As we near the official start of the summer season, it is finally getting warm enough in Minnesota for many of us to venture out into the vast and diverse state park and recreation system. There are 67 parks spread across our home state in such a way that there is a state park within fifty miles of every Minnesotan! We designed a new print for our freshly-launched store that celebrates our parks through a gold foil typographic map featuring the name of every park and recreation area across the state.
The posters were foil stamped by our good friends and neighbors at McIntosh Embossing, Inc. who specialize in foil stamping, embossing, and die-cutting. Everything McIntosh creates is beautiful, including the foil stamping die that was created to produce our posters (unfortunately, this item is not for sale).
The posters are 11″ x 14″ and available on white, navy blue, or dark green paper. Visit our store to purchase yours today!
We’re thrilled to introduce the world to our new design intern, Leslie Olson! Leslie comes to us from Concordia University, where she is weeks away from completing her post-baccalaureate program following a bachelor’s degree in journalism (why isn’t she writing this?) at the University of Minnesota.
Leslie is a lifelong illustrator with a passion for listening to and playing music, specializing in singing Bossa Nova classics and acoustic covers of Joni Mitchell’s greatest hits. Her gastronomic pursuits include perfecting homemade pizza, exploring MN’s expansive microbrewery scene, and tirelessly searching out the best scone + Americano combination from local coffee shops.
Last weekend, Leslie was one of seven scholarship winners at AIGA Minnesota’s “Portfolio 1-on-1” show! You can take a look at her impressive (and award-winning!) portfolio here: www.leslielynneolson.com
In 2013, we partnered with Faribault Woolen Mill Co. to create a line of jacquard blankets inspired by the wildlife of our region. Last winter we were commissioned to add two new designs to the line. The blankets have since sold out, but in true Studio MPLS form, we’re just now getting around to showcasing them. Our friend and photographer extraordinaire Paul Vincent spent a frigid afternoon on the frozen Lake Minnewashta shooting the blankets. With above-freezing temperatures right around the corner, we’re presenting this as our eulogy to winter.
We recently completed a new identity for Build Kraft, a home improvement specialist based out of Edina, Minnesota. Founded in 2004 by a German-American from a proud heritage of craftsmen, Build Kraft offers a variety of expertise to his clients including masonry, tile, and woodwork services.
Our design solution aimed to reflect and further articulate the precision and skill found in Build Kraft’s work, including a monogram that can be used as an artist’s mark in a variety of applications and materials.
This week we have been spending a significant amount of time examining the imaginative and inspiring work of Chad Wys, a visual artist, designer, and writer based out of Illinois. Describing his work on his website, Chad writes, “At its broadest point, my work concerns the examination of visuality: of images and objects, decorations and art and how the manifestations of the reproductions of these materials come to influence our everyday experiences.”
“Appropriation as a methodology came naturally and early to me since my academic and personal interests had for so long involved the study of visual production. When it came time to develop a methodology, I simply adapted the technique of literary citation to the realm of the visual. My affinity for Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and the other Dadaists, along with the recent Pictures Generation of the 1980s (including artists like Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince)—all appropriators—were tremendous stylistic and intellectual influences in this regard.”
View more of Chad’s work:
Logan & Lenora are makers of waterproof wet bags and accessories for new parents. Their mission is to create products that solve some of life’s smallest challenges, freeing parents to enjoy special moments with their children.
Logan & Lenora approached us for a complete rebranding that more accurately reflected their mission. The assignment also included a packaging exploration, featuring proprietary hanger concepts to be used in their rapidly-expanding retail presence around the world.
Their business has quickly grown from a local boutique to one of worldwide recognition, with products sold in retailers across the country, as well as Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia.
You can learn more about Logan & Lenora here.
The game is an absolute wonder to experience, as intriguing as it is visually appealing. In a market where games are saturated in vibrant primaries, Monument Valley offers a variety of clean, elegant palettes from beginning to end. The game’s levels have been compared to M.C. Escher’s artwork, including a chapter in which you essentially recreate Escher’s “Waterfall.” As you manipulate the architecture in each chapter, one continuously marvels at the simple genius the designers created through perspective paradox.
Monument Valley’s visual elements are strong enough to stand on their own, but the team at UsTwo intertwined thoughtful design details with a wonderful story, intuitive gameplay, and an atmospheric soundtrack.
Learn more about Monument Valley:
“Makers of Hit iOS Game “Monument Valley” Reveal Its Costs and Revenue” – Huh. Magazine
“Inside Monument Valley” – Cult of Mac
Over the past year we have had the extreme privilege of working with Panda Express. Currently the fastest growing Chinese restaurant concept in America, we have been working closely with the Panda team to evolve their brand with modern sentiment. One of our design challenges has been to evolve their 15-year-old logo while maintaining its hard-earned equity. Part of our solution included updating the type by introducing a friendlier, slightly rounder typeface, and enhancing the panda by refining proportions and smoothing forms.
Stay tuned for more! We have much we’ll be sharing in the future, including a variety of concepts and applications we designed.
It’s that time of year when the frigid weather causes us to forget all the reasons we’ve chosen to live here in Minnesota. As such, we have lately been reminiscent of projects our designers completed in the warmer, more glorious months.
Last spring, our designer Ross Bruggink created this composition for the new Target Express in Dinkytown, the campus village near the University of Minnesota.
The illustration consists of prominent architecture, objects, and icons seen around the U of M campus and the Twin Cities. They appear as a unified, linear composition where distinction between elements blend together. Every piece was considered as an object students could associate with, whether buildings or patterns. Mariucci Arena, the Washington Avenue Bridge, the Varsity Theater, Northrup Auditorium, and the red and yellow tulips planted around campus are all examples of objects incorporated into the illustration.
Installed as a large window display, the artwork also was incorporated within typography as a welcome wall for customers entering the store.