About Michael Godfrey
I’m a well-rounded artist with strong technical skills to back up traditional graphic design training. I entered the profession at the birth of the digital age. Computers came naturally to me, but not most of my educators. My education was heavily slanted towards traditional design principles like color theory, page flow, typography and other graphic building blocks.
Computer lab was a wild frontier where I thrived. Cutting edge software was just beginning to replace decades of print and drafting. Applications like Photoshop and QuarkXPress came naturally to me.
I have always felt this was the perfect time to enter the professional world. Software was quickly replacing the pen and paper, but most of the workforce wasn’t trained. They had vast experience and design skills, but struggled with new the transition to digital. I knew computers better than most and found it easy to apply classic principles to modern applications.
I took a job with the engineering company I interned for during college. I started at the bottom with all the digital grunt work. This involved thousands of charts, covers, colored diagrams, and page layouts.
Soon I slipped into creating marketing presentations using PowerPoint. While this is common enough today, digital presentations using LCD projectors were still very new in the mid ’90s. The company needed someone who could adjust quickly. I began traveling with marketers as they chased multi-million dollar projects. I gathered their materials and built flexible presentations. These were often updated and changed right up to the minute they were shown.
This skill set and the ability to adapt under pressure got me noticed by the architectural side of the company. They recruited me away to work for their marketing branch. I spent the next two years traveling across the country building and running presentations for them.
Marketing, Architecture and IT
When one of the marketers I regularly worked with informed me he was moving to California to open an office, I followed. There I continued marketing and drafting while I also ran the IT for the first couple of years.
This small office support role grew into me being involved with architectural design. I started building 3d models using cadd and 3d software. Soon I was heavily involved with topography, skinning buildings, rendering and animations.
Success and Reality
I was often placed on the marketing teams chasing flagship projects. I had success in this role. It led to being part of small teams that landed multi billion dollar projects like Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Then the economy went into a huge recession. The office that had grown to over 180 professionals started to be impossible to maintain. There were no new projects to pursue.
I shifted to various existing projects and roles across the country as we waited for the economy to turn. A few years later when 6 rounds of layoffs had gutted the office to 20 professionals, I got the axe with the 7th and final round. Other offices across the country called to offer me positions, but I was a little disenfranchised and not eager to leave SoCal.
Working For Myself
Instead I spent a year traveling and wrote a book before jumping back into the workforce. I teamed up with a friend from college and we formed Image Media Packages which became Impsoul. This is basically an LLC that we freelance under.
I simplified my broad software skill set and got back to graphic design and business. Since 2014 I’ve had clients in several different retail arenas. I’ve worked mainly within the automotive, restaurant and retail worlds. I’ve done logos, branding, web-design, UI, video production/effects, traditional print, social media, some 3d fabrication, trade show booth fabrication, and server management.
Graphic design and business are challenging fields that are ever changing. New software and even AI is starting to make parts of our jobs obsolete. It’s not usually the fun part of the job though. I love the new technology and strive to automate as much of a workflow as possible. Adapting to these changes and simplifying repetitious clutter frees up time. This allows us to figure out new and better ways to be creative. I will always love that.