Documented Design Inspiration
The Watsonian
Kayaking With A Dinosaur

Like any normal Sunday, the Humans found a Dinosaur. However, there was some paddling involved. The kayak/canoe ventured began on Lake Calhoun thru Lake of the Isles into Cedar Lake and finally making the halfway point at Brownie Lake (view route here). After finding a large native creature, wrestling it and documenting history, they headed back. To catch their breath a break was had on Hidden Beach. Prehistoric stuff. Check out the story HERE.

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The Medium Control Retail Studio

A long time concept and dream fell into place today June 10th 2011. We opened our first Medium Control Retail Studio. A retail shop for our hand printed apparel, posters, bags, metal prints and select art/design book & mags. We are often asked “what do you do again?” and there is not one answer. However this new space will help explain the scope and depth of our work and projects. Along with the retail Goods, there are also select client projects (Academy and Bald E-Gal snowboard designs), vintage cameras on display; along with one of our screen printing presses that we use for making the posters. We pulled the trigger on this retail project one month ago, and it has exercised many aspects of design, building, production of Goods and maintaining a heavy client work load. It has been a true test, but after ten years we were ready for it and are quite excited to finally put a face behind the brand. And mostly, to have our friends, family and new peoples to stop in, say hi and check out what a month of chaos can drum up.


Store Location
The Medium Control
723 South Lake Ave
Duluth Mn 55802

Store Hours*
T-F 11a – 5p
Sat 11a – 4p
Sun (occasionally open)

*Hours may vary if
We have the need to surf, skate, bike or kayak.

Station on Park Point, just on the other side of the lift bridge. You can practically see the shop from Grandmas in Canal Park

Next week we will be showing some studio pictures and launching our new Medium Control website.


Joplin Tornado Relief

The Humans recently arrived home from their Texas road trip. On the way back they made a point to stop in Joplin, MO to see first hand what an EF5 tornado looks like. It was an unbelievably sad sight to experience. While, the Humans wish they could do more than just donate cash, at least it is something. That is why we decided to make a $1.00 donation for every order placed now thru the end of June to the Joplin Humane Society. We can only imagine what both the Humans and the critters are dealing with so hopefully we can help make a small difference.

Or make a donation directly to the Joplin Red Cross HERE.

MN-TX = Renegade Austin

Controlled chaos is an understatement. The Humans have been busier than ever. Many new fun Medium Control ventures in the works that are deploying this month. Currently they are in transit to Austin for the Renegade show. Tomorrow we’ll post a couple shots of the booth and some sneak peaks at some of the new designs and products.

Know any Texas or Austin heads – send them over. We will be slinging goods all Saturday and Sunday. Cheers and hopefully a couple beers.

Portlandia, Gas Guzzling Bitch

The Humans were out in Oregon for a couple days of work, play and catch-up with good friends. There was also good eats consumed at: Le Pigeon, Biwa, and Clyde Common. If you have not seen Portlandia, it’s a must watch; even our friends that live in Portland agree it’s not far off. We were lucky to see a “Portlandia” moment first hand. On a quiet sunday morning, near NW 23rd / Glisan, this went down:

- A big black Cadillac Escalade, driven by a middle aged clean cut woman, blocks the road trying to park.
- A Honda Hybrid, driven by two granola eating middle aged women, was stopped trying to get by the Escalade beast.
- The Honda sneaks thru and yells out “Move you gas guzzling Bitch!”
- Next the Cadillac retorts “Screw you Lady.”
- Swiftly the Honda sneaks thru and the two women laugh away.

That moment topped the trip, so good. View more Portland HERE.

Help Japan

Japan needs our help.

As stated above, for every order placed in March, The Medium Control will donate $1 to the Red Cross Japan Relief.

This effort applies to both of our stores listed below.

Medium Control Goods:

Medium Control on Etsy:

This Is The Futura

Futura, one of our favorite typefaces – standing the test of time since 1927. We released our new design “FUTURA, 1927″ this past fall. Since then we have been outfiting good people with FUTURA bags, hoodies and prints.

The other day our friend Jeff, from Ocupop, mentioned one of our bags was randomly posted on, posted one day and linked the next – much appreciated. We were at Draplin’s “Thanks MPLS” show and picked up his amazing Everything and Minnesota prints. PS. if you don’t know Draplin you have to check out his great video. Small world, good type.

Check out some of our “FUTURA, 1927″ goods HERE.

Our shop:

1980 Road Atlas

Life is short, travel more.

View some 80′s map details HERE.

