Paul D. Hunt joined Adobe as a typeface designer in 2009, but his path to San Jose has been anything but typical. Valedictorian of his high school graduating class of 25 (just down the road from a famous Route 66 landmark), Paul was well on his way to a high-powered career in international business. But he fell in love with language, then type, somewhere along the way. And the rest, as they say, is history.
How did you make your debut on Planet Earth?
I was born in Winslow, Arizona (from the popular Eagles’ song). I wasn’t born on the corner, though—I was born in the hospital! I grew up in a rural town called Joseph City and went to public school there. With just 1,200 people in the town, there weren’t many opportunities to do much of anything interesting, but when there were, I tried to maximize them. For example, when our school briefly offered some satellite courses through UW in foreign languages, I took that opportunity to start to learn Russian.
Aside from the incredibly easy task of learning Russian, what else did you do for fun growing up?
I was involved in dancing, in the form of clogging. My younger sister and I did it for many years throughout my youth. I worked at the school auditorium doing light and sound and stagehand stuff. I was in choir, and I did a little bit of acting in community productions. Our show choir did Oliver! and I played the villain, Bill Sykes, when I was a senior (probably because I was the only one who could grow a beard and pull the whole thing off).
So how did you transition from aspiring clog dancer and super-villain to type designer?
I was always interested in language and culture—and later, design—and how these things all come together. I wanted to continue with dance and studying Russian—part of the reason that I chose to attend Brigham Young University was because they have very good language programs and an international folk dance ensemble. In the summer of 2000, I was part of a team that toured around elementary schools in Utah doing all kinds of dance—Ukrainian, Hungarian, Polish, French Canadian, Israeli, Bulgarian—a lot of Eastern European stuff, which is what I like most. Bulgarian rhythms, costumes, and music always make me excited. That’s my favorite, just because it’s so energetic and completely different from [what people usually] think of European folk dancing. Continue reading…