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Rick Valicenti Speaks Up

rick valicenti was my employer for five years. he is my mentor, my friend, and an ever-increasing source of inspiration.

i asked rick two weeks ago if he’d be interviewed for speak up. he said yes. the result is an email exchange about love and money which is long, insightful, and as always—deeply inspiring.

Read part one of the interview.

Read part two of the interview.

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ENTRY DETAILS
ARCHIVE ID 1454 FILED UNDER Interview
PUBLISHED ON May.17.2003 BY Patric King
WITH COMMENTS
Comments
Damien’s comment is:

Thank you PK for making that happen and sharing it. It is an excellent and inspiring read.

On May.17.2003 at 02:53 PM
felix’s comment is:

Great work PK!

Rick echoed sentiments I've heard more that a few times here at Speak Up:

Designers (or many of them) everywhere have been hiding behind their professional practice/process and extremely well-crafted production values.

Burger King, UPS, AOL beware!

Back in 1994 yours truly worked the "AIDSHOULDIE" t-shrit table at a sold out Valicenti rant session in Dallas. I wasnt blown away with the look of the work, put the passion and substance in his dialogue forced me to re-question my role as a designer. Thanks Rick.

On May.17.2003 at 03:07 PM
Tan’s comment is:

I invited Rick out to Seattle for a conference in Seattle about five or six years ago, and was incredibly moved by his passion, honesty, and insights. He spoke of the search for "right" -- and I know that it profoundly changed my perspective on design and my career.

His work is impressive, but the man himself is one inspiring human being. It was wonderful to read and know that he hasn't changed. Thanks PK.

On May.17.2003 at 04:07 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Rick is absolutely inspiring. I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with him and he is passion.

Old school meets the bling bling consumerism of today.

Pop culture will always be at risk as long as he is alive.

He is the Charles Barkley of graphic design with MJ's skills.

What others wish they could say and do he says and does.

Thanks Rick, and thanks PK for such a rare inside view.

On May.17.2003 at 06:07 PM
Mr blah blah’s comment is:

" i spent a night with him, me too. I invited him over for breakfast or was it dinner. who gives a shit!

Why do you guys always have to put your name in the same sentence as someone "famous" or successful?

Most of you are pretty smart and competent people so no need to share with the rest how you and someone else shared underwear once! keep it to yourselves.

By the way, did i mentioned clement knows me by name...

Yours truly,

Mr blah

On May.17.2003 at 10:09 PM
Tan’s comment is:

who gives a shit!

It's not about dropping names of famous people. And I don't really give a shit if you personally care or not.

There are lots of big names in this business who are pricks and waste of human space. Sounds like you might be one of them.

But the fact that a few of us have met Rick and want to share what we personally think of him as a human being speaks of the man's impact on others. Some people who haven't met him may want to know that he doesn't just spew out deep words in interviews, but actually lives by them.

If you don't care, then fine. But it's your fucking loss.

On May.17.2003 at 10:28 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Sorry, but one more thing blah.

Before I joined Speak-Up, I always thought chat room participants were fucking losers who lived with their mothers and were social retards.

That's why they make an identity for themselves online -- because they don't have the balls to confront people face to face with their opinions.

All talk, no fucking walk...know what I mean "Mr.Blah"?

I think I hear your mother calling...

On May.17.2003 at 10:47 PM
Damien’s comment is:

I'm dropping another comment to say that I don't think I adequately conveyed how excellent I thought that interview was PK. Returning from an outing I felt compelled to share again how much I enjoyed the interview. It is really great of you to make that happen and that Valicenti trusted you and was as open as he was. It makes the Speak Up interviews different and particular to Armin's site.

And its a shame that Mr Blah Blah had to hide his own identity for fear of becoming famous for being foolish. Personally I like to hear that about how people who have met him also consider Valicenti to be the type of person he came across in the interview as. I don't think anyone was suggesting that because they knew someone famous that it had any reflection on their reputation. It is a shame you misunderstood that.

