Creative CityMaking is a collaboration between Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis, an initiative that pairs staff in City of Minneapolis departments with experienced community artists to advance the city’s goal of eliminating economic and racial disparities. This Is Our City was the interactive visual art exhibition telling the story of Creative CityMaking 2015–16. Small Multiples designed branding for the show, along with promotion materials and gallery elements like wall vinyl and a set of 7-foot-tall banners that will travel the country as a touring exhibit.
Inspired by the traditional fishing houses found on Minnesota’s lakes in the winter, Art Shanty Projects’ On-Ice Program transforms the frozen lake surface into an interactive, artist-driven community and immersive experience. We joined Art Shanties as the graphic design partners for 2017, producing newspaper ads and a program loaded with photography, artist info, performance schedules, custom stay-warm tips, and positive and negative page numbers reflecting the sinking temperatures. In spite of the cold, over 9,000 people ventured out to White Bear Lake to see more than 15 performers and 20 shanties.
In collaboration with web developer Benji Mauer, we designed a logo and website for the Racial Reconciliation & Healing Project, an initiative of the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center that supports youth ages 16–21. Racialrec.org is designed to be a tool for lifelong engagement in the work of racial justice, bringing together youth and faculty-in-training to expose, discuss, and address structural racism and inequities, with a particular focus on health. We drew the purple color from the therapeutic qualities of amethyst, and the logo from the meditation labyrinth, but pulled both together into an aesthetic simultaneously contemporary, evocative, and radical.
The Minnesota Music Coalition launched a program in 2016 called Year of Music Micro-Grants, providing rapid, small-scale grants to musicians to support live performances in St. Paul. They commissioned us to publicize it with a poster and flyer. Grant applications increased 500% simply through the print campaign, and all of the funding was distributed to artists within three months.
The Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council is a model for innovative youth arts programming around the world. To celebrate WACTAC’s 20th anniversary, Still? brought together visual art and performances that highlight alumni’s continuing artistic practices. We collaborated with designer Ashley Fairbanks (and WACTAC staff and teens) to design and brand the exhibition, and produce a poster and postcard, wall labels, and a collaged intro panel.
In September 2015, artist Andy Sturdevant walked 40 miles from Minneapolis to Northfield. The Via Northfield, his installation at St. Olaf College, is an exploration of history, place, and walking in Minnesota. Small Multiples collaborated by designing vinyl wall text, an icon system of pedestrian amenities, printed ephemera, and an 80-foot-long wall map. We also designed the exhibition poster, invitation and branded envelope. (If only we could claim credit for Andy’s matching typewriters and Via Northfield pencils.)
By working at the intersection of two of Georgetown University’s strongest departments, performing arts and international affairs, the Global Lab harnesses the power of performance to humanize global politics. We designed a photo-laden print piece to showcase their productions, elaborate their philosophy, and build support for their continuing work.
Beyond Repair is a book shop and publishing site located in the Midtown Global Market in South Minneapolis. All the books in the shop are produced in house in collaboration with writers, academics, activists, poets, artists, and others, around the world and around the neighborhood. Beyond Repair’s creator, artist Sam Gould, invited us to design and build the website, a place to continue the work of engagement and publication.
A couple years after we designed their website, Equal Exchange asked us to do a bilingual, printed holiday card. With two spot colors (one metallic!), the 5 × 7 card celebrates winter and another successful year with their partners and customers across the globe. Using the outside/inside structure of the card, we came up with the concept, “It’s cold out there, but it’s warm and delicious in here.”
While we had an office in Philadelphia in 2014, we connected with the local cooperative network and got to know the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. They asked us to design a new logo incorporating the concepts of unity, solidarity, and cross-sector collaboration, which resulted in a graphic mark with our own illustration of twin pines, the traditional symbol of cooperatives.
At the beginning of 2015, the Bicycle Coalition launched a youth training curriculum and partnered with the City of Philadelphia on a new bike share initiative. We designed and illustrated a 50-page toolkit that offers lessons for riding with youth in the city, features “bicycle rodeo” activities, and announces Indego, Philadelphia’s bike share program.
