Hi, I’m Matthew.

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I’m a designer, writer, and runner.

I’m a NY based designer, writer, and runner, currently working at Louise Fili Ltd.

Interested in what I am up to now?

I’m a designer, writer, and runner living in New York. I am currently a senior designer at Louise Fili Ltd, and I also run Morning Type—a type foundry and design studio. Previously, I worked with Matt Yow and Sam Stratton at Twin Forrest while I was studying graphic design at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

If you’re interested in knowing, here’s what I’m up to right now.

I’m a designer, writer, and runner living in Brooklyn, NY.

Currently, I’m a senior designer at Louise Fili Ltd where I design brand identities for award-winning restaurants, develop specialty food packaging, and design retail typefaces. Alongside this, I recently started Morning Type—a type foundry and design studio.

Previously, I worked with Matt Yow and Sam Stratton at Twin Forrest, writing brand strategies and designing complementary visual identities (and sometimes interfaces). I worked here towards the tail end of my graphic design studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

If you’re interested in knowing, here’s what I’m up to right now.

I’m a designer, writer, and runner living in Brooklyn, NY. My work largely revolves around type and branding, but on a less superficial level, I take an interest in the poetics of structure and organization. That is still just a sliver of my interests, which is why I made this site—to not only document these interests but to also engage in them.

Currently, I’m a senior designer at Louise Fili Ltd where I design brand identities for award-winning restaurants, develop specialty food packaging, and design retail typefaces. Alongside this, I recently started Morning Type—a type foundry and design studio.

Previously, I worked with Matt Yow and Sam Stratton at Twin Forrest, writing brand strategies and designing complementary visual identities (and sometimes interfaces).

Outside of design, I largely take to running. From 2013 to 2017, I ran at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where I was coached by Patrick Reagan. During my time at SCAD, I set and continue to hold the school records for the 8km and marathon distances. Nowadays, I continue to work with Patrick as my coach, and am chasing an Olympic Trials Qualifier (OTQ) by 2024 or 2028.

If you’re interested in knowing, here’s what I’m up to right now.

I’m a designer, writer, and runner living in Brooklyn, NY by way of Massachusetts, Florida, and then Georgia.

You see that guy down there? The guy with spray gun or standing on home plate at Fenway park? Yeah, that’s my dad.

My dad painting around home plate of Fenway park for the 1999 All Star game.
My father painting around home plate of Fenway park for the 1999 All Star game.

His name is John Smith. (No seriously.) But most people know him as Smittee. He is an artist and craftsman. I attribute my desire to make things to him. Throughout my childhood that’s what we did. He built us skate ramps, I’ve helped him build an artificial life-size oak tree, he taught me how to weld steel, and for over 30 years he has been an airbrush artist mostly working on large scale murals.

Zachary and I as little kids standing proudly in front of a city bus our Dad had airbrushed.
My brother and I as little kids standing proudly in front of a city bus our Dad had airbrushed.

Equally as important in my creative endeavors is my brother, Zachary Smith. We have been attached at the hip since we were kids. He is also a lettering artist and illustrator based in New York.

When I was 10 years old, we moved from Massachusetts down to Edgewater, Florida, a town just south of New Smyrna Beach. For more context, New Smyrna Beach is just south of Daytona Beach and has been coined the “Shark bite capital of the world” but is also home to a ton of surfers.

Living on the mainland, I picked up skateboarding and never took to surfing, but I found myself at the intersection their influences. I spent most of my days in an alley way sandwiched between two local surf and skate shops, building obstacles to skate and playing pranks on tourists. These were my middle school days, and it feels very appropriate to refer to myself and my friends at this time as little shit heads.

Prior to moving to Florida, my dad worked at a sign shop where we spent a lot of time on the weekends and during summer. This was where I was first exposure to programs like Photoshop and OMEGA Composer, but I was too young to really get into it. (I was far more interested in NeoPets at the time.)

My adventures in graphic design really started once I got into middle school and started learning everything I could about Photoshop and Illustrator. I was either showing the graphic design teacher something new that I learned, designing random graphics for teachers in exchange for off-campus lunch or designing fake posters for Skate Perception assignments.

Once I got into high school I joined the yearbook staff, stopped skating after I broke my arm, and eventually joined the cross country team as a junior.

I came to realize I was not only pretty decent at running, but I also really enjoyed it. In those first two years of running, I dropped my 5km personal record (PR) from 21:XX to 17:08. This was a pretty decent time, but it wasn’t quite fast enough to get me into the state championships nor garner any college recruitment attention.

Although, being recruited as an athletes wasn’t a top concern of mine, mostly because I knew I wanted to go to an art school of some kind. Once I realized I also wanted to try running in college, my choices became very slim, so I ended up going to SCAD and walking onto the cross country team.

