“It’s a community of people who are — it sounds so corny — just dreaming,“ says designer Erik Brandt of Ficciones Typografika, the international design poster show he’s been curating on his Minneapolis garage for the past 15 months. "People experimenting and doing something idiosyncratic, for no other reason than that they want to do it.” With no rules, no deadlines, and no pay, the project has become a vibrant playground for a range of design innovators from around the world, from legendary names (Ed Fella, Reza Abedini, Anthony Burrill) to new-generation innovators (Sang Mun, Felix Pfäffli, Janneke Meekes). Following up my interview with Brandt from last summer, here’s my new feature on it for Medium’s design site re:form.
Back Alley Poster Show Designer Erik Brandt’s world-famous garage gallery
For the past 15 months, Brandt, a professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, has been curating an outdoor poster show by an array of global graphic design innovators. He’s featured work by icons, iconoclastic young phenoms, and little-known student talents alike, mixing names likesEd Fella, Shiraz Gallab, Felix Pfäffli, Reza Abedini, Janneke Meekes, andTerrell Davis.
Brandt’s gallery is a 36 x 72-inch panel on the side of his garage in Minneapolis’ Powderhorn Park neighborhood, a humble space that every Friday counts among its visitors the stinking truck that clatters by to haul off garbage. Come January, this is where the wiper fluid — and more critically, its methanol additive — comes in handy. “Even with hot, right-off-the-stove wheat paste you can see it brrrrrrrrrrt, foaming up,” he says, inserting a crystalline sound effect. “I figured out a way to add a splash of windshield-wiper fluid, and it worked. It gives you 10 seconds to work before it freezes.”