Community Labor United bridges the gap between community-based organizations and labor unions to protect and promote the interests of working class families and communities of color in greater Boston and Massachusetts. Over the years, we have worked closely with them to design the CLU logo, a report series for their Good Jobs, Strong Communities campaign, a visual presentation for their 10-year anniversary, and branding for a public art residency called the Department of Public Imagination.
Resist funds and supports grassroots groups organizing on the frontlines of the peace, economic, social, and environmental justice movements. Resist was founded in 1968, and in 2014, they tasked us with the challenge of updating their identity to reflect a new generation of staff and issue areas, while honoring their radical history. We designed a logo system that leverages their vast archive of historical photos and built a robust website that highlights grantees and funding opportunities and incorporates large-scale donation messaging. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. We served as the developer and the lead designer.
After a bike crash in May 2013, Alexander spent six weeks of recovery making cut paper illustrations of the liquified foods he was eating. He collected smoothie, soup, and milkshake recipes and mixed and matched them into his own concoctions—surprisingly never tiring of the blended diet. A year later, living in Mexico City, drinking licuados, and still missing three teeth, he printed an edition of 500 books and showed it in The Practice of Everyday Life, an exhibition by art-design team Golden Arrows, of which he was a member.
The New Play Exchange is a platform for playwrights and artists to make their work discoverable by precisely the right people; a tool to help dramaturgs, producers, and directors find new scripts; and a cloud-based script management system that lets theaters, contests, and festivals find and evaluate plays throughout the new play sector. In close collaboration with our client-partners at the National New Play Network, we designed, architected, and built the application from the ground up. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. We served as the lead developer and the co-designer.
The National New Play Network is the country’s alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. After we collaborated with NNPN on the New Play Exchange, they asked us to reimagine, redesign, and rebuild the entire NNPN website. We collaborated with Renessa Ciampa for the visual design and branding. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. We served as the lead developer and the co-designer.
Without My Consent empowers victims of egregious online privacy violations to lead the fight against online harassment. We worked closely with WMC’s co-founders to create the first version of this website in 2011. By 2014, they were ready for a visual refresh and an updated user experience for their resources and the 50 State Project, an extensive compilation of existing criminal and civil remedies against online harassers. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. We served as the developer for both versions of the website and the co-designer for the most recent version.
Net Works is an ongoing craftivist project by the New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA), and headed up by Boston-based artist Maria Molteni. In 2011, she began knitting and crocheting basketball nets for hoops in need. She put out a call for international artists to make nets and then submit photos and patterns to the Net Works series. As design partners, we envisioned a cross between an instruction manual and an art book to display the entire collection, from Boston to Detroit, South Africa to the Philippines. You can buy the book at MoMA P.S.1, ICA Boston, MASS MoCA, other stores and from NCAA Net Works. This was a Golden Arrows project. Alexander served as the designer.
Open Media Boston is a radical, independent news source covering the activities of local progressive non-profits, unions, campaigns, parties, and movements. They hired us to design a high-impact logo that could be used primarily online and on social media channels. Using custom typography, our solution extracts and highlights the name’s most important word. This was a Golden Arrows project. Alexander served as the lead designer.
The Inclusive Communities Project works to create and maintain thriving racially and economically inclusive communities in the Dallas metropolitan area. Their mission includes expanding fair and affordable housing opportunities for low income families and redressing policies and practices that perpetuate discrimination and segregation. ICP hired us to create Opportunities Moves, an online tool to help housing voucher holders find opportunity neighborhoods by searching property addresses and finding demographic data, including school districts, median income, unemployment, and racial makeup. The tool required a straightforward interface that worked for both ICP’s housing counselors and clients. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. We served as the lead developer and the co-designer.
In 2013, we designed visuals and information architecture for the world’s largest game jam, which is basically a global hackathon for game development. The 48-hour annual event happens simultaneously at over 500 sites all around the world. The website needed to give jammers the ability to register, host a jam location, upload their game creations, and browse the collection of more than 5,000 games by year. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. We served as the lead developer, game design consultant, and co-designer.
