Moving on up in 2011

There hasn't been much going on here lately.
That's because we've moved all the action over here:

update your bookmarks and enjoy!


‎20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web.

If you're like me, which I'll assume you are, you like the Internet. And who doesn't? Where else can I learn who Jennifer Aniston is dating today and buy a toaster in seconds, I could even do it simultaneously!

If you're like me, which I am still assuming you are, you have no idea how the Internet gets that information to you. Well friends, wonder no longer. The great Google Chrome team has published "20 Things I Learned About The Internet." A comprehensive guide that covers what the Internet is physically/how it works, phishing/malware, cookies, HTML 5, web apps, and much more. In addition to covering pretty much all of the basics of the web, it's easy to read, it's a quick read, and even has adorable illustrations by Christopher Niemann.

So, next time you're looking for something new to learn on the Internet, why not learn about the Internet? And if you're still like me and don't like reading things off of a screen, you can even print the guide. (Don't forget to recycle!)


2011 DesignWorks Project Coordinator Intern

Now seeking applicants for full-time Project Coordinator Intern for the 2011 year. The position begins January 10th and completes on December 31, 2011. We specifically encourage applications from B.S. Visualization students who have recently graduated or are seeking and externship.

Qualities include:
• efficiency with time management and resources
• proficiency in Adobe CS and MS Office software
• organized
• curious
• desire to be challenged
• desire to work with students
• able to contribute the studio culture
• able lead by example in a professional studio environment

The internship year will build on a foundation of achievement in the MCAD academic program; projects will support both MCAD’s advancement and may include work with external clients. Rolls will include working with DesignWorks creative staff and acting as a steward of the MCAD brand identity. This position includes a full-time wage and benefits.

How to apply:
Please submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae and a pdf containing 8–10 examples of professional experiences to catherine_grothe@mcad.edu by December 7th, 2010. We will contact you for an interview. Please, no phone calls.


Print Regional Design Annual.

The Studio Furniture catalog has been selected to be featured in the Print Regional Design Annual issue on newsstands in December.

Congratulations to the Designers, Ryan Hageman and Ted Guerrero along with all the other great designers featured in the issue.


Hello Neighbor!

Jeremy Hanson Willis −− Chief of Staff, Mayor R.T. Rybak

Today the City of Minneapolis officially launched their "Hello Neighbor!" initiative. This pilot project aims to connect newly arriving refugees and immigrants to established community members in an effort to ease the transitional period and improve their quality of life in Minneapolis.

Volunteers from the community will greet new arrivals with one-on-one, personal welcomes at their homes and provide them with a gift bag filled with community resources including a refillable Tap Minneapolis water bottle, pre-paid calling cards, coupons, and information about city services. Volunteers will deliver these bags and information to approximately 500 new residents in the first year of this initiative.

As the pilot project grows and progresses, the city hopes to extend it to all new residents, "be it from Seattle or Somalia," as Ahmed Muhumud, Access and Community Outreach Manager from the City of Minneapolis' Neighborhood and Community Relations Department said today.

To anyone who would like to help out in any capacity, please contact Ahmed Muhumud at 612-673-2162 or call 311 and ask to get in touch with someone regarding the Hello Neighbor project.

L-R: Tamara McCoy-Carroll, Project Coordinator and Tousue Vang, Designer of logo

Crowd gathered for press conference at Community Action of Minneapolis

Table filled with Hello Neighbor tote bags, folders, and contents.

Ahmed Muhuhmud, Access and Outreach Manager of the City of Minneapolis'
Neighborhood and Community Relations Department.

Tote bag. L - Front, R - Back
Back will be printed with three different languages: English, Oromo, and Somali

Detail of front.

Bag with folder inside.


Hey everyone! Vote once a day, every single day during the month of October! DesignWorks is hoping to receive a grant of $25,000 to help youth-in-crisis and homeless youth. Vote on the web or via text message. Neither option will cost you any money or send you or your friends spam. Pepsi is doing it purely to make good ideas possible. Thank you for your support and tell a friend (or ten).


