See Change Conference | Jeff Johnson
See Change Conference on visual communication at the University of Minnesota with AIGA Minnesota, the College of Design, the School of Journalism, and the Weisman Art Museum
See Change, Conference, Visual Communication, AIGA Minnesota

Jeff Johnson / Spunk Design Machine


Jeff Johnson was born in rural North Dakota. Most of the time, this fact is pretty self-evident.After spending his first two decades as a farm kid and heavy equipment operator on the high plains, Jeff attended art school in Moorhead, Minnesota. Just a riverbank away from Fargo, North Dakota. Moorhead is a quirky art town in the middle of nowhere, with art organization funded by charitable black jack and old ladies compulsively playing bingo. Graduating with honors and living out of his 1983 Buick Skylark, Jeff began working for Duffy Design and Fallon Worldwide in June of 1992. In six years Jeff worked from Intern to Designer, from Designer to Senior Designer, and Senior Designer to Design Director of a large staff. While at Duffy, Jeff designed such pop icons as Frutopia, Diet Coke and Miller Time. He has some of this work in the Permanent Collection of 20th Century American Design in the Smithsonian Institute. Following his time at Duffy, Jeff served as Senior Designer for Designworks in New Zealand and Australia for one year.

Jeff can also dance a mean polka.

In 1996 Jeff founded Spunk Design Machine in his adopted hometown of Minneapolis. Jeff has traveled the world trying to promote new design techniques and new models for pushing pop culture to the next level. In its short life, Spunk has manufactured and sold two educational products for kids (Talking Tools and Puffilines). Spunk has also won local, national, and international design awards for its creative solutions for clients such as Target Stores, General Mills, Best Buy, New York Stock Exchange, and Travelers Insurance. Spunk also designs fonts, does outstanding custom product design and often drinks a ridiculous amount of coffee. Jeff currently employs a small staff at Spunk Design Machine. He works within the vibrant design community of Minneapolis, Minnesota and operates a branch office in Brooklyn, New York. Recently, Jeff was featured in Steven Heller’s new book, “The Design Entrepreneur” – Rockport. He also is proud to serve on the Advisory Board for the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Minneapolis, canoes a lot and savors red wine with his hotdish.