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Tom Mattison talks working with Nike and living his dream
Always having an interest in art and design, Tom Mattison found a way to explore his passion in a way that allows those all over the world to appreciate his work.

As a creative artworker, Mattison lends his artistic talents to the advertising world, a job that he truly enjoys. Working in advertising allows him to explore the relationship between creative ideas and the wider audience. Unlike a personal artistic practice, which is an individual exploration, advertising needs to be universal, which is why he loves what he does so much.

"I enjoy exploring the different ways in which presenting a concept needs to be approached to be relevant and effective. It also means that my work once produced reaches a wide and varied audience," he said.

As a creative artworker, Mattison liaises closely with various people in the production chain of some of the world's biggest brands, from design teams to account executives and project managers. He is responsible for the final stage of the design process, supplying the visuals and files to clients for approval and execution supply. No two days are alike, managing a variety of projects simultaneously.

Such projects include work for Selfridges, GAP, and Vans. That being said, Mattison is best known for his outstanding work withthe iconic global brand, Nike. Last October, Mattison led the design team on the Nike NBA Launch at their flagship store in London. The project received international acclaim, covered by news outlets, vast social media attention, and NBA players visiting the store to promote the sponsorship deal.

The NBA Launch was not, however, Mattison's first taste of success with Nike. Earlier in the year, he designed the brand's "London's Fastest" campaign. Centered around Nike's national running initiative aimed at mobilising the youth of London into running, Mattison was tasked with redefining and contextualizing the visual identity provided for Nike Town in London. He worked on developing the directive into 2D and 3D graphic elements across all four floors of the store, providing creative guidance, design resolution and flowing new ideas into production.

"I was excited to work on a project that was centred around running in London, the place I live and work. There were many extensions of the campaign such as events and activations which only added further exposure to the project and the aspects I had done the artwork for," he said.

Working alongside his colleague at Genix Imaging LTD, Simon Willis, as well as the Running Brand representative at Nike, Sara Williams, Mattison was asked to lead this project from an artwork and design perspective by the team. Given his previous experience with the brand and working relationships with those involved, he was the ideal fit.

"It was good to know I played a role in such a large city-wide event. Alongside the graphics I worked on at Nike Town London, the flagship store, there were also events across the city," he said.

The visual identity of the campaign was initially designed in-house by the London Nike brand design team. During the process of developing the 2D concept into an in-store realization, Mattison and his team were in continual conversation with Nike on how everything would come together, working collaboratively to ensure all deliverables were included within the design of the space.

The overall campaign vision was very impactful, with large bright colourful window light boxes and a custom-built 3D installation in the entrance. There were other elements throughout the store to engage and draw customers to different areas inside. The project involved several elements that had not been outlined within the brief. Mattison was in charge of designing graphic treatments for 80 per cent of the store, keeping in mind the creative style that was akin to the campaign aesthetic. It was a tremendous amount of responsibility, and he excelled. His understanding of the design concept and his adaptability to elaborate and expand designs meant the outcome wasn't restricted to what was originally conceived. As a result, the campaign reached its potential and was captivating across all four floors of the flagship store.

"The look and feel of the graphics wasa layered aesthetic (torn paper edges, with photography showing from beneath) alongside vector graphics such as cartoon details and patterns. This meant every image was quite intricate in its look. I enjoyed the technical aspects of the project and how I was pushed to extend the creative across all floors of the store," he said.

Needless to say, Mattison has had quite the career, and only plans on continuing to work with global brands. He is currently pursuing 3D design and visualization as an extension of his artworking role, as he enjoys bringing concepts that are often presented in 2D format into reality. Such skills are not only valuable to the client but are expected to become more and more in demand. Mattison knows the importance of staying up to date with such trends, and he encourages any looking to follow in his footsteps to do the same.

"Learning the process from start to finish thoroughly is very useful and gives you a better idea of why things are done the way they are. This will make you do things better in the future because you understand them. I would also say observing and learning from colleagues and others working within the field is extremely productive. The greater the spectrum of techniques you can learn from other people, the better you can perfect your own," he advised.

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