For this month's designer spotlight, we want to introduce you to W+K London designer, Adam Hunt.
What office do you work in?
How long have you worked at W+K and where did you work before this?
It’s coming up on five years this summer.
Prior to W+K, I freelanced at a few London-based branding studios and worked in small boutique design agencies.
Did you always want to work in advertising? How did you end up here?
Honestly, the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Advertising can be a bit of a dirty word in design circles.
As a student, W+K was always somewhere I dreamt about. Back then, my work was less design-y and more comms-focused, so you could say I’m living some sort of warped fantasy from my youth - which is nice. If I was to leave W+K though, I wouldn’t take another full-time position in advertising, I’d go back to boutique design life, or maybe start my own studio, who knows?
As you can tell, the Kool-Aid has well and truly been drunk. 🥤🙈
What do you like best about your job?
Every day I get to sit at a computer, have ideas and make things that look pretty. It blows my mind that it’s even a job tbh.
Also, special shout out to all the incredibly talented humans in the London office, working with people better than you every day is equally as humbling as it is scary. The work is always better because of it.
What are some client-facing projects you've worked on recently?
I’m currently working on some Nike projects, which I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about - so better not. Over the last year, I’ve also been working on Visa, Formula 1, and Facebook.
I’ve selected a few pieces of F1 work including: a S7ILL RISING key visual celebrating Lewis Hamilton’s 7th Championship win, crowning him the GOAT of Formula 1 as well as some typographic details from the Spa-Francorchamps 2022 race toolkit.
What’s some of your favorite work you’ve made?
Recently, I published the second issue of a limited edition print-only magazine titled, This Way Up. The magazine features personal projects by creatives. It’s the work they do, not because they’re paid to, but because they want to. It’s really special to me, as I get to spend time talking to new, interesting people about the things they’re passionate about. The magazine is a personal project of my own, and I do everything from the writing to the design and the production.
I also want to quickly mention a freelance project for the incredible chocolatiers, BRIK. I worked on the brand design, packaging and art direction for the unconventional confectionery brand.
I hope you like it. Enjoy.
What’s your favorite part of the design process?
The early bit. The messy bit. The part where you’re figuring things out. Trying stuff, seeing what sticks and what doesn’t. I love that part. It’s pure play, expression and joy.
How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
Speaking predominantly as a commercial designer, I don’t really see the importance of having a ‘personal style’; if you do, nine times out of ten you have to put your personal taste in aesthetics to one side. So many other factors should dictate the visual outcome of the project. You of course always strive for new-ness and originality, which can obviously take many different forms, depending on the project, client, sector… whatever, but your own personal style and aesthetic should really be left at the door.
If a designer has their own style, I liken that more to art, or being an artist - not a designer. If you want specific work that’s in a specific style, you have to go directly to that creator; and that’s art for me. You can’t replicate it. Or, you can, but it’s just a dirty knock-off. I’m also throwing no shade here, I don’t value one more than the other, it’s just how I define it. Some of my favourite designers I classify as artists.
Where do you find inspiration?
I have a usual set of websites I frequent and galleries I like going to, but I think everyone does - and to be honest, they’re probably the same ones as everyone else too.
For me, inspiration mostly comes from doing. You can only look and think for so long - the real magic happens when you get your hands dirty, it’s the process of making things that sparks ideas. That and working with other people.
What are some design projects out there in the world that you think are really fucking cool?
Design projects I think I’ve slightly stopped paying attention to, I see a lot of them, I feel like I’ve lost the FOMO and don’t get the “FUCK! I wish I’d done that” feeling as much any more. FFS, does that make me old?
Recently, I’ve become way more interested in building good relationships within our team and getting the most out of the others and the design opportunity at hand - whatever that might be.
To answer the question properly though, here’s a list of designers I stan because they consistently put out banger after banger:
Nam Huynh, Mark Bohle, Michael Oswell, Noah Baker, Yuta Kawaguchi, Eric Hu, Tracy Ma, Hassan Rahim, Ines Cox, Virgile Flores, Ben Haworth, Felipe Rocha, Ira Ivanova, Travis Brothers, Sam Rolfes, Kom Tillbaka, Mikey Joce, Jamie Reid, Han Gao, and Margot Lévêque.
Any advice for aspiring designers?
Something I wish I knew as a young designer and graduate is this: “create the work you want to see in the world”. Don’t wait for someone to ask you, because the likelihood is, they won’t. Do it off your own back. If you believe in something - have an opinion on something and it matters to you - turn that into a reality. And that reality could be anything.
If people like what they see and it speaks to them - just like it spoke to you - projects, brands and job opportunities will come your way asking you to make more of that work.
For example, - insert trendy brand name here - aren’t going to come knocking just because you think you’ll do a killer job for them. I’m sure you will, just show them first.
Also, I’m not asking anyone to be overworked by their personal projects and weaponise their spare time, turning it into a never ending commercially viable and monetisable opportunity, I understand people have bills, rent to pay and spare time to enjoy and the importance of those shouldn’t be undervalued.
Anything else you want to tell me about creativity, process, what you ate for breakfast … ???
I’m going to re-use an answer I gave in an interview to MagCulture, which I’ve slightly edited to make it more appropriate for here (less magazine-y basically). I like it and apologise for my laziness.
I think the best piece of advice I can give anyone is to always go with your gut. It can be applied to any part of the process. If you’re unsure if people will like your idea? Go with your gut. Choice of typeface, go with your gut. Art direction, go with your gut. Colour choice, go with your gut. Layout decisions, go with your gut, once more for luck: go with your gut.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should make random decisions not based on any insight and research, there’s just a lot to be said for creative intuition.
And an almond croissant. ✨