Darwin, A Documentary

We recently launched a new website for DARWIN – No Services Ahead, a documentary film by Nick Brandestini. The film is about a small town (pop. 35) located at the end of a weather road in Death Valley, California. The Medium Control was responsible for the web design and development for DARWIN. It was a great experience for us to work with the filmmakers, Nick and Vesna Brandestini, who are currently based in Zurich, Switzerland. As always, we were honored to work with independent filmmakers, but Darwin was an especially intriguing film. We were drawn in by the film’s theme which is harmoniously backed with beautifully minimal and raw imagery.

Darwin will have it’s world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival:

Feb 2, 8:00 PM, Metro 4 Theatre IV
Feb 3, 8:05 AM, Metro 4 Theatre II
Feb 4, 4:00 PM, Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Check out the trailer and the DARWIN web design HERE.

Life In A Day, Live From Sundance

Boga Films (a new Medium Control client) were chosen as co-directors for the LIFE IN A DAY project, a historic cinematic experiment to document a single day on earth. Cristina Bocchialini and Ayman El Gazwy’s  footage from Cairo was chosen from over 80,000 submissions and was found to be “some of the most compelling and brilliant.”

LIFE IN A DAY is a new film from Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald and Ridley Scott.

PREMIERING: Sundance Film Festival
DATE: January 27, 2011

Check out Cristina and Ayam being interviewed at Sundance HERE.

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Glacier National Park, MT

After Fernie, BC the Humans made it across the border into Montana. Their first stop of the day was West Glacier in Glacier National Park. They arrived mid-afternoon only a few hours before sunset. Luckily they had enough time to take a little cross-country ski trip to Fish Creek. The snow was flying and the sun was setting over Lake McDonald, a perfectly serene day in the woods. Explore Glacier National Park HERE.

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Fernie, BC

Legendary Powder = Legendary Adventure. After 23 hours the Humans were glad to arrive at Fernie, British Columbia – nestled into the Canadian Rockies. The ski resort is located a few miles outside of town and another few miles up the mountain. Once the Humans ventured up the mountain to rest they didn’t have any reason to leave. Winter days were spent as they should be: rising to mountain views, playing in the snow, fireplaces / hot tubs, and then a few beers with chili.

A whole lot of flat until we hit the Canadian Rockies. Luckily for a couple hours the sun peaked out and we were able to see the roads. Beyond that we had "Ice Road Truckers" conditions the whole way, white knucklin' it. We see these huge windmill pieces shipped into the Duluth harbor all the time, this guy could be one of them.

Enjoy Fernie HERE.

Yakima Skybox 165 Winter Kit


Yakima SkyBox 16s first run:
5 academy snowboards
2 sets of xc skis
2 sets of snowshoes
2739 miles

The Yakima SkyBox was locked and loaded. As always, Yakima continues to impress us with a solid product that brings many trill rides to life (our loaded summer rig here). The Humans 2739 mile journey through some of the most treacherous winter road conditions was only made possible by Yakima + the little SX4. Let’s take a minute to relive the adventure: rain, ice, snow, blowing snow, ZERO visibility and road-blocking drifts. Not to mention – mountains in the dark with gale force winds; mountains in the daylight during a blizzard… not much better. Through it all the SkyBox stood tall and the SX4 kept us warm and moving forward. View the sturdy box HERE.

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Remember. Martin Luther King, Jr


Remembering the inspirational change brought by one to many.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.

A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.

(text from wiki)

Canada Shoots Montana


Canada vs. Montana
Insanely busy this week… Next week we plan on dishing out the can-mt venture.
A good weekend too all.



Canada + Montana
They already had to go back for new adventures: many good tales and pictures to come.



Cheers to a new year and many thanks for all the support. Lots of new and fun developments unfolding the first quarter of 2011 at The Medium Control. Stay tuned peoples…

Vintage Holiday Inn matchbook graphic above.



While the snow was piling up in MN the Humans were galavanting around NY. Well, they did work all day Sunday slinging goods at the BUST show. However, they managed to take a day off on Saturday to see the NY Christmas sights. Along with the other couple of million people walking around Time Square and the Rockefeller Tree. Of course after all that walking a few delicious meals were earned. Butternut Squash Pizza, Tuna Sliders, and Smoked Mac & Cheese just to name a few. Mini walk around Manhattan? Click HERE.

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Medium Control Goods will be at the BUST Magazine Craftacular this Sunday in NYC. Stop by and get that holiday shopping wrapped up if you are in the area.


December 12, 10a – 8p

Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th St
New York, NY 10011


Come early and score one of 500+ free goodie bags. Stay late and enjoy
raffle prizes, special guests, DIY demos, DJs, dancing, tasty drinks, and
delicious treats!