By the way, did i mentioned clement knows me by name...

Funny you should mention this - while I am certain you were trying to be funny (I'm afraid you weren't). Mok has a habit of remembering everyone's name of whom he meets. So it doesn't really seem to make you that special. But if it makes you feel better...

On May.17.2003 at 11:25 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Good, thanks, I don't think I have anything to add to Blah's comments.

Such a shame really.

On May.18.2003 at 10:54 AM
brook’s comment is:

yeah i don't know what to say about our anonymous friend. chalk it up to jealousy i guess. we can all wish that every post is thoughtful, but i suppose that is too much to ask.

thanks, pk, for adding yet another great interview to our little corner of the web.

On May.18.2003 at 12:46 PM
felix’s comment is:

In a profession of black-clad fame-seekers who travel, seek applause and annonymous parking lot hand jobs (issue free from the likes of Mr blah blah) its good to see someone like Rick throws rocks at bigger houses (and not run afterward).

On May.18.2003 at 05:47 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>parking lot hand jobs

Felix, dude, this references to hand jobs in parking lots (twice since I don't know when) are rather disturbing. But entertaining.

On May.18.2003 at 07:14 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> I always thought chat room participants were fucking losers who lived with their mothers and were social retards.

...not that there's anything wrong with living with your parents, just in case some of you still do. It's a little sad, but not wrong, Just don't hide your identity online, cause then your ranking will immediately go from 'sad' to 'loser'.

Btw, the interview rocks, again. I wish I could disagree or add something to Rick's points, but all I can do is nod in agreement and admiration.

On May.19.2003 at 10:43 AM
felix’s comment is:

parking lot hand jobs

I was waitin for someone to call me on the HJ referrences! Your Honor, I did NOT have rest stop sex with that young designer! said the defendant.

On May.19.2003 at 11:00 AM
rebecca’s comment is:

Sorry guys, but I think Blah has a point. I suppose he invited the insults by posting anonymously, but come on—haven't any of you noticed a preoccupation with fame on this website?

Preparing to be ignored in three, two, one...

On May.19.2003 at 11:06 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

> It's a little sad

Sad? It's smart! (Says Darrel who sometimes wonders why in the hell he's paying off a mortgage when the parents have a perfectly good basement...)

On May.19.2003 at 11:15 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Oh...as for Mr. Blah Blah...there must have been some validity to his point as it really seemed to stir you guys up. ;o) ;o) ;o)

On May.19.2003 at 11:17 AM
pk’s comment is:

rebecky: i'd rename that preoccupation "legitimacy" rather than "fame." they kinda look like each other sometimes.

On May.19.2003 at 11:24 AM
rebecca’s comment is:

Hey pk. They do indeed. But I'm particularly interested in the places where legitimacy is not accompanied by fame—which is why the topics I enjoy most on this website are about work process, critiques of publicly accessible designs (like the UPS logo), the politics of design, etc., because they stand a better chance of drawing out those legitimate, talented designers who don't have the big personalities or client bases that lead to fame/notoriety.

Thanks for the interview by the way.

On May.19.2003 at 11:56 AM
Tan’s comment is:

> Sad? It's smart! (Says Darrel who sometimes wonders why in the hell he's paying off a mortgage when the parents have a perfectly good basement...)

Sure you may save a little money. But you'll pay in other ways buddy. First, there's the sex you'll miss out on. No one past high school ever gets laid in their parent's basement. Then, there's the easy access for guilt and medling. No more screening their calls because you're "out".

> Sorry guys, but I think Blah has a point. I suppose he invited the insults by posting anonymously, but come on—haven't any of you noticed a preoccupation with fame on this website?

I protest to this insinuation. I'm just as preoccupied in conversing with you guys, and there isn't a shred of fame with all of you put together to fill a coke can.

Ok, now I have to get back to finishing my shrine to Rick...

