Prolific North Awards

Although he’s still in the early chapters of his career, Aire’s Tom Marshall has already made a big splash in the design world and he’s only just getting started.

We were first introduced to Tom over a decade ago, when he joined us as a fresh-faced work placement student at just 15 years old. While his placement only lasted two weeks, Tom’s infectious energy, positivity and his passion to do good, do more and do right, helped him leave a lasting impression at Aire.

After finishing his work placement, Tom set off to pursue further education, but we kept in touch throughout his studies and when he graduated from university, armed with a BA in Graphic Design, we were there ready and waiting to snap him up.

Since then, Tom has risen through the ranks in Aire’s design team – from placement student to Midweight Designer – tackling design briefs for some of the biggest FMCG brands and winning hearts and minds along the way. Not only is Tom a popular member within our crew and amongst our clients, he’s a shining example to new starters as our agency continues to grow at lightning pace.

Last week, Tom was shortlisted for a Prolific North Champions award in the Young Outstanding Contributor to the North category – a sign of just how far he’s come during his time here at Aire. After we’d finished celebrating, we caught up with him for a quick Q&A.

What attracted you to a career in design?

Since a young age, I’ve always been creative and loved anything digital, so I wanted to use my skills to form a successful career that would be something I would enjoy – every day. I knew if I could utilise my skills, I could thrive in a creative environment, which led me to pursue a career in Graphic Design.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My role allows me to bring great ideas for great brands to life. I always enjoy working through the creative process from beginning to end, being able to look back and see where a great creative idea came from, finalising that idea and seeing it in someone’s shopping basket.

Fresh out of Uni, the world at your feet – what made you choose Aire as your first place to work?

Aire has always been great at providing opportunities to people who are passionate about what they do. I was lucky enough to be given some invaluable initial work experience with Aire when I was just 15 years old and this experience brought me back to Aire when I graduated in 2017. I was eager to continue to learn and develop my skills and Aire was the place to do it.

Of the many design briefs you’ve worked on, which has been your favourite?

There have been many great design briefs throughout the years, each testing my creative ability and pushing my experience further, so it’s hard to pick, but there’s one brief I’m currently working on that’s really exciting, a nostalgic brand that hasn’t had a brand refresh in 12 years, I’m looking forward to seeing in on shelves later this year – so watch this space!

What traits do you think all successful designers have in common?

Successful designers, of course, are always creative, but I think the best designers really think about the bigger picture and push themselves further to achieve the very best for the client. Also, being a bit out of the ordinary always helps!

What key elements lead to a successful design project?

Great upfront research always helps to set a good, well-informed foundation for any design project. Utilising the research helps guide design decisions and ultimately create something exciting that exceeds the client’s expectations.

Who would be your dream brand to work with?

After working with some of the biggest brands in the world for the past five years it’s hard to say which brand is on my wish list. However, working with a new, unknown, startup brand would be really exciting – the idea of creating branding and packaging from a blank sheet of paper and seeing where the creative journey goes would be a great challenge.

What would your advice be to aspiring designers?

Ask as many questions as possible, be inquisitive and soak up all the information that is given to you. This information is invaluable and will always be extremely useful throughout your career. Also, find out what part of design really excites you, as this will keep you going and drive your passion throughout your career in design.

You can nominate Tom for the Young Outstanding Contributor to the North by casting your vote right here.

If, like Tom, you’re looking to work at an agency where you can learn, develop and make a meaningful impact, head over to our careers page and check out our latest opportunities. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, apply speculatively at