CEO & Creative Director
Tori Thomas is creative director and co-founder at Circa, graphic design and branding studios that help entrepreneurs and visionaries grow their good ideas into great enterprises through strategic design.
A Texan by birth, Tori spent eight years in Nashville, Tennessee working for a variety of studios and in-house departments, including design director for the Ensworth School. In 2015, she partnered with her long-time collaborator, Laura Deleot, to form Circa. Through creative collaboration with clients and effective flexibility with their team, they envisioned a studio that helped their clients grow. And, in 2017, they grew into a second studio in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
As a graphic designer, Tori received her BFA from Auburn University. Since then, she has continued her education by studying architecture at Oxford University, art history in Florence, Italy, and has a certificate in Creative Business Management from Yale. Her design work has received Addy awards and AIGA national recognition as a Command X finalist. She has spoken about creative partnerships and building business with strategic design on podcasts like Creative Waffle and Down the Foxhole, and taught typography as an adjunct professor at Western Michigan University.
Tori is passionate about good ideas and great business. She has a unique passion for creativity with a focus on efficiency and data. As mother/designer/business owner, she juggles tasks and babies (don’t try this at home) while dreaming up the next big idea for Circa Creative (see Politiquo and Bite Size Cinema). When she’s not designing, Tori is either: chasing down her dog, Paco, dancing with her kids, somewhere out of cell service with her husband, Harrison, or talking, likely about something she heard on a podcast.