On May.19.2003 at 12:03 PM
Sam’s comment is:

I agree, Rebecca, that there's a overpreoccupation with this rock-star/fame problem, but it's endemic to the profession as a whole. And "legitimacy" is a good way to put it, pk---I've heard more than one designer say that the profession as a whole is addicted to affirmation. Think Stuart Smalley in squarish black glasses (yeah, I got em) with an iPod in his Freitag bag. What do y'all say? Is it any accident that you're in a line of work that depends on the approval--literally, written approval-- of others? Others who may not even be qualified to evaluate your work? Is there a Sally Field inside all of us, going into meetings hoping they like us, they really really like us?

On May.19.2003 at 12:28 PM
pk’s comment is:

i find it a tidge humorous and a bit tiresome that conversations about popularity and fame always pop up when rick enters the room. unfortunately, they always start out as mr. blah has begun them. too bad.

On May.19.2003 at 01:12 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

I've heard more than one designer say that the profession as a whole is addicted to affirmation

Which would explain the all different design competitions that we have each year.

We're an insecure lot, eh?

On May.19.2003 at 01:20 PM
Sam’s comment is:

For example.

On May.19.2003 at 01:51 PM
pk’s comment is:

love me.

On May.19.2003 at 01:52 PM
herman’s comment is:

rebecca is right...pk you did a great job on the interview, but it probably should have been posted as an interviews, no comments required. those of us who have been around a while and those of us who appreciate great design would have quietly sang you and rick praises. we know what he's accomplished. 'nuff said.

and kudos once again to rebecca..."topics I enjoy most on this website are about work process, critiques of publicly accessible designs (like the UPS logo), the politics of design, etc." this is where real talent shines and where we ALL know how to share.

good job...guys and gals!

On May.19.2003 at 02:14 PM
rebecca’s comment is:

I've heard more than one designer say that the profession as a whole is addicted to affirmation.

Guilty as charged.

and kudos once again to rebecca...

Ahhhhh.

On May.19.2003 at 02:36 PM
felix’s comment is:

.."topics I enjoy most on this website are .. critiques of publicly accessible designs (like the UPS logo), the politics of design, etc."

...but publicly accessible designers use politics (which usually involves a degree of accredation/fame) to get work. Would we be in such a frenzy about the UPS logo if it were designed by Debbie Millman? I think not. Whatever you call it: fame, respect, legitimatacy... you'll need it to survive. Tibor is a fine example of an iconoclast who knew what to do with fame. Those who sulk about it secretly want it... really, really badly.

On May.19.2003 at 02:37 PM
pk’s comment is:

true enough. to be honest, i didn't think to turn commenting off for this entry, or even check if i have the administrative priveleges to do so. it ain't my house, i don't rearrange the furniture.

On May.19.2003 at 02:47 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Felix:

Are you saying that 'fame' within the confines of the AIGA crowd equates to getting more clients?

There's always graphic designers that we admire and many of them get to be mini-rock-stars in the world of the graphic design community, but does anyone really care about these things outside our own little world? Does a client REALLY care what design firm they are hiring? (I don't know...I'm asking.)

From my experience, the client comes in via some sort of contact chain (ie, the AE knew a person who had a friend who had a spouse who needed some graphic design work) and then the client would judge us by a presentation/portfolio.

If you'd walk up to any marketing manager in a fortune 500 company, would they even recognize 'graphic design rock star' names? Do they care?

On May.19.2003 at 03:05 PM
Sam’s comment is:

According to Michael Beirut (who does not know me by name), his clients are impressed for about 5 minutes, after which they're frankensteining his work like everyone else.

And he says for some reason he has clients who call him "Felix." Don't know what that's about...

On May.19.2003 at 03:09 PM
rebecca’s comment is:

Would we be in such a frenzy about the UPS logo if it were designed by Debbie Millman?

I would. My little sub-sub-sub basement design niche is pretty isolated from the big names in identity and package design; we're competing for different kinds of work, different clients, etc. I didn't even know who Debbie Millman was before I read the rant about her a couple of days ago; same goes for Futurebrand and many others. Does my ignorance about big-name contemporary designers make anyone here think less of my design legitimacy?

