design . develop . deploy . delight

User-centered design experiences, from the initial conversation to post-launch.

Web Design

Elegant and user-centered, and built on the power of a bulletproof responsive framework. Custom-coded and managed via WordPress, NationBuilder or without a CMS.

Brand Identity

Exploring the building blocks of your organization’s identity, we distill and articulate the elements that make it unique, and extend seamlessly through digital, print and social media.

Advertising Design

Great advertising captivates and compels you to take action. Static or animated, display ad, landing page or email marketing, we design the campaign or ads to meet your needs.

U/X Wireframing

From initial discovery “conversation starter” sketches to A/B tested workflows, we can craft an effective result from user research, optimized for your audience.

Prototyping

The dress rehearsal for your project, created via responsive framework and organized with WordPress to optimize time-to-live.

Illustration

Bring simplicity to complex data with an infographic, tell a story via eBook, or bring a landing page, graphics or illustration to life. We can help you communicate more powerfully than words alone.

work

services

UX Wireframing

Prototyping

A/B Testing

User Interface

Visual Design

Infographics

Brand / Identity

Illustration

Motion Graphics

Concepting

Print

Landing Pages

Ad Design

Email & Social

Web

Mobile

clients

Past and present, from startups and foundations to Fortune 100 companies.

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logo-urban-putt
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logo-amazon
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Michael Ortlieb

hands-on creative director . code-saavy visual designer

LinkedIn   Resume (PDF)

I’ve been creating pictorial, whimsical things as long as I can remember.

As early as the first grade, I was drawing panel comic strips, and dreamt of being a cartoonist for my local paper, the Chicago Tribune. By the early ‘80s, my brother and I pooled our allowance and lawn-mowing savings for our first computer, a Commodore VIC-20, and while he wrote most of the game code, I oversaw art direction.

I’m still that kid fascinated by art, illustration and design. By the beauty and force of thoughtfully rendered work, and the mechanics that power and sustain it. That’s what makes me comfortable in the roles of designer and developer: I’m fascinated by both the art and the science of everything I design.

But I’m not just an art and tech geek, I’m also an extrovert: communicative, collaborative, transparent, with an ace track record in customer service. I take every project seriously but keep the creative process lively, satisfying a client’s targets while fostering a spirit of symbiosis and fun. Be that client a major film or television studio, a national nonprofit, a boutique hotel, a political candidate, or an advertising agency needing support, I shine in making the client a part of the conversation… on time, on budget, and on the strategic mark.

I’ve also taught quarterly classes at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, guiding Introductory students to create their first website, using best coding practices in HTML and CSS, while Intermediate students explored jQuery, Javascript, and Responsive. I love sharing knowledge with others, and catching that cheery beam of recognition when a student’s overhead cartoon bulb clicks on.

I also like illustrating, cycling with my young daughters, and dive-bar karaoke.

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