MCAD DesignWorks/YouthLink MN Pepsi Refresh

Through October 31, MCAD DesignWorks and YouthLink MN are up for a Pepsi Refresh grant. We hope to earn $25,000 to help YouthLink enhance their space in Downtown Minneapolis where they serve up to 1,300 unduplicated youth each year. YouthLink assists homeless and precariously housed youth with health care, education, career services, and so much more. They are constantly working to end homelessness for the City of Minneapolis and give these youth the lives they deserve.

YouthLink is teaming up with the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's (MCAD) in-house design studio, DesignWorks (DW) to develop a visual system that reflects the services and community within the walls of YouthLink. This project along with a recent renovation marks a new point in YouthLink's 30+ years of service to in-crisis youth in Minneapolis. Funded by grants, the recent renovation gives YouthLink a new opportunity for a multidisciplinary network of agencies to reside in one convenient, accessible and welcoming location. YouthLink and DesignWorks are now looking to put the finishing touches to provide a holistic, visual representation of the quality work YouthLink provides for the community.

- A visual expression through the halls of the facility that displays the language that YouthLink uses to communicate their mission and commitment to youth in crisis.

- A dynamic framework that provides information about YouthLink's services and resources to visitors quickly and efficiently.

- A way-finding system that assists visitors in navigating and identifying each area within YouthLink.

To find out more and vote for this project, please visit http://www.refresheverything.com/youthlinkmn

You are eligible to vote ONCE A DAY for the next month, so please - help us out and pass this along to make a difference for a great service to our community.


2010 University & College Designers Association (UCDA) Excellence Awards

MCAD has been recognized with three UCDA Design Awards of Excellence. Judges reviewed more than 1300 entries and selected 205 to be exhibited at the 2010 UCDA Design Show.

1. Recruitment/Viewbook
MCAD 2011-2012 viewbook

Matthew Rezac and Eric Carlson, designers &
art directors; Chuck Terhark, writer; Rob Davis,
editor; Aaron Anderson, Crystal Quinn, Eric
Carlson, illustration; Caitlin Longley, Erin Nicole
Johnson, Patrick Kelley, Joe Kramm,
Matthew Rezac, photography

4. Academic Catalog
Course Catalog 2010-2011

Michael Aberman, designer; Eric Carlson,
illustrator, Zach Keenan, art director; based on
designs by Vance Wellenstein and Matthew Rezac

8. Special Event
Inauguration Program

Aimee Gauthier, designer; Heidi Christine,
editor; Rik Sferra, photographer; Caitlin Longley,
photographer, Zach Keenan, art direction; Rob Davis, editor



This really made my day. RadioLab tends to do that.


Design Imperialism vs doing something "good"

Bruce Nussbaum wrote about the negative impact of doing "good design" on Fast Company's design blog. I agree with quite a bit of what he has to say. But as Emily Pilloton points out in her response, Mr. Nussbaum has some incorrect information. And as Design Observer puts it, he picked on the wrong target.

Still, some points ring true for me. How often does doing good manifest from one's own idea of what good actually is—oblivious from what good means to who's being "helped."

Pilloton's post included an interesting quote by Ivan Illich:
"If you have any sense of responsibility at all, stay with your riots here at home... You will know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how to communicate with those to whom you speak. And you will know when you fail. If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go
to hell."

There's a rich history of designers who have heeded the call to action (Tibor, Eames, Mockbee). But there has been a recent overall shift in our profession—doing work that has a positive social impact is now the cost of entry. The majority of young designers entering a professional practice are motivated by this and that's a good thing. However, are emerging designers emotionally prepared for this type of work? In a recent conversation with a fellow "do gooder," she mentioned that often young folks are still discovering their own boundaries and abilities. If they're not yet in touch with their own needs, surroundings and motivations, are they capable of addressing another's, especially if that person's environment is completely diverse from their own?

