MATT SCOTT BARNES
Born Nashville, Tennessee, 1983. He attended Western Kentucky University’s Bachelor in Fine Arts program for Graphic Design 2003-07, Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Masters of Fine Art for Graphic Design 2015-17. His work has been showcased in publications such as Graphic Magazine (Korea) 2021, Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse (Wordshape) 2019, GD USA 2017, Monthly Design magazine (Korea) 2015, UC.Quarterly 2014.Q2 and 2013.Q4, Print Regional Annual 2011.
His work has been exhibited around the world including The Packing Plant in Nashville, Tennessee 2018, Jeju Yeon Gallery in Jeju-do, Korea 2016, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio 2012, Art Academy of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio 2011.
He is currently acting as the director & cofounder of Funeral in Brooklyn, New York, educator at Parsons New School of Design, curator at Us by Us, typographer at Bad Type Club. Outside of work he spends his time writing, working on his home, messing with vintage mopeds, or playing music.
Available for commissions, collaborations or inquiries.
MFA - Graphic Design
Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA)
BFA — Graphic Design / Print Making
Western Kentucky University (WKU)
(01.02.2022) AIGA’s Eye on Design
(11.11.2021) The Brand Identity
(10.12.2021) Cargo Newsletter (CN207)
(07.30.2021) The Dieline
(05.07.2021) Creative Boom
(05.04.2021) The Dieline
(04.30.2021) Evernote Design
Us by Us
Client : Project
The Us by Us website had been inactive for the past few years, even though new products were being developed. In just a few days, I created a simple design inspired by 90s site design and ASCII art, and then developed it using the new Cargo 3 beta.
Larry's is a local dive bar down the street from my place. I built all the following work to help support them.
Sacred Words is a neighborhood bar located in deep Bushwick. It's a destination to hang out and drink with neighbors and friends. Our team was approached to design their identity and collateral. The bar is a central meeting place where plans are made and dreams are created. Each patron becomes their own king of the community.
I was approached to build out a brand for a new public painting class that allows their students to unwind while learning the basics. Trees pushes its clients to unleash their inner artist and creativity where smoking bud is allowed. This class is perfect for beginners and experienced artists alike, and all skill levels are welcome. In the class, you will learn the basics of painting while relaxing with like-minded folks. Trees creates a relaxed and creative atmosphere where you can let loose and have fun.
On Board Watersports offers thrilling watersports on Norris Lake, Tennessee. They provide private charters, allowing users to indulge in activities like wake surfing, wakeboarding, and tubing while taking in the stunning scenery.
Our team was tasked with creating a visual identity and website that reflects the owner's vision and voice while remaining approachable and user-friendly for potential clients.
San Antonio-based chef JC Rodriguez had the idea of creating a scratch pop-up kitchen that offers unique and diverse culinary experiences. We aimed to design a visual identity that captures the essence of the menu's distinctive style. To accomplish this, we developed a collection of logos that embody the concept of a scratch-made menu. By combining nostalgic images throughout various elements, we convey the blend of flavors that can be found on the menu. It is important to note that this project is an ongoing engagement, and the work is continuously evolving.
Superform is a non-custodial yield marketplace in the cryptocurrency category. Their dApp is designed to help users maximize their crypto capital with tools for securing assets and increasing profits. We worked with founders Vikram Arun, Alex Cort, and Blake Richardson to develop their brand, website, and other launch materials.
Strategy / Copy: Nate Coonrod
Development: Kevin Green
McArthur enlisted our help once again for the visual concept of his latest release, "Milky Stars". We developed a campaign look and feel for each main single, using highly saturated colors, desolate landscapes, and a sense of self.
For the full-length suite, we opted for a bold, simplified container, removing all colors from the outer packaging. The vinyl reflects the vibrance of the music, and each repressing has the ability to pick up colors from the singles.
In addition to the packaging, we created two shirt designs: one that directly reflects the full-length album, and a second that aligns more closely with the abstract landscapes of the singles.
