Matt Gorton is a New York-based design director, graphic designer, and independent creative, with fifteen years of experience under his belt in everything from creative direction, brand and concept development, and photography to garment and accessory design. He’s worked with anyone and everyone, bringing an East Coast, hardcore street style that only he can to the biggest names in brands, like Vans, Levi's, Reef, American Eagle, Lucky Jeans, MTV, Nike, New Balance, and even Disney.
We tapped his unique style for an Autotype collaboration of exclusive graphic tees and got to know him a little better.
What brought you to your craft?
Matt Gorton: Growing up playing in a hardcore band and always being at shows, design was always around you. Every kid either had a band t-shirt on or skateboard shirt. I started designing when I was a teenager for my own band and for friends, which allowed me to pull together a portfolio while still in high school. It shaped the direction of my life allowing me to get a Junior Designer position in the first week of college and learn business and design hands-on. Hardcore and metal music was the common bond that brought me together with my friend and business partner Jon Contino, and led us to start our first design studio and then menswear brand, CXXVI Clothing Co.
"As such a tremendous labor of love, every piece designed and created for CXXVI is some of my favorite work I've done. We hand-distressed every tag and stamped the date it was manufactured on."
What is your favorite design tool?
MG: It's a boring but honest answer, the Apple Pencil and Procreate. One of my best friends turned me onto it a few years ago and it has absolutely changed my everyday design process. It allows you more freedom and pushes you to achieve styles outside of your comfort zone. By making parts of the design process quicker and more efficient, it allows you more time to put details in other areas.
"Pieces from the 2 years I served as Design Director for Dickies Construct, where I created an elevated collection that nodded back to the Dickies core. Dickies owns a handful of proprietary Pantone colors that they use for there infamous 874 work pants and I used these colors to create a custom camo pattern that only they could use."
Who is your favorite designer? Why?
MG: Art Chantry has been my favorite designer for as long as I can remember. His style and the way he creates his design always resonated with me and influenced the way I designed early on. Even in his black and white logos, you can feel his more analog way of doing things. Nothing of his feels fake or derivative, which is very challenging in design.
What’s your favorite design piece in your house right now?
MG: I recently bought an early 80's NYC Transit Police speedwell target that's waiting to be framed. I love the variation in design and imagery in the old shooting range targets. There's something about the print method, illustration style, and imagery that is very of that time.
More work from Matt...