Over the course of his career, Garrett Johnston has leveraged his passion for film to help create immersive and content-driven narrative experiences. Formerly a Creative Director at experiential agency Fake Love, he champions physical and digital spaces that go beyond pure functionality and leave enduring, strategic impacts. “My background as a filmmaker helped me understand how to rally artists around big concepts and distill ideas down to their component parts.” Johnston explains. “I quickly grew comfortable pressure testing ideas, reforming stories and changing direction on the fly.”
Along with a spotlight in Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language by Gestalten, Johnston’s work has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, Doc NYC, and SXSW. Most recently, he partnered with Google and Japanese cosmetics brand SK-II to bring to life Wonderland, an experiential, AR-integrated pop-up shop situated in Harajuku, Tokyo. Staying true to his cinematic roots, Johnston approaches every design experience by cracking the story first before developing aesthetically rich spaces, digital interactions and compositions.
A longtime fan of HUSH, Johnston’s professional life has, interestingly enough, paralleled the agency’s growth into a world-class experiential firm. “As I was departing from video and live performance into a sense-driven work, it was great to watch a company that I’ve admired for years move along the same trajectory,” says Johnston. “What attracted me most was the minimalist approach to HUSH’s interactive environments. Noise and spectacle, although entertaining, take a back seat while simple truths rise to the surface.”
As Creative Director at the agency, Johnston looks forward to exploring fresh ways to reach audiences in the present moment, creating physical spaces that are powerful and harmonious with technology. His role will include more than just managing the form and function of each project: “The designers, producers, and technologists at HUSH don’t need me to make good design … Instead, I want to help find the heart and soul of each project and make people PLAY again.”
According to HUSH Founding Partner David Schwarz, “Garrett’s path to experience design is a really compelling story and one that piqued our interest immediately. He sees experience through the lens of an engaging, visual narrative. This ensures that HUSH will continue to push aesthetic boundaries in our work, while also upholding our clients’ business goals. Additionally, he’s a lovely person who fits right into our culture of respect, candidness, and curiosity.”