local twin cities

Open Streets Minneapolis 2012

It’s time once again for Open Streets Minneapolis. If you are unfamiliar, it’s what you’ve always wanted – a chance to enjoy an easy cruise down the middle of the street on your favorite bike without getting yelled at by enraged motorists. The first year was a great success with all kinds of activities sponsored by local shops and popping up spontaneously in the road. Get there right at 10:00 a.m. for the Brompton folding bike race.

Hope to see you June 10th, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. along Lyndale Ave S from 22nd St to 42nd St.

As the cool poster by Modern Climate indicates you can also walk or skate but really, cycling is where it’s at.

Reveal The Path Bike Adventure Movie

Portland may have temporarily recaptured the top spot as most bikable city but everyone knows Minneapolis is hot on it’s trail. Perhaps that’s one reason Salsa chose Minneapolis for the world premier of the new epic bike adventure movie “Reveal the Path – Explore. Dream. Discover.” Show your cycle pride and ride over to the Riverview Theater Thursday, May 31st at 7:00 pm or 9:00 pm to catch the only showings and meet some of the team that made the film. See ya there!

Scary Ink! Poster Artists

As you gear up for Halloween and the much anticipated inaugural Scary Ink! Poster Show at Big Table Studio here is a partial list of participating artists to tide you over. The appropriately themed design above is by Sam Schuna. Hope to see you at the show.

Andy Singer
Bud Snead
David Dresbach
Emory Allen
Erik Farseth
Sam Schuna
Joe Anderson
Johnny Quinine
Kelly Perlick
Nick Zdon
Sam Michaels
Todd Zerger

The Race Has Begun

It was a beautiful Fall morning for a 5k and great to see so many participants running in the official shirt. Now wear them out among the unsuspecting public and our plan will be complete (see previous post). Also, have to give a shout out to our good friend Tom Flint who took time off from deadlines at GdB to play at the run with his band.

Our shirts were popular with the cool kids.

And the little kids (some of them preferred to wear them backwards).

Father and son teams liked the shirts.

They were also a hit with the girls.

Speaking of hits – someone get Tom and the band some shirts!


Runnin with the Law

We just executed step two (delivery) in our evil plot to inject over 400 long sleeve Runnin’ with the Law 5k shirts into the wardrobes of Minnesota runners. In step one we designed a blue and blue on blue design that we hope will flatter even the potentially pallid complexion of midwesterners heading into winter. We hope the fun, dare we say handsome, design will inspire frequent wear long after the race to insure massive spread. The kid size shirts (on black) are super cute so in addition to running clubs and offices we expect that our design will find its way into elementary schools. Think of it, an entire generation will develop a new appreciation for design. They’ll grow up demanding it for every event and BrainstormOverload – in addition to becoming world famous – will achieve its goal of becoming the most powerful design force in the Universe.

The final step (distribution) will happen at race check-in which is at the Lake Harriet band shell and starts at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, October 15th. The race starts at 9:00. Hope to see you there. We’ll be the ones laughing maniacally and photographing the design outbreak.


Scary Ink Poster Show

Just finished my first glow-in-the-dark screen print. It’s entitled “10-31” which will make more sense if you look at it sideways. At 13×13 inches it’s a small poster printed in a small limited edition on super black Skin 100 lb. cover from Curious Papers for the upcoming Scary Ink! poster show at Big Table Studio. There will be a big opening reception and sale on October 29th. I’ve heard costumes are encouraged. Hope to see you at the studio: 375 Wabasha St N., St Paul, MN 55102. There are a few posters left. Drop us a line if you’re interested.

Big Table Studio’s Big Opening Night

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.

Eyeo Festival: 3 Days of Pure Awesome

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.

Simple Talk for Tough Times

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

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.

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