I grew up in Aledo, a small farm town in the plains of northwestern Illinois, son of a John Deere dealer and stay at home mom. Blessed to have an art teacher in high school who felt I had artistic talent, I applied, and was accepted to, the College of Fine & Applied Arts–University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design in May of 1990.
My early professional career took me to Houston, Texas where I had the privilege of honing my skills with nationally recognized designers Lowell Williams (Lowell Williams Design) and Lana Rigsby (Rigsby Hull).
I married my college sweetheart Diane during this time and the birth of our first child brought us back to the midwest, closer to our roots. Arriving in the Fall of 1996, I landed a job at the satellite office of Los Angeles based Douglas Oliver Design Office. For a rewarding 7 1/2 years I had the pleasure of working under the direction of talented and gracious Art Director Deanna Kuhlmann (now President of Kuhlmann Leavitt, Inc.).
If there is such a thing as a seven year itch, I felt it around this time and decided to make the leap out on my own to sink or swim, opening the doors of Michael Thede Design in April 2004.
Established now for over 14 years, my life’s focus is on the clients I have the privilege to design for and the joy of married life with Diane (my wife of 26+ years) raising our two children (Emma and William), now both in College.
During a 28+ year career as a
practicing, professional graphic designer Michael Thede has designed visual communications for a wide range of companies, institutions, & individuals. Prior to founding MTD in 2004, Michael cut his teeth working for professional design firms based in
Houston, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.