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Rick Valicenti

Rick Valicenti is the founder and design director of Thirst, a communication design practice providing design and immersive environments for high profile clients in the architectural, performing arts, and education communities.

His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), resides in the permanent collections of the Yale and Columbia University libraries, Denver Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and has been published in The New York Times.

The White House honored Valicenti in 2011 with the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt, National Design Award for Communication Design. In 2006, he received the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Medal, the highest honor of the graphic design profession, for his sustained contribution to design excellence and the development of the profession.

Valicenti is a former president of the STA (Society of Typographic Arts) and is a member of the AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) since being invited to join in 1996. In 2004, he was recognized as a Fellow of the AIGA Chicago. From 2011 through 2015, Valicenti served on the Art Institute of Chicago’s Architecture & Design Society under curator Zoe Ryan.

For the past two years, Valicenti has been an adjunct professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2017, he was an appointed Artist-in-Residence at Loyola University of Chicago. Annually, he conducts design initiative thesis critiques at Bowling Green State University, and in previous years, the Rhode Island Institute of Design, University of Illinois/Urban-Champaign, Northern Illinois University, and the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology.

Valicenti has publicly presented his work through lectures, workshops and critiques on the design industry to more than 100 professional and college audiences on five continents.


Design Indaba, 2009
UCDA Design Education Summit, 2008
Adobe Design Awards, 2003
AIGA National Conference, 1991
Additional lectures on four continents: Beijing / tokyo / Osaka / Yokohama / Hong Kong / Singapore / Jakarta / Bangkok / Kuala Lumpur / Sydney / Melbourne / Auckland / Porto / London / Oslo / Berlin / Florence / Cape Town / Vancouver / Toronto / New York / Chicago / Los Angeles / Minneapolis / Atlanta / Miami / San Francisco


Rhode Island School of Design, Graduate Thesis Critique, 2013
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Adjunct Professor, 2010
Northern Illinois, Adjunct Professor, 2006 and 2009


Print Magazine Design Annual, 2012
National Design Award, 2011
Sappi Ideas That Matter Grant Recipient, 2009
AIGA Medalist, 2006
STA Honorary Member and Fellow, 2005
AIGA Chicago Fellow Award, 2004
The Chrysler Design Award Nominations, 1998
Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) Member, 1995


CHGO DSGN: Recent Object and Graphic Design, 2014
100 Typographic Posters, International Invitation Exhibition, 2013
As You Are: A Decade of You Are Beautiful, 2013
US Ark of Archetypes: The Politics of Projection, 2012
Curiosities: Rick Valicenti and a 21st Century Thirst 2012, 2012
Beauties and Beasts, 2012
Columbia University Rare Books Collection, 2011
Write Now: Artists and Letterforms, 2011
Graphic Design: Now in Production, 2011
Architecture & Design Film Festival, 2011
Curiosities: Rick Valicenti and a 21st Century Thirst 2011, 2010
100@100, 2010
Chicago Calligraphy Exhibit, 2010
Curiosities: Rick Valicenti and a 21st Century Thirst 2010, 2010
Chicago International Poster Biennial 2010, 2009
Post-Contemporary International Poster Exhibition, 2008
Lubalin Now, 2008
Chicago International Poster Biennial 2008, 2008
Sound in Print, 2006
Social Issues in Graphic Design, 2006
The Urban Forest Project, 2005
Design Life Now: National Design Triennial, 2005
Chocolate: The Irresistible Communicator, 2005
25 Above Water, 2005
Emigré Covers, 2004
Light of Hope for Indonesia: Alleviating Crisis Through Propaganda, 2004
A Tribute to Mr. Rogers, 2004
Adversary Show, 2001
Seoul International Poster Biennale, 2001
Selected Thirst Digital Imagery, 1996
Rick Valicenti/Thirst, 1990
Mendini, Starck, Geiman, Rotundi, Valicenti, 1989
Ultra Slick Rick, 1989


Newcity Design50 2018, 2018
rick valicenti (3st) interview, 2013
Who's Who: Graphic Designer of the World Today, 2011
Graphic. Inside the Sketchbooks of the World's Great Graphic Designers, 2011
Process is the Project, 2011

Selected Work

Exhibit Columbus: 2019 Exhibition


Character Skateboards

Versteel Identity

Typeforce X: Daily Diet / Neurons Firing

The Greater Good Silverroom Block Party

Silverroom and Pop-Up Visual Identity

Body Copy

Exhibit Columbus: 2016 Symposium

Holly Hunt: HH Collection

IN Light IN

Pattern Magazine Fall Editorial


Wright Identity and Publications

ChicX: 2013 Creative Chicago Expo

Gather Give Grow

Enforcer Illustration for TYPEFORCE

Show Boat Poster

Fluidity Identity and Website

Suburban Maul

For Mr. Rogers

Smith Partners

IIT Poster: Fall 2009

Tannhauser Poster

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