On May.19.2003 at 03:31 PM
Damien’s comment is:

Does a client REALLY care what design firm they are hiring?

Yes. As far as I could tell working at the design firms I worked at. They cared - and often said so.

On May.19.2003 at 03:37 PM
rebecca’s comment is:

Whoops—I also meant to clarify that by politics I'm referring to stuff like Brook's Earth Day post or PK's Kaletra topic (basically, the political power of design), not the politicking that goes on between design firms and clients. That's a whole different ball of wax; seems like every designer has to be good at it, famous or not.

On May.19.2003 at 03:37 PM
felix’s comment is:

Unfortunately, Yes.

If you dont know whats been done and whats being done, youre not fully prepared.

then again, I doubt that gal who designed the Nike logo for 30 dollars kept up with the Jones'.

On May.19.2003 at 03:45 PM
pk’s comment is:

from my experience, fame sucks. it puts you into an public category where your actions and work are completely not your own. you become a public commodity for everyone to tear apart and reassemble as they wish.

i was there for about ten minutes, and i hated it. having massimo vignelli skewer my work in public made me incredibly paranoid. my exposure made my peers jealous. it cut me off from my friends because they wanted what i had, and actually ended a couple of friendships.

on the upside, i got to talk to some really brilliant designers and critics who would have otherwise been unreachable. case in point: i got to meet laurie and scott makela a few months before scott died, and i treasure that opportunity.

fame doesn't put food on the table. it barely even gets you a better table at a restaurant. it doesn't improve your skills (in fact, it actually made me a worse designer because i was so preoccupied with my next public stunt). some people can handle it, i couldn't. if you think you can, then be ready for it - it'll change you, and not always for the better.

sermon over. sorry to get self-righteous.

On May.19.2003 at 03:52 PM
armin’s comment is:

I don't see why it is soooooo wrong and frowned upon - by designers them[your]selves - to want to talk about famed designers. Is it a sin that me, Tan and Felix had the opportunity to meet Rick in person and would want to share it? If I told you I had lunch with my designer friend from college would you give a shit about him? It is not relevant. But talking about experiences I (or whoever) have had with rock star (I'm only using the term in this instance because everybody else is) should not be something to be ashamed of.

>haven't any of you noticed a preoccupation with fame on this website?

>>i'd rename that preoccupation "legitimacy" rather than "fame."

Nothing personal against PK or Rebecca, but in all honesty I don't give a hoot-nanny if anybody thinks that we are here to drop names and kiss each other's ass. The fact of the matter is that the contributions these "famous" designers (all interviewees and those who have left a comment here and there) have given legitimacy to this site. Is this a bad thing? Would you be here (really, don't kid yourself) if this was another chat room where participants were fucking losers who lived with their mothers and were social retards? Which there are many of. Have you been to HOW's forum or About's design froum? Exactly.

>those of us who have been around a while and those of us who appreciate great design would have quietly sang you and rick praises. we know what he's accomplished.

those of us? I'm not even gonna go there.

Quietly? That is the problem. Why the hell be quiet when you can say whatever you want? Where is the fun in that, would Rick (not trying to pin everything on you man) then know about your praises? Would it matter? I've let him know about it, that's why he knows my name. So be it.

>i didn't think to turn commenting off for this entry.

The day Speak Up turns off the commenting it better be to shut down altogether.

>but does anyone really care about these things outside our own little world?

This type of question for things to do with Graphic Design has really been bothering me a lot lately. Nothing personal Darrel. Does anybody here care how famous Frank Gehry is within the architecture world? Probably not many, but the fact that architects celebrate him and his work means there is better archictecture for the rest of us to enjoy and care about. I don't give a crap if an accountant doesn't know who the rock stars of graphic design are - it doesn't really matter. It matters that we know who the rock stars, that we know who is making the best work and that we celebrate their effort to create a better visual culture. If we [designers] question our own importance - it appears to be the latest trendy thing to do - then why should rest of the people really care? It's not up to them to care, it's up to us.

