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Design Camp: Paula Scher and Eric Madsen Inspire

Written by in Events

Apparently the “Walleye” is Minnesota’s state fish. There’s even a painting of one hanging in my cabin here at Design Camp. Hence I sketched a rough Walleye to signify Day 1 of AIGA Minnesota’s wonderful design conference. (Not sure I was really even aware of the whole “State Fish” thing. I have heard that Minnesota’s “State Bird” is the mosquito though…)

Paula Scher at Design Camp 2012 Citi Bank Logo

Paula Scher kicked off the day with an amazing keynote based on her long career of design work. Above is an obligatory Paula Scher photo showing her iconic Citi Bank logo.

I was actually blessed to have lunch with Paula (and a handful of other amazing design celebrities) – and I was faced with a moral dilemma: Paula left her name tag at lunch! I knew she was flying back to New York soon after lunch, and I thought it would be awesome to wear a Paula Scher name tag around the campgrounds. But in the end, I figured getting her on The Reflex Blue Show and getting her autograph was enough. When I returned her nametag – she exclaimed, “Good! I forgot who I was!”

Eric Madsen Sketches Watercolor Design Camp 2012

Eric Madsen gave an unusual and moving speech about his childhood in Texas, starting his design studio in Minneapolis, his practice of sketch journaling and the passing of a dear design friend. It was refreshing to hear a designer talking about his life – not simply about his “work”. There were large portions of his talk that seemed to have nothing to do with design at all – but it was ok, because we all connected to his story in different ways. Very inspiring.

Right after Eric’s talk, Neenah’s own Jamie Saunders gave a workshop entitled “Print Lives!” to a packed room of designers and students. Her presentation was a great follow up to Mr. Madsen, since much of his talk highlighted the tactile beauty of paper and traditional media.

Meat Origami Neenah Paper Design Camp 2012

One of the highlights of Jamie’s talk was an opportunity to do some arts and crafts: cutting out paper steaks and assembling them! (After all, the theme of this years Design Camp is MEAT)

This young lady went an extra step and designed blood to adorn her steak. Almost too realistic…

I know this doesn’t have really anything to do with Design Camp, but during Jamie’s talk I had a few moments to FaceTime with my wife and kid. This is Jonah. I thought you’d think he was cute too…

Yummy Food Design Camp 2012

BTW – we’ve been eating good at camp. Lunch was a full Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing etc.), and Dinner was an eclectic assortment of appetizers, salads, sandwhiches and pasta. Very delightful.

Jamie Saunders Neenah Paper Design Camp 2012

Here’s Jamie keeping in line with the camp’s “Meat” theme. (While Kim Shannon looks on in horror.)

Grand View Lodge Minnesota Night Design Camp 2012

The Grand View Lodge is beautiful after dark.

When the exhibit hall opened, the Neenah ladies were ready to rock!

Design Camp 2012

Neenah was bombarded by designers eager to feel fresh paper samples… and sample their assortment of cured meat giveaways.

Joe Isaak Design Camp 2012

The frisky Joe Isaak cleans up pretty good!

Showing off our Neenah aprons. I’m the one in the middle.

Doug Powell Ben Lueders Apron Neenah Paper Design Camp 2012

AIGA’s national president, Doug Powell told me he liked my apron… but that it was a little too “skimpy” on me.

The night ended with a small after party in the Neenah cabin. You can’t really go wrong when you combine good drinks with great designers.

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    7:49pm

    Neenah rocks the Design Camp Theme! Love the Camp Coverage, a pleasure to meet you. Hope you finish the cured meat (over)supply before breaking camp.