Meet best-selling author and comedian Amy Sedaris and pick up a signed
copy of her new book!



This past fall we were fortunate to work with Isotope FIlms on their new award-winning film LOVE ETC. As you might have guessed the film is about love, however it is far from a cheesy love story. LOVE ETC. is a witty, poignant and humorous exploration about the universal stages of love, depicted through five real stories over the course of one year in New York City. It is an amazing film that is as much about the people and their relationships as it is about New York City.

After viewing some of our previous documentary film websites, Isotope Films approached us for a clean design that used subtle graphics from the film. In October the film had it’s debut at the Hamptons International Film Festival and walked away “Audience Award for Best Documentary.” Recently in November they also premiered at IDFA in Amsterdam – selling out all four of their screenings.

Read the film’s synopsis and check out our LOVE ETC site design work HERE.

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The Humans realized they sort of left you hanging regarding the future of the the Spaceship. It’s back in action with corrugated steel walls and roof. The Humans kept whining to me about their sore hands after they cut all the metal with a pair of tin snips, but why complain, it got the job done. Then came the facia and soffit another new experience on a ladder. Explore the metal HERE.

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Simple is good, and this new rack proves it true. We thought this post was meant to be after seeing our bucks hanging out together yesterday. Our good friends Greg and Jessica started a new company called “antler&co” based out of minneapolis & portland. Nature’s design has taken it’s perfect course and they have let pure elements become quite functional. Check out their new site All antlers are shed antlers and they have some facts to wrap your head around on the site as well. Clean up your floor and put your goods on a new antler this holiday. Check out details of their antlers HERE.

You might remember Greg from our Habitat Bathroom post, his amazing picture still stands tall. Good people, good ideas – support your local creative.

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The Humans and myself woke up to a couple of our friends in the yard, 8 and 6 point bucks. We usually see one at a time, but never do we see the boys hanging out together. Deer bachelor party at the Habitat?

Get in the deer’s face HERE.

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One of our favorite eras of design, one of our favorite prints, at one of our favorite museums.

At a recent estate sale we picked up this mint condition poster from the exhibition – De Stijl: 1917-1931, Visions of Utopia; at the Walker Art Center in 1982. Which has probably been in this frame ever since. The piece above the great Futura type is called: Counter-Composition V, 1924 – by Theo van Doesburg. Originally produced with oil on canvas and housed in the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam.

In the early 1920′s a group of architects and artists formed a movement called De Stijl (Dutch for The Style). Theirs was a utopian philosophical approach to aesthetics, centered in a publication called De Stijl, which presented their ideas and designs. The founder of the publication and leader of the group was Theo van Doesburg, an architect. Other important participants were Gerrit Rietveld and Piet Mondrian.

Get close and personal with Dutch Style HERE.

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The Human’s Great Aunt Loretta was always full of great stories of her worldly travels. She was the go-to person for giving us the correct punctuation for Scandinavian foods and treats. And, of course, the right way to say Sauna; she was truly an inspiration. Unfortunately we lost Loretta this week, but her stories and adventurous attitude will live on forever. A while back, the Humans had a fun photo shoot in her basement capturing pristine vintage appliances and tools. Luckily the Humans had their good old Pentax camera loaded with expired film, which helped give a subtle green glow to everything. Explore the basement HERE.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. – Helen Keller

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Giving thanks for the extra hour yesterday.

This little sun was found at an estate sale inside a small fishing reel box; shine on Loretta.



For the Human’s favorite holiday, they whipped up some scare for the kids. They prepared brains, tiny fingers, and eyeballs within the pumpkins for the all small Humans to sink their hands into.

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Every year about this time the Human’s favorite Halloween popup book makes it’s stand. And every year I attempt to enter the spooky house, and Fail.

Get your treats this weekend.
Get scared.



The Fall chill seems to be here for good, which reminds us of a nice warm time in Chicago. This past September the Humans spent two action packed days slinging Goods at the Renegade Chicago show. Big thanks to the Renegade folks, family for helping with the booth setup, and to all who stopped by the booth – much appreciated.

Show pictures viewable HERE.

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Veggies, pfft… I definitely prefer my freeze dried chicken, however, the Humans love their veggies. So much so in fact that they finally started growing their own. Learning to grow in their container gardens was challenging especially only with about a two month growing season. The North is good for a lot of reasons, but red tomatoes doesn’t seem to be one of them. Lots of lessons learned for the harvest next year. Hungry? Check out one of the harvests of tiny northern veggies HERE.

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