Design studio focused on book design, illustration, and environment design



Handcrafted wooden eclipse glasses

100% safe eclipse glasses


Protect your eyes during the 2017 solar eclipse!

A lot of people are understandably concerned about protecting their vision during the eclipse, so I put together these protective eclipse glasses.

These handcrafted wooden lenses, made from locally sourced, organic yellow pine, will block 100% of the harmful light rays, allowing the wearer to enjoy the eclipse without suffering any permanent damage to their vision.

Being Human, Community, Ideas

Do you make paper grocery lists?


Wanted: paper grocery lists

I’m collecting images of paper grocery lists for an upcoming project. If you have a grocery list you’d like to contribute, please upload a photo or a scan of it here. I’d love it if you could provide some context for your grocery list—was it for a special occasion, or just routine shopping? Where do you shop? Do you shop with someone or by yourself?

To follow this project, you can also include your contact information (whether or not you contribute a grocery list). None of your information will be shared or used for any other purpose.


Upload your list:

Grocery list
Maximum upload size: 5MB




Being Human, Community, Ideas



When you rush off in the middle of the night to have a baby, life as you had planned it for the next few days gets upended. You reschedule work meetings and any plans you’d made become tentative. You rely on friends and family more than usual. You sleep less than you’d like to, your own meals get put on the back burner, and you probably drink more coffee than is reasonable.

Essentially, the day of the actual birth is the same as how I experience parenthood in general, just compressed into about 12 hours.

Essentially, the day of the actual birth is the same as how I experience parenthood in general, just compressed into about 12 hours.

Today is my first day back to work since Ramona was born, thanks to MJM‘s remarkably generous paternity leave. Mel and I are very grateful for the last two weeks to get to know our little girl, and for the time to help the other kids adjust to a “new normal.” Thanks to the MJM team for the extra work it took to make it possible. We’ve also really appreciated the meals (and the coffee) friends and family have been bringing by, and the messages and all the offers to help with the other kids.

We appreciate you all, and we’re reminded that being self-sufficient is neither possible nor desirable–we’re built to live in community. Our life is richer because you’re all in it, and we can’t wait to introduce you to our sweet little girl.


Being Human, Illustration

A book’s cover is a promise about what the reader will find inside. For example, this cover for Treasure Island promises, “I will be boring and badly designed.”

A book cover is a promise

Books that don’t have cover art get automatically generated covers–these covers don’t quite do justice to the swashbuckling going on inside the books.

Many of the world’s great books are old enough that their copyrights have expired, and the text of those books is now considered public domain. Organizations like Project Gutenberg are collecting, digitizing and organizing those works to make them available to the public for free. That’s great for readers who are already interested, but the text by itself isn’t very engaging for a readers not familiar with those books. We do, of course, judge books by their covers—a good cover design communicates a sense of the tone and style of the book it’s wrapped around. A book’s cover is a promise about what the reader will find inside.

Crowdsourcing new faces for old books

There are a number of interesting redesigns already on the Recovering the Classics site. Some of them aren’t very strong, but some are interesting and evocative. They make promises that those books can keep.

While the text of these great books is evergreen, as compelling and provocative as ever, the cover art has not been as easy to preserve or distribute. Recovering the Classics is an initiative to crowdsource more interesting cover artwork for “100 of the greatest works of fiction” in the public domain. A lot of interesting book covers were created through the project, and some are on display on their website. Some of them aren’t very strong, but a number of them are interesting and evocative. Even better, they serve the stories well. Many of the redesigned covers make promises that those books can keep.

(I am curious about what sort of attention the inside of the redesigned books get. Apart from the story, the cover also makes promises about the quality of interior design. It takes time and careful attention to lay out the pages of a book. The designer works to create a reading experience that presents the text in an interesting way without distracting from it. While the cover is meant to catch the potential reader’s attention, the interior design should be almost invisible to the reader.)

Redesigning classic books in Sioux Falls

In the spirit of Recovering the Classics project, Siouxland Libraries has put out a Call For Art to host their own exhibit:

Siouxland Libraries invites submissions by local artists for a Reimagined Book Covers Art Show to take place at the Downtown Library from May 1 through June 30, 2017. The art show will be held in conjunction with a display of redesigned classic book covers from artists worldwide called Recovering the Classics.

Examples from the Recovering the Classics project, as well as book titles from which artists can choose, can be found at Pieces must be 12 inches x 18 inches or 18 inches x 26 inches and ready to hang.

Siouxland Libraries will award a People’s Choice vote with prizes for the top three pieces. The first‑place winner will receive a $100 cash prize. Gift cards will be awarded to second- and third‑place winners. Each of the three winning artists will also be offered the opportunity for a solo show at Siouxland Libraries. Winners will be announced in July.

To enter, artists must submit a digital photo of their work to Calla Jarvie at by Monday, April 17. Selected pieces must be delivered to the Downtown Library by Sunday, April 30.

For more information, please call Siouxland Libraries at 367-8700 or visit

The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 17. For more information, visit the Siouxland Libraries website or read the Reimagined Book Covers CFA. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Sioux Falls design community creates.



Book Design, Books, Community, Cover Design

“This house is peanut-free”

This house is peanut-free!


For households with food allergies, it can be hard to communicate your unique needs with friends.

This house is peanut-free

Food allergies can be isolating

When we found out our daughter had food allergies (and a lot of them) it was hard to know how to tell our friends and family about our specific dietary restrictions without creating confusion or fear. It can feel like the world of food becomes really limited, and dangerous. Meals at restaurants or potluck friends felt like tiptoeing through a minefield.

Informative, and a celebration of the goodness of food

With this poster, we wanted to let visitors know that we can’t have peanuts in the home, but without seeming unwelcoming and without focusing on the potential danger. We also wanted to highlight the reality that while a few foods are off limits, there is still a wide world of food to explore and enjoy.

This poster is meant to be informative, but also a celebration of the goodness of food.

Prints are available, and we can also customize the artwork in a variety of sizes and colors.

Community, Illustration


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