Whether with small organizations or large companies, I have done extensive layout and branding work, often partnering with firms or collaborating with individual designers, photographers and illustrators. As part of this, I have almost always played a role in managing the final printing or production of these projects.

New Visions for Public Schools: 2016-17 Annual Report
(with Suka Creative) Art direction, layout, graphics
Through discussion with the client, the team landed on the concept of 'mosaic' for the 16-17 annual report. Celebrating the diversity and multiple identities of the students affected by New Visions' programs and support, word clouds were integrated into the structure of each page, while the laser die-cut cover revealed the mosaic of an image beneath it.

"We Need To Be Counted" Census 2020 Campaign
(with Alistair Chew) Art direction, layout
Working with the Medgar Evers Center for Law and Social Justice, we designed posters in English and Haitian Creole as part of a campaign to increase turnout in traditionally hard-to-count communities. These were displayed in local businesses and public spaces, and complemented by handouts distributed at community events.

We also developed a related Instagram campaign to promote the initiative digitally.

An interactive sheet and board were proposed for in-person events — before such interactions were sidelined by the pandemic. Residents could fill out a sheet defining what their community needed (1) and paste to a larger board (2). Framing themselves with the board (3), they could then post to social media with #CountMeIn, #CheckBlack and #GetCensusReady.

In the spirit of community, those designs were then shared with and repurposed for the Yemeni American Merchants Association in Bengali, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

Lara Knutson
Art direction, layout
Lara is an artist, industrial designer and architect who works with light and color to craft products and experiences. Her identity and collateral needed to feel clean and light, while also suggesting the materials and structure that lay underneath.

But we also had fun each year with a lenticular card that played on her use of light....

Chaseholm Farm Creamery: Cheese Labels
(with David Frisco) Art direction, layout, illustrations
This small creamery in New York's Dutchess County was looking to increase its table and shelf presence with a series of labels for its wide selection of Farmstead cheeses. The final result was a series of eight linked illustrations that showcase the farm landscape and its denizens from sunrise through moonset.

Municipal Arts Society of New York: East Midtown Report
Art direction, layout, infographics
The Municipal Arts Society wanted a design for this report that was as bold and considered as the vision presented in its text. I developed the look and feel, refined existing usage maps, created new infographics and laid out every page of this 63-page report. The full report can be viewed through this link.

Happy Go Healthy: Brilliant Bites Packaging and Site
(with Four Bent Corners) Design and print supervision, user experience
I partnered with a team at Four Bent Corners, a full-service production company based in Amsterdam and an outside illustrator/designer, to repackage Happy Go Healthy's line of Brilliant Bites kibble. We then developed a user-friendly web site to spread the good word.

Good Foot Enterprises
Creative direction, layout, project management
As part of my freelance work, I have also worked on an ongoing basis as the Creative Director for Good Foot Enterprises, including the corporate identity and all branding and layout for its first product, the Memphis Map for Elvis Fans (map artwork by Maria Rabinky). A second map, featuring illustrations that I created, is scheduled for early 2022.

Some Logos
Creative direction, rendering
Below are just a few of the marks and Identities that I have developed. Left to right: Christine Chan (modern architecture); Good Foot Enterprises (tourist maps); Writing the Arts (interdisciplinary academic program). My goal is to make each mark a distinct, personal and memorable balance of clarity and discovery.

While infographics, data visualization and user experience have always played some role in my work, the projects featured here are specifically from my recent MS in Data Analytics and Visualization at Pratt Institute's School of Information.

Every Purple Flaw
Research, writing, design, programming
A series of comparative interactive state portraits, utilizing data from U.S. News and World Reports, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The full interaction can be experienced and explored through this link or just by clicking on the images below.

An Alternate SCOTUS Portrait
Research, writing, design, programming
In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing, this interactive project explored the effects of a theoretical eighteen-year term-limit on U.S. Supreme Court Justice's for the past fifty years. The impact was vieweed through the lens of five landmark decisions over that period. The full interaction can be experienced and explored through this link or just by clicking on the images below.

