rat = michael ratcliff

I’m a Creative Director who combines big ideas and good design with sound strategy to help businesses achieve their goals. A life-long learner with a curious mind. A thoughtful marketing veteran with a background in the energy industry, financial services and recruitment with a passion for creating positive change for organizations and better outcomes for their customers. When I’m not greasing the wheels of capitalism, you can find me running through the countryside, have my nose buried in a book or spending time with my family.


BTW — Mickey Mouse isn’t pictured here because I really like him or for irony or anything like that. I got this mug back in 1989, about a month into my first job out of college and Mickey has been with my the whole time.

20 quick stories in 20 quick years

As Creative Director of Schlumberger
(November 2013 – present)
01. Organizational design: Rethought and redesigned the structure of the marketing department to
break down silos between the marketing groups, all in an effort to elevate the creative services we provide and professionalize the function in order to increase employee retention.

02. Workfront: Implemented a project management platform to not only manage our budget and resources better, but also maximize the marketing spend for our internal stakeholders.

03. Hub Design: Designed wireframes for the 2nd largest intranet site in the world.

04. DLS: An ongoing project where I am aligning various initiatives across Schlumberger, from software to web to mobility, to adopt a common Design Language that will enhance the user experience when customers engage with a digital property.

05. The Drilling Cube: As the Drilling Group Creative Director, I created a 4K interactive experience on an 84-inch touch screens built into the shape of a cube, showcasing the latest drilling technologies Schlumberger offers from surface to total depth.

06. GeoSphere: Serving as the Art Director for Drilling & Measurements, I directed the worldwide
product launch for one of the world’s most innovative drilling technologies with a multimedia stage production and trade show support in Abu Dhabi.

07. PowerDrive Orbit: Created and designed the commercialization collateral for launch of one of
the company’s most profitable rotary steerables.

As Project Manager, Marketing Design at PULSE
(June 2010 – November 2013)
08. pulsenetwork.com: Collaborated with MCD Partners to design and relaunch the corporate website, all the while allowing secure transactions to continue to flow through the interchange switch.

09. Cadence Bank: Designed debit cards and marketing support collateral in an effort to increase adoption of Discover Debit.

10. Debit Now. The 2013 PULSE Conference: Created the theme, messaging and design of the premier annual event for the debit industry, also developed the plans to extend the event’s reach beyond the show and into additional channels.

As Creative Director, Designer & Resilient Optimist of Ratcliff Creative
(November 2008 – June 2010)
11. OpenAlgae: Branded a biotech start up with a name that has since become synonymous with this oil extraction technology in the alternative energy community.

12. While running a small business out of my dining room, I proudly serviced an A-list group of clients, including FMC Technologies, Emerson Process Management and Shell.

As Creative Director of Unleaded Communications
(October 2006 – October 2008)
13. Aggreko Storm Shield: Developed a campaign for a failing service that ended up exceeding sales expectations so much that the program had to be shut down because the company could no longer fulfill the incoming requests.

14. Allied Alloys: Branding campaign that was awarded the Best of Texas by the Houston Chapter of the Business Marketing Association in 2007.

As Associate Creative Director at Croxson Design
(September 1999 – October 2006)
15. Weatherford advertising: Wrote and designed a series of ads that crushed the Harvey Readership surveys while increasing overall awareness of the company’s offerings.

16. Episcopal Diocese of Texas: The children’s nursery rhyme “Here is the church, here is the steeple…” becomes the central theme to a monumental fundraising campaign. A simple, clean design allows exquisite photography by Ricardo Merendoni to shine, showing a diverse set of hands communicate the message.

17. ExxonMobil in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: This is the single most expensive book I ever designed. About US $250 a copy, this book was given to the Crown Prince as part of a bid proposal, recounting the long history of Exxon inside the Kingdom.

As Art Director at J. Walter Thompson
(March 1997 – August 1999)
18. Captain Q: I loved comic books as a kid and finally got the chance to produce my own. Possibly the coolest piece of recruitment collateral ever conceived — The Addys agreed with me. Not only visually arresting, the campaign met the quarterly hiring goals within a couple of weeks.

19. Compaq Recruitment Campaign: The first ad in this campaign was the most successful advert I have ever done. The first day the ad broke, Compaq received so many résumés via email that their server crashed.

As Graphic Designer at The ForeFront Group
(February 1996 – March 1997)
20. Commercial software launch: In addition to designing the company’s visual identity, I designed the retail packaging. There’s nothing like seeing your package designs lining the shelves of a Best Buy on the other side of the country.