Hello I'm

Matt Sutton

Digital Designer based in the University of Bristol. My role is to make academic research look fabulous.

Featured Projects


Graphics from the project were used on the front cover of Advanced Materials Technology, alongside other scientific publications.

The development and design of an explainer video, using motion graphics, to showcase the use of ultrasonic standing waves that manipulate microscale droplets and particles in the air, creating distinct patterns, which can be used to develop applications for a variety of industries.

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Brand design, illustrations, motion graphics and website creation were undertaken to create an engaging and fun world for this project aimed at upper primary and secondary school children, to support the educational tools to help nurture an interest in plant sciences and STEM research.

In addition, ‘Thaliana: Quest For Gene X’, a hands on interactive game, was designed and developed as a learning resource. With elements of the game being animated to create videos to represent game play for the website, social media, and marketing.

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Academic Branding

Branding is a key tool for creating and promoting an identity for a research group, research project or campaign.
Briefs are very individual and require a close working relationship with the research team to ensure the tone and brand fully reflect the desired profile.

Academic Illustrations

Illustrations are created to support grant applications, tenders, research papers and promotional material.
Each illustration needs to clearly showcase and reflect the research, idea, product, or prototype in a way which is both informative yet accessible for all to interpret.

Motion Graphics

Motion graphics are created to support research projects and to explain the product or prototype to a wider audience, both academic and non-academic.
The aim is to make research accessible and interesting for all, and encourage the information to be picked up by the mainstream media, to further promote the project.


The design and creation of the prototype, or elements of it, to help support the academic research and presentation of the product.
The creation of well designed, manufactured, and branded elements can significantly increase the impact of the prototype in presentations as well as its usability during research trials.

About Me

I’m an academic research designer with over 12 years of experience working across communication, prototype and experience design. I am passionate about creating design that bridges the gap between academia and non-academic fields, by cutting through the technical detail to make research exciting, engaging and accessible to all.

I live in Wales with my family and when not working I love to be outside on my bike, exploring the great outdoors with my children, or enjoying water sports. Design is a great passion of mine which has featured in my life for many years in a variety of medium, including graphic design, illustration, and photography.

Lucy Pru

Alongside Academic work, demand from freelancers often provides an opportunity to work closely with the client to develop unique branding in a different field, with additional freedom to think outside the confines of brand guidelines to create a truly reflective and individual piece of work.

Lucy is a Freelance Web Manager who wanted support to develop and create a modern and engaging brand to represent her company. Using her name, various designs were developed, including the final design which took her initials to create a flowing pattern of interlinking letters with a subtle 3D aspect created through the use of shading, and a font to reflect the shape of the logo. This allowed for the creation of an elegant, modern and standout brand which reflected the client’s personality.


A Bristol University project for Prof. Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics. The project focusses on the use of soundwaves to enable testing of aircraft and large structures for faults, through interpreting the vibrations of the objects.

The brief was to develop the branding, marketing campaign and supporting promotional material, for the project to be showcased at the Royal Society Summer Science Festival, including the design and tender for the interactive and engaging set. To highlight the relationship between sound, aviation and construction, the design uses a mirrored image of a skyline to reflect the balance between them.


Working closely with the client to research and develop a design to suit the range of academic SMEs involved. This project involved taking the brief through varying stages of design and development, communicating closely with the client to create an appropriate, engaging visual brand to support their project.

Virtual Realities Immersive Documentary Encounters

A collaborative research project that seeks to examine the production and user experience of nonfiction virtual reality content.

The brief required an identity and brand to be created that would represent the project and the interests of all SMEs involved, whilst clearly characterising and highlighting the subject of the research.

A 3D sphere was designed to represent the world of VR for the logo, along with a new identity and brand guidelines for the project. In addition, photographic work was completed for other promotional material and to support the research papers.


Bristol’s Partnerships and Alliances Portal

A new portal was to be created to support professors working with external agencies to ensure a centralised resource was available to them, to provide information on creation of tenders, writing and applying for patents, relevant contacts and other documentation and material to aid them when building partnerships.

