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January 27, 2009

Veering away.

January, 1989

Twenty years ago, I began what could be considered “my career”. I didn’t think of it as occupational choice at the time … it was supposed to be a simple, six month contract position. An interesting second job that would help me pay the rent, save for an upcoming wedding in the fall, and feed a voracious appetite for late 80s import vinyl.

Every weekday afternoon, I would check out of my day job as a high school instructional assistant and head off to work a 4:00 pm to midnight shift, digitizing typefaces for a young, snappy company called Image Club Graphics. Image Club was founded the year the Macintosh was released and grew up alongside the “desktop publishing revolution” thing. Now I was building type into the night in a room full of brand new Mac II boxes. And taking home another paycheque.

This might just go somewhere.

January, 2002

Seven years ago, a group of friends and I started talking about a project we’d like to tackle. It was code named “Groundhog”, with an obvious nod to the Bill Murray flick. Our idea was to focus on the gap that formed in the creative industry after Getty Images finally shuttered operations of EyeWire here in Calgary, and then left the carcass out to dry and shrivel for months on end.

Groundhog became Veer.

January, 2009

This Friday will be my last day at Veer.

It wasn’t a decision that was made in haste or out of frustration. I’d been mulling it over for months. The time I’ve spent helping build Veer into something cool has been equally exciting, edifying, and — at times — thoroughly exasperating. The people I’ve worked with over the past few years have made me laugh, asked questions that needed to be asked, forced me out of my box, and encouraged me to keep learning. It’s been a blast, but still … it’s time for a change.

Less work. More family. Less commuting. More walking the dog. Less time spent cooped up in windowless meeting rooms. More time sipping dark roast on the patio with my wife.

So, what’s next?

I have no idea. Ask me again in a few months.

This item was posted by Grant Hutchinson.

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44 comments on “Veering away.”

  1. Posted by Stephen Peasley Stephen Peasley on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Best of luck, Grant. I’ve known you for only a short time but I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to know and work with you. I’m sure you’ll be kicking around … and there happen to be a few pubs nearby.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jeff Smith Jeff Smith on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Change is always good, especially when it means more time with family and effectively less work-induced stress.

    All the best with whatever you may find yourself tackling next.

    Reply

  3. Posted by wevah wevah on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Good luck!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Issa Breibish Issa Breibish on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Fuck. Eloquent, I know. Update your about page. Until the next big thing. That’s small. And fun.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Tyler Tyler on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Wow. Good luck.

    Reply

  6. Posted by damclean damclean on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Congratulations! Good luck with your next evolution.

    Reply

  7. Posted by justG justG on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    That is fantastic and frightening, hopefully more the former than the latter. Congratulations and good luck!

    Reply

  8. Posted by Cameron Moll Cameron Moll on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Wow. Wow. Stealing Joe Pemberton’s words, Veer won’t be the same without you. But at the same time, it will be, given all you’ve put into it. Congrats on whatever’s next.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Morgan Aldridge Morgan Aldridge on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Best wishes. Enjoy your new plethora of time for family & fun.

    I look forward to hearing where you might be heading from here.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Grant Cummings Grant Cummings on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Good luck to you Grant! As another “Grant who owns a whippet,” I’ve enjoyed following your blog, have found a lot of cool things at Veer because of you and have become a Mac switcher partially because of your Newton love! I’m sure you’ll find the next chapter of your life rewarding and exciting! Change is always hard, but the best things most always are!

    Reply

  11. Posted by Scott Boms Scott Boms on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Stop the presses! Say what?

    Congrats to you! Those will be some big shoes to fill and I for one can’t wait to see what kind of trouble you get yourself into next ;-)

    Reply

  12. Posted by Lucien W. Dupont Lucien W. Dupont on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009.

    Congratulations to you! I look forward to hearing about your relaxing days ahead.. and seeing more great pictures!!

    Reply

  13. Posted by Jeffrey Zeldman Jeffrey Zeldman on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Good God. Good luck. You’re a good man and will continue to do great things. Happy for you. But stunned. Wow.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Dave Dave on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Good for you, sir. I have to say: Veer sent me some of the best photo and type samples. I loved the “secret membership” campaign you guys did a few years ago, with the Masons-style instruction booklet. That was a hoot. Good luck with whatever is next.

    Reply

  15. Posted by Dan Sauve Dan Sauve on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Good luck, Grant! We only grabbed drinks a few times at Web Directions, but I certainly hope that to run into you again sometime. Hopefully this change means more family time for you, as well as more time (and sharing stories) about all of your old toys. :)

    Reply

  16. Posted by Naz Hamid Naz Hamid on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Grant — late to the party but cheers to you. I think this is a good thing.

    This says it all really:

    “Less work. More family. Less commuting. More walking the dog. Less time spent cooped up in windowless meeting rooms. More time sipping dark roast on the patio with my wife.”

    Reply

  17. Posted by Mark Hamilton Mark Hamilton on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    I’m proud of you, even though you’re WAAAAAY older.

    (And in case you’d forgotten, I use all-caps when I’m yelling.)

    Reply

  18. Posted by Tyler Young Tyler Young on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    To part ways with Veer now must have been a hard decision to make, but it seems to me, there must have been a feeling of having accomplished your goals with Veer, that in my mind, makes the venture not just a business success, but a personal success. Having Mean Tangerine become part of the Veer family is something I am proud of to this day. Looking forward to whatever you pull out of the hat next!

    Reply

  19. Posted by jcroft jcroft on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Congrats and good luck, Grant. Thanks so much for all you’ve done for the creative community. Whatever you do next, I have no doubt it will be amazing. Until then, enjoy your personal life!

