Henry McGill launched hmc design in 1994, five years after earning his BFA in Graphic Design from “Harvard on Halsted”—the Univ of IL Chicago. He interned at a River North design firm, worked 4 years at the American College of Healthcare Executives and 1 year at Practice Development Institute, now PDI Global.
Henry is married to Kristin, who friends consider the beauty and brains of the operation. The McGills have a smart, lovely and athletic teenage daughter, who sometimes gets off her iPhone long enough to clean her room. They all love 10-year old “puppy” Freddie—the female shih tzu—who’s a constant reminder to never lose your sense of humor.
Ten curveballs, tidbits or lesser-known facts about Henry:
- Both his parents were born on dairy farms on the west coast of Ireland. They moved to the west side of Chicago in 1959.
- Spiderman was his original muse for drawing and illustration work. Spidey provided inspiration and acrobatic moves—both quite useful to an aspiring illustrator, circa 1978.
- InAGaddaDaVida. He once played the organ in his sleep, being a semi-pro sleepwalker during a period of self-taught organ training (which sounds weird, though we’re leaving it in.)
- Henry was arrested when he was 16 yrs old. OK, it was not an actual arrest. A group of baseball players—in full uniform—were herded into Paddy wagons with the local park’s young gangsters. Chicago’s finest were either scaring ’em straight or deeply disappointed in their on-base percentage.
- Henry once caddied for Mike Royko. Surprise—Mike was kinda cranky and a bit sloppy around the sandtrap.
(For those born into a “Generation-” with end-of-alphabet delineation, Royko was a famously grouchy and brilliant Chicago writer and columnist.)
- Nerd alert. Henry had a perfect attendance in HS.
- He ran a marathon at age 17. He commuted down and started the race alone, then paced a colorful gent from Seal Beach CA, who ran all 26.2 miles backwards.
- Before the advent of frizz-free hair product, Henry sported ‘dos ranging from The Peter Brady to The Curly Mullet and from The Low-end Afro to Dry-look Jheri Curl.
- He paid for college with a bank job (NOT slang for robbery) and earned extra cash on the after-hours ATM service team. Friends often volunteered to jam cards and envelopes into said machines to generate easy service calls. It’s alleged he never accepted those offers.
- Henry held his HS high jump record (St Patrick High School) for many years. He was 5’10” and cleared 6’2″—not an easy task with that ‘fro.
- BONUS tidbit that always seems to impress the young’ns. Henry holds the distinction as graphic designer of Umphreys McGee’s first two CDs. Go UMPH!