There are forces that shape out lives, invisible influences that impact us without our awareness.
Growing up as I did, when I did, in the suburbs of Detroit there are two cultural forces that had an impact on me as a person and as a “creative”.
First, the culture of engineering that grew out of the city dominated by the automotive industry. Almost everyone worked for the big 3 in some way. My father worked in Ford’s design center, my grandfather ran safety testing programs for Henry Ford and was President of the Society of Automotive engineers. My neighborhood was teaming with the children just like me. Children raised by engineers, mathematicians, mechanics, designers and car crazed gear-heads.
We had time, our father’s tools and very little adult supervision. This was the period before the internet, video games and cable television hijacked youth culture. We grew up making things. We grew up hacking things. We made tennis ball canons that shot flaming, lighter fluid soaked tennis balls fifty yards. Kids in my neighborhood took apart their father’s lawn movers to build go-carts. We build forts, not from couch cushions and refrigerator boxes. Real forts, with insulation and shingles taken from nearby housing construction sites in the middle of the night. All of this well before puberty and driver’s licenses distracted us with other interests.
If the auto industry and culture of engineering represented the Apollonian mindset of the suburbs then the Dionysian counterpart came from the city of Detroit’s musical soul.
The blast radius of Detroit’s cultural (and counter-cultural) energy extends out past the city limits. It goes back further than Motown and has continued, through the years of punk, house, techno, garage and is still going strong today in a city fighting to remake itself.
The automotive industry may have has standardized manufacturing production but it is the cultural soul of Detroit that has always demonstrated, by example, that true creation, to rise above formidable challenges, to alter one’s circumstance, to change the world and to make great things requires dreamers, artists and revolutionaries.
People from Detroit are baptized in a that spirit. Sometimes it fades, is outgrown or forgotten. It hasn’t with me. I still want to make great things and change the world.
My primary areas of expertise are:
• User Experience
• Digital Marketing
• Social Media
I have developed everything from brand identities, TV and radio spots, events, websites, software applications and iPad apps to food trucks with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio.
Among the agencies I have worked for are Campfire Media, Barkley, McGarry Bowen, Sapinet, Scient, iXL, The Interpublic Group, JWT, and Grey.
My list of clients includes HBO, The Discovery Channel, Citi, Chase, Craft, Disney, Hornito’s Tequila, Crayola, Hallmark, Brahma Beer, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, NBC and GE.
For access to additional work including recent projects, work in development, pitches,
case studies and strategy decks please email: ThomasSherman@icloud.com
• Recent Work and Projects in Development
• Concepts, Pitches & Misguided Creativity
• UX Deliverables & Strategy Decks
Market Studio Kitchen + Emergent Futures Lab
Board of Directors
Market Studio Kitchen is a year-round art and food ecologies lab, and workshop, teaching and experimenting with a range of communities in Detroit, including schools and continuing education participants, centered in the Eastern Market. The school will also feature an annual Summer Intensive, Detroit Emergent Futures Lab, pairing students and scholars from around the world with Detroit communities. The home space will be centered in a professional kitchen – all meals, experiments, and classes will unfold onsite, sourced from the Eastern Market and urban gardens. MSK + DEFL will have a publishing partner, Megan O’ Connell, for rapid production of artist books, research and special projects.
“Tom has been a secret creative weapon with me at three different companies (JWT, IPG, Fleishman-Hillard) and at each we either won new business or knocked work out of the park. He can do ANYTHING! Write, design, shoot, edit, code, plan, think and sell.”
Senior Partner, Director of Integrated Marketing
“Sherman is the 21st Century version of a kick-ass 60’s creative director, he knows enough about each channel to be dangerous, focused on innovation.”
EVP/Group Director, Arnold Worldwide
Tom is the kind of designer that Front-end/UI Developers love to work with. He understands coding well enough to make certain that his wildly creative designs will work when they get to development. When something isn’t working, he listens to options, and collaborates to create an end product we can all be proud of. He pushes us to give the best we’ve got, expecting no less from us than he is willing to give.
Sr. User Interface Developer
“Sherman is the kind of creative that CFOs love, he makes us lots of money.”