On May.19.2003 at 04:06 PM
rebecca’s comment is:

If you dont know whats been done and whats being done, youre not fully prepared.

But that's just research. Every good designer does it. You can know what's being done without knowing who did it; design is public, after all.

And Armin, I definitely do not think there's anything wrong with talking about the work of famous designers. It's the conflation of legitimacy with fame that troubles me. Also, while I suffer from it as much as the next person, I often wonder whether being obsessed with affirmation (as Sam mentioned earlier) leads us to make design decisions that serve ourselves before serving the work in our charge.

[Poor PK and Rick. This is beginning to overlap with the AIGA discussion raging in the next room. Rick rules! Great interview!]

On May.19.2003 at 04:19 PM
Tan’s comment is:

"Famous in the design world, mom. (pause) Yeah, well I bet CA has never heard of you either."

-- Ben Day, 1995

This whole conversation just reminds me of that wonderful movie and just how ludicrous this idea of "design fame" really is. Even more so that we're talking about its existence and merit.

Listen, not to keep agreeing w/ Armin -- but I don't see what's so wrong with having idols in our profession and talking about them. I find it interesting to hear who other people admire and why. And I don't really care whether or not that person's idol is overexposed or obscure.

Admit it, everyone has professional idols and rock stars that they admire in their field. I know I do. But talking about a rock star doesn't make me shallow, superficial, or incapable of thinking for myself.

On May.19.2003 at 04:34 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Yes. As far as I could tell working at the design firms I worked at. They cared - and often said so.

I probably didn't word that right. I should have asked: does a client really care or even acknowledge if you're a graphic design rock-star or not? I think they only care that the firm they hired does the kind of work they want in the manner they need.

Does anybody here care how famous Frank Gehry is within the architecture world?

With Architecture, though, there tends to be a bit more 'celebrity creep' into the general public. At least from my perspective. Not that people care, but it seems as if it may benefit an architect to have some 'celebrity' more so than a graphic designer in terms of obtaining new clients.

It's a good point, though. I suppose to a certain extent, being 'famous' in your industry can help. I'm sure CSA gets a lot of work simply because people want the CSA look...just as people hire Gehry because they want the Gehry look.

I'm just wondering about the 'fame within GD = better/more client base' equation. I really don't care if someone is 'famous' or not in the GD world and I certainly don't think that should have anything to do with the way people perceive them...on first impression, at least. ;o)

but I don't see what's so wrong with having idols in our profession and talking about them.

I agree. Nothing wrong with it.

On May.19.2003 at 04:57 PM
anthony’s comment is:

Thanks for the post PK.

On May.19.2003 at 07:15 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

The fact of the matter is that the contributions these "famous" designers (all interviewees and those who have left a comment here and there) have given legitimacy to this site.

Legitimacy in whose eyes? I was here before the 'stars' came out (I think) and was impressed enough by the intelligent postings to stick around. I don't know who most of you are or your backgrounds, but what you often say is said well, whether I agree or not. That's why I'm still here. Whether Valicenti or Bielenberg or Vignelli himself posted here or not does not affect my interest in this site. Perhaps it helps validate its creation for you, Armin. Really, there's nothing wrong with that. I'm more thrilled that you've created a fairly vibrant area of design discourse that WASN'T dependent on its existence because of name designers. Frankly, I'm just impressed that, for the most part, there hasn't been the typical devolvement into crass name-calling and epithet-hurling from which most open boards suffer.

(Why do I always miss the raucous conversations when I go out of town?)

On May.19.2003 at 07:25 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>Legitimacy in whose eyes?

In the eyes of the beholder... I don't even know what that means.

I guess in the eyes of everybody: you, me (you are right man, you've been here since the start,) them, they.

To me, it is important that the design community, if you will, takes us seriously. Not me in particular, but each and everyone that speaks up. Why? I really don't know.

