Michael Cronan

June 9, 1951 – January 1, 2013

Michael Patrick Cronan  (June 9, 1951 – January 1, 2013) was an American graphic designer, artist and an American Institute of Graphic Arts Fellow based in Berkeley California. He was one of the founders of the San Francisco Bay Area postmodern movement in graphic design that became known as the "Pacific Wave," and a recognized corporate identity designer, acknowledged for the naming and the identities of TiVo, Verio, the Indigo, Onyx and Crimson computer lines for Silicon Graphics (SGI) and naming Amazon Kindle.

Michael Cronan was born in San Francisco in 1951 and grew up in the suburbs of Sacramento along the Sacramento and American rivers. As a teenager he learned letterpress printing and became an artist in a local print shop where he created posters. He studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) (now California College of the Arts), where he later served as adjunct professor of graphic design from 1981 to 2001. In 1971 Cronan went abroad to study archeology and work as an archeological dig manager for Hebrew University in the Negev Desert and the at Dead Sea. In 1974 he received a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art from California State University, Sacramento.

Cronan and partner Karin Hibma established the design firm Michael Patrick Cronan Design dba ::CRONAN:: in 1980 with clients including Levi Strauss & Company, Apple Computer, Estée Lauder Origins and Williams-Sonoma as well as the San Francisco Symphony, the Oakland Museum, The Pickle Family Circus, and SFMOMA. He was a founding member of the American Institute of Graphic Art (AIGA) chapter in San Francisco and the  AIGASF chapter president after serving on the AIGA national board for three years.

His graphic design work is currently in the permanent collections of SFMOMA, the Denver Art Museum, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, The Smithsonian National Postal Museum and London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Cronan was Chairman of the Board of the Pickle Family Circus, attended the Aspen Leadership Summit in 2005 and served on the Board of the Aspen Design Summit 2005-2006. He created identities for and served on the advisory boards of non-profits such as the Family Violence Prevention Fund - Founding Fathers, among others.

Cronan has been subject of profile articles in Communication Arts Magazine, I.D. Magazine, Linea Graphica (Italy), Graphis Inc., HOW, and many others, and books including Designing Brand Identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands, A History of Graphic Design, Meggs, Making Graphic Design History and The Design Entrepreneur, Graphis Brand. His award-winning work has been published extensively in graphic design annuals and other publications. He has spoken to design communities and judged design competitions throughout the United States and internationally.

Cronan was an accomplished fine artist and regularly exhibited his artwork, as well as doing private commissions.

From 2005, Cronan focused on creating names, visual identities and brand strategies for new products, companies and emerging technologies. In June 2009, he and Karin Hibma were named two of Fast Company's list of 100 Most Creative People in Business.

On January 1, 2013, Cronan passed away at his Berkeley home after a 5-year battle with colon cancer. He was 61.

Obituary courtesy of Wikipedia.