mat martin | Portfolio
I'm an experienced freelancer with excellent time management and communication skills. Currently I'm working in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, WordPress and the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator) to meet the needs of my clients.
You can filter or search selected examples of my work using the links below. If you'd like to see more examples of work, discuss a project or check out a reference for me, drop me a line.
Qualifications: PhD (Music, Fine Art), Dartington College of Arts, 2010 ; BA (Hons) (Music Technology), Rose Bruford College, 2001
Client: Tap The Feed
Brief: New site following name change and rebrand
Formats: Responsive WordPress theme
The Tap The Feed site brief came to me following a rebrand and a new name for Bristol-based music blog The Flux Presents in January 2016. The new WordPress theme was designed to handle three years’ worth of legacy content and present it in a new and fresh way, in line with the new name and style. The design hangs around a blocky magazine layout, using rollovers to display images at their best, and focusing on the category-based structure of the site’s architecture.
Breaking up the homepage with different layouts for individual categories helps to separate the various types of content, while the three column layout of the post templates offers a clear progression between taxonomy, authorship and metadata; copy and content, and related areas of the site. The content is fully responsive to screen widths and device screens, making the experience of browsing optimal across platforms.
Client: Tap The Feed
Brief: Full rebrand following name change
Formats: Logomark & logotype (EPS, PNG, JPG); Colour and type palettes
A name change to Tap The Feed from The Flux Presents in January 2016 presented us with an opportunity to revisit the branding and style of the blog after a few years in operation. The original branding – also from this studio – was revised, moving away from a typographic approach towards a bold logomark which could work with or without type.
Focusing on the communicative message of Tap The Feed’s brand and leaning on the imagery of morse code the logomark uses an abstraction which references the typographic glyphs TTF. Morse code is ‘tapped’ out rhythmically by the sender in a series of dots and dashes (TTF = _ / _ / . . _ .) and received sonically in a series of tones. This is analogous to the pathways of Tap The Feed as a music blog: information is relayed from writer to reader, who finds meaning and discovers new content by decoding the message. The overall effect is one of communication, with a strong sense of rhythm, discovery, and playfulness.
The rotation of orientation in the layout of dots and dashes also reflects the scrolling of content within the blog.
Client: Pinch Projects
Brief: Monochrome Brand Identity for Bespoke Travel Company
Formats: Logotype & Logomark as EPS (Vector), PNG, JPG; Business Cards, Letterheads
The brief to create a simple, classic and monochromatic brand identity for bespoke travel company Pinch Projects leaned towards a monogram approach with a few defining touches.
A bold and stark slice is made in an upwards diagonal direction through the uppercase P glyph in a high contrast serif font. The message is striking: expect timeless quality with a modern creative edge. Unafraid to turn things to our advantage and make bold decisions, we nonetheless consider the classic and timeless as belonging in our toolkit. An immediate blend of classic and modern, of universal and bespoke, of attention to detail and fearlessness. The upward left-to-right direction of the slice (a direction of movement guided by the typographic nature of the icon) is positive, forward-looking and exciting; the space it opens up within the letter joins the negative space on either side of it by finding a unique route between two points in an unexpected way – a reflection of the way in which Pinch Projects can find a route and style unique to each of its clients.
The cut refracts a single thing into more than it was (adding value and depth to the experience) as well as referring to the double P of Pinch Projects. It also calls to the idea of tailoring to fit – the quintessential bespoke service. The high contrast of the typeface and sharpness/precision of the slice make for a dynamic logo suggesting a creative and energetic company with a commitment to quality and bespoke service.
The final balancing of elements in the logo was made according to Golden Ratio proportions, as shown here.
Client: Nadine Khouri / One Flash Records
Brief: Album artwork for 'The Salted Air'
Formats: 12" Gatefold (Coloured Vinyl) | 12" | CD Gatefold | DL
Photography by Steve Gullick
The artwork for Nadine Khouri’s new album, ‘The Salted Air’, builds on the ongoing collaboration between Nadine and photographer Steve Gullick, whose textured and smoky portraits match the depth and subtlety of her music beautifully.
