2 Minutes With … Rich Greco, GCD at Jones Knowles Ritchie
Rich Greco is a New York-born and -based multidisciplinary designer.
Rich joined Jones Knowles Ritchie, the design-led creative company, in October 2011. He previously spent more than a decade at Droga5, holding various design roles. He is also an adjunct visiting professor at Pratt Institute.
We spent two minutes with Rich to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, and recent work he's admired.
Rich, tell us ...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Brooklyn in the house my father grew up in. I now live in Brooklyn, 10 minutes away. On a related note, many of my relatives are buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.
How you first realized you were creative.
My parents encouraged creativity at an early age. My father was a photo retoucher and my mother was a florist. Art was always present, so there wasn't one specific moment. In the third grade, I saw a Pratt Institute bumper sticker and decided I wanted to go there and so eventually I was able to.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
The impressionist painter Claude Monet was an early influence after having won a book about him in an art contest (also) when I was in the third grade. I appreciated his ability to paint the same subjects over and over in a new light.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
My freshman year drawing teacher would say, "Always be at a state of finish." A piece of work must be considered holistically from the start. This was true for 10-second gesture drawings and three-hour poses. The aim was to continuously capture and refine. Outside of class, it made me think a lot about how I could die at any moment so I'd better settle my dust.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
The artist James Jarvis has done so much with a circle.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
Your favorite fictional character.
Pete from Pete and Pete.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
The artist John Karel has done so much with a cube.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
Working from home more often has allowed me to spend time with my family during the in-between moments of the day. My children are at ages where they've grown very quickly and I've been able to experience much of their progression.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
My favorite and most foolish endeavor was branding my two children prior to their respective births. Each child, two years apart, has their own fully realized brand guidelines for personal and professional use. They were both born early, so I wound up having to finish everything after the fact while everyone was sleeping (which was not often) before sharing the documents along with their branded birth announcements.
A recent project you're proud of.
The last project I worked on in my previous role was the visual identity, spatial design, and launch materials for flip'd, a fast-casual restaurant from the mind of IHOP. It was a very small team working on a brand from the ground up.
Someone else's work inspired you years ago.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
Teenage Engineering has designed some wildly tactile electronic equipment with elaborate and playful interfaces.
Your main strength as a creative person.
My experience working in advertising as a designer helped me learn to work smart (working hard takes longer) and forgo individual ownership (so many smart people).
Your biggest weakness.
Snapping to the grid.
One thing that always makes you happy.
One thing that always makes you sad.
Graceland by Paul Simon. I will cry in a supermarket if it comes on.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Slinging pies at your local pizzeria.