Sam Chatham

Creative — Graphic Designer, Illustrator

If you ask graphic designer Sam Chatham what he loves most about creative work, it’s making visual connections with the audience and communicating the deeper meanings behind a design.

The inspiration to create an illustration, design a logo or develop graphics comes from extensive research on related images, past campaigns, and symbolic meanings. Sam comes up with a concept, puts it on paper, and only then fine-tunes the details digitally. His personal mission is to produce a timeless design that attracts the viewer, cultivates engagement, and evokes emotion.

Sam says digital media have tended to desensitize viewers due to relentless screen time and a lack of physical and emotional connection. “By combining deep research and traditional media with digital techniques, I strive to bring warmth and relatability into every design solution,” he says.

His creative method comes out of his experience in working with a variety of clients, from small businesses to world-renown brands. He’s worked on client’s complete rebrands, designing websites, and custom graphics.

Sam says the most memorable project he’s had so far was working with the West Coast’s original surf gear company, O’Neill, in Santa Cruz. As a new product design graduate of California State University, Channel Islands, he learned about the origins of the company and its dedication to producing the most innovative and functional surf wear around. His work with them included creating surf wear prototypes, custom graphics, and finalizing all the designs for production.

His work with them included a complete rebrand, redesign of the client’s online webstore, creating surf wear prototypes, and finalizing all the designs for production.

Sam’s methodical approach to solving design problems comes from being involved in his father’s construction business. At a young age, he was pouring concrete for home foundations and framing buildings. That hands-on process carried through to his interest in reconfiguring computers and their digital structures.

Sam is constantly searching the web to learn from other artists and designers, gain insight into different design techniques, and find inspiration in collaboration.

When he’s not sketching, studying, or designing, Sam checks out the surf reports along the Central Coast to find the best spot for the day. You can find him in the water connecting with the momentum of the sea one wave at a time.