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Bee Real. Bee Everywhere. Pollinator Sky-Rise Signage
The Weisman Art Museum Gets Real.

The Bee Real Bee Everywhere project artistic team of Christine Baeumler, Amanda Lovelee and Julie Benda collaborated with the University of Minnesota's Bee Lab and a sculptor to design an urban pollinator "sky rise". The Sky Rise is designed to attract native, solitary stem-nesting bees like mason bees. A team from the U is monitoring the habitat sculptures and collecting data. The first of these experimental pollinator habitats was installed along Como Lake. Other locations include Lake Phalen, Como/Hamline and on the grounds of the Weisman Art Museum! Check out the full project, including the super-cool pollinator-inspired signage we designed to mark and identity these useful sculptures.

AAF Spokane American Advertising Awards
She'll Be The Judge Of That.

TIF partner, Holly Robbins, is heading off in February to the home town of Bing Crosby—Spokane, Washington— to judge the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Spokane American Advertising Awards Show. She will be joining fellow judges Scott Creamer of Screamer Co. from Austin and Alan Mcfarlane of Adobe. Holly would love to see Spokane as a winter wonderland in February, so as Bing used to say, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Magically Adhered - Exhibit
Magically Adhered Exhibit Opens!

Ever wonder how 3M ended up in Maplewood, MN? Check out the new "3M and Maplewood: Magically Adhered" exhibit at the Maplewood Historical Society. This Is Folly had a great time working with all the folks at The Maplewood Historical Society, Bruentrup Heritage Farm, Bluestem Heritage Group and Franz to bring this super interesting story to life. Don't miss the amazing "before" and "after" photos or the full-size cut out of Jackie Gleason!

For visitor information, check out the Maplewood Historical Society website. Check the article featuring the exhibit in the Pioneer Press.

Signs of Resistance
Showing Signs of Resistance

This Is Folly joined forces with J. O'Brien Design and a cadre of dedicated volunteers to throw the Signs of Resistance Protest Poster Show in order to bring the power of the local design community to the resistance. Read on.

Friendship Forest Planted!
First Friendship Forest Planted!

Ever wish you could befriend a tree? Well, through the marvels of nature, community, and technology, now you can! When someone plants a Friendship Forest tree, they're not just helping to create a future forest, they're beginning a beautiful friendship. Friendship foresters and their new leafy friends can maintain a dialogue in the years ahead as the tree grows and develops. Read on.

Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center Launch
Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center Brand Launched!

Last night at their "Hot House" event, Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center had an official public reveal of the logo we hammered out for them. So many great folks, so much fun! More to come soon in our newsletter THE FOLLIES (sign up: http://eepurl.com/bduT6r) and on this website!

The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) inspires hands, hearts and minds through art forms produced by heat, spark, or flame. Check out CAFAC, their mission and available classes.

HOW International Design Award
Currents Branding Work Honored

Our branding work for Currents has received a HOW 2014 International Design Award! In proper award show style, we want to thank our families, and, of course, all of the folks at Currents for being such wonderful clients and project partners. We also want to thank Studio On Fire for the fabulous letterpress printing. Did we leave anyone out? The International Design Awards issue will hit the stands in Spring of 2015.

Happy Earth Day
Happy Earth Day To The Earth And All You Creatures!

We think that everyone should celebrate the heck out of Earth Day. After all, where would we be without it? That's right, we would be specks of star dust just floating around in space. Yeah, not very exciting. So, here's to the Earth, and here's to doing what we can to protect, preserve and restore it for many generations to come!

Here's a few things we have done to reduce our impacts on the planet:

Our studio, as well as our home, has run off of renewable wind power via Minnesota's Wind Source program since the program's inception.

TIF Partner Holly Robbins co-founded what is now the Master of Arts in Sustainable Design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), a program that attracts students from around the country and around the world. We are training the next generation of designers to be more responsible and more innovative. Holly, currently teaches a core course in the program, The Practice of Sustainable Design.

We work to make our industry the best that it can be. We speak on topics of sustainable design. We also contributed to the criteria for the AIGA MN Green Leaf award and have helped judge the award winners for 2013 and 2014.

We offer our clients the best practices of our industry. We practice sustainable design principles and offer sustainability consulting services.

We also do the little things that add up to a lot. We use 100% post-consumer content paper in our printers. We compost, reuse and recycle. We avoid commuting daily. We eat local and organic most of the time, mainly from food co-ops, farmer's markets and CSAs.

