Meet a HOW Design Live Speaker: Richard Shear

Richard Shear has spent his 30-year design career working alongside major consumer brands like Coca-Cola, Estee Lauder and Hasbro to create memorable brand identities. He’ll be at The Dieline Package Design Conference to share how branding design has evolved and how it influences package design. We asked Richard a bit about his experiences:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a graphic designer?
My parents are both architects, and my father worked for Eliot Noyes when I was young. I remember being fascinated by his office, where you could surround yourself with very early IBM design prototypes for computers, typewriters and environments. It was these great trips to his office that got me hooked on design.

What was your first job in the design field?
I moved to New York and began my first job with the AIGA medalist George Lois and Clive Chajet at the Lois Chajet Design Group.

Art directors and designers ruled. George’s office was half of the 28th floor at 745 Fifth Avenue and 58th Street. An infamous space with a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window for the pocket door separating his office from the bar, and a marble pedestal desk overlooking 5th Avenue, Grand Army Plaza, and Central Park.

The other half of the floor he shared with just 4 other people, his assistant and 3 art directors: Kurt Weihs, a quiet gracious holocaust survivor from Poland who had done some ground-breaking work at CBS in the 1950s, including the design of the original CBS eye logo, working with William Golden; Dennis Mazella, the surfer dude in love with franklin gothic; and Tom Courtos, a talented Greek guy from Brooklyn. Everybody else in the agency was on other floors. Amazing!

What is your favorite design tool? Why?
That thread of life, experience, inspiration and wonder that connects our eyes to the right and left sides of our brain. Where would we be without the ability to see, and the curiosity to wonder?