Matthew, Design Director, Hong Kong
We took a few minutes to catch up with Matt, Design Director in our Hong Kong studio.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Growing up, my home was a loud and exciting place! I am the youngest of five and being a twin, I found that creativity allowed me to express myself as an individual. I started my design career as a packaging designer in London and worked there for a year where I found my feet as a designer and built a strong foundation and understanding of the creative industry. I started my journey with FITCH in the London office where I worked for 10 years. I will always treasure my time in London office as I made friendships for life and it shaped me as the designer I am today.
In 2017, I was given an opportunity to work in the Hong Kong office for three months. I was excited about the opportunity of working in a new FITCH studio and also experience everything Hong Kong had to offer. Three months quickly turned into six months and before I knew it, I had made it my new home. Like with many people, Hong Kong took a hold of me and I now have a fiancé, a rescue puppy and a new baby daughter called Lily. I can safely say that saying ‘yes’ to a 3-month work placement in Hong Kong worked out quite nicely… I am very grateful to FITCH for starting this journey that I find myself on and there are not many companies out there that can offer these types of opportunities.
3 words to describe FITCH?
Creative. Versatile. Community.
Creative: FITCH has always impressed me with the sheer abundance of talented and creative thinkers we have in our large team across the globe. It is an exciting and challenging environment that nurtures individuals’ skills and disciplines.
Versatile: FITCH has always been great at adapting to its environment and finding a way of getting the best out of any given opportunity for a client. FITCH has been renowned for years in the physical retail design world but it’s great to see that, in more recent times, it has really built a strong digital and branding offer that is world class. I’ve been blown away by how FITCH has proved its versatility in adapting to the global pandemic and the new ways of working. Despite these unprecedented and challenging times, the FITCH family still manages to produce breathtaking work even though the majority involved have been working remotely.
Community: I feel a real sense of community is at the heart of everything FITCH does. I now have two FITCH homes: London and Hong Kong. I feel very lucky to have experienced two incredibly diverse studios, both with the same passion for a sense of belonging. This year has seen many new challenges and now more than ever, with the new group offering of Landor and FITCH, this community has been cemented ever further with many more creative opportunities!
What has been your favorite project at FITCH? And why?
That is a tricky question! Different projects at different stages of my career stand out for different reasons. Growing up in a family surrounded by keen motor racing enthusiasts, I remember jumping at the chance when I was asked to help the team create Virgin’s first ever (probably last) F1 team’s brand identity. Creating a new identity for such a well-known international brand was both exciting and demanding. That was about 10 years ago and since then, I’ve worked on numerous automotive brands including some more recently new EV brands in China such as Bordrin, where I lead a fantastic and hardworking team in creating Bordrin’s new visual identity, website and auto show.
Where do you find creative inspiration in Hong Kong?
Inspiration is everywhere! Hong Kong is so rich with textures/contrasts, between old and new, that it never fails to surprise me. I wouldn’t say I hunt for inspiration as all I need to do is look up. It is a city that is steeped in culture. In one direction you could be looking at an array of some amazing neon art and on the other some quaint traditional antique stalls. I particularly enjoy looking at the amazing artwork and street art that enriches the city.
You have worked in FITCH London for 10 years, and now in FITCH Hong Kong for more than 3 years. How was the transition? And would you recommend other designers to do so if they have the opportunity?
I remember the first day when I checked into my Hong Kong Airbnb. I thought to myself, “What the *FITCH am I doing!!” I knew absolutely no one and it really was a little scary at first, but as soon as I had completed my first week with my new team it immediately felt like a home from home.
I highly recommend anyone to try and experience other studios. It really broadens your view and encourages you to strive for new opportunities while giving you the chance to benefit from our great network. I believe you should be thrown out of your comfort zone to help push yourself further and as a bonus you get to see other parts of world!
Photography: Courtesy of Virgin