who am I?
Hi, my name is Michael and I started my creative and print production journey some 21 years ago as a traditional prepress paste-up artist learning reprographics, print production, colour theory and typography from old school masters, (actually, it was 2 grumpy old men in a dark smokey room but that’s a whole nother story).
Over the past 21 years I’ve amassed a huge wealth of knowledge in the advertising, design, packaging and retouching industries.
Please use the menu (top left) to navigate around my little part of the interweb or just click on the arrow below.
what I do
what i do
When I’m asked ‘what do you do for a living’? I find it really hard to give a one word answer or a generic run of the mill job title… but I suppose it’s the “go to guy”.
With a mass of experience in print production, studio management and operations, retouching, artworking, typography and MacOSX systems & software, I always seem to be that guy people come too when they just want something done or they don’t know where to start.
Click on the titles to the right to see how I could help you.
I love a smooth running process…
I was taught many moons ago to always pass the ‘job’ on to the next person in the chain in the most perfect way possible. Whether that be the correct format, the correct dimension or the correct resolution. Do the job right first time and it wont come back to haunt you later (or the team around you).
Creating systems and designing innovative processes that not only work across multiple departments but also keep working while companies and departments grow is something that I’m very proud of.
Even now, years later, my systems and processes are still used and continue to be seen as the benchmark production workflow within the companies that use them.
I have amassed a great deal of knowledge around print production and purchasing. A key part of being great at this job is to have experience of making artwork ready for print. Very few print production managers and print brokers have this experience, and most wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to using software like InDesign... this, as you can imagine, has put me in a very special bracket when it comes to print production.
Over the years I’ve not only artworked but produced and managed the production of everything from brochures, labels, packaging, outdoor, point of sale, garment printing (screen and embroidery), laser engraving, vehicle livery and everything in-between.
I have the expertise to take the job from concept to delivery and can offer practical unbiased print advice to save you money, printing methods and solutions, press passing, colour proofing and artworking advice.
I believe, having my knowledge as part of the creative process can often allow better products to be produced… giving art directors and designers knowledge around print can make for better results. I pride myself on not being yet another print broker adding there 15% for forwarding on an email. Think of me as your print production partner.
Many years ago I made a decision that I wasn’t going to make or design websites. But, with the advent of more intuitive software that doesn’t need a PHD in computer science I have discovered that I’m doing the complete opposite… I’m designing, producing and maintaining award winning websites!
I’ve discovered that many companies don’t require or need a fully engineered website coded by expensive geeks, and even more companies don’t want a template’ed based systems like Wordpress to make there site look like “everybody else’s”.
Over and above making websites, I also design EDM’s, static and animated banner ads and in my spare time I update my clients websites as and when they require.
I began using Photoshop 2 (currently v.14) years ago when I was first employed at a publishing company. I discovered very quickly I had a passion for it and turned it in to a major part of my production arsenal.
I specialise in creative photographic retouching, post print production and computer generated imagery, but over the years I've been asked to retouch all sorts of things, from Dan Carter’s "package" for an underwear brand through to the latest Jeep 4x4.
I have, over the years worked on many projects that have ranged from single image colour correction to complex multi-image composites made up of hundreds of images and photos.
Due to my love of retouching and my process/management skills I ran and managed a team of 9 full-time retouchers in one of New Zealand’s most successful retail advertising agencies. I overlooked the traffic and management of the team and liaised with internal art directors/designers and external photographers. Apart from the day to day running of the retouching department I also rolled up my sleeves retouching supplied photos from both internal and external photographers and created digital illustrations and CGI images from scratch.
I’ve been asked to illustrate many different things in my career. From an exploded isometric power plant to cartoon penguins. In my teenage years I had a real love for technical drawing. It used to be the case that all my illustrations were produced in Adobe Illustrator.
More recently CGI has become popular and sometimes the impossible just can’t be photographed. Because of this, I have added software like Cinema4D to my tool set. Along with the more traditional tools like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Cinema4D is a very versatile and welcome addition to make my illustrations come to life.
I really don’t have a specific style like most illustrators but as long as I have my wacom pen in hand I’ll give most things ago.
Some people call it being a ‘Mac Op’ but I believe being an Artworker is so much more.
Making sure the file is CMYK and knowing how to use a Mac and InDesign doesn’t make you an Artworker. Paramount in being an Artworker is to be organised, focused, with an excellent attention to detail, but more importantly, is to have the knowledge of the printing process your making the artwork for. Anyone can follow a spec sheet but not everyone has the experience to identify pitfalls and issues that might happen on the press or during production.
I have in-depth knowledge of many printing processes that include offset, digital, web, screen, flexography, letterpress and thermography printing. This all helps immensely when making sure the file is ‘artworked’ correctly.
Over the years I have been asked to check, fix and artwork many things, from stationary, posters, billboards, annual reports, vehicle decals and packaging. During this time I’ve also had to include special finishes to many of these print jobs, like embossing & debossing, spot varnishing, die cutting and foil stamping to name just a few.
Years ago all the worlds typefaces used to fit very nicely into a ring binder that sat on my desk. But making, editing and fixing typefaces became a necessary part of my production tool set. Due to the internet and software like Fontographer it gave people the opportunity to make typefaces, and in many cases, badly. And now, the internet allows those fonts to be freely downloaded.
I regularly get asked to convert a typeface into a format that will not only work on a Mac but work on Windows too. Fixing an odd character within a font like the ampersand or the @ symbol or adding glyphs or diacritical marks to an existing typeface so it is foreign language compatible, like that doohickey above the ‘a’ in the Maori alphabet is also a very common request.
I have, in the past also been asked to create a typeface from scratch based on a designers hand-drawn alphabet. This has not only saved money but the sanity of the designer as they no longer have to write every conceivable word variation day after day for the multitude of print collateral that requires that font.
Over the years I've become very experienced, not only technically but with many software and hardware solutions, too numerous to mention here.
This is just a brief overview of my experience but my résumé is available upon request and goes into a lot more detail on what I have done and for whom.
Here are just a few examples of what I offer. As you can probably guess this is a very small sample of the work I've done over the years but if you have any questions about the work, or what I can do for you please don't hesitate in dropping me an email using the form below or calling me on +64 21 882619.
– Jeep –
– Peugeot –
– KellyTarltons –
– Integrity Floors –
– Lift+ –
– Stoneleigh –
– Pet Deli –
– Killinchy Gold –
– Ann's Hand –
– Vodafone –
get in touch
Thanks for taking the time to look over my site.
If you want to have a more detailed look over my résumé or just to have a chat, please contact me via the form below or call me on +64 21 882619.
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