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Episode
63

A Life of Logos & Design with Gerard Huerta

An interview with
Gerard Huerta

Introduction

Gerard Huerta’s life as a designer has been incredible. After graduating he began his career at CBS Records, creating artwork and logos for numerous well-known musicians including Boston, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and many, many more.

He then went on to work for himself, where he’s designed the lettering for AC/DC’s High Voltage, and logos for Swiss Army Brands, HBO, Calvin Klein’s Eternity, Pepsi, People, Adweek… the list goes on and on (see more here). On top of this he’s also worked on magazine covers, movie posters, watch dials, fonts and more.

In this episode Ian chats with Gerard Huerta to learn from his experience by discovering his design process when at CBS (which was pre-computers), his approach today, how he’s been able to work with big brands through his career, and more inspiring insights and advice.

Gerard Huerta Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: I understand that your career started at CBS Records. I know that was quite some time ago now for you, but how did you originally get into that position?

Gerard Huerta: Well, when I was at ArtCenter College of Design, I was an illustration major and a curious thing happened. We were required to take lettering classes and lettering was probably the most hated classes at ArtCenter. But I had just come off a summer of doing hand lettered signs for a store with a chisel point marker. And as I began working on my portfolio, I started developing a lot of lettering, hand lettering, and I was heavily influenced by album graphics and there was a tower records not too far away from school that I would go and visit and look at albums of the 60s and early 70s. So when I went to New York, when I moved to New York, there were only about five places that I wanted to work starting out.

And I went to all five of them and nobody had any openings or any work. In fact, New York was going through this recession, they were going broke. It was probably one of the worst times to move to New York. But I did see John Berg at CBS and he gave me some freelance work. So I did some freelance work. I still went around with my portfolio, got other work. And about two months later I had a card printed up, kind of an oversize hand littered card and I went back to all the people and gave them the card and went back to my apartment and I got two odd job offers that day. One was to clean up typefaces at a sort of a famous design studio or be an album cover designer.

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