Mikey Burton

[Ed note: Print will be
featuring one New Visual Artist per day while the issue is on
newsstands. Keep checking back every weekday for new profiles on printmag.com. You can view
the entire list of winners here.]

Illustrations for undergraduate viewbook for Loyola University, Baltimore. Agency: 160 over 90; creative director: Dan Shepelavy; designer: Kelly Dorsey; writer: Rich Black; chief creative officer: Darryl Cilli; executive creative director: Jim Walls.
Title: Illustrator, letterpress artisan 
From: Canton, OH
Lives in: Philadelphia
Age: 28
A native of Canton, Ohio, Mikey Burton has already amassed a broad range of experiences as a graphic designer. As Kent State undergrads, Burton and two friends taught themselves screen-printing and started a company, Little Jacket, which scored logo, brand identity, and various other design jobs. 
Meanwhile, Burton’s thesis project–he stayed at Kent State for his graduate degree–reenvisioned the covers of classic novels: Fahrenheit 451, The Outsiders, Animal Farm, all done rock-poster style and called “New Covers for Old Books.” “Every day I get an e-mail from someone asking if it’s a real book series yet,” Burton says. 
Letterpress printing, however, is Burton’s true love. “It’s great to be physically doing something,” he says. “Your back is aching; you’ve been standing there for six hours and not sitting at a screen pushing pixels around. There’s an action and a real beauty to it.” 
Using this method of production, he has crafted exquisite business cards for Judy Friedman, an L.A.-based interior designer, and the San Francisco furniture makers Cottage Table Co. Last year, he collaborated with the printing studio Cranky Pressman on a calendar that was promoted as “ugly and scary … a fitting tribute to what will likely prove to be a crappy year.” 
Burton currently works at 160 over 90, a Philadelphia branding agency, where one project included illustrations for a Loyola University publication. “I’d never actually seen how a company is supposed to function,” he confesses. “It’s been a great learning process.” 
“Mikey loves problem solving,” says Keith Berger, a printer at Cranky Pressman. “The limitations of the medium allow him to focus on his ideas–big ideas, beautifully stated.”
   
“New Covers for Old Books” thesis project.

[View the entire list of winners here.]  

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