SENIOR PARTNER, DESIGN, LIPPINCOTT
Su Mathews has 20 years of experience in the creation and development of branding, identity systems, publications, interactive media, annual reports, way-finding and promotion projects for global organizations. At Lippincott, she has led the creation of a unique select service brand for Hyatt called Hyatt Place. This branding initiative included positioning, naming, logo design and a sensory identity system with a signature scent and soundtrack. She also helped lead the development and launch of Walmart’s brand revitalization, a massive repositioning that contemporized the brand while retaining the values of its legacy and heritage. Elements of the program include a refreshed visual identity, an enhanced customer experience instore and online, an award-winning employee brand book, and an overall alignment with the retailer’s brand essence. Her clients have included The Art Institute of Chicago, Chick-fil-A, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Disney, Financial Engines, Hershey, Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotel Group, JPMorgan, Liz Claiborne, Loews Cineplex Theatres, New York Public Library, Peddie School, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, RadioShack, Random House, Tauck, the U.S. Department of State, United and Walmart.
Where were you born and where do you live now? How does that affect your design sensibility?
I grew up in a small town upstate New York with a population of around 1800 people, but for the past 23 years I have been living in NYC. What a difference! It’s hard to imagine living anyplace else. The culture and energy of New York influences my design sensibility from food and people, to fashion and art. It’s an endless source of inspiration.
Who would you say is the most influential graphic designer of the past 50 years? How have they influenced your design?
I don’t think any one person has been the most influential. Instead, it is significant events and shifts in culture – like the Internet boom, the economic crash and rise of social media – that have the greatest impact on design.
What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
I approach design as a problem solver. I love to solve design problems by thinking about the fundamental challenge and how to best answer it in a way that's conceptual, as well as meaningful. But I can’t just do pretty design. Sometimes, I wish I could.
I'm a bit old school. I can basically design anything with Franklin Gothic, Garamond and Helvetica. All the typefaces out there overwhelm me!
I'm easily impressed when it comes to apps but I only have about five on my phone. My favorite app is Alarm.com. I can set my house alarm, see who enters, disarm it, and see people at my house.
Favorite TV Shows?
Mad Men, Project Runway, Top Chef, X Factor, The Good Wife
Least favorite right now is 50 Shades of Grey. Lame on all sorts of levels.
Cinema Paradiso, Shawshank Redemption, Superbad, Bridesmaids.
Favorite Musician or Band?
Favorite Fine Artist?
Never bookmark sites but I probably should to save time
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
I've always wished that I could sing. It's incredible how someone's voice can move people to tears.
Mantra or Saying You Live By?
I don’t have mantras. It prevents you from seeing things differently.