They called me Rich. The early years... Sculpture, photography, drawing, airbrush, package design, academic suicide. Educational bliss. All financed by an apprenticeship in bookbinding served on the night shift of a midwestern printing company. While the University struggled to understand why I wanted to paint sculpture, or sculpt packaging, breaking things and reconstructing them in previously unseen ways became my norm. And the hair.
They called me Rick. The middle years... Super Graphics with Flying colors by day, financed by printing at night in San Francisco. Moving into print production management, while producing conceptual art and drawings for galleries I continued the blending of work and art. While working with San Francisco's top designers to create printed pieces that took the printed sheet to new levels of beauty and complexity, I was encouraged by many in the design community to move full time to design and illustration. Still, great hair.
They called me Richard Michael Helf. At least the TSA did. Otherwise I could no longer fly. You can call me Rick. RightSide Imaging was formed in 1991 just at the time computers were becoming powerful enough to be creative tools. Printing processes combined with airbrush, illustration, photography and very early computer adoption resulted in years of groundbreaking work. Now the studio, a hybbrid under the HELF brand, continues. Years of curiosity, risk taking and linking disparate elements for new design solutions fold together with emerging technology. Letterpresses now sit next to 3D printers that sit next to large format printers. As the next generation of Helf's (Helves?) move into the design field, I am no less curious than before. Oh... and the hair.