We will be regularly adding case studies, so keep checking this space.
Sophie Thomas and Kristine Matthews set up thomas.matthews in 1997 having met a few years before at the Royal College of Art. They had, and still have, a shared passion ‘for bringing outstanding design and communication to important issues’.
One of their earliest projects was commissioned by Friends of the Earth to launch International Buy Nothing Day in the UK. In response to a brief that asked for a poster, they instead created a ‘No Shop’ in central London that sold nothing, but offered ideas and information about the campaign.
In addition to using computers, the studio includes screen printing and letterpress facilities which enable them to incorporate hand-made design skills into their projects.
They try to use local skills and products, recycled and reclaimed materials and, very importantly, to do more with less.
The studio likes to support what they believe in and to work for clients and charities who push agendas that they care about.
Ten ways design can help fight climate change
thomas.matthews created this A6 brochure from waste make-ready sheets, french-folded and printed on the plain side.
They kept the brochure compact in size, used a local printer and vegetable-based inks.
thomas.matthews created the National Maritime Museum’s first permanent exhibition made completely from reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials.
The exhibition, ‘Your Ocean’, tells the story of the impact of human beings on the ocean and its ecosystems.
Gallery walls are made from reclaimed wood. One of the walls is even clad in left-over materials from the gallery build itself. Other materials used are old road signs, charity shop fabrics, old mobile phones and crushed CD plastic.
Thomas Matthews advise you to:
- Think beyond the brief.
- Think about a project backwards, considering the sheet size and the printing process first.
- Discuss the project with printers and fabricators very
early on in the design process.
(thomas.matthews frequently use the printer Calverts for local, sustainable printing.)
- Think about reducing the size of your project very slightly as you may be able to fit more onto a sheet.