"Appleton and Chicago based Art Direction, Graphic and Web Design

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2012 Life Fitness
& Hammer Strength
Global Product Catalog

Art Director 2012 Global Product Catalog concept, layout, photography and production for Life Fitness & Hammer Strength. Concept was designed to be translated into 10 languages with only changing the press's black plate, so all potential type areas had to be on white or white with transparency. Taking over a year to complete, this project required my direction from concept through production, with talent casting, set design, photo art direction, and managing photo retouching. In addition to this catalog, we concepted, photographed, and designed 5 additional 2012 product launches which included signage, brochures, html emails, Power Point presentations, etc. Favorite attribute: Because of the aggressive deadlines, it was necessary for my team to be on location and instantly transfer the RAW images into the concept layout for client approval.
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2012 Life Fitness
& Hammer Strength
Global Product Catalog

Art Director 2012 Global Product Catalog concept, layout, photography and production for Life Fitness & Hammer Strength. Concept was designed to be translated into 10 languages with only changing the press's black plate, so all potential type areas had to be on white or white with transparency. Taking over a year to complete, this project required my direction from concept through production, with talent casting, set design, photo art direction, and managing photo retouching. In addition to this catalog, we concepted, photographed, and designed 5 additional 2012 product launches which included signage, brochures, html emails, Power Point presentations, etc. Favorite attribute: Because of the aggressive deadlines, it was necessary for my team to be on location and instantly transfer the RAW images into the concept layout for client approval.
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2012 Elkay Catalog

Art Director 2012 Product Catalog concept and layout for Elkay Cabinet Manufacturers. Favorite attribute: Gridded color/finish layout for 60+ swatch palettes that dynamically adjust to quantity while maintaining grid.
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2012 Elkay Catalog

Art Director 2012 Product Catalog concept and layout for Elkay Cabinet Manufacturers. Favorite attribute: Gridded color/finish layout for 60+ swatch palettes that dynamically adjust to quantity while maintaining grid.
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Schawk
Corporate Calendar

Art Director Corporate calendar and employee directory concept for Schawk, designed as an alternative to Outlook/Entourage. Worked closely with developers/programmers to ensure platform compatibility. Favorite attribute: Inspired by Google Earth app, concept is based on aerial view of many small dots (representing days) in Year View, larger circles in Month View, and tight crop of circle's arc in Day View, each view progressively revealing more detail.
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Schawk
Corporate Calendar

Art Director Corporate calendar and employee directory concept for Schawk, designed as an alternative to Outlook/Entourage. Worked closely with developers/programmers to ensure platform compatibility. Favorite attribute: Inspired by Google Earth app, concept is based on aerial view of many small dots (representing days) in Year View, larger circles in Month View, and tight crop of circle's arc in Day View, each view progressively revealing more detail.
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Fox Communities
Credit Union Website

Art Director/Consultant/Developer Initially hired for concept/user experience design and consultation, the scope of foxcu.org quickly became larger than what the client initially planned, so we were asked to also provide art direction and project management over the +1 year duration of the project. After launch, our team developed the accompanying mobile optimized site. The site is actively managed/updated by the MekkaMedia team to date. Favorite attribute: Although Mekka wasn't the retainer agency for the credit union, the agency's initial concepts weren't satisfactory to the client so we were asked to submit additional versions (which were approved and developed). Closely working with an external agency on a mutual project was both challenging and exciting... and went as smoothly as it possibly could.
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Home Depot
Water Filtration
Product Microsite

Art Director/Developer Home Depot, our seasoned client, needed a microsite to feature their assortment of water filtration products. Designing with both PC and iPad users in mind, we placed the main navigation on the left side, optimized so the user's thumb can easily explore the website with ease. Upon checking out, the shopping cart (not shown) slides in from the right side with navigation designed to easily be reached my the right thumb. Not portrayed here, the background of the microsite is subtle, yet tasteful looping video of moving water/bubbles that helps to further emphasize the importance of pure water. Favorite attribute: Concepting and designing in Illustrator, we chose to utilize Flash Catalyst 5.5 instead of Flash Professional (our default Flash software) to more easily transfer the hundreds of design elements into a dynamic format.
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Best Buy
Interactive Circular

Art Director Best Buy interactive circular concept based on augmented reality. When white/black square is held up to a webcam, the custom illustrated "Best Buy Village" appears to project out of the page in 3D, increasing interactivity and ultimately visibility of the weekly ads. Favorite attribute: Done right, AR can be a lot of fun! It was also fun drawing a whimsical, fantasy village in Photoshop.
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Best Buy
Animated Email

Art Director Best Buy animated GIF email to supplement the Holiday promotion. As the customer opens the message in their email client, the signature Best Buy tags drop sporadically and subtly bounce into a static position, naturally drawing the eye to the each promotion. Favorite attribute: Designing an animated email using CS5.5 interactive tools, instead of the traditional timeline in Photoshop. Also, creating an animation that is captivating, but subtle and quick enough to not be obnoxious (which is easy to do in animated GIFs).
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Details...

I have been actively designing for nearly 11 years - over 6 of which have been at both small and large agencies. Also currently a Senior Art Director at Schawk Retail Marketing, I am extremely proficient at both graphic design (web and print) and web development, I enjoy melding the creative and technical to create elements that are not only innovative and aesthetically advanced, but highly functional in the consumer and business-to-business environments. Hundreds of freelance projects for a variety of clients has provided me thorough experience across the spectrum of corporate design. Whether it be CHAOS Magazine, a couture indie fashion magazine or the multi-billion dollar Sears Holdings Corporation, I pride myself in bringing over a decade of industry-leading experience and cutting-edge knowledge of current trends/innovation to any environment, while always keeping the end client's satisfaction my first priority. Years of experience working on projects from the conception stages, client-presentation and approval, set design and photography, to the very last file-to-press delivery or site launch provides me the unique advantage of project perspective, timeline abilities and respect for every other collaborator's involvement. Adept at working alone, collaborating with a team of other internal experts or cooperating with an external agency, I bring energy and excitement, ideas and insight, hardware/software aptitude and respect to any project entrusted to me.


Phone: 920.659.8386
Address: One North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60602
Email: Michael@MekkaMedia.com

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