A Look Back – 35 Years

July 26, 2016 / About /

blogToday marks the day, 35 years ago, that I opened the doors at M + M Design. It was a one-room studio at 56 Arbor Street, in a back hall, near the loading dock. I was equipped with a drawing table, pads, pencils, Rapidograph pens, markers, rulers, triangles and tape; business cards; a phone; and a whopping 1 1/2 years of agency experience. My old co-workers wished me well. I was on the way to living my dream.

Finding clients was my first assignment. I started at A in the phone book. I reached out to family, friends, colleagues, and my former employer’s clients, since he hardly viewed me as a potential competitor. Business trickled in. People like Sandy Sandusky, Barry Kramer, Ted Paulsen, Jamie Fritsch, Jeffrey Fox and Pattie Jacobus took a chance on an eager, young designer. The workload soon exceeded my capabilities alone. Frank joined M + M the following year.

For 35 years, I’ve pursued my passion – collaborating with CEOs, marketing executives, business owners, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs. We’ve met the challenges of corporate restructuring, budget cuts, market crashes, recession, the loss of family members and friends, and the technological revolution of our industry. Despite it all, good design rules.

Some say, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’m thankful for the opportunity to get up and go to design every day. I’m grateful to so many loyal, supportive colleagues and friends – Janice Smith, Greg and Maura Borsecnik, Tony Ieraci, Sandy Matheny, Andy Sadlon, and too many more to name.

Thank you all. I couldn’t have done it without you.


About the author

Michelle Mazzarella: I am passionate about design and its power to effect change. Well-designed content connects, communicates, and inspires. I am a life-long fan of Dieter Rams – one of the world's most influential and celebrated industrial designers of the late twentieth century. Rams defined good design as “less, but better”. He was an advocate for the “end to the era of wastefulness,” promoting design that is as environmentally friendly as it is easy-to-use. He described good design as innovative, aesthetic, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, and thorough down to the last detail. I couldn't have said it better.