And here are some goals we have set for this year to further reduce our impacts going forward:

We are enrolled in one of the first community solar programs, where we will own our own solar panels which are installed on a commercial building elsewhere in town, powering our studio on the credits. Go solar!

We are in the process of switching our server hosting to a company that primarily runs on solar power and is in a LEED certified building, so that our server runs on good vibes too.

We will trade in our larger garbage container for the smaller one that the city offers to further raise our awareness of waste reduction.

We will switch out our CFLs as they expire over the next few years for the newer, more efficient LED bulbs.


(R)Evolution In Design

Holly recently traveled to Winston-Salem for an event at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts (SECCA) in conjunction with opening week of the traveling Walker Art Center Graphic Design: Now in Production show. She gave a keynote talk on the role of design and culture in sustainability called "(R)Evolution in Design" following an awards presentation for excellence by The Sustainability Resource Center to local businesses and organizations. Lively and insightful discussions followed both the speech and the intimate round table held in the SECCA the following day. Thanks to all the great folk at SECCA who made Holly's visit to the area so enjoyable and to all those who attended the events with such enthusiasm, passion and interest.


news 033012
Mastering Sustainable Design

MCAD Sustainable Design Online is happy to announce that the new fall program is launching with a full cadre of MA students. Holly Robbins, This Is Folly partner, helped found and develop this program. Early in 2012, the program was retooled as a Masters Degree and was fully accredited. The program is one of the only two Masters programs at MCAD. And because it is all taught online, you can take your laptop or iPad and learn about designing with nature while you are out in nature. Learn more about the Master of Arts degree in Sustainable Design here and here.

Unity Temple
Designing for Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple

In our other life, we make furniture under the name Organic Design Operatives (ODO), LLC. View full story here.

Bee Real. Bee Everywhere.
Bee Awesome!

We're all abuzz with the news that our Bee Real Bee Everywhere project work for Public Art Saint Paul was chosen to be a 2017 HOW International Design Awards winner. Bee sure to check out the awards issue when it hits the shelves in the Spring of 2018. There! We got the bee puns out of our system!

Thanks to the judges: Pum Lefebure, Design Army; Leland Maschmeyer, Chobani; Su Mathews Hale, Lippincott; Vanessa Foley, artist; Brian Collins, COLLINS.

Believe it or not
Communication Arts Signs of Resistance
Resistance Is Not Futile

TIF's Holly Robbins, along with her co-organizer, Jenn O'Brien, was featured in an article in Communication Arts (CA) magazine entitled "Resistance in Design", along with other designers from Minnesota and around the country using their skills in service of their communities and society. We were featured for organizing the "Signs of Resistance" protest sign show in April, where we invited 34 artists to create posters and raised $8000 for the ACLU of Minnesota. The thrust of the article was how creatives were speaking out directly. They were using their abilities to create images that others could rally around, to raise funds and to bring awareness to issues they were concerned about.

HOW Promotion and Marketing Design Award
Why Thank You HOW, For Appreciating Our Client Thank You!

We're dizzy with pride that our This Is Folly Happy Folly-Days promotion and client thank you was chosen to be a HOW 2017 Promotion & Marketing Design Award winner. The awards issue will hit the shelves September 19th, 2017.

Paperspecs Currents Weekly Paper Inspiration
Currents Is Featured On PaperSpecs!

We heart paper at This Is Folly! So we're thrilled to have our Currents work featured in PaperSpecs gallery this week for the weekly Paper Inspiration! Check it out.

Happy Folly Days
Happy Folly-Holi-New-Year-Darn-It's-Cold Days!

We're putting the fun in function with our Happy Folly-Holi-New-Year-Darn-It's-Cold Days promotion. Our winter hats were custom made in Cloquet, Minnesota and come with an analog text read out. Just spin around real fast to reveal the message! Yeah, we're clever like that. Learn more here.

We're also happy to say that the promotion is Made In The USA and uses a bunch of sustainable design strategies and materials.

Green America Certification
We're Certifiable

Hurray! We've received a Silver certification from Green America for our green business and design practices and for our ongoing work for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's Master of Arts in Sustainable Design. "Green" industry segments are the fastest growing segments in many industries and we're thrilled to be part of that movement! 

Minneapolis Idea eXchange
MiX It Up, Mpls!

We at This Is Folly take our Minneapolis pride pretty darn seriously. Minneapolis is a creativity Mecca blessed with a get-it-done spirit that's balanced with a crisp, refreshing dose of Northern practicality. We're ripe for an idea festival à la Aspen Ideas Festival or Chicago Ideas Week. So, imagine our pleasure at being asked to design the brand for MiX, which was unveiled last week at the Minneapolis Downtown Council. 