Add'l. Design: Chad Miller
"Unwavering Kindness and Everlasting Love" is an exceptional release by San Antonio's post-punk noise band, Trashdragon. The unique blend of post-punk and noise rock is on full display throughout the album, with each track featuring intricate guitar riffs and thunderous drum beats.While talking with the band, I discovered that they had a collection of photographs taken by Feoadlf. Once I stumbled upon these dreamy, nostalgic images used for the cover, I needed to pair them with a graphic element from the past. The dragon illustration was borrowed from a late 60's take-out menu for a Chinese restaurant in Australia. The Back photograph was taken of a potted flower in Brooklyn. Organizing lengthy content into a grid layout allows owners to navigate the content easily.
Cover Photography: Feoadlf
This website is specifically designed to showcase a Shopify plugin that offers a valuable feature for online store owners. With this plugin, you can notify your customers when products are restocked, providing them with a seamless shopping experience and helping you to increase sales.
The plugin is a great solution for those who want to keep their customers informed when their favorite products are back in stock. This is especially important for products that are in high demand and sell out quickly. By using this plugin, you can avoid the frustration that customers feel when they are unable to purchase a product they want.
The website highlights the key features of the plugin and how it works. It provides detailed information on how to integrate the plugin with your Shopify store, as well as how to customize the notifications to match your brand. In addition, the website includes customer testimonials and case studies, demonstrating the benefits of the plugin and how it has helped other online store owners to increase their sales and customer satisfaction.
Overall, this website is a valuable resource for online store owners who want to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience and increase their sales. With this plugin, you can keep your customers informed and engaged, ensuring that they keep coming back to your store.
Hunger Mountain, a literary journal, was founded in 2002 by faculty and students in the Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. The journal aimed to showcase the best of contemporary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, young adult, and children's writing. Since then, it has been a platform for emerging and established writers and artists to share their work with readers.
Recently, we were tasked with rebranding and building a new website for Hunger Mountain. Our goal was to help the publication transition smoothly from print to the digital world. We had to carefully consider the design, layout, and functionality of the website to ensure that it would be visually appealing and easy to navigate for readers. Additionally, we collaborated with the editors to create new content such as author interviews, writing prompts, and book reviews to engage the audience and keep them coming back for more. With our efforts, we hope to expand the reach of Hunger Mountain and help it continue to be a vital part of the literary community for years to come.
After successfully completing work on the Pursoma website, our team was approached to create a small marketing site for the founder and owner, Shannon Vaughn. The objective of this new site was to highlight her accomplishments, showcase her press write-ups, and promote her speaking engagements. Our team designed a simple yet elegant grid layout to accommodate multiple page types, including a page for her bio, a page for her press mentions, and a page for her upcoming speaking engagements. We worked closely with Shannon to create a user-friendly interface that would allow visitors to easily navigate through the site, view her press write-ups, and register for her speaking engagements. Additionally, we added various interactive features to make the site more engaging and memorable, such as a photo gallery and a blog section. In the end, the site proved to be a great success, attracting more visitors to Shannon's site, and increasing her speaking engagements.
Photography: Cece Davis
Pursoma is a brand that focuses on self-wellness, aiming to help people achieve better physical and mental health. To do this, they use only all-natural and sustainably sourced ingredients to create their highly effective self-care products. Funeral, a renowned design firm, was tasked with optimizing and expanding Pursoma's visual identity, and developing a high-functioning e-commerce site. The project was designed to reflect the brand's educational aspect, while also ensuring that repeat customers could quickly and easily find their orders.
To accomplish these goals, Funeral worked with Pursoma to develop a comprehensive strategy that involved not only the design of the website but also the development of content that would educate and inform visitors about the benefits of Pursoma's products. This content was carefully crafted to be engaging and informative, while also highlighting the unique features of each product.
In addition to the website, Funeral also developed a range of marketing materials to help promote Pursoma's brand and products. These included social media campaigns, email newsletters, and print advertisements. By leveraging these channels, Funeral was able to help Pursoma reach a wider audience and build a loyal customer base.
