I began my design career as a web designer, first for the Toronto-based art publication Mix Magazine, and then for the United Way of Greater Toronto. Since those early days I have worked as a designer for Bruce Mau Design, in-house at the University of Toronto, and as the communications coordinator and publications designer for the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. As the sole proprietor of Acme Art & Design, I work collaboratively with clients to find the best design solutions. I approach projects as both a craftsman and a strategic thinker, equally concerned with the conceptual and cultural dimensions of the work as I am with the minutest details of production. Acme grants me the opportunity to indulge my curiosity about the world, to grow and learn as an individual and as a designer, and to offer my clients a unique perspective that enfolds my artistic sensibility into my design practice.
Owner/principal Acme Art and Design 2008 – Present (5 years) Toronto, Ontario
Acme Art & Design is the Toronto-based studio practice of graphic designer and photographer Michael Barker. Acme works closely with clients to create custom design solutions for promotional materials, print communications, packaging, websites and visual identities. A full service studio that provides art direction, design, photography, typesetting, image sourcing, illustration, artwork preparation and print production management, Acme works closely with the most reputable vendors to produce the best results on projects, big and small. Past clients include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of Toronto, Victoria College, Emmanuel College, the Toronto Animated Image Society, and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers.
Graphic Designer University of Toronto Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry 2008 – 2010 (2 years)
From 2008–2010 I worked as a graphic designer with the division of University Advancement at the University of Toronto. In that time I provided art direction, design and photography for a wide variety of projects including advertising, marketing materials, websites, stationary and proposal documents.
Communications Coordinator Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto Nonprofit; 1-10 employees; Media Production industry 2003 – 2007 (4 years)
While working as the Communications Coordinator for the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto — a member-driven non-profit organization that provides affordable access to equipment and education for people who what to make films — I was responsible for all in-house graphic design including promotional and identity materials.
Intermediate Designer Bruce Mau Design Public Company; 51-200 employees; Design industry 2001 – 2002 (1 year)
Junior Designer Bruce Mau Design Public Company; 51-200 employees; Design industry 1999 – 2001 (2 years)
From 1999–2002 I worked as a graphic designer with Bruce Mau Design. In that time I applied conceptual, creative and production skills to many projects including identity systems, books, magazines, posters, programming, and websites. Clients and projects included working closely with art director Chris Rowat on Bruce Mau’s Lifestyle manuscript for Phaidon, production work for the Mori ThinkZone (Mori Building Corp., Tokyo) project, developing the web 1.0 Harbourfront Worldleaders Festival website, cover work for Zone books and an art catalog for Ghada Amer under art director Barr Gilmore, and image-curation for Love for Sale, an exhibition of images harvested from ebay presented as part of "Retrace your steps: Remembering Tomorrow" at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London.
Web Designer United Way of Greater Toronto 1999 – 1999 (less than a year)