Meet Masonry Creative Director: Nathan Trafford

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Nathan Trafford
05.20.19

After graduating from Texas State University and spending a couple of years at a small design shop, Nathan spent the next 8 years years honing his skills at T3, a digital design and innovation agency in Austin. While he has always had a passion for design and pushing pixels, it was here that he learned about using research and user feedback to craft brand stories that drive customer loyalty. When he’s not living in brand land, you can find Nathan spending time with his wife Christina, and daughter Penny.

Where are you from and how did you end up in Austin?

I was born in England, but spent most of my childhood years in Pittsburgh and Houston. Needless to say, my accent is very confusing. I attended college at Texas State in San Marcos, so living in Austin was a natural next step.

What is your favorite thing to do in Austin?

We’re lucky to live in such a creative, eclectic town, and there’s always something going on. I love finding new restaurants and exploring spots to take our little girl. I also enjoy the many fishing spots, high quality disc golf courses and local breweries.

What generally makes you feel accomplished at the end of the day?

Well I’m a new dad, so just getting through the day at all feels like an accomplishment right now. More practically, though, I feel good when I know I’ve created something meaningful or useful, whether that’s building a piece of art, designing a logo or even just crafting the user experience of a check-out flow.

What would your dream project be?

I’m a big watch nerd. I love the artistry of mechanical watches and also the passion of the watch community. I would love to one day start a microbrand, designing my own watches.

I am also super into the design possibilities of biometrics and wearables because I think that there is so much opportunity to really improve people’s lives beyond fitness apps.

What is your favorite Austin hangout / best place to get a drink?

Our favorite spot is probably Mattie’s Green Pastures. Great vibe and great drinks.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Going to go with my British roots here and say bangers and mash. But—and this is important—substitute the gravy for Heinz Baked Beans. Just go with it.

Craziest celebrity encounter you’ve ever experienced?

When I was 7 or 8 years old and living in Pittsburgh, there was a mediocre wide receiver on the Steelers called Yancey Thigpen. They had a meet and greet one day and my parents asked if my brother and I wanted to go. I vividly remember being very confused why we were going to a “pig pen”, but I was a kid so I went with it. When we got to the front of the line I turned to my brother and loudly asked, “So where’s the pig pen?” He still signed my football, so that was cool.

What’s the best vacation you ever went on?

For relaxing: 2 weeks in Hawaii. For travelling: 2 weeks in Italy.

Would you rather never have coffee again or live without TV forever?

Somewhere along the line, I gave up on caffeine and have been mainly living on water, so this one’s pretty easy.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

In one word, “Listen”. People, and clients specifically, often already know the answer to the question that they’re asking. It’s our job as creatives to listen to the cues and distill it down into a story that resonates.


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