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Matson Graphics of Huntington Beach posts its 1st Blog

November 23rd, 2009

Well, this is my first real blog posting for Matson Graphics. I’m not much of a writer, but I thought it would be nice to post some of the graphic design knowledge I learn from time to time. But first, I thought I would share some information about me. Some of you may remember me from running the Huntington Beach Pro/Am Surf Series contest for so many years. Well, those days have passed and I am a whole new business man now. Grab a cup of Joe and check it out.

My mom, my brother, Thad, and I moved to Huntington Beach when I was seven. I liked my new school, Smith Elementary, but more than anything else, I loved the freedom my mom gave my brother and me to cruise our skateboards downtown from morning till night. That was back when David Nuuhiwa still had his boards at Chuck Dent Surf Shop. One Christmas my dad bought me a new, triple extra small wetsuit (Body Glove Spyder) at Georges and a sweet 5’8″ Nuuhiwa Twin Fin from Chuck Dent Surf Shop. I remember Fig taking my picture, holding my new board, and adding it to the collage on the back wall. The air spray had clouds, blue skies and a rainbow on it. Funny thing is, I still ride Chuck Dent surfboards to this day and I’m best of friends with the owner.

So much has happened since then. I finished high school on the ten year plan (o.k. 4 1/2yrs) and then began my manual labor-filled work career. There was busboy at Marios, carpentry, surfboard salesman, tile installation, pizza delivery, and Cable Guy. I even spent some time working at a retirement center, which was very entertaining at times. Almost daily, the same, elderly woman would hold out her teeth, and ask me to put them back in for her. Of course, I would always point to my good buddy and say, “Go ask the male nurse over there!” After many jobs, I finally decided to work for the surf industry, and got a job working in the warehouse at Billabong. During those four years working for Bob Hurley, I was surfing in contests, trying to be a Pro, but finally realized I didn’t quite have what it takes. One day, around 1996, I had the idea to begin a new series of surf contests. I hooked up with a couple buddies of mine at the time and that idea turned into the Huntington Beach Pro/Am Surf Series. I ran the event for a good eight years. I loved the contest and it loved me. The locals and the pros loved it too, and we had lots of sponsors whom we all loved! The contest was a blast until 9-11 happened and sponsor dollars slowly disappeared. The City started becoming much more strict about permits and I had a few disgruntled locals who were giving me a hard time about running events at the pier. I knew it was time to sell the event and move on. Luckily, I had already been studying graphic design while running the surf contests.

I remember coming home from a Bali surf vacation in 2001 and telling my mom that I was quitting my cable job to go to Graphic Design college. She was surprised because she knew how much I hated high school. Turns out, I loved college. I learned that I liked going to school for something that I was inspired by. So, I worked hard and earned a 4.0 gpa, but better yet, I got to design cool stuff! I actually enjoyed school for the first time in my life because I was following my passion. $25,000 dollars later, I graduated.

I did all the graphic design for the surf contest and even for some of the sponsors, so I decided to do graphics as a full time career. I sold the contest in 2003, to my close friend, Jeff Deffenbaugh, and launched www.matsongraphics.com at the same time. I started out designing pretty much only logos and business cards, but you know how things happen that you never saw coming? I ended up designing a website that year for Blue Rider Surf, and that’s how my whole web design specialty got started. Since then, I have designed over 45 websites. Though surfing is still my passion, I make most of my money doing corporate designs, for clients outside of the surf industry.

I’m grateful to have worked for so many wonderful clients over the years. Hats off to each of you and thanks for working with Matson Graphics. I get most of my business via word of mouth, so I really appreciate everyone spreading the word. My website is ranked very well with the search engines, which also helps get new gigs.

It’s been six years since that initial site launch and the Matson Graphics website was due for a re-do. I decided to add a Blog to the new site, so here it is. I’ll be blogging about Graphic Design, Websites, T-Shirts, Print Design, Logo Design, Website Hosting, Design Tips, SEO Tips, and will have a special section called Definitions. I recently taught Graphic Design at HBHS through the ROP program, where I was frequently asked to define stuff, hence the Definitions category.

I’m still surfing weekly, and that is my true passion in life. Art comes next on the list. I try to paint or design art whenever I’m not working. I don’t typically consider graphic design as doing art. Mostly because I’m usually called upon to design things in my clients’ vision, not my own. Plus, I don’t think Pablo Picasso would consider a business card design one of his best pieces… ha ha! However, I feel very lucky to have a career that allows me to express my creativity. It’s funny, sometimes I will tell new clients that I surf, and they won’t call me back. I think they picture the Spicoli-type of surfers that are portrayed on TV and in the movies. Little do they know that I have been running my own businesses successfully for over 13 years, and have 2 years of teaching under my belt. Sure, I take surf breaks from time to time, but my clients always get what they order, and on time. Yeah, I am very laid back, but that’s just because I have been brought up to be a laid back person. When I put my mind to something, I get it done.

In fact, I’m the creator of EZ Invoice, Inc., an easy-to-use invoicing only software and I am the sole proprietor of Huntington Beach Hosting, local, reasonably-priced website hosting with excellent customer service. I’m even in the process of launching a Search Engine of my own called Domain Brain.

I donate my extra time and talent to Boxer Rescue Orange County, Minds in the Water, Surfers for Cetaceans, Bleu’s Crew, Radically Free and HB/Seal Beach Surfrider Foundation. My personal motto is, “Generosity Generates“, so I try to be as generous as I feasibly can with my talents.

I’m a true entrepreneur at heart and I love inventing things. I have been married to my beautiful wife, Jennifer, for nine years and we have a cute brindle boxer named Bronson.

Well, now you know a little bit about me. I hope you come back to my blog often and read some of my future posts on graphic design and web design.

Seth Matson
Creative Director/President

Matson Graphics | 18920 Breezy Lane | Huntington Beach | CA | 92648
714 596 5019 (office) Best Option | 714 493 3777 (cell) | 714 625 8210 (fax)
seth@matsongraphics.com | www.matsongraphics.com

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