A Thirst for Valicenti
I attended a lecture last week sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the AIGA as part of a design lecture series. The featured speaker that night was Rick Valicenti. I've never met him or heard him speak before, but knew that his reputation for forward-thinking design and typography was great. What I didn't realize was how philosophical and socially conscious he is - not to mention just a nice guy too.
His lecture started sort of esoterical and disjointed to me. But, as I sat there and truly listened to what he was saying and what his message was, his talk become enthralling.
As an aside, he loves and is extremely proud of his kids - who have their own success stories going on. He made it a point to talk about and show us their work and activities. A proud Dad, indeed.
Back to Rick. He went through numerous stories and gave us the background scoop and information on many of the projects that are covered in this first book from his design group, Thirst. His attitude as well as his work is honest and almost brash - pushing the envelope of the design and message to the limits. It was quite refreshing. Of course, I had to buy the book (AIGA member discount). He took great time at the end of the lecture to sign our books, complete with a personal message in each signing.
No, his lecture wasn't a shameless plug for the book. Rick offered so much more with his commentary, thoughts, and ideas which made the book an extra artifact for future reflection and inspiration. Overall, he is just a great guy. Granted, he did go to BGSU in Ohio, which is near where I am from, but that causes no bias on my part.
Rick does what he does for the passion and fun, not necessarily the money. I know his firm has some very high-end clients, but I truly believe it's not about the money for him. He offered plenty of examples of clients making money as a result of his work which doesn't trickle-down to him. That needs to be changed for all of us, but that's a topic for a future entry.
So, if you ever get a chance to meet or hear Rick Valicenti talk about his work (or kids), make sure you put it on your calendar. His down-to-earth ideas and attitudes will help you remember why we do what we do.