Does a traditional design education cover all the social and emotional skills necessary for success in these endeavors? Last month, Project M conducted a two-week session in Minneapolis. Although I wasn't directly involved, I lived vicariously through some of my students who participated and cheered 'em on from the sidelines. There seemed to be a focus on students "looking inward" and establishing trust between each other before taking on bigger ideas. John Bielenberg's Think Wrong strategy addresses many of the dynamics that come up when taking on social issues with a design process. The exciting thing about "thinking wrong" is that it isn't necessarily tied to just "doing good" projects. It promotes a much more well-rounded practice that could be applied to a lot of things. But Project M only lasted for two weeks. So what's next?

At the end of the day, I'm hoping that the conversation moves from whether or not we should engage in "doing good" to how we prepare designers for "doing good." And what would be even better? When "doing good" is replaced with "doing design."


nytimes graphics dept.

A really nice video over at Gestalten about the designer's roll at one of the largest newspapers in the world. The working relationships between designer and editor—and designer as editor are super interesting.

For those of you who have yet to discover Gestalten's fantastic collection of podcasts, get on it!


hip hop and typography

...always a good match.

Turn the bass up on this one. And nerd out on the "behind the scenes" from the creator Greg Solenström.



I can't believe it's already time to say good bye.

Aimee Gauthier has spent the better part of this last year as DesignWorks' full-time design intern. And durning this time, she repeatedly set the bar high for that position. We will miss her dearly. But we're even more excited for Aimee's next adventure out west: she'll be in San Francisco, designing for Chronicle Books and their children's book division. Anyone familiar with Aimee's passions and talent will recognize what a great fit this is for her.

Here are some AG highlights from the last year:
The Next Now
MPRB Identity
GOOD Magazine

Stay tuned in to her future successes here.

I am forever grateful for the contributions that Aimee has made to our studio's portfolio, process, and culture.

Cheers, Ms. Gauthier!


Rural Studio at the WAC this week

This Thursday (1.1.10), the Walker Art Center is screening the documentary Citizen Architect: Sam Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio.

Anyone who has followed my posts on this blog knows I'm a huge fan Mockbee's work. Showtime is 7PM, and it's free! Hope to see you there.

The films website.
More information on the WAC blog.


good company

I know its just the internet, but I don't think DesignWorks has ever had
any presence on Fast Company before.

info graphics

File under: charts, graphs, and kevin bacon


course catalog 2010-11

Hot off the presses: The shiny new 2010-11 MCAD Course Catalog, designed by Michael Aberman. We sure do love those pantones! Mmmmm....juicy.


Berman Institute Bioethics Bulletin

The Berman Institute recently received funding that would facilitate it’s faculty to contribute to current debates and emerging issues in the ethics of health care, science and public health in cases where they have something helpful/useful to offer. They would provide timely and concise information through outlets and mechanisms widely available to the public.

Designers Alex Roche, Tyler Stefanich, and Nathan Nash have spent the past few months working with the Berman Institute to develop an identity and website for their Bioethics Bulletin, which houses recent and past articles relating to bioethics.

The full website can be see at http://www.bioethicsbulletin.org.

Above: Official primary mark for the Bioethics Bulletin.

Above: The primary logotype is easily built up or broken down. The addition of rings symbolizes the broadcasting of information from a central hub-- the Bioethics Bulletin.
The information is spread and interpreted. With the added rings, the logo becomes infinitely variable and dynamic, mirroring much of the diverse content that the Institute deals with.
Above: Twitter feed (@BermanInstitute)
Above: Screen captures from Bioethics Bulletin video bumper

It's been a pleasure working with the Berman Institute on this project and we are excited to continue working with them over the summer.


type face

(photo: WAC)

Cohort and friend Kindra Murphy led a workshop at the Walker Art Center back in April of this year. Read about it on the WAC blog. I really can't think of a better use of Letraset!


job opening

***for immediate release***

Now seeking applicants for full-time design intern for the 2010—2011 season. The position begins July 1st and completes on June 30, 2011. Internship candidates must possess either an undergraduate or graduate degree in design from MCAD and have graduated within the last 2 years.