The project was led by the Research and Enterprise Development (RED) team and the design of a rare red panda was created as a low-poly illustration, linking the project lead team and the project itself through a creative and quirky way. The style of the logo lent itself to being animated, and in addition to the static logo, an animated graphic of the design was also created to sit on the portal’s home page, using Adobe After Effects.


Generic, Highly-Organic Shape-Changing Interfaces

An EU supported research project designed to look at how we could manipulate onscreen objects with our fingertips to bring them in to the 3D world; thus enabling the user to handle objects and data in a new and interactive way, with a full tactile experience.

The brief was to create an engaging and representative brand to support the project. Each design developed with the team, used creative elements indicating motion and 3D forms to give the brand a clear theme linked to the project. The final design has coloured shapes forming from the GHOST wording, representing the objects being drawn into the 3D world. The colours and font were designed to be eye catching yet in keeping with brand guidelines from the various SMEs.

Digital Manufacturing LAB

With the creation of a new lab in Bristol University, the team were after a design that followed the brand guidelines of the department and the University yet gave the lab its own unique identity.

By using a theme centred around digital design, such as pixels, 3D shapes and wireframes, and including the brand colours and fonts identified, a selection of technology led images were created for the client to choose from. The final design provides a striking 3D design which highlights the creativity and technological work of the department.


Part of the Centre for Doctoral Training, Interactive AI was a new area requiring a brand to identify the department who look at the design and implementation of complex interactive AI pipelines.

Using the brand guidelines of the University, a variety of designs were developed using the themes of learning, the brain and human interaction, in the brand colours. The design, chosen by the client, used the letters IAI forming a 3D cube with the dot over the second i acting as an interactive button, creating a striking representation of the department.


Cross-modal Interactive Tools for inclusive Learning

The CRITICAL project aims to research and develop interactive learning tools to make group work in mixed classrooms more inclusive for visually impaired students.

The brief was to design and produce a corporate brand to reflect the ethos of the project; specifically wanting to address the theme of how changes to the classroom environment could create a more inclusive learning environment.

The designs created look at incorporating imagery representing classroom learning and interaction. The final design chosen by the client, uses an image of a book to represent learning, with the many colours showing integration as the pages overlap.

Ultrasonic Funnel

A range of illustrations were required to support an academic paper by Prof. Bruce Drinkwater from Bristol University, for his Ultrasonic Funnel. The diagrams clearly illustrate the process, with labelling added to identify key stages of the system.


An HCI project for a paper to be submitted to the CHI conference. The Knob Slider provides two functions as both a twistable knob as well as a slider; which transforms the device with a simple catch.

The brief required a range of graphics to be designed and created to showcase and explain the device in the paper. In addition, an instructional video was made to explain the research process, findings, and subsequent design and use of the product to support the paper. This involved filming throughout the process, producing the video to a high standard and the post video editing; leading to an informative instructional video of the product.

KnobSlider Video


An academic paper for CHI to support the findings of the EMPress, a device which can detect hand gestures using EMG and Force sensors, to measure muscle activity and pressure around the wrist.

The brief required illustrations and expanded diagrams to show the workings of the device for the paper. An explainer video was also created showing the device, with data from the device mapped to animations within the video to highlight the effects of the device in use.

MEPress Video


An innovative project to create a paint or cream which is injected with cells, which once applied to a surface can be manipulated through charging with electricity and then through using a device, such as a smartphone, in to an image with varying colours over the surface it has been applied.

The brief was to create illustrative imagery to support the grant application for the project. Through the use of detailed illustrations, the process of the product and how the cells are charged to create the outcome are represented in an engaging and visual way.

Sphere Installation

As part of Digital Health, this research project was created to look at how by using technology such as an Xbox, trackers and sensors around the home, one could monitor how a room is used by the inhabitants and look at the energy consumed in each room. This in turn would enable a way to improve the lifestyle of the residents or users and to reduce power usage.

The brief was to create an infographic to be provided to participants of the research trial in a pamphlet to explain to the process and what would happen throughout the trial. The illustrations were drawn in a vibrant style to engage the participants and make the stages of the research trial clear but in a fun and appropriate tone of voice.