In the fall of 2012, the Design Studio for Social Intervention commissioned Golden Arrows to design, build and program a Public Kitchen—a “productive fiction” and 9-day installation that explored the question: what would it look like if neighborhoods had public kitchens the way we have public libraries, public schools, and public transportation? When it was over, we published a zine to share the ideas, activities, people who participated, recipes they shared, and what we learned. We distributed the zine for free in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood as a way to carry Public Kitchen’s concepts forward. This was a Golden Arrows project. Alexander served as the lead designer.
Equal Exchange is the oldest and largest Fair Trade coffee company and one of the largest worker-cooperatives in the United States. They hired us to redesign and rebuild their website, challenging us to create a visual and schematic language that integrated diverse and well-established products ranging from their famous coffee to chocolate, tea, and bananas. Working with their in-house marketing team, we architected the site to be easily extensible for new action campaigns and to showcase their various products in a way that led directly to sales in their separate online store. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. We served as lead developer and co-designer.
APS stands for Atención Primaria en Salud, or Primary Health Care. It is also a health organization based in Nicaragua that comprises hundreds community health workers and a network of rural and urban mini-pharmacies across the country. We worked with APS and members of their US board to develop a sturdy and stencil-ready logo for the organization and a website to communicate their work to potential supporters so they can continue to prevent disease, treat patients, and empower Nicaraguans. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. Alex served as the co-designer.
After working with Good World Solutions to rebuild their flagship product, Labor Link, they hired us to redesign and rebuild their Fair Wage Guide, an online tool to help workers around the world calculate a fair wage. The tool includes minimum wage data for 150 countries, plus international poverty lines, to calculate benchmarks for products made on an hourly or piece rate basis. This was a Quilted project. We served as the designer and developer.
DJ and media artist D’hana Perry conceived LOOSE as “an autobiographical exploration of queer identity construction and self-expression, a blend of documentary production and live digital remixing techniques native to club culture. The performed documentary uses recorded music, audio interview clips and video mixed into a DJ/VJ styled performance.” Our flickering, vibrating logo attempts to embody the subtlety of both medium and subject. This was a Golden Arrows project. Alexander served as the designer.
We collaborated with IDEO on a presentation for the United States Institute of Peace, the independent, nonpartisan conflict mitigation center created by Congress, to introduce the PeaceTech Lab. Modeled in part on MIT’s Media Lab, the PeaceTech Lab leverages new technologies for peacemaking efforts. We created visual and participatory elements for the day-long session that included a four-component logo, large-scale participatory posters posing brainstorm questions, multi-function name badges, and infographics illustrating the lab’s structure and budget. This was a Golden Arrows project. Alexander served as the lead designer.
Inspired by Creative Commons licenses, Local Contexts is as a tool for creating licenses and labels for indigenous cultural materials and traditional knowledge. The traditional knowledge licenses are designed to be legally defensible in multiple, global jurisdictions. We designed a set of pictorial icons for each license and label. This was a Golden Arrows project. Alexander served as the designer.
Planet Takeout is a participatory documentary project about the Chinese takeout in Boston and beyond. In collaboration with developers at Zeega, documentary photographer Kelly Creedon, and executive producer Val Wang, we oversaw the visual design of the whole project. Every component had to be an unintimidating invitation to participate, from the bright logo, to shiny print materials, to the story-filled and media-rich website. This was a Golden Arrows project. Alexander served as the lead designer.
Proteus Fund is committed to advancing justice through democracy, human rights, and peace. Over the course of a long partnership, we’ve established solid, yet dynamic branding for Proteus Fund, sub-branding for its issue-specific initiatives, and angular and assertive complementary branding for their 501(c)(4) affiliate organization, Proteus Action League. Extending the identity system, we’ve designed print materials and maps showing the scope of Proteus’ work. This was a Quilted and Golden Arrows project. Alex served as the co-designer.