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Illustration, Graphic Design and Creative Direction Testimonials



“Michelle’s beautiful and distinctive artwork is as familiar and comforting to me as Yorkshire Tea, so when I wanted an artist to produce illustrations for my book ‘Footmarks’ there was only one choice. I wasn’t disappointed! Michelle’s gorgeous lino-cuts effortlessly blend with and enhance the writing. And Michelle is fantastic to work with – she was deeply engaged with the book, reading early drafts and talking it over with me, and over time carefully and thoughtfully produced pitch-perfect illustrations.”

Jim Leary, author of Footmarks, a Journey into Our Restless Past



"Our brief to Michelle was to illustrate the cycle of farming, paying particular attention to the balance of a productive arable farm with sustainable wildlife management.


It was clear from our first meeting with Michelle that she was the ideal fit for this project. Not only from a stylistic point of view but also from how she pushed the brief.


Michelle was simply fantastic to work with – she kept us informed every step of the way. Her suggestions and expertise made the final outcome, a commemorative award, a project that we are truly proud of and something that will be cherished by the future winner."

Thomas McInally, The Chase Creative Consultants.

“We came to Michelle with an idea to tell the story of Sutton Hoo and its landscape through illustrative relief prints – how nature and people have left their mark there for thousands of years. She really bought into the brief from the very first conversations – she asked the right questions and helped us to develop an ambitious project on a tight deadline and budget.


She wholeheartedly threw herself at the project – working tirelessly and meticulously to translate sketches into beautifully intricate prints. Throughout the creative process, Michelle was a joy to partner with and her enthusiasm shows in the end result. We were (and still are!) thrilled with the illustrations, which really showcase Michelle’s craft and bring our vision to life perfectly. They are exactly what we had hoped for – a set of illustrations with a genuine, hand-crafted quality which cannot be achieved by any other means.”​

Paul Spencer, Design by Journal

"Michelle has been great to work with, delivering the artwork for ICU with enthusiasm and sensitivity, researching what might work best visually, then coming up with ideas for staff who work on the ward to choose what they might like to be incorporated within the illustrations. 


She always delivered her artwork on time, making any changes to fit with the strict timelines the project demanded. This job had many things that needed to be considered, Michelle has worked with the Arts Team to deliver artwork that improves the feel of the unit making it feel less clinical and brightening the environment for staff and patients."

Elly Ross, York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Graphic design


“I loved your style and had a connection with that. Your work was in tune with my business so I knew visually people would instantly understand what I was offering. 

I was very impressed by the process, it was very well-organised and easy for me to follow. I liked the clarity you gave me as to what was included in the quote. As a client, I felt extremely supported and nurtured throughout. I was very impressed with the level of understanding and research you undertook. You completely understood me, and my business and I came away feeling much more confident and professional. 

You are generous and kind. You have also shown me lots of possibilities for my business.”

Karen Griggs, Old Forge York


​“I have followed you for a while and have always liked your style of artwork which I could relate to, as I thought it had similarities to the way I wanted my brand to look. A conversation we had a couple of years ago when you asked me why I hadn’t used a hand drawn image for my existing logo, resonated with me and I guess I knew I wanted that look when I was ready to re-brand.

The response has been exactly what I was hoping for from a sample of comments received: “perfect for your wonderful authentic bakes”, “bright, simple and says it all”, “such a fabulous logo! It’s making my mouth water – job done I reckon”, “great logo looks so natural”.

So for me, the value added has been a design that totally encompasses what I am about, in the style and colours used and it now sends a clear message to my audience. I now have uniformity across social media and my website (once that has been built). I feel confident that I have a brand that now reflects me and can move my business forward in a professional way. 

I first met Michelle a couple of years ago when she was facilitating a workshop at a local social enterprise event. A passing comment about my existing logo led me to calling her and our initial contact started there.

From the outset I knew I could work with Michelle because she was very clear on how to manage the project and advised all the way through about how the project would move forward. The written information received was precise and detailed and I was never left wondering  what the next stage of the design process was going to be. 


I was very clear what my brand was not about and Michelle took this on board perfectly. Our meetings, including coffee in a bookshop allowed us to explore my vision in much more depth and I came away with a real feeling that she understood what my expectations were.

At the presentation meeting of the initial images I was blown away by the concepts she had come up with up. All deadlines were met and the delivery via email of all the files was easily explained. She has also liaised directly with my web designer.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Michelle and to use the phrase ‘the proof is in the pudding’ sums up exactly what Michelle achieved. I am in love with my new brand!​ A huge thank you!"