In previous projects with Nadine we began a process offsetting these rich images with delicate geometric shapes and lines. This approach was further developed here, dropping layered typography into the rich textures of the images and using the gatefold format to reveal further, more coloured portraits. The depth and richness of colour in Steve’s photographs allowed us to indulge in a reverent nod to some of the vintage Vaughn Oliver Studio work for 4AD, too.
Special mention to the imaging wizardry of Joe at LookHappy Design, who helped us with texture extraction on this project.
Client: Nude Records
Brief: Responsive WordPress site, restructured legacy content
After working with Nude Records on Lou Rhodes’ ‘theyesandeye’ release we looked at the label’s own site with a view to improving usability and content. We also wanted a better way to showcase more fully the weighty back catalogue from the label’s history, which includes some important and genre-defining albums from the 1990s and early 2000s.
Splitting roster artists into label and publishing signings and using the SongKick API to automatically import their live appearances, we were able to create cross-site links which allow for lateral navigation between catalogue, artists, news and listings. The back catalogue now lists each release independently, providing track listings, catalogue numbers and artist links.
Client: James Brute
Brief: One-page website, full CMS inclusing custom event listings
Photography by Kasia Wonzniak
A return to the concept of single page websites for this design for James Brute, with a brief for simplicity and clean lines. Kasia Wozniak’s images, taken on wet plates with vintage cameras give a fascinating texture and timeless feel which we wanted to keep as the principal focus of the site. Consequently the lander offers a single strong image, optimised for screen size and orientation, and navigation/info does not appear until scrolling down or clicking to enter.
A first site from this studio to offer event listings via a hand-coded system, using a combination of custom post types and queries. None of the usual plugins quite fit the bill here.
Client: Hobopop Recordings // Kirsty McGee
Brief: Digital Art for "Diamond Days E.P."
Diamond Days – the most recent release from one of my most long-standing collaborators, Kirsty McGee, is born of an artist residency at York St John’s Music Production department and her recent work in California. The brief to create something which was clean, graphic, simple and yet captures something of the vastness and depth of colour of the skies in Joshua Tree, CA, where much of the EP was written, led to the concept of presenting a cyanometer, or device for measuring the blueness of the sky.
This illustration was simplified a little from the model (De Saussure‘s cyanometer had 53 sections, ranging from white to varying shades of blue (dyed with Prussian blue) and then to black), and created to contain certain imperfections, in a nod to the technology of the late 1700s (essentially squares of paper ). The clean layout and slight texturing provide a contrast to one another which calls to the modern technology of a digital release and the timeless style of McGee’s songwriting, so rooted in Jazz and Blues.
Client: Nadine Khouri
Brief: Double sided flyers for upcoming tour dates (2 designs)
Photography by Steve Gullick
Using the atmospheric photography of Steve Gullick and some very delicate geometric elements the brief here was to create an airy and understated series of two flyers for print and web use, listing a series of upcoming shows whilst highlighting one in particular, and in one case offering press info. A specturm of shades extracted from the images themselves and a clean, white approach to titling keeps the sense of light and restraint running through the whole. The final flyers were printed on a matte finish uncoated stock, making the grainy feel match the visual style.
Client: Lou Rhodes / Nude Records
Brief: Album artwork for 'theyesandeye'
Formats: 12" | CD | DL
Photography by Laura Williams
Lou Rhodes‘ album “theyesandeye” is released on July 22nd, 2016 on Nude records. Laura Williams’ sumptuous photography and the organic flow of Lou’s handwritten titling guided the concept and realisation of the sleeves. The stillness and depth of the photographs and the delicate balance of the handwriting suggested the simple counterpoint of a single classic gothic typeface and a limited colour palette drawn from the earthen tones of the imagery.
We created a special edition CD slipcase for fans who supported the project via Pledge Music, designed in a minimal style to simply match the placement and feel of the titling, and which allows for personalised messages to be added for backers. All editions are designed to be printed on unbleached matte stock, in keeping with the organic feel of the assets and layout.
