Matthew Schwartz

ptw16-matt-schwartz

FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY, CONSTRUCTIVE, NEW YORK NY

Matt Schwartz is the Founder and Director of Strategy of Constructive, a specialized branding and design firm dedicated to helping nonprofits and educational organizations achieve greater social impact. For 20 years, Matt has combined expertise in developing strategy, design, and messaging to create brand strategies and experiences that strengthen organizational identity and cohesion, and increase capacity and impact. Matt is a frequently writer and presenter for industry publications and events who currently writes Cause-Driven Design®, a bi-weekly column with Philanthropy News Digest. His work has been awarded and profiled by GDUSA, The Webbys, Communication Arts, Print Magazine, The International Academy of the Visual Arts, and others. Matt earned his B.A. from Sarah Lawrence with a dual concentration in Writing and Visual Studies; then pursued post-graduate design studies at the SVA, RISD, and Parsons.

WHERE OR HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN WORK?
Design is a strategic and creative discipline for solving problems, so I find inspiration first in understanding the issues our clients are trying to address, and then in the rich history and fundamentals of communications design we apply to help them do so.

HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW AFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?
Born in NYC, raised in New Jersey and New York. Every designer’s work is shaped by their surroundings but if I had to pick the two biggest influences on my design sensibilities, they are mid-20th century design and typography ‒ particularly Swiss, Dutch, and American ‒ and contemporary interactive design.

FAVORITE COLOR?
Bluish Green or Greenish Blue

FAVORITE TYPEFACE?
Freight Sans/Serif/Micro Family

FAVORITE TV SHOW?
The Wire

FAVORITE BOOKS?
Confederacy of Dunces, A Friend of the Earth

FAVORITE MOVIES?
Raging Bull, The Royal Tenenbaums, Birdman

FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR BANDS?
Alice Donut, Jawbox, The Pretenders (original lineup only!), Courtney Barnett

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA?
Personal: Facebook
Professional: Twitter

FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
Picasso, Chuck Close

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
An obsessive focus on details.

TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
Organizational Planning

ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Never be satisfied with your work, but know when to wrap things up and move onto the next challenge.

IF NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Broke

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Design is the act of changing existing situations into ones that are preferred.

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