Tom Gorton

I’m a creative strategist, director, designer and illustrator that loves collaborating with teams made of talented and positive people.

I’ve got the experiences and skills to envision and execute effective 
design solutions in all forms from product to print to digital.

My creative energy level is high and I’m always ready to help make great things happen.
General info
415-806-9648 mobile
Creative Strategist + Director + Designer + Illustrator
San Francisco
Over the years I have obtained an expansive range of knowledge in design-driven strategy, design, production and management for product, print and digital based projects. Whether I'm working on an entirely new product concept, a creative direction guide, brainstorm sessions, a social media campaign, an off-set press-check, or an overseas product manufacturing process–my design and communication skills enable me to envision, lead and develop effective solutions for just about any design challenge.

That being said, what's really important are the people and the work atmosphere. With the right team and the right place, a lot of great things can happen. I'm comfortable with wearing a lot of different design related hats or I can simply stick with one and get it done... while having fun along the way.
Skills & Tools
Design Strategy, Process Design, Branding & Identity Design, Interactive Design, Print Design, Product Design, Apparel Design, Illustration, Social Media Orchestration, Production & Manufacturing Management, Photo Color Correction & Retouch, Photography Direction, Press Checks

Adobe Creative Suite, InVision, Excel, Power Point, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, Basecamp
San Francisco
Sep 2015 - Present
Associate Creative Director
My work with COTA has been focused on brand development and user experience design. Clients have included; Kodak, Castlight Health and Project Lyme.
San Francisco
Apr 2016 - May 2017
Design Lead
As Design Lead for BandLab Technologies, I worked on overall design strategy, brand development and art direction for both their U.S. and Singapore based offices. Work spanned across multiple brands owned and operated by BandLab Technologies, including; BandLab (app), Rolling Stone International, Well Played Gear and MONO.
San Francisco
Jan 2012 - Present
Design / Marketing / Artist Relations
MONO is a cutting-edge product design company that is making a big impact in the music industry. The staff's energy and drive for constant business and product innovation is a joy to be around.
Sausalito, CA
Sep 2011 - Dec 2012
Design Director (Freelance)
Leading the visual design and production of a 250 page book focused on sustainability-based collaboration/design approaches... a wonderful project and team! InDesign chops are in overdrive and humming along.
San Francisco, CA
Jan 2005 - Present
Associate Strategist / Designer
As a designer and board member, I directly collaborate with conservation biologists and leverage my design skills to help communicate and create solutions for the challenges they face.
Sausalito, CA
Jul 2010 - Jun 2011
Designer / Collaboration Board Member
I provide design-based insights and services to a highly experienced, multi-disciplinary group that is focused on leveraging the power of cross-industry collaboration towards solving large scale sustainability and innovation challenges.
Sausalito, CA
Jul 2011 - Aug 2011
Designer (Freelance)
Assisting in the design development and production of Radio Shack retail marketing assets.
Point Richmond, CA
Sep 2010 - Present
Art Director / Designer (Freelance)
Focused on exploring, developing and delivering design solutions for an array of outdoor-product support projects ranging from brand architecture to product packaging and retail marketing materials.
Marin County, CA
Jan 2009 - Apr 2010
VP of Branding & Design
Responsible for anything visual; product design colorways and graphics, web interfaces, advertising and collateral design, action and product photography direction. I worked with Marin Bikes from 2004 through 2008 as their outside design studio. In 2009 I was hired to work on-site as a VP and lead the creation of an in-house design department.
Sausalito, CA
Jan 1999 - Dec 2008
Design Director
As the founder and design director of this sports industry focused studio, I spent ten years honing the art of designing and managing a studio that was capable of creating effective design solutions in a wide range of mediums.

