Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Ingram.
Michelle, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a California native, raised in the San Fernando Valley. I had aspired to be a photographer, but while studying photography I fell in love with graphic design. I’ve always been artistic and attended Otis/Parsons School of Design – same as my father. But I went into a decidedly different direction, as he became a famous, venerable sub-machine gun designer. Dreaming of being on a magazine staff, I was fortunate to get a job with a rock ‘n roll magazine called ROCK IT for Guitar Center. It was a super fun job consisting of design, press checks and art directing photo shoots with REM, DEVO and other musicians – a dream come true. Don Henley, Eddie Van Halen and other rock stars would hang out in our office above the Valley store – nirvana for this OG Valley girl! Later I moved along with the creative director to design and art direct photo shoots, ads, billboards and collateral for Speedo, Catalina, Victoria Secrets and other swimsuit brands.
After parting ways, I started to freelance for another creative director, designing packaging for Mattel, Disney, DIC and Build-a-Bear licensing. I designed the beloved literary character Madeline logo as well as the new packaging guidelines and strategy. My grade-school age daughter and her friends were the perfect focus group at the time!
Moving on from the cut-throat licensing world, I got involved with smaller graphic design studios creating ads, labels and logos. From there I decided to partner with a friend for our own design studio – PM Studios. We specialized in the health food industry with packaging, ads and trade show graphics, coupled with fundraising and gala events. By the time I went out on my own with Ingram Design Studio the event business had quadrupled. Packaging and logos are still a big part of my business, but events occupy the most time.
Has it been a smooth road?
This business can definitely ebb and flow. The 2008 recession was a tough time, especially for events, fundraising and galas. I studied to become a home appraiser, just in case, but the unpaid required hours were daunting. Fortunately, the economy improved and work started to flow again. The current crisis has been brutal for this type of business again sadly. My hobby is brewing beer; I’ve even done collaborations with two breweries. I’ve been brewing more right now.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Ingram Design Studio is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary graphic design studio, specializing in print design. I deliver creative, innovative and engaging solutions for brand identity, packaging, book design, print and digital. I am proud of the relationships I continue to have with my clients and of being a partner with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, Raise A Child, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s Association Wende Museum and many more non-profits to help them raise money!
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
There are many opportunities here for graphic designers – different industries, cannabis/CBD, manufacturing, fund-raising galas, film…I believe there’s room for us all. For me? If all goes sideways maybe I can turn my brewing hobby into a full-time job!
- Website: ingramdesignstudio.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: ingramds