AIGA Minnesota Awards Pete Klein as an 'Unsung Hero'

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When the Minnesota chapter of the professional association for design needed to improve the functionality of the AIGA Minnesota Design Show website, they turned to one of their own members — who also happens to be TempWorks Software's Interface and Media Designer Pete Klein.

When the Minnesota chapter of the professional association for design needed to improve the functionality of the AIGA Minnesota Design Show website, they turned to one of their own members — who also happens to be TempWorks Software's Interface and Media Designer Pete Klein.

“Pete created a site that showcases current AIGA Minnesota Design Show winners using a sortable interface,” says Seth Johnson, principal, Seth Johnson Design and president of AIGA Minnesota.

“The real work, though, is in the elegance of the content management system he created: for each subsequent year, the site can be re-skinned with new Show branding, new winners can be added, and the site will become an archive in perpetuity of Minnesota design talent.”

Klein also won an award for his pro bono work. It’s called the “Unsung Hero” award. He explains what he did for AIGA Minnesota:

“Every year they were making a hundred-plus flat HTML pages using totally non-dynamic code. It couldn’t do much. I replaced that with a template system of my own making, along with an Advanced Programming Interface so you could get the information out of the system.”

More plainly, here’s what Pete’s work allows the users of the site, which by the way receives 10,000 hits/month, to do:

Let’s say you are looking at a Design Show winner in the Interactive category. Maybe you want to see whom the art director or the illustrator or the art director on the project was. You can find that easily, then you can also find all of the other award winning work they have had a hand in as well.

Or let’s say an agency won the award for environmental graphics, but you want to see what other award-winning work they have done. That will be on the site as well, giving them a spot to showcase their work somewhere other than their own company website.

“I’m trying to set high standards for interface and website design,” said Klein in his understated and plainspoken fashion.

“My goal with every project is to achieve the most benefit with the least amount of effort. Of course you have to spend hundreds of hours usually to get to that point!”

Kim Shannon, co-chair of the 2011 AIGA Minnesota Design Show, has this to say about Klein’s work:

“Pete is just a guy who makes magic happen so quietly that you don’t even notice… until you are completely blown away.”

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Casey Kraus

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