Apart from drawing a picture of the apple symbol when he was a young boy, Michael's experience with graphic design was delayed until the age of 16 when a work experience placement drew him into the world of serif and sans serif, ligatures and camera ready artwork. Having enjoyed the experience, he was keen to continue in this vein, but was dissuaded from this path by teachers and career staff keen to maximise the potential from a student that took Art, Maths and Physics to A-Level, so he pursued an Architectural Engineering degree instead.
After 5 years of graft, life drawing and a lot of fun, a degree was earned, but the decision was made to ignore the chosen path... technology had moved on, and the draughtsman skills that Michael learnt at college were now obsolete, replaced by CAD packages and an opportunity with friends in a design studio. This meant that the door was once again open. Michael jumped at the chance, absorbing the crafts of artwork, retoucher, designer and some reprographic skills as they worked in a small, demanding studio. The opportunity to learn was fantastic, and rising from the very bottom of the food chain gave a firm grounding to the knowledge gained. Problems turned into experience, and with that the rewards of responsibility. After 5 years with the same studio, several staff were made redundant and Michael was axed, hard times were hitting the creative industry and we had to move on.
6 months of freelancing, gave a new breadth to the skills gained, as liaising, understanding and communicating with your client is an art in itself - Michael still remembers his first meeting as a freelancer, petrified of being rumbled as a fraud, yet within hours realising that previous experience really is invaluable (and life saving) in a frantic, pressurised environment.
On return from a years travel, the decision was made to start a fish in sea, and a new chapter began. Starting cold is never easy and the first year brought with it some valuable business lessons. An expanding base of loyal and new clients brought new challenges, as first staff were hired and premises sought... This wider skill set has meant a greater degree of overlap within the studio, and we can support each other in terms of graphics required and deadlines to meet in a way previously not possible - wider skills also bring more clients and we are constantly improving the solutions we provide. This means that Michael now learns as much from his designers and developers now as when he first started, as we all push the boundaries of our design knowledge.