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Modus Operandi Design /

As the founder and creative director of Modus Operandi Design (formerly PlutoMedia), Patrick Mitchell was responsible for the 2012 launch of Mansueto Ventures’ revolutionary new media project, The Build Network, a ‘catalog’ of cutting-edge ideas for forward-thinking businesses. In 2009-2010, he served as the Design Director of Hearst Corporation’s O, The Oprah Magazine, where he initiated the magazine’s first-ever redesign in September 2009. His January 2010 cover of O was the best-selling issue in the magazine’s history. He is a 2-time winner and 6-time finalist for the coveted ASME National Magazine Award. Also in 2009, we rolled out the SPD-award-winning redesign of Boston magazine, as well as its subsidiary titles: Boston Home, Boston Weddings, and New England Travel

Mitchell has also served as Design Director of Nylon magazine—for which he was a National Magazine Award finalist in 2006—and created Nylon Guys, its sister publication. 

Over the past several years, Mitchell has completed several high-profile launches. Success, a 100-year-old title which ceased publication in 2001, was relaunched in 2006 as a business magazine focusing on work/life balance. It was named by Samir Husni (“Mr. Magazine”) and Media Industry News as one of the top 15 launches of 2006. His work on the launch of 02138, “a Vanity Fair-style magazine” aimed at Harvard graduates also made headlines in 2006. In addition, he was instrumental in the 2005 creation and launch of Tango, a national relationship magazine partnering with Yahoo! Personals. Mitchell was named “Launch Creative Director of the Year” by Media Industry News for his work on these titles.

Before launching PlutoMedia, Patrick Mitchell was VP/Creative Director of Grüner+Jahr USA’s Business Innovator Group (a division of Germany’s Bertelsmann AG) and the founding Design Director of Fast Company. Fast Company is one the most successful launches in magazine history, and was named by both Advertising Age and Adweek as “Startup of the Year” in 1996. In 2000 it was named Advertising Age’s “Magazine of the Year.”

As the Fast Company design director, Mitchell was the winner of the prestigious 2000 National Magazine Award for Excellence in Design, as well as a finalist for both the 1999 and 1998 National Magazine Awards. In 1999, the Fast Company received the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. He was also awarded the Society of Publication Designers top honor: The 2000 Magazine of the Year Award. He has been the recipient of over 150 awards (including “Magazine of the Year” finalist in 1999 and 1998, 4 Gold and 11 Silver Medals) from the SPD. His 2001 redesign of Inc. magazine earned a Silver Medal from the SPD. He was also named by Folio magazine as one of the 40 Most Influential People in Publishing.

Before joining FC, he was the Corporate Design Director of Gloucester Publishers, whose properties included Old-House Interiors, Old-House Journal, and the award-winning and critically acclaimed environmental journal, Garbage. Mitchell’s work at Garbage was featured in an article in Print magazine and in the book Magazines Inside & Out, where author Steven Heller stated: “Garbage magazine’s design was not only smart for specialized magazines, but was a model for all contemporary magazines.”

He has won numerous awards from the SPD, Graphis, Communication Arts, American Illustration, American Photography, Society of Newspaper Design, and Print’s Regional Design Annuals. His typographic work was included in Graphis Typography 2, featuring the work of leading contemporary designers worldwide. Mitchell is frequent lecturer and is asked to judge top design competitions aound the world. He is a graduate of the Design School at the University of Mississippi. He grew up in Dallas, Texas, and currently resides in Rockport, Massachusetts. 


Clients /

Atlantic Media
Barnes & Noble
Bell Canada
Condé Nast
Dartmouth College
Fairchild Publications
Grüner + Jahr
IFC: The Independent Film Channel
Hearst Corporation
Harvard University
Johns Hopkins University Medical Center
Monitor Institute
Mansueto Ventures
Massachusetts General Hospital
Meredith Corporation
National Geographic Society
Spafax Canada
Time, Inc.


Twitter Feed /

What Our Clients Say /

“Patrick Mitchell is one of the most talented designers I've ever known or worked with. He combines great creativity, excellent taste, fantastic energy, and an exceptional degree of professionalism and care for the finished product. He is one of the few designers who not only work tirelessly to make the product "look right"; he also matches the look and feel of the design to the words and meaning of the whole project. I can recommend him with the highest regard.”

Alan Webber, co-founder, Fast Company

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“Here are a few things you get when you have Patrick Mitchell on your team: A brilliant creative director who is also an all-around innovative thinker. A guy who’s won all the industry’s big awards (most of them more than once) but remains very much a student of his trade who knows as much about turn-of-the-century newspaper typography as he does the latest aesthetic trends—and takes all that knowledge and turns it into a style all his own. A designer with great taste and big ideas who can also problem-solve and always makes sure his layouts are in service of the message the story needs to send. Oh, and also, a veteran manager who inspires loyalty from his people and makes an office more fun. I consider myself lucky to have worked with him.”

James Burnett, The New Republic

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“Put simply, Patrick Mitchell is the most talented, creative, determined art director I have ever known. He wasn't just part of the original team at Fast Company, he was one of the faces on our version of Mt. Rushmore. The entire organization looked up to him, not just for his great work but for his unflagging spirit and unrivaled leadership. He has applied those same skills and values in his life and work after Fast Company. I am proud to call him a colleague and a friend—someone whom I admire, and who never fails to dazzle.”

William Taylor, co-founder, Fast Company & author of Mavericks at Work