Discover more from This for That
A tribute to Rick
“Why do you write this newsletter?” That was the question my neighbor Rick Byrne asked me as we walked together through our neighborhood.
For years, I had admired the clever logos that Rick, a graphic designer, had shared on social media. So I asked Rick if he would design a logo for This for That. I was thrilled when he agreed.
Rick proposed that we go for a walk so that he could understand more about This for That.
If you had been walking alongside us that summer day, you would have guessed I was paying Rick top dollar for his creative services. He interviewed me the same as he would one of his big corporate clients. He probed into the origin story behind this newsletter. He wanted to understand you - my readers - and what drives you. He wanted to understand the title, This for That. Most of all, Rick wanted to create a logo that reflected the essence of this newsletter.
A couple weeks later Rick invited me over to his house, 11 doors down from mine. As we sat in his courtyard, he walked me through the concept behind each of the logos he had created. He even mocked up images of This for That t-shirts and water bottles, so I could envision each logo as a real brand.
Rick made me feel so special that afternoon. He elevated this side project of mine. He made this project feel on par with the biggest brands in the world.
Rick died two weeks ago - just 447 days after we sat together that day. He had fought a courageous battle with leukemia. He was surrounded by the people he loved most, including his wife and two teenage sons.
Below you can see Rick’s thoughtfulness in the logos he designed for This for That, artifacts of his creativity. He took this pro bono assignment so seriously and yet what he produced was fun and light-hearted - like Rick himself.
The energy and humor that you can see in his logos came through in every conversation with Rick. Each interaction I had with him made me smile. Maybe that was because he was so often smiling. Maybe it was the stories that he told. Or his Irish lilt.
Why do I write in public? Because doing so forces me to reflect on and capture lessons from the work I do building partnerships and the people I meet.
I cannot make sense of why Rick is gone. I cannot convey to you his warmth. I cannot take you back to the Irish pub that so many of his friends and family packed into last week, shoulder to shoulder, sharing stories about his life.
One lesson that is clear to me: Rick had a gift and a passion. He loved to design logos that captured the ideas and the emotions behind organizations. He pursued this passion at work and also outside of work. He shared his gift so generously with others, including you and me.
You have your own passions and your own gifts. The world is a better place when you share those gifts and passions with others. Your life is richer when you open yourself up to the people and experiences that emerge when you share a piece of yourself.
Thank you, Rick.
Here is a piece Rick wrote about finding humor while fighting cancer. I’m not kidding. He wrote this piece in August, after learning that his cancer was terminal.