Hi, I'm Mike Else.

Mike's face. Mike Else logo.

I'm a designer & front-end developer in Chicago.
Currently an ALEX Developer at Jellyvision.

This site is still a work-in-progress, so...


Club Tyson

social media strategy & design.

I worked for a few years on a very interesting project called “Club Tyson”. It’s Tyson Foods’ social media representation of the products that they sell in Club stores, and the promotions that went along with them. I oversaw, designed, and / or developed several of these projects, in addition to campaign ideation and execution.

I learned a great deal about everything from interacting with clients, meeting tight demands and deadlines, and improvising on MacGuyver-esque levels to create, design, and develop entire Facebook campaigns.


Logos & Branding

humans in shapes.

I love logo design. It's the visual lowest-common-denominator for what an entire "thing" truly stands for, whether it's a movement, a company, an entire industry, a simple object, or a simple action.

This is one of my favorite things to bang my head against, as the "getting it" moment for anyone who first sees a well-crafted logo is a huge motivating factor for me.


Professor Kliq

music & sound design.

I manage to put my Bachelor's in Music Composition to fairly good use, making music under the name "Professor Kliq". I compose music for games, films, and myself.

I wanted to get some practice and create my own WordPress site, something that anybody could use. With heavy implementation of external media and custom fields built on a fairly simple post taxonomy, I was able to make a site that requires little effort to maintain.



in the creative field.

  • Web/UI/UX Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Front-End Development
  • Content Strategy
  • Sound Design & Music

Club Tyson


Branding & Logo Design


Music & Sound Design



& pretty much anything else in Adobe CS6

Honestly, most designing can happen easily in the browser, if you're both designer and developer. However, on larger projects with a larger team, I believe it's important to be well-versed in creating globally accessible assets. I'm proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign as well.

Whether it's generating interactive mockups & wireframes, creating full global sprite-sheets to hand off to developers, or even making a simple change that dramatically affects the look & feel of a project, my experiences have taught me to adapt to the furthest sides of the screen.

This will sound a tad nerdy, but, for those who care, I take pride in having a clean layer-structure in all my Adobe project files. No "Layer_578".



If I can designs it, I can builds it.

My background in front-end has forged my deep sense of empathy for developers, which has led me down a path focused on collaboration rather than competition. Catering my work to the team I'm working with, clean code, open ears, deep curiosity, and a little humility are my unbending principals.

My portfolio, at the moment, is both a work-in-progress and the result of looking at a handful of things I wanted to try my hand at, and building those theories into the design. I'm learning more about responsive grids, namely The Golden Grid System, as well as parsing CSS in Sass or SCSS using Compass and its helpers. Ultimately, this portfolio is still a work in progress, but proudly showcases both my vulnerability and curiosity.



Doing it right the first time.

The first site I ever developed was on WordPress for a French news correspondent named Barbara Klein. My friend Dan showed me how to create an installation and had me use a blank reset theme so I couldn't cheat or just use a customizable WordPress theme.

Once I grasped the basics of the WordPress admin panel, I realized how vital it is to create something that's usable, not just something that's custom. I've had experience with developers creating quick-and-dirty WordPress solutions that clients don't understand. My appreciation for a well-thought CMS process has grown immensely over the years.



in languages & applications.

  • Adobe CS6 CC (I'm a Fireworks Guy)
  • HTML5 / CSS3 / Sass
  • Responsive / Mobile Design
  • WordPress
  • and I use Trello for, like, everything.

Fireworks & Adobe CS6


HTML / CSS / Sass




New Technology

in both design and music.

Ever since I was a kid, I've had a compulsive addiction to new kinds of technology. It's something I grew up with, but I was young enough to see the telescoping nature of technological advancements. Watching the evolution of cellphones from the Nokia brick my mother had in the early 90's, to the seemingly preposterous advent of the camera phone, I consider myself lucky to watch this evolution closely without taking any of it for granted.

Music technology has gripped me the same way and has played an integral role in my success as a musician. Without a computer at the software I use, I wouldn't be able to craft the sounds and perform the way I do.


I loved cats

before the internet loved cats.

I'm not entirely sure why I thought it was necessary to include this in my portfolio, but even in my haste, it was part of the design... so I've stuck to it. That must say something, right? Stick-to-it-iveness?

Don't get me wrong - I love dogs, too, but I grew up with cats. If you'll notice to your right, there are some obligatory cat pics. The black & white one with the goofy eye is Catbert, my good buddy. The one with the squinty eyes is my girlfriend Karen's cat - his name is Chauncey.

I hope you like cats, otherwise this is probably damaging the possibility of getting hired.


I Make Music

For all kinds of stuff.

I know I've already mentioned this, but I'd like to go into a bit more detail. Making music is an extremely significant part of my life. In 2013, I composed and produced soundtracks for two video games (Trackmania 2 Stadium and Valley), two films, and released two EP's. Last September, I flew out to Raleigh, NC to give a talk about Creative Commons at the All Things Open conference.

Music has always informed me about myself and how to go about conquering fears and challenges alike. Music, not unlike design, is a blank slate in a world of complex systems meant to evoke emotions and ideas. In that sense, Music comes quite naturally to me, though I think my ear was inherited.

Music is, without a doubt, my greatest passion.



Belonging, not fitting in.

  • I make the best analogies.
  • I can be very strange.
  • I have a passion for both chaos & organization.
  • I deeply understand humans & cats.
  • I tell stories through music, too.

Tech Person


Cat Person


Music Person


Like I said, this site is still a work-in-progress, but if you like my style, let's talk. It'll be fun!