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My name is Michael and as far as Graphic Designers go, I’m a bit of an anomaly.


I believe that my analytic nature allows me to find and infuse deep meaning and relevance into all of my designs.

In other words

I connect the dots. I truly hope you enjoy what you see as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Design is Impactful Overview Work closely with a non-profit organization to understand and undertake the issue of poverty in Sacramento and what can be done about it. Develop a publication which explains today’s issues of poverty and show people how they can help.

Challenge Understand poverty on a global scale and become familiar with non-profit organizations, operations, spending, and donor/volunteer outreach.

Solution After piles of research and spending time with a non-profit organization named The Green House Center, which tutors low income children for free, I developed a theme that change comes from the individual. My publication explained what today’s issues are and how each individual is impactful enough to change the world.


<style> Overview Generate interest and awareness by designing a website which provides information for people interested in the motorsport of drifting.

Challenge HTML and CSS were written by hand without the use of web publishing software. This site also had to be very true to the culture of drifting while not appearing so underground that it would deter wouldbe fans of the sport.

Solution A friendly narrative voice and bright accent colors were used to create an interesting and welcoming atmosphere while the dark underground feel of drifting is still conveyed.

<div id=”main_container”> <div id=”main”> <div id=”logo”><img src=”images/slices/design/images/slice_03.png” /> </div> <div id=”logo”><img src=”images/slices/design/images/slice_03.png” /> </div> <div id=”navbar”> <a id=”garage” href=”garage.html” onmouseout=”document.button2.src=’images/slices/design/images/slice_06.png’” onmouseover=”document.button2.src=’images/slices/design/images/over_06.png’”> <img src=”images/slices/design/images/slice_06.png” name=”button2” /> </a> <a id=”events” href=”events.html” onmouseout=”document.button3.src=’images/slices/design/images/slice_08.png’” onmouseover=”document.button3.src=’images/slices/design/images/over_08.png’”> <img src=”images/slices/design/images/slice_08.png” name=”button3” /> </a> <a id=”culture” href=”index.html” onmouseout=”document.button4.src=’images/slices/design/images/slice_10.png’” onmouseover=”document.button4.src=’images/slices/design/images/over_10.png’”> <img src=”images/slices/design/images/slice_10.png” name=”button4” /> </a> <a id=”info” href=”info.html” onmouseout=”document.button5.src=’images/slices/design/images/slice_12.png’” onmouseover=”document.button5.src=’images/slices/design/images/over_12.png’”> <img src=”images/slices/design/images/slice_12.png” name=”button5” /> </a> </div>

<div id=”pavebg”></div> <div id=”graybg”></div>

<div id=”links1”> <a id=”history” href=”#colone” onmouseout=”document.button6.src=’images/slices/design/images/slice_19.png’” onmouseover=”document.button6.src=’images/slices/design/images/over_24.png’”> <img src=”images/slices/design/images/slice_19.png” name=”button6” />

“Sending” the Right Message Overview Create a series of promotional mailers which convey the essence of the Phantom of the Opera’s theatrical experience.

Challenge The client had a specific desire for a type on photo solution which meant getting really innovative.

Solution Everything besides the type on these mailers is a photograph of paper. I decided to use a macro lens and photograph different types of paper in a variety of ways. The card resembling a rose was just tissue paper, I folded card stock to create the design which is reminiscent of stage curtains and a pinched tissue paper roll was used for the mask. Long exposures of paper in motion created a smoke effect which was used to create an ominous look. Finally old style typography and flourishes were employed to add a classic look.

A NOVEL IDEA Overview Effectively redesign a classic novel with the intent that it be appealing to todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generation of young adults.

Challenge Every great novel is full of metaphoric and symbolic messages. These messages are the heart of the book and I wanted the most important one to be the basis for my design. It was finding and decoding this deeper meaning which was the most difficult part of this design.

Solution After reading the entire novel and taking notes on my thoughts, I concluded that â&#x20AC;&#x153;fallingâ&#x20AC;? into adulthood was the theme I wanted to focus on. The main character fantasizes about saving children but the twist was that it was he who needed to be caught. My solution communicates this ironic theme as well as the cold and somber mood felt through the course of the book.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like a Boss.â&#x20AC;? Overview My title was Graphic Design Supervisor at my first design job which was on campus, working in the marketing department for Associated Students Inc. My duties included project management, employee/designer management and graphic design responsibilities as well.

Challenge Keeping all design jobs on schedule and up to the highest standards possible while working with a part time staff and multiple projects was the main challenge. The other challenge was to ensure that the established identity of ASI was honored with every design. This helped establish a firm presence and sense of awareness amongst the ever changing student population.

Solution Keeping records of jobs and having project management files greatly contributed to my success. I also actively developed our office style guide and frequently referred to it with coworkers to ensure that they understood it and its importance.

Know Thy Self Overview My family has a rich cultural heritage although many members of my family are unaware of it. The creation of this foundation’s businesss system was a way for me to research my ancestors and create a mark which also serves as a family crest.

Challenge Understanding my two cultures in an intimate way was the greatest challenge because my Spanish ancestors, the early Celtiberians, do not have much documentation of their culture. Combining my two cultures to form one encompassing mark which spoke to my family was also challenging.

Solution Vasts amounts of research in various different libraries eventually led to my understanding of my two culture’s histories. Once I had a grasp on the two cultures I created a mark which combined two symbols, the Aztec eagle, and the Celtic triquetra to symbolize “noble spirit.”


A Dream Come True Overview Design a series of fabric patterns which would be used in a line of products. These designs would also establish a company’s business system. In addition to having real fabric printed and sewing real product prototypes, a business plan was also created for the new company.

Challenge Deciding on subject matter which would be the foundation of the fabric designs and the level of abstraction for each design was the first challenge. However, finding appropriate subject matter which would translate to a business and its products was truly the dauntingly complex systems problem.

Solution A three part approach was used for the fabric designs in which there were an organic, geometric and typographic solution created. The quote, “if you don’t chase your dreams, you’ll never catch them” was the inspiration for the series. The inspirational quote led to the creation of a baby apparel company named Baby Chic Apparel. The product line consisted of bibs, nursing pillows and other baby products. The product line was named the “Dream Catcher Collection”.

Radical! Overview Create a thirty-second television “bumper” for a chanel which plays only 1980’s related shows and re-runs.

Challenge Learn new software called After Effects and utilize this new tool to create a dynamic design which sharply constrasts that of a static print layout.

Solution I learned everything I could about the 80’s and Adobe After Effects and began to storyboard an idea that I thought was within my abilities. My self confidence was key is setting my sights high for this movie and pushing myself to learn what I needed to know to make it happen.

Well? Did you have fun? Good

Mike Mendez's Graphic Design Portfolio  

Created upon graduation with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Design from California State University Sacramento.

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