I Am Liz Hunt — Designers, Unite!

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When Jeff Finley first approached me to work as an information designer for Go Media, my inner monologue went something like this:

“Go Media? Who are THESE guys? What’s this ‘Arsenal: Professional Design Weaponry’ stuff? Vector Packs? Skulls and Heraldry and — Hooladanders? What the hell is a Hooladander?! This is pure madness. These guys are nuttier than a can of Planters!”

Grabbing my jacket in southern Germany, where I studied for 4 months while enrolled at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

The skepticism and self-doubt over whether I was the person for the job stemmed partly from jealousy, and partly from the bad jokes I made in my inner monologue. As the over-thinking, self-deprecating sort, I thought I lacked the fervent creativity these guys have been rockin’ since they were fetuses.

One would think that going to art school cultivates a small sliver of creative confidence, but I always felt like I managed to dodge any artistic endeavors my entire 5 years there. I was that kid who painted suspiciously square-looking still-lifes and who couldn’t use charcoal without washing my hands every five minutes. These signs, along with the fact that I was raised by an OCD nurse and anal-retentive engineer, all pointed to my genetic destiny as a designer.

What I did manage to gain during my college education was the unique resourcefulness that only comes buried inside the cereal box of a designer. I like to think and problem solve, which lead to my interest in designing web experiences. I believe, to this day, that it was actually a solid art education which gave MacGyver the savvy to create bombs out of toothpicks, coat-hangers and some chewed up Double-Bubble.

“Designers are not a lowly breed,” I comfort myself now, “We help explain, plan, and shape the world.” It was obvious that Go Media supported this personal cheer to myself, but I still shook tragically the first day I stopped by the studio. What could I possibly offer THEM, the coolest of the cool?

As it turns out, they wanted to pay someone to plan their large web projects. These guys are illustrators after all, and the last thing they wanted to do was sit down to make some boring wireframes. All they want to do is rock a waccom, jam to some Mars Volta, and eat Jalepeñeo chips from Giant Eagle.

“What luck!,” I thought. “I only have modest experience, but here’s my dream job — literally wrapped up in fabulous gold paper and handed to me with a tentative smile and a miniature dog!” Okay, Bill Beachy didn’t really give me a dog (instead I got a piercing glare from the Go Media mascot-cat Tekno), but I figured things like this only happen to Paris Hilton, so I took their offer and ran.

I’m looking forward to the things I can over-think and over-plan for Go Media, and as I become more comfortable with my role here, I’ll be spreading the word that yes, information designers exist, and yes, we’re taking over the world. At least, we’re planning on it.

Guilty Web Pleasures:

Heroes:

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