About Us

Cognitive Surplus was started in 2013 by Kristen and Geoff Zephyrus to celebrate the intersection of science and design. We are proudly based in Oregon.

Geoff and Kristen Zephyrus, Cognitive Surplus

Kristen Zephyrus, CEO, Photographer & Science-Nerd
Geoff Zephyrus, Designer & Maker

Why We Do It

We are fascinated by and curious about the science in the world around us. We love everything from physics jokes to the exquisite beauty of early scientific etchings and illustrations. We're inspired by a sense of wonder for our universe and a desire to look closer. We think gazing up at the night sky, watching leaves turn color in the fall, and the way magnets work is intriguing and kinda magical, and we hope that we're able to share some of our excitement through our designs.

Whether you’re looking for a birthday gift for your lab partner, or a sweet new graphic t-shirt for yourself, we’ve got your smarty-pants covered.

Sustainability & Giving

We are completely committed to making environmentally conscious choices within our company and in our own lives. See our green initiatives here.

The Backstory

We got started making science products in a little apartment in NYC because we had been searching for an elegant gift for Kristen's science teacher mom, and kept being disappointed by the things we found on the market. One day, we picked up a periodic table shower curtain only to find that had some very unfortunate mistakes (it listed Carbon as a noble gas - the horror!), and thought we could do better - so we got to work! 

The first things we came up with were pretty rough, and since neither of us had a background in business or product design, we just had to figure it out one piece at a time, working iteratively to make improvements to our designs and our process. Since our start in 2013 Cognitive Surplus has grown from our little side-project to a business that supports not only Geoff and Kristen full-time, but now also a small and wonderful team of people in our warehouse.

All of our designing, prototyping, and some light production is done at our Portland, Oregon design studio. We ship from our warehouse in Medford, Oregon. For the full production runs of products, we source from manufacturers both in the United States and abroad in order to create the highest quality products at good prices.  

Who We Are

Karl Stevens - Cognitive Surplus #WarehouseKarl

Karl Stevens, Head of Customer Service & Warehousing

(Photo coming soon)
Jenn Warhurst Stevens, Account Manager

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