Portfolio: Tom Gordon

Illustrator and designer, Torquay, UK

Tom is a playful design enthusiast who refuses to take his job too seriously. He says he produces work he would like to see or own himself – avoidong trends as much as possible so as to gain a “timeless” feel to his work.

Where did you train and what did you specialise in?

I studied at Plymouth College of Art, but am primarily self-taught. I specialise in design for print, in particularly poster artwork and merchandise.

What's your favourite tool?

A pen and paper. Digital is great, but you don’t get the same results as traditional methods.

What techniques to do you use most?

I’m a big fan of collage. I use it as often as possible and am addicted to using low resolution and badly captured images, and giving them a polish.

What’s been your favourite piece you've created?

This changes on a weekly basis, but one piece I come back to time and time again is a hand-drawn typographic poster I made for a US-based band called mewithoutYou. 

What kinds of materials do you work with?

I’m mainly a digital artist using Photoshop and my main weapon; however, I spend a lot of time drawing lettering by hand. I also have to give a shout out to my Wacom tablet for speeding up my workflow.

What (if any) computer packages do you use?

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.

Which clients have you worked for, and where have you exhibited your work?

I have worked for some phenomenal clients including Bravado (Universal Music Group), Sony Entertainment, Pearl Jam and a load of others I’m not allowed to list publicly...for now!

What inspires you?

I draw inspiration from everywhere, but my main interest and source of inspiration are gig posters. They are what got me into design in the first place and I still collect them. 

Favourite websites / blogs? 

Mintees.com is a great online community for merchandise designers. It can be very cut throat but if you make honest design work people there are quite warm!

I created this collage for Big Surs EP release. It took a painfully long time using the pen tool.

This poster was hand-drawn and finished and coloured in Photoshop. It was part of a series of 20+ posters that were warmly received by the band.

Underoath approached me to design all of their final artwork for their farewell tour in 2013. It was a great honour to help see off a band who helped mould a generation of musicians.

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The band approached me to create a concept for their single “Wake Up” which had to tie in with the idea of signals (the album name). 

I created this piece originally for my own personal use however the band were so into it that they made me an offer and snapped it up!

The band contacted me half way through my dissertation and needed last minute album artwork. I had only 2 weeks left to finish/start my dissertation but I took it on anyway. I earned a measly 40% for my dissertation in the end but I think it was worth it to work with such a great band.

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My friends’ band asked for a “really quick” design to use for the promotion of their new EP. I knocked this one out in less than 10 minutes and it went on to be one of my most popular pieces of 2012.