A Journey Through the Skies: The Inspirational Memoir of Edmond Huot

Forward Media

By blending creativity, storytelling, and practical design, Edmond Huot has transformed airline branding and design. His story demonstrates how his passion for aviation and creative excellence has shaped his remarkable career.

From Farm Boy to Design Visionary

Edmond’s journey began on a rural farm in Canada, where boredom and a lack of entertainment options led him to rely on the one thing he had an abundance of: his imagination. His early fascination with model airplanes and blockbuster movies like Arthur Hailey’s "Airport" laid the foundation for his career in aviation design. Edmond began by assembling airplane models such as DC-10s and 747s. Then he would play with these models by roaming the barren fields, holding the plane in such a way that his squinted eye became a sort of camera frame, emulating the many scenes from movies featuring similar jets in flight. Focused on his plane in hand, he would come up with random storylines, imagining and acting out  a lively and dramatic microcosm of conversations, born out of the larger-than-life characters he’d studied in the movies. As was the case in most of these movies’ endings, his model airplanes would suffer a similar fate, as Edmond would destroy the model to recreate some tragic crash. While Edmond found this pastime strangely satisfying, his friends and family did not. Needless to say, this chapter in Huot’s early years was somewhat a best-kept-secret.

Unbeknownst to Edmond, this imaginative foundation set the stage for his future career in brand advertising and design.

Building a Career in Design and Branding

After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in 1989, Huot began his career at Air Canada. For him, this job as a reservations agent was a dream come true for it afforded him the ability to travel on the airline’s passes. Edmond wasted non time in traversing the world making short same-day trips around the country as well as multi-week adventures to remote locations in Brazil, Asia and Europe. Certainly, all this travel experience was building a deep experience and point of view around the travel experience.  Layering an international perspective endowed Edmond with a worldly view that would serve him well in the next chapter of his life: advertising and design. After nine years with the airline, he became restless and decided to branch out with the help of his close friend, Peter Clark. Together, their shared passion for all things travel and airline led them to start their own business. Edmond’s creative abilities complimented Peter’s outspoken salesmanship and within two years, they opened up shop under the banner of Clark Communications. Over the next 5 years, the two co-founded ClarkHuot in 2001. The practice focused more on consultative branding and design, which included winning a prestigious branding assignment for the Winnipeg International Airport, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli.

Rising to Prominence

By his late thirties, Edmond was once again restless for a new adventure. The dream of working in the US and living in New York led him away from his hometown. For several years he shared two residences, once in Winnipeg and one in the West Village of NYC. Over the next few years Edmond worked with Peter to nurture and build a network of friends and clients, starting with the legendary beauty brand Clarins. Next came a project from Harper Collins managing a branding assignment focused on elevating the company’s large print division. As new clients came aboard, the business grew in scale and scope- focusing more and more on branding that used holistic storytelling and experiential activations. These served clients such as Nordstrom, TD Bank, Honda, and Singapore Airlines.

Focusing on Aviation

In 2019, Edmond shifted his focus to his childhood passion for aviation. As Chief Creative Officer and partner at Forward Group, he led the creative direction for airline and transportation branding clients. His work included developing Northern Pacific Airways’ brand and livery, which received international acclaim.

Key Career Milestones

2023: Invited to membership in the Registered Graphic Designers of Canada (RGD).
2022: Served as a juror for FRAME Awards and International Design Awards (IDA).
2021: Designed the brand and livery for Northern Pacific Airways, showcased at a high-profile event in San Bernardino.
2020: Developed branding for Tailwind Air, a regional seaplane airline.
2010: Lead a naming and branding campaign for a César Pelli designed airport in Canada

Inspirational Leadership

Huot’s leadership style emphasizes mutual respect, trust, and the importance of understanding cultural dynamics. His ability to inspire and motivate creative teams has been crucial in delivering distinctive and impactful work. He continues to blend ideation with craftsmanship, pushing the boundaries of conventional design.

A Lasting Legacy

Edmond Huot’s work has been featured in prominent publications like Forbes, Business Insider, Branding In Asia, and The New Yorker. The public’s fascination with all things aviation and airliners has driven an ongoing interest in learning about the niche world of airline branding and livery design. His dedication to blending creativity, cultural sensitivity, and practical design has not only shaped the flying experience but also set new standards in airline branding.

Edmond Huot’s story is one of passion, creativity, and visionary leadership. From his humble beginnings on a Canadian farm to becoming one of the world’s preeminent airline livery designers, his inspirational journey is a testament to the power of imagination- and the impact of thoughtful design on the travel experience.

Bijan Bayne

Bijan C. Bayne is an award-winning Thailand-based columnist & critic. Bayne's travel articles have appeared in AAA Horizons, Family Digest, Atlanta Goodlife, Ohio magazine, Arrington's Inn Traveler, and Hotel Executive, and his book reviews have been featured in Washington Post Book World, The Boston Herald, and The Crisis. He has served as a consultant for film, television and corporate clients s...(Read More)

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