A designer and educator, film-maker and artist, Dave Richardson focuses on graphic design and motion/interactive media. He teaches interactive and motion graphics at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Selected recent clients include: Kistner Supply, the Indiana University Foundation, Monroe Humane, Spokane Public Radio, and Sleeping Dogs Studio. His personal creative work centers on original narratives realized in motion/film space, and his video-poems have been curated into national and international film festivals.
I am an educator, a graphic designer, and an artist, in that order.
With more than 25 years experience as a graphic designer, I remain excited about the changing field; in fact, my enthusiasm has grown. From first learning how to design book covers for academic presses shortly after graduating with a BA in English and Journalism from IU in 1990, to recent interactive work for clients, to collaborative video and motion-design “film-poems,” I have been consistently engaged in visual communication. And I am excited about what the future holds.
I agree with Paul Rand, the American graphic designer, who wrote: “To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning . . . To design is to transform prose into poetry.”
Years ago, when the software program Flash (now CC Animate) became the default for graphic designers wishing to create interactive and motion design spaces, I became acutely interested in images and typography in motion, and then in coding as a way of making. I began constructing time-based visual experiments by generating images/video content randomly into compositions, with lines of code. This opened a door for me: Graphic design started moving over time, with sound. I was enthralled.
This sense of excitement and experimentation has continued and has flowed into my work on film/motion-design collaborations with poets. I have written and designed original narratives, many of which have been selected for national and international film festivals. In my personal work I am often trying to lose a sense of control, to shift beyond expected visuals, to not overthink the final results, and to leave some of the process evident. “Control, apparently, is not the answer,” say David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. “People who need certainty in their lives are less likely to make art that is risky, subversive, complicated, iffy, suggestive or spontaneous.”
The lines between graphic design/art-making/interactive and motion design, and more, keep blurring, and I will continue to be part of this conversation. The beauty of Jessica Hische’s hand-drawn typography and her typographically elegant interface (jessicahische.is), Mac Premo’s films/commercials (a synthesis of graphic, film, and motion design; macpremo.com) and the contemporary design of Pentagram (pentagram.com) are just some of my influences. One side of my brain loves to dissect code and build interactive spaces, while the other seeks to be surprised by mode-blended video layers in AE. It’s all a joy.
I am comfortable creating “artistic” pieces that mix graphic/motion design, literature, and film-making, for the sheer enjoyment of the process; but at heart I am a digital designer who respects the rich history of typography and image-making for commercial purposes, who enjoys the client-designer relationship, who loves teaching interactive media and motion design/video, and who has always considered it an honor to be working and teaching in this creative visual field.