I may have walked onto the team with no athletic scholarship, but I worked my ass of to eventually earn myself a full ride and go on to run the 8km school record for cross country (24:44), and set the marathon school record (2:34:56).

From left to right: Yours truly, Ace Brown, Callum Drake, and William Glaser Wilson

While I was at SCAD, I eventually became friends with Matt Yow and Sam Stratton who were running Twin Forrest at the time. I not only liked their work but I really valued their approaches to design, so I asked if I could intern/work with them.

As I finished up school, I applied for a job at Louise Fili Ltd and, to my surprise, got it! So I moved to New York in the summer of 2017, and have since been designing brand identities for award-winning restaurants, developing specialty food packaging, and working on retail typefaces.

At the beginning of 2020, I started Morning Type. In short, it’s a type foundry and design studio. Even though it’s just me at the moment, the reason I started it was because I got tired of my freelance business literally being me. I wanted some separation. You know? Any way, I’ve got some fun plans for that—so tune in there if you want to see what’s cooking.

Outside of work, I’m still being coached by Patrick, and am trying to see what’s next for me in my running career. Is it setting new PRs? Running longer distances? I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that I would like to run an Olympic Trials Qualifier (OTQ) in the marathon by 2024 or 2028.

I think that’s kind of it for now. Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in knowing, here’s what I’m up to right now.

Oh wow, you want the whole story? Rad! Well, before I get started, I included a version of this in all of the other options so I feel like I should also include it here: I’m a designer, writer, and runner living in Brooklyn, NY.

Okay now that I’ve got that out of the way, you see that guy down there? The guy with spray gun or standing on home plate at Fenway park? Yeah, that’s my dad.

My dad painting around home plate of Fenway park for the 1999 All Star game.
My father painting around home plate of Fenway park for the 1999 All Star game.

His name is John Smith. (No seriously.) But most people know him as Smittee. He is an artist and craftsman. I attribute my desire to make things to him. Throughout my childhood that’s what we did. He built us skate ramps, I’ve helped him build an artificial life-size oak tree, he taught me how to weld steel, and for over 30 years he has been an airbrush artist mostly working on large scale murals.

Not only is my dad an artist, but my whole family is. I’m the youngest of four, so I like to say that I had the luxury of either following in their footsteps or learning from their mistakes.

Zachary and I as little kids standing proudly in front of a city bus our Dad had airbrushed.
My brother and I as little kids standing proudly in front of a city bus our Dad had airbrushed.

My brother, Zachary Smith, has always played a large role in my creative endeavors. We been attached at the hip since we were kids. He is also a lettering artist and illustrator based in New York.

When I was 10 years old, we moved from Massachusetts down to Edgewater, Florida, a town just south of New Smyrna Beach. For more context, New Smyrna Beach is just south of Daytona Beach and has been coined the “Shark bite capital of the world.”

After school, I started taking the bus to the beach side where my dad worked, airbrushing t-shirts in a tourist trap at the corner of Flagler Ave. (That’s the main street which leads directly to the beach.) I was in middle school at the time, and rather than spending my time doing homework, I was learning to skateboard.

Either through inevitability or shear annoyance, I eventually became friends with a few of the other local Flagler kids that skated but were a bit older. As it usually goes with making friends with people older than yourself, I completely looked up to these guys and wanted to do everything they did.

Skating somewhere in Florida with Ethan and CJ.

They worked at the ice cream shop on Flagler where I’d always go to bug them. One day one of them gave me a copy of That’s Life, Foundation skateboard’s full length video. It was probably the first skate video I ever owned, and had a heavy influence on how I wanted to skate, how I wanted to dress, and who I wanted to be. Hell, what sort of middle schooler pre-orders a pair of tight purple corduroy pants? Sorry, I unfortunately don’t have any photos of these.

I spent most of my days in an alley way sandwiched between two local surf and skate shops. I was either building obstacles to skate or playing pranks on tourists. My friends and I epitomized the definition of little shit heads. I didn’t care too much for school at this point, but this is when I started fostering my interest in graphic design.

Prior to moving to Florida, my dad worked at a sign shop where we spent a lot of time on the weekends and during summer. This was where I was first exposure to programs like Photoshop and OMEGA Composer, but I was too young to really get into it. (I was far more interested in NeoPets at the time.)

After moving to Florida, if I wasn’t skating then I was messing around on Photoshop. While our school had a graphic design class I wasn’t able to get in and I found out about the yearbook staff far too late. By the time I was actually able to get into the graphics class, I found that I knew more of the ins and outs of the Adobe programs than my teacher.

I was fortunate enough that he granted me the freedom to basically do whatever I wanted, and for better or worse, gave me the opportunities to skip some of my other classes (somehow) to continue learning more about design.

As I went into high school, my relationships with skateboarding and design started to change. I started falling out of love with skateboarding when, following my freshman year, a small accident left me with a broken right arm and a cast which extended well past my elbow. I immediately found it difficult to make art or design which forced me to reevaluate some of my priorities.

