Mike DeSart Hello World

Mike DeSart


I love using creativity and empathy in design to transform companies from startups to the worlds biggest brands. As an experienced Visual Design leader I collaborate with brilliant people to create, optimize and maintain beautiful and performant design and brand systems. Along the way I have managed full-time designers, contractors and vendors from around the world.

Pulling from my experiences in Branding, Marketing, Growth, and Product I bring decades of expertise with me to every new challenge. I started my career in Los Angeles as a print designer, then spent a decade in Silicon Valley working with tech startups, investors and agencies of all types and sizes. In 2016 I moved to beautiful Austin, TX and currently freelance in addition to holding lead roles at top companies in the hospitality industry.

Design style


Design approach


Design leadership


Great places I’ve worked at full-time

2007 – Present

Vacasa Logo

Lead Visual Designer

Performing Art Director and Lead Visual Designer duties including managing designers, directing photo/video shoots and pushing the Vacasa brand forward in a variety of mediums.

TurnKey logo

Lead Visual Designer

I worked with all aspects of the company to raise the visual brand identity to be the best in the industry. I was daily focused on managing freelancers, owning marketing design, and directing our brand image.

LinkedIn Logo

Senior Design Contractor

I contracted with the LSS team to design Tradeshow Graphics, Social Ads & posts, Sales Presentations, and content design such as  eBooks, Sales Sheets and more.

Kahuna Logo

Senior Designer

As the first design hire & 20th employee at this fast growing startup I built out the brand look & feel and delivered high quality assets like a live action commercial, illustrations, Marketing templates, UI/UX and hand coded HTML/CSS.

SurveyMonkey Logo

Designer, Growth & Marketing

Designer on Growth & Marketing initiatives including SEM LPs, SEO Pages, Emails, Re-targeting Ads, Brand Guidlines, CRO, Responsive Web Design, A/B Testing and Integrated Campaigns.

Nyquist Design Logo

Graphic Designer

At this small but mighty design firm I completed over 370 projects. I handled  clients like Netflix, PayPal, HP and others. I did branding, print, web, UI, trade show graphics, packaging, flash, animation, HTML emails and online ads.

Areas of design I focus on

– Visual Design Leadership
– Art Direction
– Branding and Style Guides
– Responsive Web Design
– Design Systems & Libraries
– Motion Design & Animation

– UX & UI Design
– Logo Design
– A/B Testing & CRO
– Growth Marketing
– Integrated Campaigns
– Presentation Design

– Email Design
– Typography
– Trade Show Graphics
– eBooks, Guides & Reports
– Digital Advertising Assets
– CSS, HTML & WordPress

– Print Design
– Icon Design
– Infographics
– Illustration 
– Signage & Wayfinding
– Social Media Design

Design & workspace apps I use daily

– Photoshop
– Illustrator
– InDesign
– After Effects
– Lightroom
– Premiere Pro

    – Figma
    – Figma Design Libraries
    – Figma Prototyping
    – Figms Wireframes

    – Jira
    – Asana
    – Trello
    – Pivotal 
    – Wrike

    – Google Slides
    – Google Docs
    – Google Sheets
    – Google Draw
    – Gmail

    When I am not designing

    Mountain biking is such a fun way for me to get outside and enjoy nature.

    I tinker with making electronic music and play guitar & bass.

    I am a modern abstract painter. You can checkout my art here.

    What people are saying

    Mike joined the creative team at Vacasa and immediately got to work on the Vacasa brand. Tapping into his diverse experience Mike elevated the creative output of the team working on large projects ranging from corporate guidelines, templates, brand icons, digital, print, and out of home advertisements to name a few. In addition to his own workload Mike managed designers giving them creative direction on projects both large and small. Mike’s experience is vast with the ability to work on a strategic level and then down to crafting creative executions. He would be a welcome addition to any team.

    Luke Perkins

    VP Brand & Creative, Vacasa

    Mike is a great designer. He has a great eye and the kind of solid, consistent work ethic found in top-level performers. I’d work with Mike again in an instant. There’s a few things that really made Mike stand out. He’s highly organized and attentive to detail – he moved the TurnKey design team from small/startup to a more structured, organized and mature design team. He articulates the decision-making that goes into his design and engages in thoughtful and reasoned debate. He elevates everything he works on, and is consistently iterating to make the brand, ad, brochure etc better every time he touches it. He’s got strong secondary skills as a user experience practitioner. At TurnKey his mailer campaigns consistently achieved improved results with every round of design.

    Jon Simmons

    Design Director, TurnKey (Acquired by Vacasa)

    Mike is an incredibly talented professional, with an amazing wealth of experience in branding, visual design, and optimization. Every project he worked on, Mike basically knocked out of the park. I loved collaborating with Mike at Kahuna, where he brought the company’s visual design game from a crawl to a sprint. On top of all of the high quality work that Mike produces, he’s just a fantastic person to be around and work with. He completely embodies the Kahuna philosophy of “always be helping,” and does so with a genuine heart and a friendly smile. I would jump at the chance to work with Mike again!

    Patrick Chen

    Director of Marketing, Kahuna

    Creative. Analytical. Problem-solver. Team-player. All these describe Mike to a T. But beyond his skill as a designer (which is exceptional) and his ability simply get things done (which is invaluable), Mike is quite simply someone who’s fantastic to work with. He cares deeply about his work and his team, always goes the extra mile, and (perhaps most importantly) has a fantastic sense of humor. Any company would be lucky to work with Mike. I know I certainly was!

    Sheila Grady

    Senior Marketing Communications Manager, SurveyMonkey

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