I don't think there has ever been a site on the web with such smart discussions. Believe me, it has been hard to get where it is. And I attribute a big part, not all, of it to our little rock stars' participations.

>there hasn't been the typical devolvement into crass name-calling and epithet-hurling from which most open boards suffer.

Yes, Tan and felix have been on their best behaviour : )

On May.19.2003 at 08:20 PM
felix’s comment is:

Not for long, motherfucker. I'm back.

Yes, its important to keep things enlightened, but car wrecks and curse words are part of life. I drive a 74' Cadillac Coupe. If youve been chatting the iSpot , AIGA, or the Illustrators Partnership, you may wanna pull your shitty Pinto off to the curb.

On May.19.2003 at 08:49 PM
Kevin Lo’s comment is:

Though its been said enough, great interview pk. I've always loved Rick's work and now I know enough about him to say that I respect him as a person.

I'd like to reiterate what has been brought up by Rebecca. Not that it has much to do with the interview, but she's addressed something that I've been thinking about a lot lately.

This notion of legitimacy and my lack of "it" and how that's prevented me from feeling comfortable posting here sometimes. A warning in advance that I probably don't have much of a point and this might come out like an unitelligible rant, but I'm going to press "post" anyways.

I'm a 24 year old "punk" kid designer from Montréal. I have never won any awards, probably never will and don't really give a hoot about the AIGA (not only because I'm Canadian).

I worked in a marketing company for a year and have resolved never to do it again. I design for academic institutions, art companies and political and social justice organisations. I even do some work for anarchists to make their publications look less like they were made by "Anarchists". Because of this decision, I Iive from paycheck to paycheck in a crap apartment eating Ramen noodles. Sometimes I regret my decision.

Does this make me a less "legitimate" designer. In all honesty, yes.

Still, I helped porganise an international conference on design and activism(VOICE ripped us off) and met a slew of designers that I now have the utmost respect for and I think the work they do is ten times more important than the design of the new UPS logo(not that that wasn't a very intersting discussion).

It's the conflation of legitimacy with fame that troubles me

I suppose that's what it comes down to. I love this site. I really appreciate Armin letting me be an author here without my having any credentials. I've learned enormously from the discussions here and hope to continue learning. I just hope I don't get "legitimised" away. Not by Armin kicking me out, which I'm sure he never would, but by my perspective becoming irrelevant.

Like I said, there's no point to this, but if I started a topic, say "In defense of unprofessionalism...", would I get more discussion than I did for International Women's day, looking into the issues rather than giving a list of names?

On May.19.2003 at 09:42 PM
pk’s comment is:

felix, everyone's fairly aware by now that your dick is big. make your point and be done with it.

On May.19.2003 at 09:51 PM
Sam’s comment is:

This thread in particular, but several recent ones, feel like serious Speak Up growing pains. Some kind of bubble of quietude and low-visibility has been burst. In the words of Gabrielle Union, bring it on.

So it's testy and unwieldy and feelings are potentially hurt--I assume we're all adults who've dealt with plenty of hurt feelings before. It's kind of great to see it happening. Props to pk for the impetus, and props to Felix for swinging his Caddy-riding balls in the wind, but I really give my most admiring props to Armin for this:

"If we [designers] question our own importance - it appears to be the latest trendy thing to do - then why should rest of the people really care? It's not up to them to care, it's up to us."

Well said, bossman, very very very well said.

On May.19.2003 at 10:10 PM
graham’s comment is:

great interview, great thread, lovely lovely living and breathing and speaking to each other (and sometimes shouting and sneering and just going on) and as sam said, armin's quote is top notch perfect and also cooooome oooon!

now if only things veered a bit over to the rest of the world side of things then some more peeps might join in too . . .

On May.20.2003 at 08:15 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>I really appreciate Armin letting me be an author here without my having any credentials.

Actually... can I see some credentials buddy? Kidding, you got chutzpah (yes, I have some yiddish in me) man! credentials don't give you that.

