183 - Mike Smith

Mike Smith is the Co-Founder and Art Director of Smith & Diction, a branding and design studio in Philadelphia, PA.

Mike Smith is the Co-Founder and Art Director of Smith & Diction, a branding and design studio in Philadelphia, PA.

Their portfolio includes all kinds of projects including identity development, copywriting, art direction, packaging, illustration, editorial design, and more.


  • 2021 Macbook Pro
  • LG UltraFine 27" 5K
  • Lacie 3TB Thunderbolt External Hard Drive
  • NicPro Mechanical Pencil
  • Maison Louis No.4 candle (very important for setting the design "mood")


Figma, Photoshop, and Illustrator are my go to's. I'm basically just waiting for figma to introduce print material capabilities then I'll bail on illustrator.

What is your favorite item in your workspace?

My favorite item in my workspace has to be the Logo Modernism book. I reference that thing on the regular. And it's MASSIVE so it feels like I'm some sort of old monk busting out some ancient volume to reference.

How do you spark creativity?

I spark creativity by riding my bike around the city and just looking at people or shops. Riding just gives me the headspace to think about random ideas. And you might see a poster or a book or a storefront while out that solves your problem with an entirely new and unique perspective. Gotta be open to serendipity.

How do you manage work-life balance?

I leave my desk every day at 4 and I don't look at a computer until the next day at 8:30. I recently had a bit of a mental breakdown that put a lot of things into perspective and how to choose where and how I spend my time. Health (both mental and physical) and family are more important than any amount of money. I work really really hard between the hours of 8:30A - 4P but after that I completely clock out.
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