Overall, Funeral's work with Pursoma was a great success, helping the brand to establish a strong visual identity and build a reputation for high-quality, all-natural self-care products. With their new e-commerce site and marketing materials in place, Pursoma is well-positioned to continue growing and expanding its reach in the self-wellness market.
Poolsuite FM has recently launched their new product, Vacation, which aims to bring back the fun in using sunscreen. Vacation claims to be the "world's best-smelling sunscreen" due to its unique blend of coconut, shea butter, and jasmine. But it's not just any ordinary blend - it also includes playful notes of pool toys and swimsuit Lycra, which gives a fresh and exciting take on the classic "sunscreen smell".
To help with their pre-launch and teaser interim site, Jetskis was approached by Poolsuite FM. The goal was to capture the essence of an 80s beach resort trifold brochure. The result was an exciting and engaging website that gave potential customers a glimpse of what Vacation is all about.
After the successful launch of the teaser site, Jetskis took on the challenge of fully conceptualizing and building out a unique e-commerce experience for Poolsuite FM. With a focus on user experience, the new e-commerce site was designed to be easy to navigate and visually appealing. Customers can easily browse through the different products and make a purchase with just a few clicks.
In summary, Poolsuite FM's Vacation is not just any ordinary sunscreen - it's a fun and exciting product that brings back the joy of using sunscreen. With the help of Jetskis, Poolsuite FM was able to successfully launch its product and create a unique e-commerce experience for its customers.
For the first-ever Calvin Klein collaboration, dotdotdash created a three-dimensional experience for customers to fully immerse themselves in the brand. The experience was designed to showcase the brand's unique vision and to create a lasting impression on those who visited. By partnering with Funeral, the experience was further elevated, as we provided guidance on user interaction and designed interactive states that were both engaging and intuitive. Our goal was to ensure that every customer who interacted with the experience left feeling like they had truly experienced the essence of Calvin Klein.
Kevin Green and I decided to organize an outdoor meet-up event for our (Spaghetti)Slack group of over 500 members. We named it the world's first-ever mega-Digi-spaghetti meet-up. I created the visual concept for the event, and Kevin developed a mini-site for RSVPs and a single purchasable item.
We faced challenges in sourcing shirts due to the Covid-related cotton shortage. To overcome this, I designed the product description page to describe colors abstractly instead of showing actual visuals. This allowed us to source shirts from various brands and select the final fabric color based on what was in stock.
Development: Kevin Green
Ephemeral is a one-of-a-kind tattoo parlor that offers tattoos that are designed to fade over time. The ink used in the tattoos has been in development for the past six years, and the first location has finally opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The company collaborated with Funeral team to create the visual identity of the brand. In order to achieve Ephemeral's goal of being "something between a traditional tattoo shop (eclectic and heritage) and a high-end salon structure (without being inaccessible), with a range of playful (hinting at the nature of the product) to clinical (capturing trust in the technology)," the logo was actually designed with four interchangeable logos. This allows for flexibility and a wide range of possibilities for the brand's future development.
Funeral was brought in to help build the brand voice and visual identity. In order to emphasize the idea of tattoos changing over time, we created four different wordmarks that can be added to in the future. We also chose soft color palettes that would bring a sense of comfort to the brand's users. By working with Funeral, Ephemeral has been able to create a unique and cohesive brand identity that truly captures the essence of its mission and goals.
I was recently approached to help with the promotion of My Chemical Romance's upcoming reunion mini-tour. Specifically, I was asked to design a series of promotional posters for a few of the tour dates. To create a visually stunning and eye-catching design, I decided to use imagery of liminal spaces and static-filled glimpses of figures, which I then arranged together using a shared grid.
The idea behind using liminal spaces and static-filled glimpses of figures was to create a sense of mystery and intrigue that would draw potential concert-goers in. Liminal spaces, such as hallways and stairwells, are often associated with a sense of uncertainty and transition, which I thought was fitting given the anticipation and excitement surrounding My Chemical Romance's reunion tour. By juxtaposing these liminal spaces with static-filled glimpses of figures, I aimed to create a sense of movement and energy within the design.
