Over my multiple internships at Under Armour I’ve had the opportunity to work and learn from a bunch of great people. I wanted to take a chance and ask them some questions about their time at UA, some of their history, and expose them more to you guys, the readers, as the faces behind UA’s products.
First up is my overseeing mentor/manager John Humphrey. I’m working alongside him as well as the rest of the Under Armour Basketball category this internship. Continue reading Training Camp: On The Record – Vol 1: John Humphrey…
My name is: John Humphrey
My nickname is: It all depends on who you ask.
My position at Under Armour is: Senior Design Manager (Basketball)
I’ve been part of the footwear industry for: 7 years
During that time I’ve worked at: And1, adidas, Under Armour
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere: architecture, cars, aircraft, fashion, graphics.
What has been the best experience so far at UA?
Building the Basketball footwear line from the beginning, and being able to do it working with a good friend, and other talented individuals.
UA basketball works as a solid unit, I hear you and Ryan Drew bounce ideas back and forward all day. How would you describe the creative process?
Not to sound clichéd, but our creative process is very collaborative. We either will come up with ideas separately, then build on them together, or sometimes it’s just us in a room, vibing and building on an idea once it clicks.
How does this differ from when you first started designing?
It doesn’t really differ much since Ryan and I have been working together since the beginning of my career. I think that maybe at first there was a period where we were unfamiliar, and that’s natural. But once we got a sense for each other’s creative styles we were off and running. I would say that in general the process has become more efficient, and we can realize a concept much more quickly now.
What has being a footwear designer taught you?
Being a footwear designer has taught me the importance of doing what you love to do. I first started sketching shoes when I was 14, when I didn’t even realize that it could be a career. When I look back on the past seven years that I’ve been in the industry I’ve noticed that for the most part it’s been fun, and I generally don’t feel like I have to go to work…I feel like I get to do what I love to do.
What is good design?
Good design to me is about creating something that people need, and doing it in a way that turns it into something people want. For example: a car is a car, a house is a house, and a shoe is a shoe. But not every one of those things creates that visceral reaction of desire that makes it more than what it tangibly is.
What is the one thing you need when designing?
An idea, and a way to record it.
Thanks John – and for the record John and I talked about his nicknames, and we counted over 10!
Up next week will be category leader Ryan Drew…
Tom Spence is currently a senior at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and a footwear design intern at Under Armour in Baltimore, MD.
Check out previous “Training Camp With Tom Spence” posts: