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108 Tamalpais Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960

Company Name

Michael Schwab Studio

Company Type







+1 415 257-5792

Graphis Archives

Biography/Work Experience

Michael Schwab Biography by Amos Klausner There is a classic, timeless quality about the work of graphic artist Michael Schwab. Focusing on the interplay of positive and negative space, Michael creates iconic images that are strong and simple yet always contemporary. Using black as the foundation for his forms, Michael builds light and dimension into the picture plane by adding blocks or flat, bold colors. The result is highly disciplined, defined by dramatic perspectives, stunning clarity, and immediate recognition. Michael has the unique ability to stop time and engage audiences with his resonant images. He offers a quiet pause that codifies his work as thoughtful, lasting, and sustainable; characteristics that are increasingly rare in our fast paced, information saturated society. Michael Schwab was born and raised in Ardmore, Oklahoma, originally a small farming community just north of the Red River. Working cattle on horseback at his grandfather’s ranch, fishing, and hunting, Michael gained an early appreciation and respect for the land, experiences that would seep into and help shape his mature artwork. In Ardmore, cotton gave way to oil and for Michael, Ardmore gave way to East Texas State University where, in 1970, he enrolled to study design and illustration. Michael followed this with an intensive year of course work at New York City’s School of Visual Arts focused on advertising. Leaving New York, Michael made his way to California and the distinguished Art Center College of Design where he received a degree in graphic design. Despite his bi-coastal influences Michael never forgot his roots. Instead he embraced his heritage through heroic and meaningful portrayals of the people and places that typify the American West. Committed to recording and recounting a shared American experience Michael is one of America’s most recognized and beloved illustrators. Today, Michael works at his low-tech drafting table in a small, high-tech studio tucked just below Mount Tamalpais, the Marin County landmark that Michael skillfully captured in his highly regarded suite of images created for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Influenced by great America artists like Maynard Dixon, Rockwell Kent, and Maxfield Parrish, Michael Schwab creates award-winning posters, logos, and advertising images for clients that include: Nike, Polo, Mondavi, Wells Fargo, Amtrak, Sundance, Pebble Beach, the San Francisco Opera, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, and, of course, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. And true to his inner cowboy Michael still appreciates a good old-fashioned rodeo.