Matthew Nichol is a freelance graphic designer from the North of England. His bold statement ‘YOU DECIDE’ project caught my attention immediately. I heard through the grape-vine that he was just 'starting out' so I wanted to know where he is planning to take his design work and what his aspirations are...
Matt, what’s your story? How did you get to where you are today? I'm literally just starting out and my biggest opportunities have come from the most unlikeliest places, my first design job two years ago was working with a whale and dolphin charity and I have literally swam through whale sh*t to get to where I am today... No joke!
Which is your favourite graphic design project to date and why? That would have to be my recent A-ok poster. It was produced for Erik Brandt's typographic project, ‘Ficciones Typografika.’ I love the simplicity and its immediate connection.
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old? An F1 driver, Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. So nothing too far out of reach!
Which UNI did you go to and what did you study? Graphics and Illustration at the University of Coventry.
What’s the proudest moment of your career to date? I feel proud every time someone appreciates my work.
Which project has been a highlight? I'll tell you when I come to it…
How do you promote yourself? Up to now I've been quite lucky on having word of mouth on my side. I've only just published my website this past month and so far so good…
Do you love or loathe social media? I'd say I'm caught in the middle; it's definitely a love-hate relationship. I love it for the fact of being immediate live information but it can get too much some times, there's so much information that I just want to ingest and that’s when procrastination kicks in.
Which tools do you use to create stuff? At the moment it's mostly Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign but I never know which direction the next project will take me. The tools are totally dependant upon what I want to create.
Where did the ‘YOU DECIDE’ project come from? How did you go about capturing such an important subject matter through design? I was working with an animal charity at the time so the project was an outcome of the organisation’s daily focus. It was purely an “Ah-Ha” moment that I wanted to create into a campaign that would get the charity noticed and most importantly bring awareness to the public. Until you're actually involved with an organisation like that you wouldn't know that 100 million sharks are killed each year due to shark finning or that some species of rhino are literally on the brink of extinction, so I really wanted to create something that could hit home and bring realisation to people a thousand miles away.
Where do you find inspiration? It may sound a bit cliché but everywhere, I find the more I take in the more ‘flash’ moments I get.
What’s your favourite music to work to? It's most likely some ACDC, a bit of Blood Orange, and recently Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony, makes me feel like I'm doing something worth-while… I also like to use a programme called 8 tracks because you can listen to mixes by mood or genre, so mood is definitely a big influencer.
Which blog/magazine do you read religiously? I follow quite a few on social media so whichever articles capture my eye l will read. But saying that I do like a bit of Dazed, I love their style and forward-thinking culture.
What do you spread on your toast in the morning? An omelette!
What are you working on at the moment? I've got a few ideas that have been floating around for quite some time so I'm just in the process of bringing them to fruition. I've also just started a project called ‘Candid Cover Up’ – A fashion project which was designed purely for fun and experimentation.