The Thunder from Down Under

Capital International Group
November 8, 2018

Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Thomas Hartley although most people call me ‘Harts’. I am a Graphic Designer. Originally, from Perth, Australia, my route into design was a little unorthodox. I completed a Certificate 3 in Design and Printing then went straight to work for a print company as an Internal Account Manager. After managing projects and building relationships with printers I decided the role wasn’t creative enough for me, so I took some time off and travelled around Europe.  Upon returning to Perth I then went on to complete a Bachelor of Graphic Design via SAE Creative Institute. During my studies, I interned for a company called Studio Field, working on multiple projects mainly in the wine and beverage industry.

I’ve come to realize that a lot of people don’t actually know what a Graphic Designer is or what they do. The profession can be either very broad or very niche.

Before joining CIG, I worked on developing products and projects to the launch stage such as logo conceptualization, packaging design, and any other collaterals needed.

My role has changed somewhat since joining CIG. As the resident in-house graphic designer, I have been tasked with a more diverse range of responsibilities. From internal document design and the design of external documents such as the Quarterly Investment Reviews to creating internal presentations for my colleagues. In many ways, my role goes above and beyond just ‘making things look pretty’. Essentially, I serve as the gatekeeper of the CIG brand, ensuring that the integrity of our brand identity is upheld and protected. This can often be a challenge, as a brand is so much more than just a logo and stationery.

Since my arrival from Australia in May, it has taken me a bit of time to adjust to island life (although I used to live on the biggest and best island on earth) “There’s a boat in the morning” is probably going through your mind if you are a Manxie. It’s been a big change for me joining the corporate world, coming from such a creative/studio background. That being said, I do relish the opportunity to learn something new and after 4 months at CIG, I’ve learnt quite a lot! Being part of a young and driven marketing team has made a big difference in helping me settle.

Although we are in the corporate world, we still have a laugh, which is key to me. Especially coming from Australia, we love to have a laugh (some would say a little too much) and Capital is great for this reason, the staff are like an extended family. The CEO has an ‘open-door’ policy, which allows me to pop in and get clarification on things whilst having a little joke, which is something I would’ve never expected in a corporate firm. This culture of ‘open-door’ communication is vital for the type of work that I undertake in maintaining the companies’ brand and sticking to our corporate values and identity.

The Group also recently sponsored my ticket to Glasgow for the 2018 Graphic Design Festival of Scotland, demonstrating a fantastic culture of investing in its people by up-skilling them and helping them grow. I cannot recommend the festival enough, the format and execution were top notch (shout out to the homies at Warriors Studio). I participated in multiple workshops, listened to some inspirational talks from some of the world’s most famous designers and established a great network.


I’ve learnt new techniques, expanded my understanding of the creative process as well as honing and learning new skills from some super talented people and studio’s from around the world whilst being in such a vibrant and creative city.

Scotland was a blast but it’s good to be back on the Rock! Although, to a bloke from the sunburnt landscape, I’m still adjusting to the early sunsets! A cold Christmas is going to be a big change from a barbeque and a beach swim; however, I am looking forward to the Christmas period and the changes Capital is undertaking into the New Year.

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