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People to Watch in 2012 BACK FORWARD

Photo: Pascal Perich

randy j. hunt

creative director, etsy

Randy J. Hunt is Creative Director at Etsy, where he leads a team of designers creating the end-to-end experience, both online and off. Etsy is a global commerce platform empowering independent creative business in over 150 countries. In 2011, Etsy enabled over $500 million dollars in sales by the Etsy community. Hunt feels strongly that designers must be able to build what they design, a perspective that fits naturally with Etsy’s culture of making and the love of craftsmanship. Hunt co-founded Supermarket, a curated design marketplace. Previously, he founded Citizen Scholar Inc. and worked at Milton Glaser Inc. and Number 17. He writes and lectures about design and has been a visiting designer and critic at many colleges and universities. Hunt received his MFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts.

Where were you born or grew up, where do you live, does this effect your design style or sensibility?
I was born and raised in central Florida, near Orlando, with some childhood detours to North Carolina and Virginia. Today I live in New York, where I’ve signed up to fight the good fight in the shadow of big banks and giant media companies. It’s the culture, diversity, and make-it-happen attitude of NYC that I thrive on.

If you were not a designer, what would you be doing for a living?
If I wasn’t a designer, I’d be a professional poet. That means I’d be very poor, but I’d be designing phrases, sentences, reading and listening experiences all day long.

What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
My greatest strength is seeing the larger context and complex system that a particular project or problem exists within. My greatest weakness is that I always start with the system and must remind myself that breaking out of it often has the most exciting answers.

Design Hero?
Tibor Kalman
Favorite Color?
Favorite Typeface??
The one that gets the job done.
Favorite App?
Favorite TV Shows??
Parks & Recreation, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Favorite Books??
Society of the Spectacle, The Shallow Water Dictionary
Favorite Movies??
The Five Obstructions, The Usual Suspects
Favorite Music??
The One AM Radio, Joan of Arc, Cole Porter
Favorite Fine Artist??
Tauba Auerbach, Sol LeWitt
Favorite Gadget?
Bookmarked Websites??
google news, a continuous lean, macrumors.com, avc.com
Worst Habit??
Unknowingly taking on the accent of people I'm
talking to.
New Year’s Resolution??
No purchases of mass-manufactured clothing. J Crew, I love you, but your factories are bringing me down.
One Thing You Can't Live Without??
A good cup of coffee
Talent You Wished You Possessed??
That intuitive cooking sense
Best Gift You Ever Received??
News that my mother was doing okay
Mantra or Saying You Live By??
Share early. Share often.