>serious Speak Up growing pains.

Sometimes it feels like a puberty ridden teen, with really long arms, knocking everything off the table. One day there are no zits, the next day it's pimple-country. And still trying to figure out who to ask out to the prom. I'm surprised you noticed Sam.

Truth of the matter is that the site is not growing in quantity as readership (hits, unique visitors and so on) is the same, perhaps it has dropped a little. But the quality... ohooohooo, it has risen like english-muffin dough on a sunday morning. A lot of people have said that they love the small-community feeling of the site, when I first heard it I thought small wasn't that nice a compliment. What is really cool right now is that it is small but it soooo damn good. I'm not sure where I'm going with all this paragraph, but it's all good.

>In the words of Gabrielle Union, bring it on.

Let me get Kirsten.

>but I really give my most admiring props to Armin

Oh, you are making me blush Sam.

On May.20.2003 at 09:03 AM
rick v’s comment is:

PK/Armin

I wish you had told me that a chat was in the works.

I would have liked to have been invited to the ball.

oh well, next time.

it was my pleasure to share a few mornings anyhow.

signed,

cinderella (rv)

ps; hi, tan...it's been a while

hope all is well.

On May.20.2003 at 09:22 AM
Sam’s comment is:

I'm surprised you noticed Sam.

I no dummy!

Kevin, have no fear about legitmacy. Legitimacy is there for the taking, you just gotta have the cojonoes. Let James Victore be your guide.

As long as we're giving testimony, I'd add that what's unique and attractive to me about the site is the variety of levels of input that people bring. To hear the questions and comments of less experienced designers is invaluable, just as it's great to get seasoned advice and perspective from folks like Felix, Tan, Scott Stowell, and Debbie Millman (who I have to say, is a class act). I think the idea that younger designers should kneel at the altar of the rock stars is a huge load of crap. We don't have to do that here. Democracy, I love ya!

And if anyone knows if Gabrielle is free to go to the prom, please let me know.

On May.20.2003 at 09:40 AM
Katie’s comment is:

Legitimacy in whose eyes? I was here before the 'stars' came out (I think) and was impressed enough by the intelligent postings to stick around. I don't know who most of you are or your backgrounds, but what you often say is said well, whether I agree or not.That's why I'm still here.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I came across the site via Rebecky's site and have returned many times (Okay, who am I kidding? I visit daily...admittedly, I've even gone so far as to read most of the material in the archives).

The best part of this site, for me, is that it serves as the only vibrant discourse on design in my world right now. I'm the sole designer at a university research center and it's wonderful to have read both The Cheese Monkey's and Rant No.64 AND have someone to discuss them with. Even if I am guilty of being a lurker and most of my responses to your posts are muttered to myself, the potential to chime in is always there.

And while I cringe sometimes when reading about references to lunch with so-and-so and how wonderful Mr.Designer really is, I understand that I have my own preoccupations with certain designers and their work.

So, in an effort to tie up my quickly deteriorating post, I want to say that I, like Jonsel, enjoy those at Speak Up for what they say and that they're willing to say it, not for who they are.

On May.20.2003 at 10:20 AM
Tan’s comment is:

> Rick: I wish you had told me that a chat was in the works.

I think that from now on, we should invite the interviewee to participate when the discussion goes live. If this is already a policy, then my apologies.

Rick's participation in the melée would've been awesome. Oh well.

And though it was awkward, it was riveting to have had Debbie Millman join Felix's blog. And I agree Sam, Debbie Millman is one class act for joining the heated discussion. She more than held her own -- and inspired me to come up with another topic to be posted soon.

> from folks like Felix, Tan, Scott Stowell, and Debbie Millman

thanks Sam. But it disturbs me to have my name so close to Felix. Some buffer next time might prevent needless verbal violence.

And lastly. Again. Rick -- you the man.

On May.20.2003 at 11:17 AM
armin’s comment is:

>I think that from now on, we should invite the interviewee to participate when the discussion goes live. If this is already a policy, then my apologies.

