Dan Richards

Memory is an imperfect vehicle for carrying the facts of our lives. But, like an imperfectly trained terrier, it does sometimes bring things back. So it is with great delight that we learned that Dan Richards, former lead graphic designer at Nike, was to appear back in Dallas as the guest speaker at a Wednesday night meeting of the Dallas Society of Visual Communications.

Of course, we instantly remembered that once upon a time Dan was a kid-out-of-school designer at SullivanPerkins. Well, we would have sworn Dan’s tenure here was late 80s. However, his current LinkedIn profile says SullivanPerkins 1993-1996, but then that same profile also says Nike 1995-2000, and back then we would have found it hard to have misplaced Dan from 1995-1996, had he been in Portland. Indeed, some of our current talented senior staff were kids out of school themselves in 1995, as colleagues of Dan’s at SullivanPerkins.

But what we all remember clearly was a T-shirt Dan created for our friends Larry Meltzer & Rob Martin, then of Meltzer & Martin, a public relations business officing across the street from us at the Quadrangle. We have had the pleasure of continuing to work with Larry and Rob in subsequent business incarnations up through their present day shop, MM2 Public Relations. So when we could not remember whether we still had one of those T-shirts, which in the mid-90s we produced each year, for the annual cruises Meltzer & Martin took with their staff, we asked Larry if he still had the 20-year old T.

Here’s what he sent us within 15 minutes of the request:

Ship Happens

We love the fuzzy photo – the perfect visual correlative to the state of our memory after 20 years.

Check out the article on Dan’s appearance in the Dallas Observer, especially this paragraph:

“His childhood was spent tearing through the hallways of North Texas University (now UNT), where his father was an art professor. He traversed to Dallas to work at the legendary Sullivan Perkins.”

Huh? Okay, we’ll accept legendary, but not like King Arthur and Excalibur, because we’re about today and tomorrow, not about the mists of time. Yep, sometimes being around for a while can be a double-edged sword. Is that good grey hair you have, or bad grey hair? Our motto is keep growing, not just keep going.

Well, s- happens, as they say, and everything ages, and if you’re good and successful, then you last, and if you last, maybe you do become legendary.

PS – SullivanPerkins is turning 30 in 2014 – in business dog years, we guess that’s about the equivalent of being 95.