Zara Gonzalez Hoang aka zarprey:
Zara is one of those monster drawing, website building, app coding kind of girls. You know the type. Lots of awards, super nice, rides bikes and has really good taste. Zara used to run a local design blog with a few friends called Red Black Brown. That blog is all gone which is too bad, because I always looked forward to her posts. Well now she’s back blogging again and on this site! Cool right!?
I’ve known Luke for about two years now. He’s a designer/illustrator from Wichita Kansas and he’s a hell of a nice guy. He’s one of the best illustrators I know with a style I’d call Katie Kirk meets Charlie Harper. He’s currently working at Gardner Design which is known for it’s identity work as well as being the headquarters of the world famous logo lounge library of books.
Adam and I first met working at the now defunct Industrio. His first project there was a 1 color catalog for an industrial pipe company that lived in a 3 ring binder. We still joke about that project from time to time these days. Now he’s working at Olson which is the largest Ad agency in Minneapolis and he has quite a few major industry awards under his belt. Adam’s strengths are in design, visual editing and art direction. His designs contain only what they need with no clutter added.
Jamie Paul aka lfdept:
Jamie is one of the coolest guys I know. I knew his work long before I had met him – hell, he’d had work on the cover of CA. Assuming he was some super huge ego’d mega designer, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally met him and he was totally modest and down to earth. In fact I believe he’s said on multiple occasions that he’s not a very good designer. I think that is a sign of a really amazing tallent, because then you keep pushing yourself to evolve and get better. The first year I knew Jamie, we got to be really good friends, then the SOB moved out to Portland with his girlfriend and also awesome designer Natalie Schaefer. So now we ichat every so often and about once a week I try to convince him to move back. He works at ID and runs a letterpress and screen-printing shop called the Lost & Found Department.
David Schwen aka dschwen:
This man is a machine in more then one way. He works full time with me at Target, he makes something cool everyday and here’s the kicker – he does it all while raising 4 kids. What’s amazing about him is he puts in the work. He doesn’t half ass anything he sets off to do. He’s got a great sense of humor and you can see it in his work. He’s the kid you sat with at the art table in 3rd grade who rather then doing the assignment would instead figure out how to do the assignment in a way that would have the whole class cracking up. I dig that about him. I know I keep bringing up CA, but this guys been in pretty much every design annual since he graduated.
This dude is a pretty big deal. He’s a design director and partner at Zeus Jones which is my favorite design firm in Minneapolis and the SOB is only a few years older then me. By the time he’s 40, he’ll probably be the president of a small country. Anyhow, prior to ZJ Brad was a college quaterback at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Even though Brad could school every one of us at design, his real passion is college basketball. Last year when I met him for the first time at the local AIGA award show. There was a Tennessee game on at the same time as the show. I think he stayed there about 20 minutes before he ran home to watch the ending. Brad is married to the ultra talented Candice Leick and the two of them make posters on the side. They plan to open an online store at some point but both of them are so booked out with client work that it may never happen. We’ll just all have to keep bugging them both about it on the twitters.
I first met Sam while going to the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul MN. Since then, our lives have had lots in common. We both have awesome god loving wives that get along really good. We both have similar taste in design. And we even both had our first babies within a month of each other, and both are boys. Needless to say, we have lots in common to chat about when we get together for beers or lunch. Sam’s work is top notch. He’s developed a geometrically driven style that has found it’s way into both his illustrations and his icon/logo development. This is a one of a kind style that requires an extreme attention to detail. Every time I see someone try to use this style other then him, they FAIL.
You can check out his work here.
My first job out of school was working at Intio Advertising. I started as an intern, but after about 9 months the lead designer left. I was immediately hired on as the lead designer and given the assignment to go find a new intern. At 9 months out of school I hardly knew what the hell I was doing, but knew enough to convince my bosses to hire Nick. Nick was older and a better designer then me, but for some reason he was the intern which was fine. We ended up being really good friends, and I learned a ton from Nick about visual editing and the importance of developing as an illustrator as well as a designer. Since Initio, Nick has worked at the now defunct but at the time legendary Bamboo and currently is killing it over at Fame. Like any good designer he keeps getting better and better every year.
You can check out a small sample of his work here.