I’m fairly certain that Michael Osborn has a heart made of pure gold. He has an obsession with design, a true-love for it that keeps him designing round-the-clock for some amazing charitable organizations.
Photo by: Joe Carabeo, Astray Productions
This is a picture of Michael Osborn and I moments after I met him for the first time. It was a unseasonably warm and sunny Sunday evening on November 15, 2009, at a special meet-and-greet gathering held by AIGA DC for the AIGA DC Design Continuum Scholarship Fund Circle donors. Michael was invited to join our social gathering and share some of his work from 1 Heart Press. Among Michael’s many passions is the fine art of letterpress printing. His love for finely set typography and skillful printing required more and more dedication and strict diligence, so in 1991 he decided to open his own letterpress printing shop in San Francisco. Since then he’s been letterpress printing anything from fine books to wedding invitations.
By day Michael is President and Creative Director of the San Francisco-based graphic design firm, MOD/Michael Osborne Design, Inc. Established in 1981, the firm’s work in corporate/brand identity, package design, and print collateral has been recognized by many organizations, and publications and is on display in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, and the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.
With Michael there’s always love, or a heart, something he’s become well-known for in his design work. There are many different kinds of hearts in his body of work, but the majority have been created for projects at Joey’s Corner.
In 2004, Michael Osborne created a non-profit 501(c)3 organization called Joey’s Corner, a studio dedicated to providing pro-bono strategic creative services to non-profit groups focusing on healthcare, children’s and social well-being issues. The studio was founded to honor the life of Michael’s deceased son, Joseph Michael Osborne, 1980-2004. Joey’s Corner operates on donations, fund-raising events, and whenever possible, projects may be underwritten by a sponsor or by the non-profit client itself.
Joey’s Corner is the first heart in a series of Michael’s many hearts:
Next he created Valentines Day cards for sale with the proceeds going to Joey’s Corner.
Then Ethel Kessler, Art Director for Stamps, called up Michael and asked him to design Love Stamps for the USPS.
All of a sudden, there were Hearts in San Francisco. Hearts were all over the city, actually and most were designed and constructed by Michael himself.
Then there is Heart to Heart, an orgainzation founded to save babies by teaching doctors abroad the art and science of open-heart surgery for children.
There’s a heart in yoga, The Art of Yoga Project. This organization’s mission is to lead teen girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability to self, others and community by providing practical tools to effect behavioral change.
I’ll conclude with one final heart, his work for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Walk.
Michael Osborne came to Washington, DC to give a presentation to the local AIGA Chapter on the work he’s produced at Joey’s Corner. His presentation moved the audience. A dozen plus people came up to me after the presentation to thank me for inviting Michael to our chapter. A few even marked this as one of their top 3 AIGA DC events, ever. I just couldn’t be happier.
Thank you Michael for coming to DC, but mostly for your boundless ability to inspire and delight designers and change organizations so their messages are finally heard.