PRINT + PIXELS + PEOPLE
As a creative director, I bring the spotlight to brands small and large, new and established. In my hands, traditional media finds a new voice and emerging platforms serve as a springboard for innovation. I employ my 17+ years in strategic branding and graphic design to shape, sharpen, and lead exciting creative campaigns that distinguish client products and advance business objectives.
Brand Strategy • Team Leadership • Graphic Design • Target Marketing • Strategic Planning • Teamwork • Creative Communications • Training & Development • Partnerships • Customer Engagement • Brand Consistency • Mentoring & Coaching • Vendor Management • Relationship Building • Emerging Trends • Project Management • Standard/Policy Development • Scalability • Process Streamlining • Creative Vision
Total Expert (SaaS company)
Minneapolis, MN • 2018-2019
Collaborated with executive teams, marketers, and designers to develop innovative marketing campaigns for a diverse set of clients, building graphic brand consistency across all channels.
Supervised, mentored, and coached 6 direct reports, guiding a small, adept team in management of an oversized workload (800 annual projects). This included initiatives related to social media graphics, landing pages, emails, tradeshow displays, and marketing materials.
Led brand campaign projects, directing collaborative efforts with clients to deliver product launches, special projects, and seasonal releases that reinforced brand positioning, values, and voice.
Developed communications processes across departments, aligning operations with customer service focus.
Repaired frayed relationships with marketers, merchandisers, and writers, driving timely execution of brand campaign deliverables within budget demands.
Leveraged knowledge of emerging industry trends to tailor strategy, objectives, testing initiatives, and data analytics, allowing the organization to incorporate groundbreaking ideas.
Established scalable creative client services, implementing a cohesive graphic brand strategy across client websites, emails, social media, paid advertising, and print materials.
Streamlined company brand guidelines to deliver memorable marketing materials, utilizing graphic elements such as photography, typography, and illustrations.
Redesigned company website, coordinating with developers to create an eye-catching site within budgetary and time constraints. Achieved 63% increase in users within 60 days and 20% boost in marketing qualified leads.
PROFESSIONAL LITHO (creative services agency)
Minneapolis, MN • 2013 - 2017
Directed the Creative and Photography Departments (10 staff), leading complex creative projects across multiple departments and bringing in $1.1M (up from $650K) and $1.5M (up from $1.2M) respectively in revenue.
Worked with clients ranging from large (Polaris—recreational vehicles, Red Wing Shoes, Land O’Lakes—food, Allsteel—retail furniture, and Mosaic—mining) to small (Abdo Books, Hammer Stahl—retail cookware, Mindware—retail toys/game, and By the Yard—retail furniture).
Provided integrated marketing campaigns (in-store marketing, packaging, store display, point of purchase, signage, merchandising, logo design, and collateral), driving business through creative vision.
Inspired production-oriented staff to learn about design, developing world-class team of creative talent.
Introduced software programs to streamline communication processes, strengthening client relationships.
Collaborated with key sales staff, participating intensively in the creative aspects of product development and niche positioning (planning, development, design, and brand promotion) to ensure creative excellence.
MEDTRONIC (medical device company)
Senior Art Director
Mounds View, MN • 2013
Oversaw development and implementation of branding, logo design, and corporate communication strategies, performing tactical assessments and analyses of target markets/clients.
Liaised with clients, vendors, marketing consultants, and executive management, ensuring client satisfaction, timely implementation, and clear communication of status updates across teams.
Partnered with operations staff and multi-disciplinary teams on all creative aspects of product collateral development, including conception, design, and production.
CAMBRIA (building materials company)
Creative Manager/Lead Photographer
Eden Prairie, MN • 2010 - 2012
Supervised the Creative Services Department, directing project workflow, ensuring the consistency of design for brand style, and directing photography to be used for marketing/tradeshow materials as well as internal corporate communications.
Designed and managed internal brand standards for corporate marketing media, rapidly synthesizing information, managing complexity, and eliminating brand inconsistency.
Created requisition processes that kept the marketing/communications and creative services teams informed.
Cultivated strong relationships with stakeholders, resulting in influential connections and the delivery of marketing/branding solutions that achieved desired outcomes.
BEST BUY (consumer electronics company)
Senior Art Director
Richfield, MN • 2008 - 2010
Created and maintained the core Best Buy and Geek Squad brand identity and styles for print, web, and video, delivering a strong, unique brand identity that drew in customers.
Managed internal project teams, ensuring store business concept, design strategy, and brand identity
were implemented according to company standards.
Led the creative concept and review for national and Spanish insert pages, resolving design issues and certifying that vendors adhered to brand requirements.
Managed the planning, development and tracking of Retail Marketing budgets and expenditures to ensure maximum efficiencies, targeted ROI and learning for future development, execution, managing and developing direct and indirect reports by establishing clear expectations and goals to meet accountabilities.
Developed presentations for in-store marketing and store experience concepts to be pitched critical stakeholders, articulating and selling creative ideas to non-creative leadership.
