About

I started my ‘official’ design career at Art Center College of Design but really my education began at very early age. When I wasn’t drawing comics or hot rods I was in my dads shop welding, fabricating and building things basically no child should be allowed near. I have always been obsessed with all things mechanical. This desire to understand how things work coupled with my illustration background really formed the basis for my studies and ultimately my life.

As a young designer I valued variety and so I jumped around a lot, trying to learn as much as I could about different types of product design. I focused on action sports and athletic wear because the products you use will either enhance or negatively affect your performance, you can’t escape it. I also have been fortunate to work with some of the most influential brands in this space and the truly iconic leaders who got them there. My design philosophy is pretty simple, product is king, and it should look as good as it works. Storytelling is important, but too often the product doesn’t live up to the promise, both need to be strong.

My passion is working with athletes and end users to improve their experiences and performance whether thats on the track, on the mountain or on the streets. I also really enjoy leading teams of designers, growing and mentoring talent, and providing a space where designers feel free to realize their potential and contribute at the highest level.

SR DESIGN DIRECTOR UA

As Sr Design Director for Under Armour I led a team of ten designers plus external consultants overseeing all categories of Run from track and field to Sportstyle as well as the Outdoor product line which was also diverse. Responsibilities included setting seasonal design direction, personally designing pinnacle projects, working with athletes, and partnering across functions from color, materials, graphics and Brand teams too drive consistent storytelling and go to market strategies.

PRINCIPAL / DESIGNER

Design Consultant for Patagonia working with Yvonne Chouinard, Anon, Keen, Nike, Adidas AIT, Smith Optics, FOX, Oakley, and many more brands bringing award winning, innovative solutions to market in their respective spaces. During this time I designed the Smith Variant helmet which won an IDSA consumer product award behind the iPhone and launched their helmet line as well as a series of trail shoes and boots for Patagonia that changed the fishing industry and also won awards.

DESIGN LEAD SMITH OPTICS

Lead designer for Smith Optics in Sun Valley Idaho (or heaven as I call it). While there I was responsible for building out our R&D team, and for product creation across all categories from Surf to Snow to Moto. I worked on goggles, eyewear, bags and accessories.

 SR DESIGNER AT NIKE

I was recruited out of Art Center by Nike and have worked twice there, leaving both times to pursue other opportunities. During my time I worked mostly in the ACG category working with legends like Tinker Hatfield, Al Van Noy and others to create iconic product for the brand. I was also tapped to design eyewear, inline skates, Nike Man for Phil Knight, and Air Max Running shoes. I was part of a joint GM venture working on the Hummer H3 during that time as well designing custom tires for their SEMA show truck. I enjoyed my time at Nike, its a formidable product creation and marketing engine, but ultimately I wanted the variety that contract design allows.

Currently I’m looking for my next opportunity with a brand that is the right fit for my curious mind and my interests and will allow me to continue to work with a broader team, set creative direction, mentor younger talent, design cool product and work with athletes.

To contact me, I can be reached at mattraskdesign@gmail.com or by phone @ 503 539 3728.

Matt