personal use with our best wishes for a happy solstice and a terrific new year.

Here’s how we arrived at this year’s graphic: The total number of minutes of light or dark for each week in 2012 have been added together and turned into an equivalent line length. Months are colored (blues for night and warm tones for day) to evoke seasonal color shift and changes in the quality of the light. Each line is divided into segments with a full segment equal to 1000 minutes of light or dark. Note: All the times are relative to Minneapolis, MN. Because the moment of the solstice is at 11:30 p.m CST if you find yourself east of the central time zone Winter Solstice will actually arrive on Thursday the 22nd.

Happy Winter Solstice 2010

Our fourth annual Winter Solstice card is done just in time for the blizzard that hit the Midwest. We’re celebrating the longest night of the year because it means the days will once again start getting longer (we confess it’s the Summer Solstice we love best).

In this year’s design the arcs of color represent the amount of light and dark in hours and minutes as converted to degrees around a circle. Though the circles are nested, their thickness is adjusted so the surface area of each arc is also an accurate measure of hours of light and dark. Sunrise and sunset are indicated in their relative positions around the circles with midnight at top and noon at bottom. The moon will be full on the Winter Solstice ensuring that even the longest night will not be all together dark. All times are relative to Minneapolis which is at 44 degrees latitude and Central Time.

We had 75 printed, which obviously isn’t enough to send one to every single one of our millions of readers worldwide. So, we hope you’ll download the pdf version anytime this month and think of us on December 21st while you’re enjoying a warm fire, warm food and warm company.

Check out our portfolio to see cards from other years in the series.

The Competitive Landscape



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)


Today in the Studio Garden (06)


I always enjoy working on the studio garden but today is one of those spectacular days when I could grab my laptop, sit in the shade of the Lilac and enjoy working in the studio garden. I know I shared Anemones yesterday but the light seemed to be particularly interested in them today. Besides, they’re Cindy’s favorite.

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