Qualities include:
• proficiency in design skills, software and production
• efficiency in time management and resources
• organized
• curious
• desire to be challenged
• desire to work with students
• able to contribute the studio culture
• able lead by example in a professional studio environment

The internship year will build on a foundation of achievement in the MCAD academic program; projects will support both MCAD’s advancement and may include work with external clients. Rolls will include working with and directing DesignWorks creative staff and acting as a steward of the MCAD brand identity. This position includes a full-time wage and benefits.

How to apply:
Please submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae and a pdf containing
8–10 examples of work to catherine_grothe@mcad.edu. We will contact you for an interview. Please, no phone calls.

Interviews will begin on June 1st.

Thank you for your submissions. The position has been filled.


under glass

Summertime arrives in the DesignWorks studios. Time for sun tea on the deck, and an impromptu session of afternoon art-making––thanks, Michael & Emily! Now, it's back to work. Please stay tuned for new faces, new projects, and more creative fun!


congratulations class of 2010!


photos by Caitlin Longley

DesignWorks and GOOD Magazine (part 2)

Our latest Action Sheet for Good Magazine and Pepsi's Refresh Project. It's a portrait of a volunteer.

Shout-outs to Alex for the illustrations and Aimee for putting it all together.


bern and tousue

US+THEM w/ Bernard Canniffe from tousue on Vimeo.

A great piece about a great faculty member by a great junior designer


designworks mail bag

We received a gift from Japan today! Our DesignWorks cohort Ryan Hageman is studying abroad this semester in Osaka. He sent some choice Muji products to our studio to help everyone who's crushing through finals this week. Very thoughtful!

(hmmmm...that reminds me, Ryan. I could really use a new denim Muji apronhint hint)

Thanks Ryan for the tasty treats (visually tasty, too)!


where they are now: liz plahn

MCAD DesignWorks presents our second installment of "Where They Are Now," a series wherein we check in with the careers and work and rock 'n roll lifestyles of recent DesignWorks alumns. In our second installment, we present to you Miss Liz Plahn ('09), So, Liz, where are you now?

LP: I've been working at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) as Junior Designer just two months shy of a year.

Located in North Adams, MA, MASS MoCA is surrounded on all sides by the Berkshires, a lush green mountain range, as well as Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. The complex itself consists of a 23 buildings first constructed in 1862 to house Arnold Print Works, and later in the mid-twentieth century, Sprague Electric. Sprague was closed in the 1980's, and slowly, over the course of the next 15 years, was renovated to become the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Our department consists of the Director of Design, Junior Designer, and an intern. Our DoD, Dan McKinley, has worked remotely from San Francisco, CA, since I arrived in June. Therefore, the intern (this season it's fellow MCAD grad
Kelly Abeln!) and I work together to take care of all the day-to-day needs for each department in the museum.

We work closely with our Performing Arts and Visual Arts departments to create seasonal programs, exhibition graphics, as well as postcards and posters promoting their events. One of the best parts of my position is working directly with the artists and curators to meet any and all needs they may have for upcoming shows. These projects can range from creating wayfinding signage for patrons while the show is being installed, to the wall labels and large vinyl didactics when the show opens. Recently, we worked with artists
Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen shooting photographs of their installation 'White Stag' for one of the large banners we hang outside promoting our exhibitions.

Rarely a day goes by that I don't miss Minneapolis and Minnesota, but I am truly thrilled at the opportunities and challenges that present themselves each and everyday here.

DW: Thanks, Liz! Stay cool.

This has been the second official installment of "Where They Are Now." Stay tuned for more exciting updates from former DesignWorks superstars.

AIGA Minnesota Design Show 2010

MCAD'S MFA Viewbook is a winning entry in this year's AIGA Minnesota Design Show.

See this and the other winning pieces on the AIGA MN website.
More about the design here.


DesignWorks and GOOD Magazine

We just finish creating an "Action Sheet" (their first one, too!) for GOOD
and their partnership with Pepsi's Refresh Everything campaign.

It went live today:

This piece looks at the carbon footprint of households in the U.S.
We've broken down the CO2 emissions data in a couple of ways.
In addition, there's a helpful "How To" column that shows a few methods
for lowering your house's CO2e

Enjoy and share!