Acoustic Tractor Beam

A project which developed a way to levitate particles through intensive sound waves. By using mini speakers omitting different phases, this creates an interference pattern or ‘tweezers’ which suspend the object in mid-air.

The project required the design, development and creation of a promotional video, poster and associated photographic and illustrative imagery. In addition, an instructional video was created on how to build your own portable acoustic tractor beam, making the project relatable, exciting, and engaging for the public.

Instructional Video


A research piece by Bristol Interaction Group in supporting the formation of healthy habits with augmented objects and tangible cues.

The brief was to produce a range of illustrations to support the grant application for the project. The designs were created in a modern hand drawn style using Illustrator. Each image represents aspects of living a healthy lifestyle and forming healthy habits.

Simple illustrations keep the piece light and informative in a style that is easy to engage with and suits the topic.

3D Printed Circuit Mockup

This project supported a proposal for the design and creation of a 3D circuit board through the process of 3D printing.

The brief was to create an image of the 3D circuit board to accompany the grant application. This involved a variety of processes to achieve this piece of work. The circuit board was illustrated and then mapped on to a 3D landscape before being imported in to Photoshop, where the remaining image was created and the addition of an illustrated nozzle and spray were also added.

Acoustic Patterningp

A project to create a device which can be used for in situ formation and patterning of randomised cells through ultrasound speakers by trapping and spatially manipulating colloidal objects.

Working with the research team to develop technical illustrations which would support the research paper, by showing the device and the process it undertakes in an accessible, yet informative way.

Diamond Battery

Research project led by the Cabot Institute, working with the South West Nuclear Hub, looking at how graphite waste, after decommissioning a nuclear site, can be heated and compressed to make diamonds, which in turn can be used for low power, long lifespan batteries, used within items such as satellites or bio-technology.

The main brief was to create an animated infographic to help support the research and explain the project for the general public. The video is therefore extremely engaging and accessible for all to understand through the use of illustrative graphics showing the full process of the transition of the graphite from nuclear power plant to diamond batteries; the video includes informative labels and VO to support the on screen animation.

Due to the accessible and informative nature of this infographic, it is the second most popular video on the Bristol University YouTube channel, with over 472k views.


A research project by the BIG Lab, looking at how ultrasound speakers can produce 3D objects through soundwaves, which can be felt by the user, yet are invisible to the naked eye.

The project was to be presented to CES for a Consumer Technology event and required a way to showcase this technology through a demo video.

The brief was challenging, as how do you show demonstrate a device producing an object that you can not see? So, a video was developed with camera tracking to add in examples of the 3D objects being created. This included the inclusion of animation and interaction by the actor to create the visual appearance of them interacting with the objects they were creating. In addition, branding creation for the project was required as well as the design of the prototype for the device itself.

The logo was created to represent the soundwaves developing into 3D shapes to create the U of Ultrahapics and included the use of the department’s brand guidelines for font and colour palette.

Digital Green Doors

A BIG Lab project to develop an interactive app to help consumers visit and see energy saving devices showcased in people’s homes. The app lets the user know when homes are open for them to visit. Once the consumer is at the property, the energy saving devices are displayed with a QR code, which can be scanned using the app, adding the device to the user’s interested list to review later.

The brief required a video to be produced to describe the project and how to use the app. The video uses illustrative hand drawn style graphics of Bristol and the creation of two characters to demonstrate the ease of use of the app. The video follows the two characters looking for the Open Green Door, one trying to navigate with a map and the other with the app. Once in the property the app user can simply scan the QR code of the products he is interested in. The style and tone of voice enabled a quirky, engaging video, which clearly demonstrates the project for a wide audience, to be produced.

Digital Green Doors Motion Graphic

Bristol Pound

A research project investigating how people used the Bristol Pound, especially with the growing momentum of consumers using contactless payment and mobile payment systems. The findings examined how the Text to Pay app supported people in making connections to others and the community, the environment and the way in which they spent money.

