Rich Tu Joins Sunday Afternoon as ECD, Partner

By Kyle O'Brien 

Minority-founded creative studio and artist rep agency Sunday Afternoon has hired award-winning multidisciplinary artist and designer Rich Tu as executive creative director and partner.

Tu’s primary role will be to work with Sunday Afternoon co-founders and partners Ahmed Klink and Juan Carlos Pagan, and EP/partner Audrie Poole to build and grow the agency’s internal design studio. Tu will also leverage his deep connections with the creative community to further develop client programs that reach youth culture, and continue the firm’s mission to attract and grow new diverse talent to its roster.

The new position also gives Tu space to expand and grow his own creative practice and continue his mission to uplift other creatives from communities of color with new career opportunities.

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The hiring is a homecoming of sorts for Tu, who was among the first artists to be part of the Sunday Afternoon roster when the firm launched in 2015.

Tu spent six years at small design and branding shops before moving in-house at Nike to handle footwear graphic design. He then spent five years at ViacomCBS (now Paramount), first as vp of brand design for MTV then rising to vp of digital design for the expanded MTV Entertainment Group.

Tu then transitioned agency side as group creative director at Jones Knowles Ritchie in New York, where he worked with brands including Paramount Global and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Most recently, he partnered with the music arm of A24 Films on the soundtrack release of the multiple Oscar-winning film Everything Everywhere All At Once.

“Sunday Afternoon is an extraordinarily collaborative environment, and my goal is to expand and further our culture through design and creative innovation,” said Tu in a statement. “The partners are aligned in our mission to be one of the only design studios driven by world-class creative, a deep connection to youth culture, and authentic values when it comes to industry representation.  We’re built to work with brands looking for that unique point of view.”

In addition to garnering a range of awards for his creative work, Tu was selected as an ADC Young Guns 8 winner, and a recipient last year of the prestigious Paul Manship Medallion from The One Club for Creativity for significant career contributions to the Art Directors Club and creative industry.

“Rich is a dynamic leader and creative powerhouse who’s immersed in the diverse creative community and will act as a conduit for attracting greater cultural relevance to our process, artist roster, and work for clients,” said Klink in a statement. “His valuable experience with large global brands and deep understanding of youth culture make Sunday Afternoon a stronger studio. Rich has been part of our journey since day one, and we’re thrilled to have him return home.”

Tu also hosts the “First Generation Burden” podcast, which uses long-form interviews with diverse creatives to examine the intersection of immigrants and the creative community.

“I could not be more excited to have Rich join the leadership team here at Sunday Afternoon,” said Pagan in a statement. “He brings a seemingly endless amount of creativity and thoughtfulness to everything he touches, and his storied career and stellar track record speak for themselves.”

The announcement follows the launch of The One Club’s “Colorful” grant programs for young BIPOC creatives, a program co-founded in 2021 by Tu, and for which Sunday Afternoon is a strategic partner and creator of this year’s branding.

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