    Reply

  20. Posted by Riccardo Mori Riccardo Mori on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    I’m stunned to hear this, Grant. But I think I understand. All the best for whatever it’s coming. Veer’s orange looks a little paler now…

    Cheers,
    Rick

    Reply

  21. Posted by Andrew Andrew on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Woah. Good luck with whatever you end up doing next.

    Reply

  22. Posted by dvsjr dvsjr on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Best of luck. Health and happiness, please stay in touch.

    Reply

  23. Posted by Tom Watson Tom Watson on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Congratulations and good luck, Grant. It definitely sounds like it’s for the best. Still planning on coming to SXSW?

    Reply

  24. Posted by Liz Danzico Liz Danzico on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Congratulations to you! Best wishes for future Groundhogs and other inspirations.

    Reply

  25. Posted by Regis Frey Regis Frey on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    I love Veer. The service has an incredibly positive feel to it. I get the sense that you greatly contributed to that tone. Best of luck in your further ventures.

    Reply

  26. Posted by Grant Hutchinson Grant Hutchinson on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.

    Flabbergasted. I think that’s about where I’m at right now. A heartfelt thanks to everyone that has taken the time to leave a comment or send a message regarding my directional adjustment. I’ve had the privilege of meeting — and even working — with many of you over. Some of the names here belong to folks that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and interacting with since I started blogging nearly nine years ago. Others I recognize as recent fans of Veer. Thanks again. It’s been quite the trip so far and I appreciate having the company along for the ride.

    Now, let’s see where else we can go.

    Who calls shotgun?

    Reply

  27. Posted by Anders Anders on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    Shotgun! Any stagecoach, any time.

    Reply

  28. Posted by Brian Warren Brian Warren on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    Grant, I raise my mug northward and give you a hearty congratulations. Change is in the air! I’m excited for whatever lies ahead for you. It’s going to be awesome. Welcome back to the indies!

    Reply

  29. Posted by Corey Holms Corey Holms on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    Wow — I don’t even know what to say.

    I’d wish you luck, but you have a pretty good track record of not needing it.

    Instead I’ll just say congratulations.

    Reply

  30. Posted by Silas Dilworth Silas Dilworth on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    You’re still coming to TypeCon in ATL, right?

    Reply

  31. Posted by Brian Burke Brian Burke on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    I’ve been waiting for the shotgun seat for 22 years! Best of luck with the next part of your life.

    Reply

  32. Posted by Sheri Hayes Sheri Hayes on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    WTF?!

    Congrats, and the best of luck Grant!

    :o)

    Reply

  33. Posted by Chris Lozos Chris Lozos on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    Nothing beat a loving family and bold coffee. Enjoy it!!!!

    Chris

    Reply

  34. Posted by Tony Rino Tony Rino on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    Hey Grant… the only thing that surpasses your incredible talent is your heart. I’m sure there was a bit of a Sniff and The Tears… Maybe a bit of The Cry and maybe some Tears for Fears… But hey, maybe you’ll have time to take a Roman Holiday, or volunteer on the Style Council. Just don’t get Hyperactive. Enjoy the mornings of Black Coffee in Bed…. Great timing too… After your first full weekend off, it’s GROUNDHOG DAY!!!!! :-)

    Reply

  35. Posted by Calvin Glenn Calvin Glenn on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    Grant, thanks for helping me get my budding type foundry (NIMX) off the ground, back in the Image Club days. Without you letting ride the coattails of an already successful business, I wouldn’t have gotten very far. So, get some rest, and get back to work soon. We’re waiting for your next success…

    Reply

  36. Posted by Stephen Rapp Stephen Rapp on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

    Best of luck to you. I’ve always appreciated your sound advice and encouragement.

    Change is good though.

    Reply

  37. Posted by Rene Verkaart Rene Verkaart on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    All the best of luck to you Grant. I think it’s a great decision and I wish I could to the same here…

    Reply

  38. Posted by Marcus Leis Allion Marcus Leis Allion on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    Good luck with the veering.

    Reply

  39. Posted by Dabitch Dabitch on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    Best of luck in all your future projects. It will all be for the better, you’ve done a great job which had a worldwide impact and frankly deserve to stop and smell the dark roast on the patio with your wife. Kudos!

    Reply

  40. Posted by Daniel Schutzsmith Daniel Schutzsmith on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    best of luck Grant! you’ve accomplished so much and now it sounds like its a good time to kick back and enjoy all that you’ve made. cheers to you!

    Reply

  41. Posted by Robert Hilton Robert Hilton on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    Does this finally mean that we will have lunch and get caught up on old times. I’m looking forward to the new Grant.

    All the best.

    Cheers.

    Reply

  42. Posted by Ruz Safai Ruz Safai on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    Keep your flickr photos coming, one of my favorite places for creative photography inspiration. Take a well deserved break, and best of luck in what’s to come.

    Reply

  43. Posted by Brad Zumwalt Brad Zumwalt on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    Grant…these comments are a great testament to authentic and honest way you have operated over two decades. It has been such a privilege to work alongside rare talent like yours. To your family, your health and your future, cheers!

    Reply

  44. Posted by Teri Hutchinson Teri Hutchinson on Friday, January 30th, 2009.

    I, being the aformentioned wife, cannot wait for that first dark roast on the patio, even if we are surrounded by snow drifts. I promise I’ll only hide him away for awhile — when I’m tired of having Grant around, I will send him back out there. Thanks to all for being so supportive! And Grant, I love you lots!

    Reply

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