As a corporate designer with over 20 years of experience, I have undertaken the technical, creative and deadline-oriented challenges associated with print and digital design. Partnering with each client, I would listen and understand a client’s proposal and ask questions that uncovered any significant details that brought about an effective creative solution. This was a key first step in the process of completing each project. By understanding these details I would then shift my focus to how I could tell the client’s story through an image. By considering how another artist would create the same work or reflecting on a detail that seemed insignificant to me in the initial conversation, I could systematically solve roadblocks in order to unveil the pathway to achieving the final visual result. Compiling a visual reference library through keywords would sometimes introduce options I had not previously considered. I would use all of these creative techniques to complete each project; making refinements and revisions were always crucial elements added to the process. With this experience, I can understand and develop the project’s personality and marry the story with its visual identity.
Clients and co-workers that have worked with me in the corporate design world know me as someone who is friendly, approachable, and willing to take on new challenges. Through my experience, I understand how a visual piece should represent a client’s needs and achieve its marketable objective.
I would like to offer an example of my creative thought process when devising visual identity. Below is a logo I designed for a local school’s athletic department. Their mascot name was the Chargers and they were in need of a visual representation that symbolized both courage and ferocity. I started the design process by conducting an online search for other charger mascot images and found that visual depictions were done of either a single lightning bolt or a knight riding a stallion–none of which combined the two visual elements. Through additional brain-storming, I realized that the mane of the stallion could be used as a bolt and I also noticed that depicting ferocity commonly involved flaring nostrils. Finally, I started sketching ideas for what became a cohesive integration of the two images; several iterations later, the new mascot for the school was born.
Mike Pezzoni grew up drawing scenes from his favorite children’s book illustrator and Disney animator Bill Peet. Using a Bic Flair felt-tip pen and a set of Crayola 64 colored crayons, he would draw animals repeatedly until he thought they perfectly resembled Mr. Peet’s creations. Jeff MacNelly was another of Mike’s cartoonist heroes growing up. When Mike’s family lived in Chapel Hill, he attended a MacNelly lecture and learned that not only did Mr. MacNelly create the cartoon strip Shoe and wonderful political cartoons seen in all major syndicated newspapers, but he also drew photo realistic charcoal sketches of famous Tar Heel basketball players from the past, displayed in the corridors of the old basketball home of the Tar Heels, Carmichael gymnasium. By high school, Mike was filling up sketch books with cartoon doodles and refined his technical skills at Randolph Community College, where he received his degree in Graphic Design. Fresh out of RCC, Mike was employed by software giant SAS Institute and created many illustrations, brochure pieces, large format designs, specialty item art and most notably the first set of icons for SAS software products. Mike enjoyed 22 years of employment at SAS before being part of a large marketing lay-off and then began a quest to redefine what he wanted to be when he grew up. After much soul-searching, Mike has realized that, professionally, he feels most fulfilled through illustrating. Technical, digital, cartoon, caricature, black & white or color, whatever the format, whatever the audience, Mike feels that this is his passion and he is eager to get started on the next creative adventure!
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I offer a free 30 minute consultation either via phone or face-to-face meeting if you are local to the RTP area of North Carolina. I can start creating from either expressed story ideas early in the creation process or through written manuscript.
If you are ready to bring your words and ideas to visual life, I’m ready to begin the journey!