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Michael Johnson: Design Director | Happy Cog

So very serious

Michael Johnson

Design Director

Since joining Happy Cog in 2011, MJ has led redesigns for Harvard Business School, MTV, Nintendo, and Citi Bike, among others. As a creative director, his approach is noteworthy for challenging those conventions, habits, and ingrained biases which have contributed to the web’s homogeny. MJ believes sincerity, authenticity, and uniqueness of design are possible with active client participation, and to this end he structures presentations and workshop sessions to foster an open and equitable dialogue.

He’s also a practicing designer, with a split affection for local, vernacular arts (folk design) and international modernism. Additionally, lessons learned in a brief stint as a motion designer during his 17-year career have proven invaluable in adding extra dimension to our clients’ digital footprints.

Michael's Articles

Reading, More or Less
5 months ago
Reading, More or LessArrow Icon
“Don’t read trash.” This was the last thing Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson said to…
Piracy Ever Follows Innovation
8 months ago
Piracy Ever Follows InnovationArrow Icon
For the first time in 120 years, a design patent is being argued in front…
The Truth About Facts
10 months ago
The Truth About FactsArrow Icon
A significant portion of this country supports a candidate for President that I do not.…
Under the rocks and stones, same as it ever was
3 months ago
Under the rocks and stones, same as it ever wasArrow Icon
A few days ago Erik Spiekermann offered some perspective on a mobile-first article, relating its…
Using the distraction
7 months ago
Using the distractionArrow Icon
The night began innocently enough. Now it’s two in the morning, and the best I…
Get Hired
11 months ago
Get HiredArrow Icon
These are the markers for how we evaluate design candidates. I should point out that…
Can an algorithm do your job?
4 months ago
Can an algorithm do your job?Arrow Icon
This is a question that’s been on my mind since stories about the Associated Press’s…
The Magpie, the Peacock, and the Mole King
9 months ago
The Magpie, the Peacock, and the Mole KingArrow Icon
We lost another job to spec work. Originally I came here, to this previously blank…