mkn design is a small, yet experienced design and illustration studio.
Motivated by problem-solving through research, questioning, and listening–resulting in thoughtful experiences for brands around the world.
• Book cover design
• Brand and visual identity
• Brochure and print design
• Conference and exhibit design
• Creative direction
• Creative strategy
• Packaging design
• Photography Art Direction
• Print Production
• Research and insight
• Signage and environmental design
• Web design
• Visual storytelling
Michael specializes in large designed system applications, brand identities, printed materials & interactive design. His emphasis is to help clients build better visual brand stories through solid processes which are transparent, strategic, empathetic and with great attention to design illustrative craftsmanship.
Michael Nÿkamp is owner and creative director of mkn design and has worked in the design industry for 18 years. He is able to operate as independent creative partner or gather a team of dedicated professional collaborators – tailored to fit the needs of any project. Additionally, he works closely and collaboratively with clients, carefully crafting beautiful and cohesive visual brand stories that guide and shape a clients brand and vision.
"His only complaint (politely filed) is that there are never enough pencils in the office."
Design and Illustration Process:
I utilize a simple process which engages conversation from internal and external perspectives.
• Project Initiation
Define and Develop:
• Creative Strategy
Partial Client List:
I work with a diverse group of clients across a variety of industries.
Accolades and Awards:
• Broad Stripes, Bright Stars (Group Exhibition) – "Thirteen Stripes, Fifty Stars" from the Citizen Project shown at Ely Center of Contemporary Arts (2017)
• Monsa Publications – featured work of Urban Totem for the book, Skate, Surf and Art (2017)
• Dwell Magazine – design and illustration work featured on dwell.com and in the issue of Dwell
Magazine, December (2016)
• Design for Good, Identity System – AIGA Behance Project Feature (2015)
• AIGA Baltimore, Blue Ridge & University of Baltimore – O! Say, Can You Design a Poster?" – Award
of Excellence (2014)
• AIGA Philadelphia Animate! – Fellow Award Gif Animation (2014)
• Communication Arts – Typography Annual Award (2014)
• American Advertising Awards – Creative Excellence for Steelcase.com (2000)
• Heinz Jordan Award – Best in Show, Sheridan College and Heinz Jordan (1998)
• Entrepreneurial Gold Podcast – Entrepreneurship in graphic design and illustrative (2017)
• Calvin College – What can design and designers achieve (2017)
• AIGA – Thoughts on Design, panel discussion (2017)
• University of Notre Dame – So You Want to be a Designer (2016)
• Kendall College of Art and Design – Building Your Brand/Ego (2015)
Published Work and Articles:
• Monsa Publications – Skate, Surf & Art (2017)
• AIGA Detroit – Member Spotlight (2017)
• Rapid Growth Media – Rapid Blog: Building An Illustration Community (2017)
• 360modern – Finding Meaningful Expression through Design and Illustration (2017)
• Moss Yaw Design Studio – The Intersection of Architecture and Illustration (2016)
• Dwell – 7 People to Follow on Dwell Right Now (2016)
• Nook – Redesigning Nook’s Search With Style Architecture Icons (2016)
• CanUX – Face Behind the Faces (2014)
• Neenah Paper – Collaboration, Freedom, Purpose (2014)
• Rapid Growth – A Designer, a Typographer and an Illustrator Walk into a Bar (2014)
• The Rapidian – Artists Collaborate to Raise Awareness of Area Design Talent (2014)
• Mutually Human, blog post – Countdown to MWUX (2013)
• MiBiz – The Art of Hustling: Freelancers finding balance (2013)