Expressing Poverty and Race in Hudson River Communities
Research, writing, design, GIS plotting
A research poster presenting and discussing the benefits of moving beyond standard choropleth or centroid maps in favor of multi-colored dot density maps. The goal was to still present the data clearly, while also expressing the life and diversity of a community.

A brief write-up of the project can be found through this link.

The Design Corps mission is to provide socially or environmentally conscious organizations with quality pro-bono design services, while exposing students to professional experience and the rewards of using their skills in the service of a good cause. Operating as a design firm under the direction of experienced faculty, students present design options, provide finished files and monitor production of final pieces for these clients.

For fifteen years I have directed or co-directed this course and witnessed its impact on organizations and students alike. All work is generated by the students, with design and production supervision by me or my colleague David Frisco. A compendium of Design Corps work since 2005 can be viewed on issuu. If you are interested in collaborating, as a client or student, please reach out to my Pratt email.

Inkululeko: Common Ground Café Collateral and Campaign
Instruction, coordination and creative direction; Student Team: Maria Corner, Emi Sato, Chir Chi Yuen, Spring 2020
Inkululeko approached Design Corps with an existing identity for their Common Ground Café, but in need of a campaign and supporting materials that would spread the word — in both English and Xhosa — for South African and U.S. audiences.

Rise and Ride Newburgh: Identity and Collateral
Instruction, coordination and creative direction; Student Team: Rebecca Chow, Varun Mundra, Marta Sharapova, Arisa Thaweeskulchai, Fall 2020
Conceived by IMPACT, Inc., Newburgh's Transportation Advisory Committee and Dept of Small Interventions, the Rise and Ride program seeks to 'make bicylcing safe, fun, social and accessible for all people.' To promote those goals, the team developed an identity and full suite of materials, including a brochure/map, posters and instagram posts.

Pencils of Promise: Identity, Brochure and Invitation
Instruction, coordination and creative direction; Student Team: Kiyomi Hoshikawa, Chris Peck, Elena Pignatelli, Jacqueline Tribou, Fall 2009
Pencils of Promise's goal of global access to quality education dovetailed nicely with Design Corps' own values. The team partnered with them in their early days to craft an identity that stands strong today and launched it with an early report and invitation that spoke to the organization's global goals.

Resilient Red Hook: Identity and Website
Instruction, coordination and creative direction; Student team: Stacey Kim, Erica Ohmi, Matt Von Rajcs, Spring 2017
The Design Corps team worked with this community-bred organization at the start to brand their view of a sustainable, healthy and equitable future for this historic neighborhood in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

Picture the Homeless: Housing Report
Instruction, coordination and creative direction; Student team: Laurel Ames, Crissy Fetcher, Lizzi Reid, Fall 2011
Picture the Homeless' Banking on Vacancy housing report used data generated with the Hunter College Center for Community Development to illustrate that NYC vacant properties could house every homeless New Yorker, with room left over. Design Corps was proud to play a part in the conversations this starts by giving their research visual impact.

(and related)

I have been teaching at my alma mater of Pratt Institute in the Undergraduate Communications Design department for almost twenty years, covering topics from research to imagemaking, from typography to three-dimensional design.

Specific courses taught currently or previously include:
Cross-Platform Design / Design Corps / Graphic Design Intensive I / Image as Communication / Prattler Journalism Workshop / Product, Environment, Materials / Research, Analysis and Process / Senior Project (Graphic Design) / Typographic Design I, II, III and IV / Typography and Information Design

During that time I have also worked in several departmental administrative roles, in the process organizing the program's NASAD accreditation report and exhibit, helping develop the program's current BFA curriculum and writing and editing many syllabi.

I've received some awards and recognition for teaching and designing — including Pratt's Distinguished Teacher Award — as well as the occasional grant. While most of my writing has been for academic purposes, such as reports and program reviews, I also published fourteen essays (with eleven in the wings) for The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design, which I see as just another kind of teaching. To keep the conversation going, I've also been on panels or spoken at the AIGA Design Educators Conference and TypeCon, as well as smaller community-focused events.


If you want to discuss working together, please email michael>at>mlkelly.com or call me at 917.586.7832.

If you would like to discuss teaching or Design Corps, please email mkelly>at>pratt.edu. Calling the same number is fine.