Michael Waitsman (November 26, 1947 - February 19, 1995) was an Illinois game designer, photographer, and writer who invented the board games Protheus and Void. He was the president of Synthesis Concepts Incorporated, a Michigan Avenue graphic-design company.
Thanks to the internet archive, the last copy of his web design page:
Michael was one of the most visionary graphic designers. He was one of those rare creative geniuses who are also a technical guru. Combined with vision, Michael was always ahead of his time. In his early 20's, he earned the industry's highest design award: CA 77. This gave him the confidence to venture forward as a maverick.
Michael's talents were sparked when his background in photography and an education in computers became the doorway to the future of design — one that he would help to build. Working as a freelancer for several years, he teamed up with Liane Sebastian (the principal of MichaeLight and the creator of this site) in 1978 to form a partnership. Their work grew to international acclaim, winning awards and designing visionary projects for a wide range of clients, such as the Great Books Foundation, the American Bar Association, World Book Encyclopedia, and Hyatt International Hotels.
Michael founded ADAPT — the Association for the Development of Electronic Publishing Technique — which grew to over 600 members in the mid-80s, as desktop publishing was being born. Michael and Liane's design firm, Synthesis Concepts, Inc., was one of the first firms in Chicago to work to the Macintosh computer — defining the cutting edge for the next ten years.
Also in the days before desktop publishing, Michael had designed a mathematical system for laying out a magazine when the IBM PC first come out. When the Mac was born through PageMaker and the laserwriter, he was one of its first customers. A pioneer beta tester for Aldus, Adobe, and Macromedia, Michael had laid an exciting platform to move Synthesis into multimedia, interactive and Internet design. Michael's last passion was for interactive presentations created in Director.
As Michael was finally combining all his skills into the new medium of the Internet (already a CompuServe user from the beginning), tragedy struck. Michael was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1993 (his grandmother believed it was because he thought too much). His greatest wish was to be a part of the Internet revolution, and his work helped bring computers to design and to show us the path and the skills we all need to cultivate and thrive in a technological art form.
That's why the design firm MichaeLight and this Web site must be named after Michael Waitsman, 1946–1995.