Once healed, I basically stopped skating entirely and took to some new passions. In the past I hadn’t cared much for school so I decided maybe I should start doing my homework and studying for tests. I went from nearly failing many of my freshman classes to straight As. Which, not to go off on too much of a tangent here, I think is fairly telling of how dumb grades are and how they’re an inaccurate reflection of success or intelligence. I didn’t magically get smarter, I just started turning in my work. But I digress!

Once summer arrived and before I discovered running, I thought cycling was my new found passion. On some dinky road bike from Walmart, I started waking up at 3:30 in the morning to beat the Florida heat and rode 24 miles. Maybe I’ll write more on this at a later time, but needless to say, just as the summer came to an end as did my cycling fantasy. Which led to me joining the cross country team my junior year (mostly because my best friend had convinced me to).

I came to realize I was not only pretty decent at running, but I also really enjoyed it. In those first two years of running, I dropped my 5km personal record (PR) from 21:XX to 17:08. This was a pretty decent time, but it wasn’t quite fast enough to get me into the state championships nor garner any college recruitment attention.

Photo: Tucker Tripp

Although, being recruited as an athletes wasn’t a top concern of mine. Mostly because I knew I didn’t want to attending some state university. (Nothing against them, but at the time that isn’t where I saw myself.) I had my eyes set on attending an art school, however, in wanting to continue running I ended up zeroing in on the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) which had cross country and track teams.

A little in over my head, I enrolled at SCAD and walked onto the cross country team (which just means I didn’t receive any athletic scholarship). With zero financial plan, only a little bit of academic and artistic scholarships, and no parental financial support to fall back on, I quickly found myself in a pickle only one quarter into my freshman year of college.

It had only been a couple of months and I think I already owed the school something like $8,000. It was too late to apply for federal financial aid and we didn’t qualify for any loans, so my only option was to drop out.

I packed my bags and went back to Florida. Rather than looking into more affordable college options or even getting a job for that matter, I trained my ass off, and every week I sent my training logs to Patrick Reagan, SCAD’s head coach at the time.

By the time fall came back around, I squared away my finanical debt to SCAD, applied for financial aid, and found myself fit enough to land some athletic scholarship. (Thank you, Patrick, for believing in me and giving me a shot.) The only downside here is that I upon my arrival I had to sit out a cross country season due to ineligibility. (Not enough credits—you know, because I dropped out of school…)

I know I didn’t mention it earlier, but when I first got to SCAD I started studying film. Sorry if that is confusing but it stems from when my days of skateboarding where I always thought I wanted to get into cinematography. Any way, this is just to say that once I came back, I realized film was definitely not for me, and so I switched over to graphic design.

After a few years pass, I eventually became friends with Matt Yow. Honestly, I can’t remember exactly how. Or at least in what order things happened.

Any way, my brother was also living in Savannah with me at the time, and we started this tiny club. (Which I think we called Club Club?) It was Matt Yow, Sam Stratton, Chase Turberville, John Oates, sometimes William Kesling, Zachary, and myself. It was mostly because we wanted a place to nerd out about type and stuff.

Matt had already been running Twin Forrest, and Sam eventually joined in. Then in the spring of 2016, during the second to last quarter of my under-grad, they hired me to design a bunch of bear variations for Daybear.

We tried making a holiday card…

Since the project went well (and also because I wanted to take less classes in the Fall), I asked Matt and Sam if I could intern with them in the fall under the guidance of one of our favorite professors, Sohee Kwon.

As the internship came to an end I basically just asked if I could continue working there. They said yes, and I was stoked. So I continued working with Sam and Matt until I wrapped up school and the rest of my running eligibility. Speaking of which, in my last two seasons at SCAD, I went on to run the 8km school record for cross country (24:44), and set the marathon school record (2:34:56).

Not bad for some kid that walked onto the team. (Thanks again, Pat!)

From left to right: Yours truly, Ace Brown, Callum Drake, and William Glaser Wilson

That leaves us at the spring of 2017. I applied for a job at Louise Fili Ltd, got it, moved to New York on July 4th, and started work the next day. It was pretty wild. Since joining the studio, I’ve been designing brand identities for award-winning restaurants, developing specialty food packaging, and working on retail typefaces.

At the beginning of 2020, I started Morning Type. In short, it’s a type foundry and design studio. Even though it’s just me at the moment, the reason I started it was because I got tired of my freelance business literally being me. I wanted some separation. You know? Any way, I’ve got some fun plans for that—so tune in there if you want to see what’s cooking.

Outside of work, I’m still being coached by Patrick, and am trying to see what’s next for me in my running career. Is it setting new PRs? Running longer distances? I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that I would like to run an Olympic Trials Qualifier (OTQ) in the marathon by 2024 or 2028.

I think that’s kind of it for now. Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in knowing, here’s what I’m up to right now.