Nicola O’Kieffe, O’Crumbs Bakes

“Intuitive, creative and original. Michelle has the unique ability to understand what my business does (nutritional therapy) and translate that into brilliant effective branding design that gets my message across. She has detailed knowledge of many design areas and a wealth of inspiring ideas!”

Sally Duffin, Nutrition in York

“Myself and my colleagues at Calm Works enlisted the help of Michelle Hughes to create our new business branding. Her services had been recommended by a business contact and we were not disappointed. I found Michelle to be easy to communicate with and with her vast experience she was able to take our fragmented ideas and work her magic creating what we feel is a strong brand image and message. Throughout the process she was highly professional and worked within the timescales, which we agreed at the beginning to deliver the design on time.”

Joanne Bull, Calm Works


“You were highly recommended by someone who had used your services and who felt you could give the right combination of hand drawn and outdoorsy feel.

The new branding has given my Glamoraks online community a more modern and professional finish. It has helped me to retain consistency across all my marketing materials and has given me the confidence to position my start up as a brand with global potential. You also thought about the need for a logo that could work across multiple platforms including as an app icon and on branded products, which I hadn’t considered.


I have a modern, professional brand that I can use to grow my business and an easily identifiable logo that can be adapted to a variety of platforms and products. Michelle worked fast and efficiently, offering a range of designs to meet a challenging brief. I think what you did really well was think with a business head on. You thought about how the brand might be used across a range of media types, which was very useful and something another designer may not have thought of and would have left me with a less flexible design.”

Melissa Talago, Glamoraks

"I love having an identity that I can be proud of and is just mine and the brightness and how it stands out. It was a pleasure to work with you, very professional, you kept to deadlines, you said what you were going to do and more, you certainly met my brief. Your attention to detail was great and I was impressed that you checked with printers about how it would turn out when printed."

Juliet Powell, Choice Therapy

“I spoke to a number of different graphic designers before selecting Michelle. It was her understanding of what I wanted, the nature of my company, and her past work that impressed me and influenced my decision to hire her.  


The new packaging is eye-catching and informative and has had a huge number of compliments from buyers. Michelle exceeded my expectations with her designs and worked under tight time constraints, making changes quickly when these were requested.  

I have already recommended Michelle Hughes Design to a number of people and am looking forward to working with her again on the next stage of the project.” 

Isla McNeil, Ingenues, York 


“Michelle created my business marketing tools and it has made one of the most valuable impacts to my business marketing and professionalism. I couldn’t have done it without her. She is easy to work with, quick on the turn around and offers important advice. Wouldn’t go anywhere else!”

Janet Wood, MI Studio, York 


“I was given Michelle’s details by a supplier and boy, am I glad they did! Michelle is wonderful to work with. I have the ideas and she is always able to bring them to life. Her deadlines are always met and she is just so easy to work with. 

I would definitely recommend her to others and I wish her and her business every success for the future.”

Mel Metcalf, The I Love You Gift Stall 


“I could just tell that you had the experience and creativity to transform our company branding and image. It’s all about having the confidence in someone from the word go and you’ve not let us down since.

You always try to be available on demand and we have never been left waiting for anything. The odd time we have asked for changes to be made, they’ve normally arrived in my inbox before I’ve returned to my desk!”

Scott Littlefair, Lettings Director Lister Haigh


“The overall impact of the banner displays, enhanced by their bold simplicity, certainly provided us with a high impact stand. We are delighted with the service and feel you fully met our design brief, provided regular communication and met the tight deadlines we asked of you. Overall the experience of dealing with you was smooth and hassle free, and we were/are delighted with the end result.”

Dave Roberts, Trackwork Limited


Creative Direction


“Michelle is a creative designer who dealt well with the essential brand guidelines of the Disney brand. She looked for imaginative ways in which to enhance product creativity whilst appreciating the financial and revenue targets of a mass commercial brand.”

Anna Candy, Marketing Consultant and Contractor


“Michelle is an extremely talented Creative Manager... Her previous fashion experience stood her in good stead to ensure the home category had trend right products which were suitable for each age and stage. She designed many retail pitches for our key accounts which demonstrated how to build strong coordinated ranges at the right price with the correct level of detail.”

Harriet Young, Independent Design Professional

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