Want to get in the MIX? Check out the website and sign up. The team is working out the details for a 2014 preview and a 2015 festival launch. 

Target Market Pantry holiday
Make Merry

'Tis the season for Target's Market Pantry new Holiday packaging.

We added a dash of pageantry to Target's Market Pantry for the holidays with new seasonal packaging. With a wink and a nod, Market Pantry every day packaging is transformed into a holiday stage set festooned with prop-like seasonal illustrations. Created with the folks at Target InHouse and with delightful illustrations from Eight Hour Day, the new packaging will add some holly jolly to your holiday.

Market Pantry Seasonal Packaging
B.T. McElrath 040212
We're Having Flash Backs

Our new "Flash Back" series showcases projects we did from the past that still give us the warm fuzzies. Our first "Flash Back" is the identity and packaging we did for B.T. McElrath, Chocolatier. When we did this work, back in 1996, you might hear someone shout "Show me the money!" at someone else, a gallon of gas was $1.25 and people were doing the Macerana.

B.T. McElrath
This Is Folly Lollies
Hello Suckers

Our new business cards totally suck. Introducing the This Is Folly Lolly.

Suck it, then scan it. The handy QR code on the label sends our vital info to your smart phone contacts. With names like banana fantasy, strawberry-kiwi crush and bubblelushious, they're sure to deliver a sucker punch!

AIGA (Re)design Awards 13
Let Us Be The Judge

TIF partner, Holly Robbins, served as one of the judges for the AIGA (Re)design Awards 13, the international graphic design competition celebrating designs that reflect Triple Bottom Line values. The winners were unveiled at an opening at St. Anthony Main on Minneapolis' Historic riverfront hosted by the AIGA Minnesota chapter. Holly sat on a lively Q & A panel at the opening with fellow judge, Natacha Poggio, and surprise guest Nathan Shedroff. Everyone enjoyed Summit beer and we met up with old friends and made a few new ones.

You can check out the winners online.

Folly Birthday Cake
Let Them Eat Cake

And so we did. And it was delicious. We're celebrating (finally) the launch of our new design concern, This Is Folly. It was a while coming, but we think the wait was worth it (or so we tell ourselves so we don't weep too much). "Why 'This Is Folly,'" you ask? Well, "Why not?" say we.

So check out our shiny new website and share it with all your friends. Well, heck, share it with your enemies too.

This Is Folly Cake
news 040112
Capitol Region Watershed Stamps
A Watershed Moment.

This Is Folly-designed critter stamps have started to appear at the Capitol Region Watershed District's new digs under construction in Saint Paul. The concrete stamps will be scattered around the grounds and will be used to help teach children about all the wildlife that calls the watershed home. We got a sneak peek at the stamps at the installation during the organization's 20th anniversary celebration while their new building was under construction. The festivities included food, music, speeches and a dramatic pouring of molten iron to create a watershed artwork that will hang in their lobby. So great to see this organization utilize artists to help facilitate their mission and work!

Print 2017 Regional Annual Design Annual
Print 2017 Regional Design Winner!

Check out our work in PRINT's 2017 Regional Design Annual issue out now. Thanks Print Magazine and judges Aaron Draplin, Jessica Hische, Pum Lefebure, Ellen Lupton, Eddie Opara & Paula Scher! See the project.

On a sad note, PRINT will no longer be in print after 77 years of publication. The magazine will be online only moving forward. Print Magazine has been an important source of inspiration for us, first as students and now as professionals. What does that mean for the profession going forward? Hard to say. But it is definitely the end of an era.

Happy Folly-days 2017 packages
Happy Folly-days 2017!

Our 2017 Happy Holi-Folly-Days packages have left the workshop! Thanks to all our friends, clients and project partners for a fantastic year. What wonders await us all in 2018?

Opening A Business in Saint Paul
Grand Opening: A Pocket Guide To Opening A Business In Saint Paul

So you want to open a business in Saint Paul? It just got a heck of a lot easier with the launch of A Pocket Guide To Opening A Business In Saint Paul. This super helpful booklet was launched today in a press conference with Mayor Chris Coleman and the City Council. We designed a guide with a "journey map" of the process in just five steps and handy resources. Thanks to all the great people over at the city with whom we worked to bring our part of the project to life!

Folly-days 2016
Merry Goes Round!

