shirley-and-mocha

“Mocha and me” — illustration by Mike Tofanelli

A little bit about myself

I love cats. A hopeless cat-aholic. Now that we have that out of the way…

One thing I love almost (wink) as much as cats is design. So much that I’ve devoted over 25 combined years to the illustration and design professions.

I studied illustration at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. After years of producing illustrations for applications such as magazines, book covers and posters, I never lost my love for typography and fascination with visual communication. My illustration training, strong instincts for composition and problem-solving made the path to graphic design a natural transition.

For nearly 20 years, my home away from home was Wiley Design Communications, Sacramento, CA, where I developed creative solutions for clients such as Hewlett-Packard, American Cancer Society, CA Division, PRIDE Industries and Sierra Health Foundation. During my time there, the work was recognized by over 30 best practice awards, including IABC and Sacramento Ad Club.syee-logo-finicky-cat

Versatility, the ability to think conceptually, and knack for creating a design that captures the personality of the client and resonates with the target audience, have contributed to my longevity and success in this profession. In the process of selecting samples for this website, one thought that struck me was “wow, I’ve done a ton of work!”

Now, back to that cat thing.

When I finally got around to designing a logo for myself, I couldn’t resist creating a secondary mark and tag line that captured my personality. The Finicky Cat’s face is formed by the letters “Y, e, e.”