Michael Norman Olson


Saint Petersburg, FL, USA
Passionate communicator with more than six years of experience as an instructor in the areas of art, design, and software—as well as twenty years of applied experience in the design field across print and user experience. Adept, artful problem solver and enthused collaborator.

Work Experience


Designer/Art Director

Adept, artful problem solver and enthused collaborator. Passionate designer / educator with established experience across digital and print, as well as instructing young artists and university students in design.

I apply my skills as a Designer (art direction, UX/UI, ideation, and consulting). Recent work has focused largely in advertising and branding for start-ups, creatives and non-profits.

Additionally, I pursue roles in education with a passionate engagement in process and divergent exploration. In 2004, I joined the faculty at the Herron School of Art and Design. Beginning in 2008, I was also invited to join the faculty of the Indianapolis Art Center where I instructed youth and adults courses in digital arts and software. Following these opportunities, I've served clients as an instructor in the arts, design and technology through private practice and contract-based work.
January 1993 - Present Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Indianapolis Art Center

Instructor, Independent Contractor

Frame class offerings, develop coursework, and instruct both youth and adult learners in the areas of Digital Imaging, Digital Video Production, and Web Design. Prepare and maintain the studio space. Assist and advise participants on their progress.

Designed new projects for several classes— Communicated daily with parents, guardians, children, fellow instructors and the educational department— Organized digital arts supplies and maintained the digital studio space— Supervised ten to twenty children during classes and lunch breaks.
June 2008 - August 2011 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Indiana University

Lecturer, Herron School of Art & Design

Provide education through learning-centered instruction, innovation and design thinking that enables graduates to fulfill the evolving role of design---encourage a culture of learning that values mutual responsibility, life-long learning as well as personal and professional development. Prepare and deliver course plans, materials and lectures on Visual Communication, Image, Typography, and 2-D Design. Advise and assess students on their attendance and progress. Record and submit grades. Assist in curriculum development. Hold regular office hours, and participate in extracurricular activities such as Sophomore Advancement Review and faculty governance.

Created new assignments that dramatically increased student engagement, output, and learning— Established Herron Come Home, a visiting design lecturer series— Headed the Herron Come Home committee— Developed promotional materials for the Admissions Office— Served on Admissions Committee— Co-conceptualized identity and theme for LOOK/SEE, Herron's end-of-year exhibit and celebration— Designed materials for LOOK/SEE— Designed the MACAA (Mid-America College Art Association) identity and conference collateral on the year of Herron's hosting— Served as Herron's Student AIGA Faculty liaison— Served as Herron's representative to regional National Portfolio Days where I advised and assessed potential students on the strengths of their portfolio and skills— Revised and added to a suite of design lectures and demonstrations in Visual— Communications, Image, and Typography courses.
2004 - 2010 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

FreeThink Studios, IU Health (formerly Known As Clarian)

Web Designer, Consultant

Design and edit web interfaces in HTML and XML for various sites and endeavors under the Business Innovations team at Clarian, one of the largest hospital networks in the U.S.

Translated project outlines and goals into functioning web-based deliverables— Operated from a remote location and performed with minimal supervision on multiple concurrent projects— Designed and managed a collection of visual assets (templates, backgrounds, buttons, and headers) for Clarian sites— Communicated daily with the creative team, administrative liaisons, and my superior.
2003 - 2004 Indiana, United States



Collaborate with creative directors and copywriters to produce effective advertising. Present and defend work internally and to clients. Work quickly—multi-tasking and adhering to deadlines. Communicate with account services.

Named, conceptualized, developed and illustrated the characters of the Simon Kidgits— Worked to brand and design for campaigns, collateral (print, web, and video), and identity systems under Simon Malls and subsidiaries— Designed and produced digital art for collateral under the rebranding of Old National Bank— Lead designs for the 2003 RCA Championships— Publicis Lion Award, 2003. Recipient: Awarded by Pam Linsley, creative director, in recognition of my service and dedication.
2002 - 2003 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Indiana Interactive Inc., NIC


Work collaboratively to produce state agency web sites, advanced web applications and payment processing systems interfaces designed for business, government and citizens.

Developed accessIndiana promotions, brochures, mailers, signage, display communications, and stationery redesign— Helped to lead the state wide redesign of agency and department landing pages under the IN.gov rebranding— Designed and managed a collection of visual assets (templates, backgrounds, buttons, and headers) for IN.gov sites— Produced a visual identity standards packet for the rebranding of accessIndiana to IN.gov— Communicated daily with the creative team, administrative liaisons, and my superior.
2001 - 2002 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States


Designer, Consultant

Work by contract in print and web for various area agencies and firms.

Managed client assets and created web interfaces— Performed under minimal supervision.
2000 - 2001 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Great Plains Energy (formerly Aquila Inc. / UtiliCorp United Inc.)

Web & Multimedia Specialist

Design websites and multimedia for this 100 year old Fortune 500 electricity, natural gas, and burgeoning communications distribution network, its multiple subsidiaries, product launches, advanced web applications, new business ventures and employee intranet.

Directed projects to extend brand personality and creative across web and multimedia assets— Lead global redesign of corporate web site through evolving technical platforms— Developed designs for web application designs for new business— Designed and managed a collection of visual assets (templates, backgrounds, buttons, and headers)— Collaborated closely with the web development team programers to deliver optimized designs— Co-authored corporate internet graphic standards—Awarded in recognition for helping to achieve 8% earnings growth— UtiliCorp United Great Pursuit, 2000. Recipient: for values of accountability, flexibility, open/honest communication—UtiliCorp United Great Pursuit, 1999. Recipient: for results in customer service, leadership, and teamwork.
1999 - 2000 Kansas City, Missouri, United States


NextD, NextDesign Leadership Institute

WorkshopONE, Exploring Cross-Disciplinary Innovation

Studies focused on the fundamental skills needed to work in all cross disciplinary contexts, harnessing collective brain power, driving and building sustainable innovation capacity.
2007 - 2007 New York, New York, United States

Nielsen Norman Group

Fundamental Guidelines for Web Usability Training

Instructed by Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., a User Advocate and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group Studies, training focused on: the key insights into people’s website behavior and on the resulting top guidelines for making websites easier and more enjoyable to use, understanding general principles, thinking through design problems, analyzing usability challenges specific to projects, and making the correct trade-offs when faced with conflicting considerations.
1999 - 1999 San Francisco, California, United States

Indiana University

B.F.A., Visual Communications. Herron School of Art and Design.

While majoring in Visual Communications, studies included a focus on design as a communicative tool and problem solving methodology. Coursework involved visual rhetoric, the integration of type and image, web design, digital video and interactivity as narrative, illustration, photography, and the business of graphic design.
August 1993 - December 2004 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States


English (Native),
Spanish (Beginner),


Application Design, Acrobat, Adobe Creative Suite, Advertising, Art Direction, Brand Development, Creative Dirtection, Design Process, Design Thinking, Digital Imagery, Divergent Thinking, Dreamweaver, Eduction, Ideation, Illustration, Illustrator, Indesign, Instruction, Interpersonal Communication, Microsoft Office, Photography, Photoshop, Print, Problem Solving, Production, Teamwork, User Interface Design, Visual Identity Systems And Narratives, Web Design,


Available upon request.