Educated close to Dallas, Texas, Cina spent countless nights playing records in its reemerging dance music scene. The unorthodox approach to music publications and packaging that flourished in this period would prove to have a lasting influence on his work in design.
Cina began his design career in 1996, leaving college in pursuit of an advertising job in Minneapolis. At the time, he was one of a handful of designers who had begun posting new work and typefaces on the web. Within a couple of years, he had garnered the attention of numerous publications eager to feature his "personal" design work, a relatively new concept in the world of graphic design. He later expanded this personal vision to trueistrue.com, where the notion of art and design blurred into a virtual gallery of ideas.
As co-founder of the award-winning design studio, WeWorkForThem (established in the early 2000s), Cina was propelled to the forefront of America's design scene. While other design firms were closing their doors, his company flourished. YouWorkForThem followed shortly thereafter, becoming the preeminent design shop for typefaces and art/design books.
Joining Ghostly International in late 2007, Cina fused his love of design, painting, and photography into an aesthetic whole, bringing a radical new visual perspective to the company. In 2010 Cina left YWFT to return to the world of commercial design, founding his own studio, Cina Associates. For more insight, read our interview with Sam Valenti IV and Michael Cina.