Zodiac Print Series

I had always wanted to do an art print series on the zodiac—but you know how sometimes you start something, and then Mercury goes into retrograde, and you don’t finish the project for another three years? Well, I do.

Inspired by Ancient Greek pottery, the art focuses on strong shapes and geometric decorative line work. The prints are limited edition and use a double hit of black on this gorgeous off-white Mohawk Strathmore Pure Cotton Letterpress paper. The paper adds a beautiful soft textural aspect to the print—and each print is unique with it’s own subtle variations. Printed by the amazing Weekend Press.

For sale now in our shop!


Throughout 2016 I frequented trainyards around the midwest exploring the array of graphic markings found on tank and boxcars. I'm fascinated by these seemingly arbitrary codes. Because of their utilitarian nature, these graphic markings are often overlooked, defaced, hand-rendered and left to oxidize in really beautiful ways. This project captures these colors, textures and typography.

This November, I am sharing this collection at the Spyhouse Coffee Shop on Nicollet & 25th. You can also view the images online at http://www.nathanstrandberg.com.

Manifest Glyphs

Every once in a while a project surprises you and maybe takes a different turn than you were expecting. This was the case with the glyphs we created for Manifest. Together with Creative Director Jim Jacoby, now with the ADMCi, we created a 47 character glyph language. The glyphs were originally meant to be used internally as a sort of secret code, however, after we put them on our site they took on a life of their own—mainly in the tattoo world. Tattoos of the glyphs started popping up everywhere and now we get about an email or so a week asking where the glyphs came from (us) and what their historical background is (none). They even ended up on a buzzfeed article from a couple years ago talking about the “19 Tattoos That Literally Everyone Got In 2014.” It’s been fun to see people connect with them and even inspire new projects and art - take a look…

Love Grows

New letterpress print available in the shop

100% of sales will go towards One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund is a charity that offers small-scale farmers in Africa access to the resources they need to succeed—including financing, distribution and training. These tools help pull them out of poverty and end hunger in their communities.

Size: 5" x 7" 
Paper: Neenah, Cranes Letra, Pearl White 220 Lb. Cover
Printing: Letterpress
Inks: Black ink and gold foil
Printed by: The Weekend Press

+UPDATE 3/31/16+
$180 Donated! Thanks everyone!

+UPDATE 1/10/17+
$300 donated! Thank you!

Barrel + Ink

Bare Bottle is now Barrel + Ink. A new name, a new look, and new wines ready to pour! The second collaboration brings together winemaker, Helen Keplinger and designer, Erik Marinovich. Check out the story behind their fruity and fresh white blend here.

The third release brings together winemaker, Pax Mahle and designer duo, Sarah Labieniec and Ryan Meis of Lab Partners. The story behind their rich and celebratory wine can be found here.

Be sure to sign up for emails to be the first to hear about the newest releases!

Our Process:
Engler Studio

This post was originally featured on the amazing blog Grain Edit. Be sure to check out their entire Design in Process Series - it's really great.

At the start of our branding projects, we often ask our clients to answer some business-related questions and to send us examples of work they’ve seen and liked. This helps us get inside their heads, and we feel it’s important to start this visual dialogue early. The inspiration pieces Linda sent us involved a lot of patterns and colors, a mixture of classic and modern styling. You can also see that she was speaking to us in her language — interior design.

Using that information, we move on to mood boards. We typically do three boards that span a range of styles, each with their own distinct identity. We’ll spend a couple of days researching and scanning our favorite inspiration sites, going over our personal inspiration folders, and you know, digging through the rest of the Internet. It’s as fun as it is exhausting. We then go through the inspiration that caught our attention, discuss, add, eliminate and ultimately sort it into our three proposed directions. We create the mood boards and send to the client. A good mood board is as much about each individual image as it is the whole overall look.

The mood-board portion of the process can be a bit abstract at times and often the more creative and visual the client is, the more they “get it.” But with all our clients and projects, the mood boards are an important phase. It’s where we listen and see and hear what they’re responding to — and sometimes even more importantly, what they hate.

During the concept round, we start playing with typography, patterns and logo design. Early on, we create a first-round brand board to share with the client. As you can see, our first round wasn’t quite there yet—it lacked some of the depth and dimension that was incorporated in the final work. The revised board is brighter and bolder, with a more constant equation. The client loved it.

All along, we knew that we wanted to create a brand for Engler Studio that highlighted and celebrated their interior design skills, as well as their individual design personality. The main element of the brand is a graphic combination of patterns that overlap each other; they represent the images and colors you might find on an interior designer’s inspiration board, and also nod to the play of patterns, colors, light and shadows in a beautifully designed room. The patterns can be assembled in various combinations, depending on mood, usage, and need.

From there, we moved onto the stationery system. During that executional part of the process, we’ll often sketch layout ideas in our sketchbooks.

And finally, the finished identity. This was a two-color job that included an embossed detail and duplexed business cards. As you can see, the “E” detail in the logomark was changed to a simpler, more representational “E,” like a Greek key, which ultimately holds up better against the bold patterns.

Studio Letterpress Prints

New letterpress prints up in the shop!

Size: 5" x 7"
Paper: Neenah, Cranes Letra, Pearl White 110 Lb. Cover

Printed with black ink. Edition of 50 prints. Letterpressed, each are unique and may have some slight variations. Each print is hand-signed and numbered.