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Make Everything Personal

July 3, 2008

Last week I was trying to organize my desk drawers when I came across all my old handouts from Design class at UT. I started to read through them and then realized either I have totally forgotten what the handouts were about, or I never really read them. As I start to read down the first handout on Rick Valicenti, I came across this quote that really intrigued me.

Make everything personal because if you touch something, someone else might feel it, and if you feel something, someone else may be touched by it.

I thought to myself, hmm, who is Rick Valicenti, and maybe I should know, but the first thing I do is google him of course. And come to find out, he is a very talented designer who is not only the founder of Thirst, but he also edited the book Emotion as Promotion, A Book of Thirst. According to the website, it is a contemporary commentary on the state of communication design from both Rick’s personal and public point of views. The first book is a manifesto of heart-to-heart chats with the next generation of graphic designers. The Thirst insights are shared with humor as Rick tried to make sense of  making a living through design. The book is $60, but I have to admit I would purchase it. I love books that discuss how important design is, and how we as graphic designers have the opportunities to communicate what we want to say and make a difference. Here are some cool spreads from the book I liked.

After reading all about Rick, I am reminded of São Paulo, Brazil’s most important city. In 2007, São Paulo became the first city outside the communist world to put into effect a ban on outdoor advertising. The law came from a necessity to battle the pollution problem, …pollution of air, water, sound and visual. Since the law became enforced, billboards, outdoor video screens and ads on buses have been eliminated. Here is a image of the city without advertising.

It makes me think so much on how often I let advertising make my decisions for me. There have been plenty of times where I have bought a certain package of Macaroni based on the ad, or the packaging itself. It is crazy to think what would life be like driving down Peachtree in Atlanta without sale signs, car lot signs blinking, Walgreen’s specials, and everything we get so accustomed to in our every day life. I think that is why I really appreciate the power of Design and the power to make a difference. Wouldn’t it be neat to go to São Paulo for a week and just drive around to see what it is like? Talk about a completely different world.

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