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Inside the Mind of a Designer: Rick Valicenti

Rick Valicenti was the keynote speaker at the recent Millcraft event, Long Live Print. He spoke to a crowd of over a hundred graphic designers and marketers, sharing highlights from his body of work, insights into the designer/client relationship and his thoughts about the medium of print.


We were curious at what point in the creative process does he actually begin to think about paper/materials when designing for print? So we sat down with Rick to go inside the mind of a designer.

Rick Valicenti is an American graphic designer based in Chicago, IL. Valicenti was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1951 and received his BA from Bowling Green State University in 1973. He received his MA and MFA in Photography from the University of Iowa in 1975. Beginning with his work in corporate design, Valicenti has pursued a complicated and often provocative stance about design’s role. In 1988, Valicenti founded Thirst or 3st, a communication design practice whose clients range in size and mission.

Valicenti has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). In 2004 he was an AIGA Fellow and in 2006 he was a Medalist. He was a recipient of a Sappi Ideas that Matter Grant in 2009, the National Design Award in Communication Design at the Cooper Hewitt in 2011, and the Print Magazine Design Award in 2012. He continues to lecture, teach, and practice as founder and director of Thirst and independently.