Our New Year's promotion/client appreciation gift, the latest edition of This Is Folly knit hats, has been appearing in mailboxes all across town and country.

We're proud of the work we did over the last year and we really appreciate all our fabulous clients and partners. Thanks for a great 2016! As we forge ahead into 2017, we're looking forward to new opportunities and experiences with old and new friends.

CAFAC Print Magazine Design Winner
CAFAC Branding Work Honored

Hot Off The Presses! The 2016 PRINT magazine Regional Design Annual is out! We're honored that our work for Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) was included along with all the other great work from the midwest!

Eureka Zero Waste Summit
Eureka! Zero Heroes

We were honored when Eureka! Recycling asked us to design an identity for their Zero Waste Summit. The Summit is an important event, bringing together people in the Twin Cities region who are contributing to a zero-waste future. Read on.

Look Here MCAD Show
LOOK HERE: Making Visible the Invisible
in Sustainable Art and Design

TIF's own Holly Robbins, is featured in the LOOK HERE show at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design). Holly is sharing her work in progress for a book concept, A Taxonony of {Sustainable} Design Strategies. In this work, she catalogs and categorizes the myriad of existing strategies as a tool to help those practicing sustainable design. Learn More.

Opening Reception: Friday, October 16, 6-8 pm, Concourse Gallery
Show Runs:
Oct 16 - Nov 8, 2015
Artists' Panel Discussion: 
Monday, October 26, 6:30pm, Auditorium 140

Green America Certification
Currents Brand Launched!

Currents, a new name and brand This Is Folly created for a Plymouth, Minnesota apartment home complex, went live recently.

Our client wanted to refresh the complex and give it some personality through a theme of the by-gone era of luxury passenger steam ship travel. With faux rusty steel beams, heavy iron straps and rivets, images of turn-of-the-century bathing beauties and other vintage ship and nautical details already underway, This Is Folly jumped onboard to develop a name, logo and brand culture to go with the new décor.

But that, as it turns out, was just the beginning of our journey. View full story here.

Minneapolis Idea Exchange Launch
We MiXed it up at the launch event!

This Is Folly got into the MiX last week at the Minneapolis Idea eXchange launch party in downtown Minneapolis (TIF designed the event invites).

Ideas abounded, as did appearances by noteworthies. The night's festivities included a wonderful presentation on humor and creativity by Barry Kudrowitz who talked about how the part of the brain that processes humor and creativity are the same. So, in short, he told us to lighten up, have fun and just let the good and bad ideas flow. Other speakers, including City of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges (seen above) and Nate Garvis, challenged the audience to make our ideas festival inclusive, impactful and original. The improv comedy of the Theater of Public Policy added some great comic relief. Their Minneapolis vs. St. Paul idea cage match was hilarious. St. Paul's answer to Minneapolis' idea to build the world's largest skyscraper? They went in a completely other direction, to dig the deepest hole. Nice try, St. Paul!

MiX will need all sorts of ideas and volunteers to make it great. To get in the MiX, check out the website at http://www.minneapolisideaexchange.com

And mark your calendars for MiX 2015 - October 1-3.

AIGA Green Leaf Award
Show Me The Green 

TIF's own Holly Robbins will be a judge for the AIGA Minnesota annual design show Green Leaf Award category, along with MCAD Sustainable Design program graduate Rita Penrod and Curt McNamara, another co-founder and instructor for the MCAD program. The Green Leaf Award, which the principals of This Is Folly helped create years ago, recognizes design leadership in environmental responsibility and sustainable design. Recently, This Is Folly also helped update the criteria for the award. 

Entries are still being accepted for the show through 5pm on April 2nd. Show is April 10th.

Ikaati Catalog 2012
Tea To a T

Our latest project for Ikaati is steeped in the experience of tea. Check out Ikaati's 2012-2013 catalog.

AIGA ReDesign Awards 13
Just (Re)design It

Our very own Holly Robbins will be one of the judges of the AIGA (Re)design Awards 13 competition. The AIGA (Re)design Awards is an international graphic design competition celebrating the most influential designs that advocate for strong communities, sustainable environments and thriving economies. This year the competition will be hosted by the AIGA Minnesota chapter with the unveiling of winners to take place October 10, 2013 at a venue located on the beautiful, historic riverfront in Northeast Minneapolis at St. Anthony Main. 

To learn more about this competition, go to aigaredesignawards.com

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Minneapolis Idea Exchange - MIX Green America HOW International Design Awards Currents Launch