Working on the artwork for my new solo album “theyesandeye” has seen my positive experience of working with Mat carried through to beautiful effect. He not only has an impeccable aesthetic sense but also possesses the organisational skills and experience to carry a job like this from start to finish, amidst often countless proof-reads and last minute tweaks, with efficiency, good-humour and a razor-sharp eye for detail.
– Lou Rhodes
Client: Lou Rhodes / 140db
Brief: Responsive artist website
Photography by Laura Williams
A re-skinning of the official Lou Rhodes website to accompany the release of “theyesandeye”, and tie the visuals from the album sleeve into her online presence. This bespoke build replaces an off-the-peg theme with options for an audio player/feature tab on the homepage and a subdivided discography to handle the many projects Lou is involved with. We also created a parallel feed to handle her work as a writer.
Mat completely updated my website in time for the release of “theyesandeye” and, given that this was an incredibly busy time for me and my management, we had to leave the bulk of responsibility for both aesthetic and functional changes in his very capable hands. Having worked so closely on the album artwork it felt like any changes he made would be totally in line with our needs and wishes. He’d always run major changes by us in very detailed email updates but most of the time we’d just give a resounding “yes” in our replies.
– Lou Rhodes
Client: Kester Lovelace | Actor, Director, Voice Artist
Brief: Bilingual (En, Fr) site build in WordPress. Bespoke audio players.
The challenges of this brief included the creation of a clear and intuitive CMS which would allow for the inclusion of a changing number of audio samples for streaming and download alongside video players, downloadable headshots and a dual language functionality between French and English. The client’s professional activity is wide-reaching and complex, so to present it concisely and richly required the handling of flexible content and a clean, simple, fully responsive style.
It’s been an absolute joy to have Mat design and build my website. Not only does he have complete mastery of the technical side, but he has an excellent artistic eye. He seemed to understand instinctively what I needed, and our exchanges were always constructive and thorough. The process was exciting and since he’s also very clear about pricing and conditions, I felt confident that I would get what I wanted, when I wanted.
– Kester Lovelace
Client: Kreg Viesselman
Brief: Artwork for album on 12", CD, DL
Formats: 12" Sleeve | CD digipak (2 editions) | DL
Painitng by Kreg Viesselman
Kreg Viesselman’s ‘To The Mountain’ album makes use of the most economical of the artists’ own paintings for its few graphic assets. The rest of the sleeve was conceived in keeping with this economy of expression: limited colour, single sans-serif typeface and plain white grounds throughout.
Client: Laura Kidd/She Makes War
Brief: New WP build, combining existing blog and site content on a new install
Dealing with several years’ worth of legacy content in two formats, this DIY artist website needed to be flexible and large in its scope to accommodate a very active blog, full discography, email signup download exchanges and to house players from various media platforms as well as offering rich content exclusives for fans and plenty of hidden detail. The project brought together the content and architecture of an existing site and a blog from a separate platform as a basis for a new responsive complete design.
Client: Clara Sanabras/Smudged Discs
Brief: 32pp hardcover book with CD + digital artwork
Formats: CD in 32pp hardcover book | DL
Photography by Simon Webb
Clara Sanabras’ response to Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’ nods visually to Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Seventh Seal’ and the brief for the project reflected this strongly. Simon Webb’s photographs used filmic black and white, surreal lighting and the Lewis chess men to great effect in this area.
The typographic and layout choices stayed closely aligned with these ideas, and were married to inner page grounds reminiscent of celluloid frames with silent movie caption borders. As with Clara’s previous record we had the luxury of a 32pp booklet and a bespoke sleeve template to work with, leaving plenty of room for the content to breathe and the video stills on the inner pages to complement the black and white imagery.
Mat Martin designed the artwork for two of my albums. The results are beautiful, detailed, imaginative, original, a reflection of his varied skills in design, music and more.
– Clara Sanabras
Client: La Maison du Parc
Brief: Logo, colour & type palettes
Formats: EPS (Vector), PNG, JPG
A bold and simple design highlighting the beautiful natural surroundings and modern elegance of this AirBnB residence just outside Paris.