Matt Vergotis is Creative Director of Verg. With over 20 years working in the creative industry in Sydney, London, and now back home on the Gold Coast, Specialising in Logo Design, Corporate Identity, Lettering & Typography, and Conceptual Strategy. Matt’s work appears on many design inspiration websites and has been published in numerous books and magazines. Recent clients include EMI, Spotify, Rebel & Washington DC Tourism.
How did I Become a Creative Director of Verg?
How was your University time?
I’m a self-taught Graphic Designer. I built my skills initially by doing work experience. From there, I worked my way up the ranks from Junior all the way through to Creative Director for various companies and agencies on the Gold Coast, Sydney, and London. I would have loved Uni life, though, and definitely would have enjoyed the connections and friendships with like-minded creatives. Most of my mates being in the banking and property sector meant I was the only creative. Not complaining. Still, surf with them every morning.
Why did you Seek out a career in this field?
At school, I was the kid that could draw. My visual skills were always my strength, so there was never any doubt in my mind that I would pursue a career in the creative industry. When I designed my first logo as a kid for the local newspaper holding a competition to see who could come up with the local baseball team, 2 of my designs made the shortlist. As I remember, they came in at 2nd and 3rd. Who knows, there may have only been 3 submissions… ha! At that moment, I realized I felt a connection to designing logos and that it could be a career for me that leveraged off my visual skills.
What was your first job or nuggets from jobs you had that helped you get to where you are today?
When I moved to London from Sydney and worked for a top 10 Design Agency, my mind was blown. It was like an awakening for me. It put me in company with incredibly talented designers in a cutting-edge company in a cutting-edge city. My head inspired me, and it was an opportunity to find myself and grow as a creative.
How did you prepare for an interview?
I’ve only had a few interviews for creative positions. Often I have stayed in those positions for long times, so I’ve been lucky enough not to have to take many interviews. I guessed when I did, though. I always made sure I was well presented and not too jacked on coffee. It’s a fine line.
Books that helped you?
I don’t actually read creative books, but I read a lot of books when I was younger. The Dice Man by Luke Rhineheart was given to me by an old boss when I had to leave their company because my working Visa ran out. I think he was trying to tell me that there are options we take in life, and living in the safe lane when buried in our subconscious are more risky or daring options we can take that could (or could not) lead to much more adventurous paths. Actually, I don’t know why he gave me that book.
Things are changing very fast in the industry; how do you keep yourself updated. Please list techniques or newsletters, podcasts, events, etc.
For me, it’s just being aware and noticing visual aesthetics that are always around us. Whether it’s on the street soaking up what we see all around us or having your head buried in a phone or computer scrolling through social media at other designers/ artists that inspire you. Just having that awareness of styles and then breaking down the techniques to achieve those aesthetics in your mind keeps me from becoming stagnant (although at times, I feel like I do become stagnant). A client brief really keeps me on my toes. I have two choices I can go when I read a brief; I can fall back on my sharpened skills (for some clients, that’s the right choice), or I can push myself to build on my skills and explore other new styles. I love the challenge of learning new approaches, so I always love the latter and try at every opportunity to do this.
What can you recommend on CV?
Been too long since I wrote one. Not sure I’m the best person to ask, but if I were hiring, I’d want to see a simple and well-laid-out CV that’s easy to digest all the relevant information. My eyes dart all over the place when I see too much type.
Advice for someone looking for a job?
Try and be yourself. Office culture is hugely important for any business. Companies look at who will fit into their office environment. So try and be yourself. Obviously, your work will be vital, so keep your portfolio looking sharp and relevant
Why do you think you were selected among other candidates?
I guess a good portfolio speaks for itself. Then being yourself and having good communication skills.
Also read How I Became An Art Director, Coast To Coast!