James Mikol - 2002 Hall of Fame Agency/Print Promotion Inductee
Jim Mikol considers himself lucky to have worked during the nascent period of digital imaging. The experience prepared him for his current position as senior vice president and director of print with Leo Burnett USA Inc. of Chicago. Previously, he was charged with improving the quality and performance of the advertising agency's print department.
"We prepare and deliver images worldwide and one of the things we worked very hard to set up was a distribution system where we could distribute four-color images around the world," says Mikol. "Moving to digital allowed us to take the inefficiencies out of production and make a better product at a lower cost."
The transition to digital required an understanding of the color spaces and characteristics used throughout the world, which are different than those used in the States. Under Mikol's direction Leo Burnett created its own color space, and required its prepress department and suppliers to adhere to that standard to produce a predictable proof.
A love of photography
Mikol always had an interest in photography and attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, to pursue a communication arts degree with a specialization in film. He started his career with the first of two stints at Kraft Foods in the creative services area.
"It was a newly formed group and brought together photography, print, audio visual and sales promotion," Mikol says. "This was in 1976 and I got a good introduction into a lot of fields from working there for nine years. Eventually I became manager of the creative services group."
In 1985, Mikol joined Madden Communications, an innovative print communications company, as creative director, which really meant creating the department that pushed Madden toward becoming a total communications system. While there, he created a single-source print option of integrated marketing solutions for a number of clients including Sears and Kraft.