People to Watch in 2011
principal, LITTLE BIG BRANDS
John Nunziato started Little Big Brands in 2001 out of his two-bedroom sublet apartment with $250 in the bank. Ten years later, the firm has grown to a small collective of talented individuals creating beautiful packaging for brands big and little. Nunziato is a veteran of the design and branding world, and after graduating Syracuse University, spent the better part of his career working for industry leaders such as Sterling Group and Interbrand. He’s helped create unique identities and packaging for a blue chip list of clients, including Burger King, Coca-Cola, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Unilever, Salomon Smith Barney, Louis Vuitton and Sun Products Corp. His work has been featured in magazines such as Brandweek, Brand Packaging, GDUSA, Package Design, Packaging World, and a long list of design annuals and books. In 2009, Little Big was named one of the “Foremost World-Changing Agencies” by Fast Company for its commitment to sustainable packaging. When not at work Nunziato can be found with his wife, one-year-old daughter, spoiled beagle and two rescued cats.
Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities?
I was born on Long Island, moved to Union Square in New York City for 13 years and now live in New York’s Hudson Valley. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the best package designers in New York City. Learning from them everyday is how I further developed my style and sensibilities.
If you were not a designer, what would you do?
I’d be a beach bum.
What advice would you give a design student or young professional just starting out?
After you’ve painstakingly developed your portfolio and resumé, do more with it then send a bulk email. Follow up with something creative, a handwritten or designed card or phone call or several (without being a stalker). While you probably have a good portfolio of work, personality and determination, most employers are very busy and looking for more than a good designer. We’re looking for leaders.
Favorite TV Shows?
The Amazing Race
Any type of instruction manual.
El Mariachi, Forest Gump, Cinema Paradiso, Cast Away, The Empire Strikes Back
I have a massive collection but currently the entire Rockabye Baby set is on tap.
Favorite Fine Artists?
Noise canceling headphones
RhymeZone, Wikipedia, MyFonts
New Year’s Resolution?
To talk about work less when I’m not at work. To stay away from cake. To continue spreading good karma.