The brief required a video to describe the research and highlight how the text to pay app would work. An explainer animation of the app was created and imbedded into a video which looked at the wider use of the Bristol Pound, and discussed the research surrounding how the community found using the tool to be beneficial to keep communication open, whilst having a convenient way to pay for items. The video included both video footage of Bristol, the Bristol Pound in use and interviews with consumers.

Bristol Pound Motion Graphic


An exciting project which has developed a robotic grip which identifies the user’s finger whilst they are using a VR device, and automatically attaches to allow the user to interact fully with the programme they are using.

The brief required a variety of processes and elements to be created to support the project, including the creation of an explanatory video, photographic imagery and illustrations. The video was staged, produced and edited using Premier After Effects and included overlays which flowed with the movements of the device and additional illustrations to show the interaction with the user’s hand.


Robotic arms which attach to the thumb and forefinger of the user to enable people to touch and feel 3D objects, through VR. Created by Bristol's experts in human-computer interaction, Mantis is the first system of its kind that enables light, affordable and accessible haptic force feedback.

The brief required the development of an explainer video to showcase the product, its makeup and ease of use. The video was fully produced and edited and included the use of camera tracking, the addition of labelling into the scene, and the inclusion of a hypothetical product being created by the user, showing how the user would ‘see’ and manipulate the item through the technology.


A chrono-sensory mid-air display system that creates bubbles in a variety of sizes, with or without scent, along a directed path of varying distances. Each bubble is filed with fog which allows an image to be projected on to the bubble; for example a FaceBook symbol, notifying the recipient of an alert. The bubble can be burst leaving a scent related to the event or even link to websites, gaming activities etc.

The project required the design and development of a variety of elements to support the prototype, including the design and build of the casing, fan mounting and bubble juice reservoir. Items were created using Illustrator and a 3D Printer before assembly. The branding was also produced for the project and added to the protype for a finished feel and professional looking prototype.

The project was selected to receive a SIGCHI Best of CHI Honourable Mention Award at CHI.

SensaBubble in action


A device that electrifies fog and blows it through small vents to magnetised poles which enable the fog to be bent and manipulated, creating exciting and diverse displays.

The brief required the design, development and build of the box and pipes for the prototype, as well as creation of photographic imagery to support the project and an explainer video to be produced showing the process and capabilities of the product. In addition, simplistic expanded diagrams were created to accompany and enhance the research papers.

FogBender in action


This project created a modular system to levitate objects across 3D paths, allowing the control of multiple polyester beads simultaneously by way of two opposed arrays of transducers that create a standing wave capable of suspending objects in mid-air.

The project required a variety of design work for the grant application, including illustrated graphics of the product, and photographic imagery of the prototype and the inclusion of ball patterns being generated by the transducers on to the imagery using Photoshop. In addition, the project required the design, creation and build of a stand which would allow the researchers to control the setup of the plates and in turn move the speakers to allow different shapes to be formed. The stand was laser cut and assembled to be height adjustable to meet the brief. Finally, a mock-up of a dog was created to represent the balls being manipulated to create a large design to represent future development of the product for use as large levitating objects and rotational 3D screens.

Levitation Demo


A research project between Bath and Bristol University, using ultrasonic standing waves to manipulate microscale droplets and particles in the air, to pattern them on to a surface, determined by the acoustic field. Benefiting a variety of industries, Sonolithograohy could be used for electronics, industrial painting and even biofabrication.

The brief was to create an engaging and realistic explainer video to demonstrate how the technology works. This was then built in 3D to recreate the spraying and controlling of droplets. This allows the viewer to fully understand the technology and to see how it functions.

YouTube Video


Sci-Seedlets offers plant science educational resources to upper primary and secondary school children to nurture interest in plant sciences and STEM research.

The brief, through the Plant Science Group at Glasgow University, encompassed the need for brand design, illustrations, motion graphics, game design, and website creation; all whilst considering the demographic of the project and still satisfying the academic stakeholder’s needs.

Fun illustrations and a hands-on game were created with stakeholders to allow children to explore the world of plant science research, and perform experiments based around real scenarios.

Sci-Seedlets Website