About Mike



I’ve worked in publishing since 1995, primarily making grade 6-12 textbooks for history, science, mathematics, and world languages. I worked as an illustrator for a few years, but my real strengths are InDesign and Photoshop.

I’m an Adobe Certified Expert in InDesign CS4, and the author of a soon-to-be-published guide to the certification exam. I’m a contributor to InDesignSecrets.com, and also write occasionally for InDesign Magazine. In 2008, I had the wonderful experience of being a speaker at the InDesign Master Class in Seattle.

I love working, playing, and training people in Photoshop. I have taught color management, making separations, and retouching. I still have my first Photoshop 3 book, useless doorstop that it is, I just can’t throw it away.

I spent a few years as a Prepress Specialist and Software Trainer, and that love of teaching tech led to the creation of this blog. I’ve used Prinergy Publish extensively to make and edit press-ready PDFs. Nowadays I’m part of a team devoted to  XML workflows and application development for publishing systems.

Over the years, I’ve gone to more than my share of conferences: O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing, The XML Conference, AdobeMAX, The InDesign Conference, PhotoshopWorld, Kodak GUA Conference, and so on. Just can’t get enough of the nametags, shuttlebusses, and free coffee.

e-mail me at jmvrankin [at] gmail [dot] com

or you can follow me on Twitter


12 Responses

  1. Hi, Mike! Can’t wait to surf your blog. Hope you and Paul are hanging in there. You have great taste in music, btw.
    🙂 Lisa

  2. Hi Mike!!

    I somehow ended up here on your blog after poking around looking for some Middlebury alums. How are you?! Sounds like you are wildly successful, both personally and professionally, which makes me very happy to hear. These days I am working in NYC and living in Westchester County. Seeing your list of music reminded me of hanging out on Friday afternoons at KDR with you, Seth and Felice. I look forward to reading your blog, feel free to email if you’d like.
    –Best regards, Karin

  3. Hey Mike, Always knew you were a rock star! Now it’s up there for all to see on the blogs. Continued success where ever the path sends you, Lisa

  4. Hi Michael,

    You are so excellent, man! What a beautiful blog. I am going to share it with other ASAP!

    See you soon.


  5. maybe even more than one! like-otherS!

  6. Do you mind emptying the dishwasher when you’re done blogging?

  7. If only InDesign could do the dishes…

  8. Haha! Busted!!

  9. How old is that picture? You looked older than that in 1997.

  10. Hi Victor-
    The pic’s about 4 years old. I think I had a beard back in ’97. Maybe that’s it. Or maybe a decade of cathode rays and dry office air has preserved me like a piece of dried fruit.

  11. Can you PLEASE take out the trash once in a while…and empty the dishwasher…AND some vacuuming of the kids room wouldn’t kill you…

    Congrats on the InDesign Conference. Looking forward to hearing about it.

    And tell Vicky she has my support,


  12. Hi Mike,
    I’d love to buy your InDesign Secrets Guide to the InDesign CS4 ACE Exam, but the link on the InDesignSecrets website is no longer valid.

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