Diploma of Applied Art (Finished Art)
Mike McHugh is a well known name in the international graphic design community, having worked at prestigious design studio Mimmo Cozzolino, authored several books, run his own Adobe training business, and given countless presentations on Adobe software in his current role as Senior Systems Engineer at Adobe.
Mike’s impressive career began at Box Hill Institute, where he studied for a Diploma of Applied Art (Finished Art). He had always been interested in graphics and a work-experience stint with family friends who worked in the industry confirmed this as the right career choice for him. He had caught the design bug!
During his studies, Mike discovered that he was particularly interested in the desktop publishing side of design and upon gaining his qualification, took a job as the very first Mac operator at a graphic design company. After a year, Mike went to work for celebrated graphic design duo Mimmo Cozzolino and Phil Ellett. Cozzolino was the author of the feted book Symbols of Australia (Penguin, 1980) while Phil was the designer of Midnight Oil’s album covers.
At Cozzolino/ Ellett Design D’vision, Mike got to work or numerous prestigious projects, including an official poster for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and the Rock ‘n Roll series of stamps for Australia Post, which proved to be one of the highest selling issues ever.
In addition to graphic design, one of Mike’s roles at Cozzolino/ Ellett Design D’vision was to ensure that new staff were proficient with the latest software, so he completed a workplace training certificate and various Adobe product proficiency exams.
After seven years with the design house, Mike decided it was time to step out on his own and set up a design software training business, McHugh Digital Graphics. Clients included large media organisations such as Fairfax, ACP and News Limited, as well as a number of smaller design and ad agencies. Mike was kept particularly busy when Adobe released InDesign and hordes of agencies switched from QuarkExpress to the new Adobe software. Nevertheless, he still found time to write several books, deliver presentations and establish a regular podcast.
Several years ago, Mike was approached by Adobe who offered him a job as Senior Systems Engineer: “it means I do lots of product demos and they’re awesome – each one is better than the last!” he enthuses. His current role still allows Mike to exercise his formidable creative flair in creating solutions for larger clients. It’s a job he wouldn’t swap for the world: “It’s awesome fun, I keep wondering when I’m going to have to do some real work!”