About

My name is Matthew Gruman. I am a multi-media designer, web developer, marketer, editor, and project manager. I have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from the University of British Columbia with a minor in English Literature, a Media and Communications diploma from Vanier College, and have done numerous courses in design and marketing.

For the past two decades I have worked for Universities like McGill and the University of British Columbia, publishers like Canadian Literature and BC Studies, local and national authors and academics, and companies like Cool Tools LLC. and the Canadian Bar Association. In recent years I have been designing and making wood projects, electronics, and apps.

Design is Communication

The philosophy I use when approaching all my work is that a well-designed project communicates its message as ideally as possible. No matter what the end project looks like, if it isn’t communicating to its audience it’s not well-done. The analogy I like to use is a poster for a concert: you can have the most beautiful poster in the world, but if the address and time aren’t easy to see and read it’s going to be less effective than black text on white paper.

Repurposing

Repurposing items, and finding ways to use already-available-resources, is a big part of my work. Every project I do, from a full-stack website to a toilet roll holder, starts with a paper and pencil sketch of goals and resources – budget, supplies, time, etc.

When I work with a client I interview them and offer suggestions on how to better use their resources. For myself, it’s just a way of life. My family immigrated here during World War I, and I inherited a lot of those values as well as an appreciation for the history of objects and how they work. As a kid I didn’t get in trouble for skipping school, but my Mom was constantly asking me to stop taking machines apart; she never thought my “you can still use it, you just need to attach this and this…” explanations were valid, haha. But it gave me “designer eye” from a very young age – I don’t see an object so much as I see its parts. I go to tons of flea markets and thrift stores just looking at things and asking questions if I can’t find out what they do.

Skills

Coding

  • Angular 2+
  • Typescript 2+
  • Firebase
  • AngularFire 2+
  • CodeIgniter
  • CSS
  • ePub
  • HTML
  • Javascript/jQuery
  • MySQL
  • PHP

Software

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Google SketchUp
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Microsoft Office
  • Operating Systems: iOS, OS X, Windows, various Linux

Other

  • Copy Editing
  • PayPal integration
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Typography