Rick Griffith - What Design Might Be: A Lecture in 3 Movements
From Parsons Deans Office
Rick Griffith is a graphic designer, activist, educator, letterpress printer, collagist, and columnist for Printmag.com. His work is an exploration of language, history, politics, science, music, and ethics—typographically-focused and relevant. He is known as a passionate advocate for design.
Rick was born and raised in Southeast London and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s. It was the album covers of the punk and post punk music scene in his first jobs at Washington D.C. record stores that turned him on to graphic design. And it was the atmosphere of 90’s New York that made a career in design possible. He currently (with his partner Debra Johnson) sustains the design practice MATTER, which, over the 23 years, has grown into an ambidextrous design consultancy, letterpress workshop, and retail bookstore.
From his home in Denver or his creative atelier in Brooklyn, NY, Rick travels the world as a visiting artist, lecturer, and educator— sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge with the next generation of designers—and contributing critical dialogue regarding graphic design as a broad discipline in the service of community, industry, and the future.
He is Printmag.com’s (Print Magazine’s) first artist/designer in residence. He curates exhibitions and meetings and has served as the program chair for AIGA’s National Design Conference in 2021, and 2022.
Rick’s true orientation is toward self-reliance, disruption, creative compassion, and independent thought. For most of us, life is long—for a lot of reasons, we might begin to act like it.
"If we are going to love design, make design useful, give design power, authority and focus on its service to others—well, we are also going to have to know more. Firstly, know ourselves more. Know our planet more. Know our price more. Know more geography, know more physics, know more about loss and grief, know more about love and joy. Not just care about—but know more about—the impact of our actions on others…Good design should have no victims."
Excerpted from Processing Episode 1– from “A Love Letter to Design, a List of Demands, and a Stern Look”