Established the company-wide brand identity manual, revising standards from 14 pages into a comprehensive 63 pages. The manual detailed brand usage across all print and digital media.
Presented the strategy and logic behind the Best Buy brand identity standards to stakeholders, ensuring that agency partners were in sync with the company’s new policy.
OPTUM HEALTH (affiliate of UnitedHealth Group)
Implementation Project Manager
Golden Valley, MN • 2007 - 2008
Responsible for the implementation of projects across all market segments for new business.
Worked with sales team to help develop creative for the products they sold, ensuring brand alignment.
Collaborated with customers, channel partners, vendors, and internal stakeholders, fostering win-win relationships.
THOMSON REUTERS (media and information firm)
Eagan, MN • 2005 - 2007
Created for both print and digital ads, brochures, posters, trade show graphics, logos, and direct mail.
Managed vendors for print, web, and photography assignments.
Developed and led the Creative Services Department’s internship program, identifying and training top creative talent who later transitioned into full-time roles.
PARK TOOL COMPANY (privately owned bicycle tool company)
Art Director/Staff Photographer
St. Paul, MN • 2004 - 2005
GREENSPRING MEDIA (publication group)
Minneapolis, MN • 2002 - 2004
University of Minnesota
B.S Graphic Design
Minor in Photography
Technical Skills: Mac; Microsoft Office Suite; Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, Lightroom, and Premiere; Final Cut Pro; Dreamweaver; HTML; Basecamp; and Rhino
Honor: Selected as a judge for the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association Awards, 2011–2012.
Awards: Gold winner for cover design, silver winner for feature design, and bronze winner for spread design, Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association, 2003 and 2004
Volunteerism: Volunteer firefighter for the City of Carver, 2017–present; graphic design mentor for the University of Minnesota Design School, 2010–present
From Tori Judd - Graphic Designer at Total Expert
“I have reported directly to Matt for a little over a year, I transitioned to his team from another team within in the company where I had no direct creative support. The growth I have made creatively in the past year is huge, I owe a lot of thanks to Matt for constantly pushing me to think more critically about design. He has always been mine and my teams biggest advocates making sure we are reaching our full potential within the company and giving us projects that will challenge us in ways we haven't been!”
From Jake Venia - Graphic Designer at Total Expert
“Matt was an inspiring leader for our creative circle and his ability to strategize and direct was instrumental in reconstructing Total Expert’s brand identity. As a designer under his leadership, his guidance elevated the skill, creativity and efficiency of our team and I through long and short-term strategic goals. As a leader in our marketing department, he always showed empathy and concern for the well-being of his team. Matt has an adept ability to communicate executive demand with the people under his leadership, while communicating marketing needs and brand direction with the executive branch. Working with Matt has been a tremendous privilege for my career and the creative team at Total Expert.”
From Stephen Konsor - Motion Graphics/Editor
“Matt has not only been a great Creative Director in the time that I have known him, but also a great leader. He has the talent and patience for developing his team in the areas they need improvement. He is also a master at developing creative campaigns for his clients. Matt does all this while also being incredibly fun and enjoyable to work with.”
From LouAnn Haaf - Creative Director at Cambria
"I had the pleasure of working with Matt as his Creative Director at Cambria. He strives to excel at every level of every project that is assigned to him. From project management to design and the grinding tasks included in bringing a project to completion with the details that make it shine - Matt is without a doubt, the guy that will get it done. And done on time.”
From Laura Oaks - Marketing Manager at Cambria
"Matt is a true leader, capable of managing both time-sensitive projects and the people needed to get them done. He's a strong, effective communicator with exceptional attention to detail every step of the way."
From Hal Olson - Marketing Manager at Davisco
"Matt was relentless at getting the perfect photograph to convey accurate marketing messaging. Down to the very last detail, Matt ensured to get the best possible shot and was always willing to give creative insight and direction. He has a professional demeanor, as well as a highly intuitive ability to drive creative development. I would highly recommend Matt’s photography for any marketing imagery or creative initiative."
From Jodi Hoffman - Design Manger at Best Buy
"Matt is a creative with an incredible sense of style and vision. He has a sensibility and drive to design solutions that meet client objectives. Matt’s commitment to great design, his ability to grasp marketing strategy, and his aptitude for ideating with minimal direction allow him to be successful in any environment. His attention to detail and passion for the brand are two of Matt’s top strengths”
From John Duff - Copywriter at Best Buy
"I enjoyed working with Matt immensely. I told him years ago, he is a mover and a shaker, because he is a guy who gets things done and invigorates those around him with unique ideas and excitement. He has a very keen eye and a sixth sense when it comes to branding. When working on a project together, Matt has a way of getting the best work out of all parties involved; at the same time, he is always open to suggestions and input that make the final product as good as it can be. In and out of work, he is never to busy too help with whatever you need. Matt is also an incredible bowler and a great guy all around. I would give him my endorsement every time."