Living in Iowa, it’s pretty easy to feel a galaxy away from the every day “goings on” of Hollywood. I have no idea what Joan and Melissa Rivers are doing this morning—nor do my Hollywood friends know that there is a deer in my backyard as I write this.

So, when Hollywood comes to Iowa, it’s kind of a big deal. Extreme Makeover Home Edition is working on a build just north of Cedar Rapids in a small town called West Union. Us hard-working, salt-of-the-earth Iowans are excited about changing the living conditions for the Gibb’s family. Doing good is always a good thing.

I have been working with Extreme Makeover Home Edition Producers and Designers, and have been given the task of creating artwork for various parts of the new home.

I can’t disclose too much about our role just yet….more on that to come. But, we’re excited to be involved on the project, and very happy to help this wonderful family.

Angels With Dirty Faces Title

I am a typography nut—especially interested in type history. Our studio has a collection of old graphic arts books from the 1900s through 1950s that we use for inspiration from time to time. As well, I have always been interested in the typography of old movie title and end stills. They are a typographic feast.

OK, some of you won’t get it, but I know this will be of interest to my designer friends, and a few fans of old film as well. Just click on the title still below. You’re in for a treat.

KRNA 94.1 Iowanarock

A number of years ago we designed everything for legendary classic rock station 94.1 KRNA. Founded by a couple of University of Iowa students, Rob Norton and Eliot Keller, KRNA grew from grassroots-to-powerhouse.

Rob and Eliot sold off their lifelong project in 1998. Prior to them doing so, we kicked off a new look for KRNA, with a new logo and positioning line. In a sea of tired rock station taglines, we wanted to create something fresh, maybe even a bit odd and definitely regional.

The result? KRNA. 94.1 IOWANAROCK.

Gray Eagle

I ran across this film not too long ago. I was somewhat skeptical at first, as I have seen a bunch of these “tug at the heartstrings” sort of efforts that fall flat. I feel differently about this one. The script is very good. I think the voice guy, Peter Coyote nailed it. Overall a very well done short film. Kudos to all involved with this project.

Gray Eagle

Nelson Boatworks

In the prior post, I mentioned a client of ours, Nelson Boatworks. Dan Nelson is a boat builder and restorer in northern Minnesota who has a reputation for creating concours-winnning, museum-grade boat restorations.

This ad has a very quiet look about it. But the message is strong, and strategically on target.


About a week ago, I was asked to teach an undergraduate, advanced graphic design class, at nearby Mount Mercy University. I have never formally taught anyone anything. But, I do enjoy teaching. It seems like a natural extension of what I do as a communicator. I have one full class period under my belt. Nobody told me to leave—good start, I guess.

Today, we had our first snow day, resulting in a late 10:00 am start to a class that ends at 10:20. As winter continues to create challenges, it is also a great time to shoot a few images.



I am no meteorologist, otherwise I would have a scientific reason why we got hairy ice a couple of weeks ago. It is certainly one of the more bizarre works of nature this season.

The shots below are interesting to me. I like the low depth of field and the intense highlights on the ice.



New Day

February 8, 2010—a day to remember.

First, our official entry into the web universe. Now, three posts later, we’re building confidence. We have a lot to say. Hang with us while we sort it all out. For now, here’s where you can find us.


Basler Design Group is a visual design and marketing resource based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We’re a technically savvy design studio, founded in 1990. In fact our roots go back long before that.


We got our start in this business long before computers. Remember 1983? There was no raster data. Just a darn fine roll of C-41, or a rich, silvery Portriga print. There were no vector paths—just amberlith, a blade, and good handskills. It was true in 1983 and it’s true today—ideas and results are what make us tick.

We have taken our share of lumps since…oh, about 1993…given our minimalist presence on the web. Well, I am happy to say, 2010 brings new hope. Basler Design Group will embrace the web, just like we have for our other clients.

In our own defense, we are quite good at this web thing. We have done some pretty amazing things for many of our clients—just not for ourselves. Oops, I am making excuses again.

The Cobbler’s Children Always Go Barefoot.