It's kind of a policy. Rick asked me for some text changes, so I assumed he was aware of it. But it doesn't really matter. I always let all interviewees know that there will be comments and that they are welcome to chime in.

On May.20.2003 at 11:38 AM
felix’s comment is:

AUTHOR: felix
EMAIL: [email protected]
IP: 66.108.69.138
URL: http://felixsockwell.com
DATE: 05/20/2003 01:36:10 PM

On May.20.2003 at 01:36 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Nephew please! We were getting to be such good pals. Why you gotta be front'n, T?

I luv ya, man. I'll see you in the parking lot. Armin, you too.

On May.20.2003 at 02:04 PM
armin’s comment is:

>I luv ya, man. I'll see you in the parking lot. Armin, you too.

Heeeeey... I just work here. Keep me out of it.

On May.20.2003 at 02:07 PM
Sam’s comment is:

It's a mitzvah!

On May.20.2003 at 02:40 PM
armin’s comment is:

shut up sam.

you get out in here in the parking lot too.

On May.20.2003 at 02:45 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Oh you tease me so.

On May.20.2003 at 03:49 PM
rebecca’s comment is:

boys. get back to work.

On May.20.2003 at 03:52 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Armin, you missed my HJ parking lot reference. Which is good, I suppose.

Ok, ok, back to work.

On May.20.2003 at 03:57 PM
davek’s comment is:

I really like the way Rick thinks about "the job"

really great stuff! Thanks so much PK!

On May.20.2003 at 04:14 PM
armin’s comment is:

>Armin, you missed my HJ parking lot reference.

oooooooh. It is a mitzvah then, like Sam wisely said.

Plus, I don't have a car so I wouldn't know.

On May.20.2003 at 04:36 PM
Jamie Sheehan’s comment is:

Haven't read it all yet, but I will. Had to say that Rick's assets-turned-liability statement, from my perspective, couldn't be more true. I was relieved to find out I'm not the only one feeling this way and saddened to know the reality at the same time. Does anyone actually pay anyone to create design anymore? Is it really a negative thing to have your portfolio reflect a wide range of design solutions? Isn't that what we as designers are supposed to do?

On Jun.02.2003 at 09:37 AM
Ginny Tevere’s comment is:

I would be in this website even if designers with fame were not involved. It was a great interview, famous or not. Mr. Valicenti seems to have an amazing insight and work ethic/process. He has massaged that throughout the years and earned himself a reputation as being at the forefront of design. I always look forward to seeing what comes out of Thirst as I do many, many other design firms throughout this country and the world.

If it's good design (in my opinion) it doesn't matter if you're famous or not. If you have a reputation good or bad. I'm just glad it's good and it's "out there". Considering all of the challenges we are faced with as designers/ hand-holders/ salespeople/artists/carnival freaks, I'm impressed with those who have pushed the envelope and convinced their client to produce it.

On Jun.02.2003 at 03:31 PM
armin’s comment is:

>Had to say that Rick's assets-turned-liability statement, from my perspective, couldn't be more true.

It's funny, of all the interview, that is what resonated the most. I mean, the guy has been busting his ass, and his team's, to create exciting and daring graphic design. All of a sudden that energy is no longer welcome, "passion" is probably not on clients' RFPs so it surely doesn't count as a bonus. It's sad to see that that kind of work is viewed as a risk.

On Jun.02.2003 at 04:02 PM
Tan’s comment is:

carnival freaks

I have an enormous head. It's like size 9 or something. Does that count?

On Jun.02.2003 at 04:33 PM
craig shully’s comment is:

don't think the words "i" and "me" were used quite enough............

On Aug.10.2005 at 04:56 PM
Woodie’s comment is:

just found this interview and enjoyed it immensely. I was in need of some inspiration, today. Thanks for bringing substantial content to the unwashed masses like me.

On Jan.05.2009 at 01:22 PM