Nice To Meet You!
I’m Eric Kassel. I consider myself a visual storyteller first and foremost, but on any given day I might wear several hats: graphic designer, illustrator, director, editor, animator, motion graphics artist, musician, producer, recording engineer, and songwriter. Also, I like hats.
I got started in Graphic Design through music. I started playing in bands starting in junior high and decided become a rock star. So after high school, I attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. One day in a guitar sight reading class, I looked around the room and realized that I was the only student who wasn’t playing a Steve Vai model Ibanez guitar—the one with the handle cut into the body so you can swing it around easier. I was playing this guitar at the time. It was the first clue that I wasn’t in the right place and that I wasn’t really interested in studying music that intensly. I just wanted to rock out!
I came back to Minneapolis to figure out what else I might do for a career. I had always enjoyed designing flyers and album covers for my bands and my friends’ bands, and wondered if there was a way I could make money doing that. I discovered that there was this thing called “Graphic Design” and that there was a prominent college right down the street with a well-respected program. I enrolled at MCAD with the dream of becoming a designer in the music industry. I soon discovered a wider world of design in this thing called the internet.
After graduating in 1998, I took a job at Popular Front, where I worked on a variety of projects for print, interactive, and motion graphics. The latter two interested me the most, as they incorporated all of my interests—design, motion, and sound. In the late 90s and early 2000s Macromedia Flash was at the height of its popularity, and the projects we did at Popular Front often pushed the boundaries of user experience and technology, with sites like the Tofte Project, a non-linear interactive documentary about the building of a fully self-sustainable cabin on Minnesota’s North Shore, and Snow Days, originally a holiday greeting for Popular Front’s clients that quickly grew into a community of thousands of flakers, who have since created over 12-million flakes. As designer and Creative Director, I helped Popular Front grow from it’s humble beginnings of about a dozen people to about 55 at its height.
After leaving Popular Front in 2010, I moved across town to bswing as Design Director. In May of 2015, I made the big, scary leap of going out on my own as an independent creative director and designer, specializing in video and motion graphics. I’m also Creative Director at Visual, a virtual reality startup.
I’ve played in several bands over the years—The Whirligigs, The Magnolias, The Beatifics, and Jessy Greene & VioVoom to name a few—and spent more time than I care to admit riding in a cramped van and sleeping on floors while touring the US and Europe. I’m currently playing in Crossing Guards and Trompe le Monde, (a Pixies cover band!) as well as making my own noise under a variety of monikers. You can see the records I’ve played on over on the discography page.Download My Resume (pdf)