Todd St. John on Hiring Good People, Getting Sawdust in the Computers, and Striving to Make Designs That Seem Inevitable

By Core77 on July 29, 2014 in Design - Other
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ToddStJohn-HunterGatherer-1.jpg

This is the latest installment of our Core77 Questionnaire. Previously, we talked to IKEA creative director Mia Lundström.

Name: Todd St. John

Occupation: Designer/illustrator/animator. Founder of HunterGatherer.

Location: Brooklyn

Current projects: We are doing some ongoing work with Pilgrim, which is a surf shop in Brooklyn run by a friend. We just finished up some animation for AM Labs, which is a cleaning-product company based in Denmark. And we’re working on our own product designs.

Mission: Striving to make designs that seem inevitable

ToddStJohn-HunterGatherer-2a.jpgFrom Photo-Graphics, an ongoing series of cameras rendered in wood

ToddStJohn-HunterGatherer-3.jpgCover images for a Money Mark LP and the New York Times Magazine

When did you decide that you wanted to be a designer? When I was younger I was interested in too many things. At some point in school, when I understood what design could encompass, it really appealed to me. Since it was so expansive, you could do quite a number of things and still call them “design.”

Education: My degree is in graphic design, from the University of Arizona. Later I taught a design class for 10 years in Yale’s graduate program, and I feel like I learned quite a bit from the faculty and students there. I also absorbed a lot about woodworking and engineering from my father.

First design job: In school, my first “design” internship was in Hawaii, where I grew up. I worked for a small agency, doing illustrations for a local ice cream shop and coffee packaging and things like that. Out of school, it was for a small firm in San Diego, doing identities and packaging.

Who is your design hero? The answer to that question changes. But I recently read a Jim Henson biography, and I’ve always thought really highly of him and how he combined communication and fun and visual innovation in ways that do great things for the world.

ToddStJohn-HunterGatherer-4.jpgInside HunterGatherer’s studio in Brooklyn

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