Clients: 24 Hour Fitness, Puma, Camelbak, LeapFrog, GU Energy, U.S. Snowboarding, Wilderness Trail Bikes, DDB Worldwide, Visa.
San Francisco
Jan 2006 - Dec 2006
Designer (Freelance)
Worked on the Clorox and Glad accounts designing direct mail pieces for various promotions.
Emeryville, CA
May 2004 - Dec 2004
Designer (Freelance)
Produced design layouts for print ads and catalog inserts.
Park City, UT
Jan 1993 - Dec 1998
Right out of design school and into the fire... I spent five years working in a very intense product design and branding studio. I was quickly exposed to a vast range of design related knowledge, skills and issues that gave me the foundation for being able to assess and contribute to a wide range of design challenges today.
Harrisonburg, VA
Sep 1989 - Dec 2003
BFA, Concentration Graphic Design
JMU had a great graphics lab back in 1989, it was stuffed with Macs and SGI's when many design departments had none.... I honed my design sensibilities and Mac skills early on and have leveraged them ever since.
Washington D.C.
May 1992 - Jul 1992
A great summer session of screen printing that surrounded me with very talented and passionate artists and designers.
Alexandria, VA
May 1990 - Jul 1990
A summer workshop focused on air brushing. I haven't used the air brush much since then but the course definitely warmed me up for working the Photoshop tool set quite well.
We'll Testify...
"Tom brings a unique and incredibly valuable ability to define strategy visually. Tom's working approach builds on his ability to visually connect dynamics and trends at the nexus of company culture, objectives and market trends. Tom's framework is built on a highly structured and well architected logical foundation married with highly creative and insightful perspective. Bringing these elements together has been incredibly helpful in developing leadership and organizational alignment, building out brand architecture and strategy as well as developing specific marketing and creative strategies. Tom also brings emotional maturity and intelligence to his work, and It's been my great pleasure to work closely with Tom over the past year. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Tom in the future."
"Tom is a multifaceted artist, designer, strategist and visionary. He has the ability to meet a brand where it is – pre-launch, startup, or globally established – and chart a course for growth. He can put big picture strategies in motion while executing the smallest details along the way. But perhaps my favorite attribute is Tom's ability to make sure everyone around him has fun doing what they do."
"I hired Tom to help me take a creative-step back from the depths of my daily duties at Osprey. As an owner of this brand I find myself at the center of a vortex of constant change, growth pressures, and employee needs. At the time I was looking to explore possible new creative directions for both the internal operations and consumer facing elements of the company.

Tom's abilities to facilitate an inspiring and effective conversation, through both his verbal and illustration skills, proved to be a great starting point for this critical project. The collection of drawings that Tom generated during our day-long brainstorming session not only simplified and illuminated key issues during the meeting but they have also served overtime as quick visual references that I'm able to look back at for clarity and focus. Tom was truly a pleasure to work with. He quickly gave me the confidence to let loose with my thoughts, concerns and ideas and captured them in a fun series of illustrations that evoke the essence of our conversations and conclusions.

Tom has a unique and valuable understanding of the intertwining nature of the design, business and personal aspects that affect companies like mine. I found our sessions to be refreshing, enlightening and very valuable."
“I worked with Tom while I was CFO and CEO at Marin Bikes. He is a creative designer and talented strategist that played a vital role in the enhanced positioning of the Marin Bikes brand during my tenure. Both as an outside agency leader and ultimately as the in-house VP of Branding & Design; Tom elevated our product line styling, web presence, advertising, and marketing/sales/retailer support materials. Tom also established an in-house graphic design department for Marin Bikes as well as introduced and implemented a streamlined communication process with our overseas factories. Tom's travel to our overseas factories in Taiwan and China also yielded critical insights into opportunities for the utilization of enhanced manufacturing processes and workflow systems related to the design and production of our product line. All along Tom was passionate, worked long hours and was very detail oriented. I would recommend him for a position similar to this with another company.”
“Tom Gorton is a great strategist, very thoughtful and takes the time to list and think through the problem to delivery a concept that is easy to understand and sell through. Tom is a Jack-of-All trades. Whatever you ask him for help on from creative lead to straight production he will stay with the job until the end with a smile.”
“Tom is a dynamic and insightful team player who brings a wealth of knowledge to any project. He demonstrates a solid leadership and a strong systematic approach to branding, design, marketing and production. A great person to work with who gets the job done.”
Sketching on napkins, Surfing glassy waves, Skating smooth concrete, Carving powdery slopes, Biking beautiful mountains, Plucking funky bass, Drumming steady beats, Singing absurd songs and Being a creative life trainer for my inspiring son.  :]