To further enhance the visual impact of the posters, I chose to arrange the imagery using a shared grid. This allowed me to create a cohesive and visually balanced design that would be both aesthetically pleasing and easy to read.
During the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Fall 2020 graduating class of the Vermont College of Fine Arts' Masters of Fine Art in Studio Art program demonstrated their their need to showcase their thesis to the community. Despite facing a remote graduation, they requested that we create a website that could serve as a platform to showcase individual virtual gallery experiences.
The website would allow artists to display their work in an online gallery that could reach a wider audience. By doing so, the graduates hoped to promote art in a time when physical galleries were forced to close their doors.
Following up on last year's "Ever Green, Ever Rain" release, McArthur approached us to help build unique packaging for their upcoming two EPs. These EPs feature acoustic versions of multiple songs from the previous release. We decided to use large promotional photo moments, with small typography and hand-drawn titles to counterbalance the heavy gridded type.
We were brought in by ILYSM (I Love You So Much), a lifestyle brand based in New York City, to develop and evolve its visual identity. The brand is focused on all things ugly, comfy, and cool. Our collaboration with ILYSM involved refining their logo system and creating a distinctive visual language that spans all aspects of the brand, both physical and digital.
We worked closely with the owner, Alice Wang to understand their values and messaging, incorporating these ideas into the visual identity to create a cohesive and engaging brand experience. In addition to the logo system, we also developed a comprehensive set of brand guidelines to ensure consistency across all of the marketing materials. These guidelines covered everything from color palettes to typography, ensuring that every element of the brand's visual language was perfectly aligned with its values and messaging.
This document outlines the identity and packaging system for the Pinko "You & You" 12 inch LP. Each sleeve is printed in black and white and comes with a color poly sleeve that matches the vinyl color for each variant. Liner notes are printed on one side of a folded-down newsprint poster located inside the sleeve.
Released on Hex Records December 13, 2019
Add'l. Design: Chad Miller
Image Design Works, a creative production studio based in Oakland, California, approached us, seeking our assistance in reimagining their brand identity. They were looking to revitalize their image and create a more modern look and feel that would better reflect their dynamic team and the top-quality services they offer.
To begin the project, we conducted an in-person workshop with each partner and employee, delving deep into their unique perspectives and ideas. Through our discussions, we identified key elements of their brand that we could build upon, while also identifying areas where we could innovate and expand their offerings.
After careful consideration and analysis, we decided to shorten the wordmark to I.D/W. This new identity was inspired by the team's collaborative approach to design and the innovative solutions they bring to each project. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure that every aspect of the new brand accurately reflected the company's values and goals.
To ensure that the rebranding was a complete success, we also created new collateral and a complete website. The new website now showcases the studio's impressive portfolio, and the updated collateral materials are designed to engage potential clients and partners in a more compelling way. The result is a fresh, modern, and dynamic brand that truly captures the essence of I/D.W and its talented team.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote brings to light the persistent and arduous efforts of a broad array of activists throughout the course of American history who fought to ensure that voting rights were extended to all women in the United States.
The exhibit spans across an expansive area of 3,000 square feet and boasts over 90 items that are on display, including an array of records, artifacts, and photographs that capture the essence of the journey that women went through to obtain voting rights. I was fortunate enough to work alongside Second Story, and contributed to the planning and implementation of the exhibit's art direction, which included projected videos, the exhibit catalog, and the development of an effective way finding system that would guide visitors through the space with ease.
This collaborative release from Pinko and Exhalants features two loud, fast, and noisy tracks on each side, resulting in a total of four songs for the split seven-inch vinyl. We approached the design process in a similar manner to their music-making: each wrote and recorded their own tracks separately before coming together to deliver the final product. To bring this project to life, Chad Miller, Andrew Brumagen, and Iworked independently, focusing on different aspects of the design before bringing everything together for the final product. We used a studio Risograph to produce the final artwork in order to achieve a cohesive and unified look.
