CREATIVE DIRECTOR/HEAD OF DESIGN
Matt is the Head of Design and Creative Director at Fortnight Collective, a marketing agency focused on helping brands be better, faster. Their model centers around their Brandhack™ process in which they take creative work from concept to creation within two weeks. Matt’s projects with Fortnight range from building visual identity systems, to packaging design, to brand building campaign work for clients like Odell Brewing Co, ONE Protein Bars, Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt, Health•Ade Kombucha, and Noodles & Company.
During his nearly 20 years of diverse professional experience, Matt has worked at agencies like Element 79 and Crispin Porter + Bogusky on big brand campaigns for Coca-Cola, Gatorade, Under Armour, Microsoft, and Miller Lite. He worked at pop culture brand, Kidrobot — one of the earliest creators of designer art toys in America — where he led the 2D design and marketing team. He’s also worked in the NGO space for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, an organization dedicated to addressing the climate crisis. There he harnessed the mighty power of advertising for good by utilizing the same strategies and disciplines used for big brand marketing to insert the climate conversation into popular culture. Throughout his years of experience, Matt has been passionate about helping guide young creatives, both within his role as Creative Director and as a professor at the University of Colorado, where he taught Intro to Art Direction.
Looking forward to 2023, are you optimistic about the role and impact of Graphic Design and Visual Communication in Business? Culture? Causes? Have the events and disruptions of the past few years changed the role or trajectory of Graphic Design?
I feel that brand design is going through a bit of a humanist movement right now. Like Art Nouveau shook off the impersonal touch of assembly lines and the industrial revolution, it seems more organic, emotive, authentic, character-driven design is taking shape in response to the last decade of the clean, sleek, perfect aesthetic driven by modern tech.
Bright and buzzy RGB palettes are being replaced with earth tones, functional san serif fonts are being swapped for more expressive and handmade typography, rigid layout grids are being rebelled against, and art-led, hand-made, illustration-based design is on rise.
As AI continues to get smarter and more capable, and templatized design tools are becoming more accessible and easy to use, I’m excited to see how brands will have to evolve to express their true character. And how an artistic human touch in design can help create more diverse and unique perspectives, and more authentic and relatable brand personalities.