Photography Demondre Ward, Jacket Ade Dehye
Mike Nicholls
is an Oakland-based award-winning established creative director, brand strategist, visual artist and publisher using design as a tool for discovery, inspiration and community building. He has translated ideas into visionary creative solutions with over 20 years of design experience and natural talent; working with companies like Idea2Form, Black Voice News, Cityside Journalism and Hearst Communications. Mike founded Umber, a media platform highlighting creative perspectives that matter, which has been recognized by AfroTech (Blavity), PRINT Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, KQED and Communication Arts.

As an editor-in-chief and community builder through his work with UMBER, Mike has done creative direction, content creation, illustration and lead the design. Along with being an event producer he collaborated with renowned creatives around the world like Saul Williams, Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah, MAVI, Tonya Rapley, Ashara Ekundayo, Edgar Villanueva, Souls of Mischief, Apache Skateboards and Deanna Van Buren. He also partnered with such places like Red Bay Coffee, AIGA SF, de Young Museum, Heath Ceramics, Inneract Project and Bandcamp. Mike has been fortunate to speak about his publishing work at SF Design Week, Hue Design Summit, Dropbox Design, Where are the Black Designers?, State of Black Design and AIGA Midwest Design Week.


Services: Creative strategy, consultation, branding, editorial/book design and illustration.


Schedule a discovery call with Mike.

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KQED Arts Rightnowish
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The Making of UMBER
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2020 Midwest Design Week
Hear Talk