Listen To Here
As the demand for CBD products continues to grow, consumers are becoming more interested in learning about the differences between various products. Snake Oil Supplements (S.O.S.) has entered the market with a unique approach to educating consumers about CBD products, all at an affordable price.
Our team was given the task of creating a brand name, developing a strategy, and crafting a visual identity that would effectively communicate the simplicity and ease of using CBD products. Through thorough research, we discovered that many of our competitors were using misleading messaging and selling products that were not effective, leaving consumers feeling disappointed and frustrated.
To combat this, we developed a simple identity system that allows consumers to easily navigate products that meet their specific needs. With our approach, consumers can feel confident in their purchase and trust that they are getting a high-quality product that is worth their investment. Additionally, we created a variety of educational materials to help consumers learn more about CBD and its many benefits.
In mid-2018, S.T.O.N.E. (Street Terror Oath of No Emotion), a clothing brand, was created through a friendly collaboration with The Naptown Collective. The brand was born out of a desire to create something unique and innovative that would be a reflection of the collective's ethos. The brand's vision is to provide a platform for individuals to express themselves through fashion, and to challenge traditional norms and boundaries. S.T.O.N.E. represents a new way of thinking about fashion and textiles, and it is through the collaboration with Elliot from The Naptown Collective that this vision has been made a reality.
Production: Elliott Gress
Michael McArthur's debut studio album, titled "Ever Green, Ever Rain", not only showcases his stunning vocal range and songwriting skills, but also tells the story of an artist in pursuit of his dreams.
Recorded in Los Angeles in the summer of 2018, the album is a testament to Michael's dedication and passion for music. Despite the long drive from his home in Florida, he pushed through to create a work of art.
When Michael approached me, he had a clear vision for the album's direction. He wanted the album art and packaging to capture the mood of his songs. I worked closely with him to bring his vision to life.
The album art features a constant rhythm pattern across the spine, which is a nod to the musicality of the songs. The color themes expressed through the photography and vinyl add depth to the overall visual experience of the album.
My longstanding partnership with the Indianapolis Kuma's has resulted in the creation of several apparel items. These items are inspired by, and often parodies, the heavy metal music played within the restaurant. It's worth noting that the creative process for these products is quite intricate and involves the careful selection of materials, unique design applications, and top-notch manufacturing techniques. Above are a few examples of the products we've crafted.
This is the first and final full-length release by Alone, a well-known shoegaze band from Bowling Green, Kentucky. The album contains nine tracks that are sure to captivate any listener. The clear dark green vinyl not only looks visually appealing but also provides a unique listening experience. Additionally, the album comes with hand-pulled screen-printed covers that are true works of art. The xerox liner notes add an extra level of depth to the overall experience, allowing the listener to fully immerse themselves in the world of Alone. This album is a must-have for any shoegaze fan and is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Edition of 250
Self-released on February 9, 2016
Printing Assistance: Joe “Hunk Hogan” Wehrman
Red Feather is a restaurant with a unique identity that sets it apart from other fine dining establishments. The restaurant prides itself in its rustic-yet-upscale "scratch kitchen," where the chefs utilize fresh, high-quality ingredients from all over to handcraft dishes that are full of character and distinction.
To further enhance the restaurant's image, we developed an identity that tells the story of quality and craftsmanship with charm and irreverence. The graphic elements and patterns were meticulously hand-drawn to add texture and detail that elevates the restaurant's rough and rugged appeal. We also used various techniques to create a tangible connection to handcrafted quality, such as screen-printed pencil sleeves and laser-engraved menu boards.
As a result of our efforts, Red Feather is now renowned not only for the quality of its food, but also for the unique and unforgettable experience it provides. The attention to detail and emphasis on handcrafted quality truly sets it apart, making it a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates fine dining done right.
As a concept designer, I was brought on board to take an iconic brand to the next level. The company had been successful in its existing markets, but as it expanded into new international ones, it needed to adapt its product line to appeal to a wider range of customers. To achieve this goal, I set out to create a new line of clothing for summer and fall that would be both stylish and versatile.