Summary

Cross Cross

Summary

Tom Heaton is a graphic designer based in Manchester, currently plying his trade as Creative Director at Ahoy. He also works independently through Made by Formula and specialises in branding, strategy and typographic design.

Beware the person who claims to have 10 years’ experience when they should have 1 years’ experience, repeated 10 times.

— Alan Fletcher

Experience

Experience

Made by Formula

Founder & Creative Director, 2019—Current

This is my freelance persona, focussing on delivering creative for a selective group of wonderful clients. I, like most, value my time greatly which is why these are projects that I am passionate about, helping people build beautiful brands that make a positive impact.

Ahoy

Creative Director, 2017—Current

I’m incredibly proud to say this my current full-time role. I joined the agency at a rocky period of history but have since helped to ensure stability, better working practices and greater growth. Ahoy has always prided itself on building beautiful brands, and more recently this has had a greater shift towards strategic and measurable branding.

DS.Emotion

Creative Director, 2014—2017

At the time of joining, DS had been operating for over 20 years with a main office in Leeds—I was brought in to help establish the agency on the other side of the Pennines. This was an intense period of branding and placemaking as 90% of projects were in the property sector.

Raw

Senior Designer, 2008—2014

I spent a long period of my career growing with Raw. There we began working on healthcare campaigns for the NHS and soon diversified into more sports-related briefs including the re-brand of Wolves FC. I became senior designer after the first 3 years and helped to solidify the agency through client wins and multiple awards.

RT2 Design

Founder & Creative Director, 2006—2008.

I began my journey in ‘the real world’ by establishing a design studio in Chester the day after my degree show. The phrase ‘deep-end’ often springs to mind, but I was able to learn intensively about how a design studio operates at every single level.

Previous Clients

Who have I worked with?

Highlights

A few career highlights

Re-branding Wolves

This is perhaps my biggest project to date involving a club re-brand, sub-branding, stadium way-finding system and super-graphics. Although football club brands are now seen as a poison chalice, the new approach was welcomed by fans and gained recognition from Design Week and Creative Review.

Silverstone Identity

Apparently my first word was “car” so it was great to have reshaped the home of British Motorsport—slightly too tenuous?! The typography was based on creating a racing line through each character and this was my first foray into 3D printing.

Pitching at Wembley

As a kid, I would dream about walking out at Wembley so getting the opportunity to do this for a design pitch was fantastic. The walk towards the stadium was the ultimate clash of excitement and nerves, which have never since been repeated. Thankfully we got the win too!

Raw

These were some of the most exciting years as a designer. We grew massively from the day I joined, worked with clients like the Premier League, The FA and Channel 4. We won awards and were featured in Creative Review’s Annual.

ISTD Awards

I’ve won a few awards over the years, but the International Society of Typographic Designers sits as my proudest. It’s an award that is all about craft and love for design. Not a black tie or swanky venue in sight, this experience was a small room full of the most talented typographic designers showcasing the best design from that year. Being sat alongside this group was incredible.

University Lectures

Although an area I’m not prolific at, visiting Universities and speaking to the next wave of creative minds is an incredibly rewarding experience. Returning to my old University, Lincoln, was are particularly proud experience.

Everton Campaign

As a lifelong Evertonian, a chance of creating work for the Blues was one I wasn’t going to let go. Not only did we win the competitive pitch but I managed to persuade the club that a custom typeface was integral to the success of the project. It maybe wasn’t 100% true, but it did mean I managed to create something completely original for the Toffees.

Collaboration

A dynamic that was deeply embedded at Raw and something I continue to push for within projects. Over the years I’ve worked with immensely talented illustrators, photographers, animators, developers, strategists etc.

Team Mates

I’m a firm believer in ‘we’ not ‘I’ which has made this summary section feel a little one-sided. My favourite highlight is to have worked alongside so many wonderful creatives—way too many to start naming individually—I count myself very fortunate to have been part of their journey as well as my own.

Testimonials