Sunday, February 12, 2012

A week of settling in: Sabbatical at Thirst (3st)

I’ve recently started a three-month Sabbatical at Thirst, which is a collaborative design office based in Chicago. My first project is developing a logotype consisting of eleven characters for a Chicago printing company. Each “dot matrix” letter is based on a 4x5 grid system. Shown above is the character “C” based on a sketch by Rick Valicenti.

It’s been about twenty years since Rick Valicenti, principal of Thirst, and I have talked in person—so last week it was great to see each other again. Rick embraced me and the entire staff was indeed welcoming. Besides Rick, the rest of Thirst’s office comprises a team of very talented, smart and witty young designers; the oldest is perhaps just over thirty years old. I was reminded of this last Wednesday when I was cordially invited to join the group for lunch (a couple of them were celebrating birthdays). As we entered the Taco restaurant on N. Damen Ave., all of them were carded accept myself with the gray hair—Rick joined us a little later. I certainly felt honored to be invited and appreciated being included. All of the Thirst team members are exceptionally fine young people.

Back at the office, after the birthday lunch break, Rick asked if I’d like to work on a “no pressure” project… (needed by 02.14) and I readily agreed. Valicenti explained the project, which involves developing logotype for a Chicago printing company (one of the “greenest” printing companies in the country). Rick always details his instructions with sketches like the one pictured above. My job is to translate and implement his drawing by utilizing Adobe Illustrator to construct each letterform as components to eventually develop the entire logotype.

So far the Thirst experience in Chicago has been busy, challenging and rewarding at the same time. Valicenti is indeed a typographic master.

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