Ric Holland's Blog

-Ric Holland

Ric Holland's TimeLine … by Ric Holland on Scribd

35+ years delivering design & technology innovation and disrupting how things are done. Extreme Digital Media –

Ric is a Spatial Computing specialist and for many years has been proactive in promoting the Virtual/Augmented Reality (XR) development community in Australia. He was the founding sponsor of one of the largest global AR/VR meet-ups prior to co-founding Extreme Digital Ventures, dedicated to XR investment in Asia Pacific.

Featured in this video are the many events and projects Ric Holland has become known for including:

Extreme Digital Media –
Extreme Digital Ventures –
XR Meetings –
AR & VR Meetups
Offis Multi-Cloud Innovation
SkunkMonk – Creative Technologists
ISV Speakeasy – Application Developers
eClub – Business and Technology Innovation
Ninefold – Macquarie Telecom
Wacom Technology – (Art of Making Marks)
301 Interactive – Studios 301
IBM – Interactive Branding and Design
MetaCreations Corporation

Ric Holland Creative Showcase by Ric Holland on Scribd

Ric Holland – 30+ years of creative technology innovation

Art of Making Marks – Book by Ric Holland on Scribd

Ric Holland – Author – limited edition title that traces the history of Wacom natural user interface products in the hands of professionals across a wide range of creative fields. is the blog where Ric Holland continues to research expressive Natural User Interfaces NUI for his academic thesis – 21st Century Mark Making.

Art of Making Marks – Review by Ric Holland on Scribd

Advanced Photoshop Magazine book review summary – Art of Making Marks Author – Ric Holland Wacom celebrates 25years of excellence with this inspiring limited-edition resource This title presents some of the world’s foremost design pioneers and innovators who use Wacom’s digital drawing devices. A mixed bag of commercial creative culture and aesthetic delights. Wacom has come a very long way and this limited-edition title reveals how it has carried artists along with it. Interesting and truly inspiring.

Ric Holland – BIO

With entrepreneurial flair as a pioneering Creative Director from age 21 Ric delivered literally 1000s of innovative digital projects internationally while growing his business to 80+ staff. Successfully lead merger/sale to Vision Graphics in late 90’s then exited to start-up MetaCreations’ APAC region from a merger between Fractal Design and MetaTools in Silicon Valley. As Creative Director for IBM he lead first large scale UX projects in APAC. A Senior lecturer at University of NSW, UTS & AFTRS. Researcher UNSW – NUI and Human Computer Interaction while serving on many Advisory Boards. As a Global Manager at Wacom Technology he authored ‘Art of Making Marks’ a 25 year history of Wacom NUI/UX ecosystems and lead global web UX redevelopment strategy. Was start-up community GM for Ninefold and CMO for Offis Multi-Cloud Innovation where he sponsored the AR/VR meet-ups, curated and produced many premium tech innovation events. He currently mentors and maintains a global network of digital innovators.

From the beginning..

Ric was traditionally trained as a commercial artist and graphic designer and graduated from Randwick TAFE college in 1980. He was immediately employed into the design and illustration industry and founded his design studio by the age 21. Ric has now achieved a 37 year career as a celebrated creative professional delivering literally thousands of creative projects for his clients.

Mid 80s to 90s he was at the forefront of converting traditional techniques/work flows into the digital desktop realm. He won many awards, was invited to speak at conferences and presented his work while endorsing vendors such as Apple, Dell, Radius, Super Mac, Adobe, Macromedia, Wacom, Fractal Design, Live Picture, HP, Dell, etc.

He originally focused on print and prepress production techniques but then quickly embraced the emerging interactive media markets as well, developing early CD Rom products, Desktop Video and 3D animations for CD and Broadcast delivery and of course worked on early projects in the World Wide Web. His studio – Extreme Digital was recognised as an early developer of Integrated Media or what is now commonly known as Cross Media.

Human Interface Design (HID) was naturally of major interest to Ric and he made it his business to be up on all the latest concepts and thinking. Kai Krauss, (HSC software KPT) John Derry, (Fractal Design Painter) and Russell Brown (Adobe Photoshop) he knew as friends and colleagues which allowed Ric to gain important knowledge and insights to software HID of the mid 90s.

Extreme Digital joined forces with Vision Graphics (Photographic Pro Lab) to develop Pro Photographic products online and to embrace the early digital photographic trends. There he built a small research/development team that worked on new interactive media products and interfaces. He went on with this team to develop a successful bid for the Sydney 2000 Olympics web strategy and produced advanced design solutions for Apple, HP and MetaCreations.

From building small teams in the 80s and 90s to accomplish ever more sophisticated projects he moved on to join large corporations in the 2000s. He joined MetaCreations Corporation as the Regional Manager for Asia Pacific and Evangelist. Kai Krauss’s company MetaTools had merged with Fractal Design and Ray Dream to form MetaCreations at that time. Ric had a privileged involvement with the development teams for Painter, Bryce, Poser, KPT, Carrara, Canoma and MetaStream (later known as ViewPoint) Though this position was important for Ric’s development and growth it did not provide for his creative talents so when IBM GSA offered Ric a position as Creative Director of the Interactive Branding & Design team and help create IBM:: eBusiness Innovation Centres in AP, he jumped at the chance.

2000 – Before the Dot Com bubble burst Ric enjoyed being at the epicenter of global eBusiness, Branding, HID and User Centric Design developments. The teams were big and the technology immense. Ric successfully lead projects in Banking and Blue Chip corporate clients who were beginning to move their businesses online. New business models, technologies and interface concepts were being developed with new methodologies to deliver such projects and so managing creative vs technical and business requirements became second nature for Ric in this new creative paradigm.

2003 – When ebusiness slowed down at IBM after the Dot Com crash there was no slowing down for Ric. He focused his energy on building alliance partnerships and to develop business activities in the latest wave of emerging digital media markets. He was contracted by Tom Misner owner of Studios 301 and SAE (global education empire) to develop digital interactive solutions for the music industry and lead the INXS DVD 5.1 remix project for global distribution.

Ric continued as a consultant to find alternate revenue sources, cross-media business models and creative concepts for many digital interactive productions with LAMP (Laboratory of Advanced Media Production) and various clients. He developed and delivered Digital Media courses for the following institutions: UNSW CoFA lecturer Digital Media 2nd & 3rd year students. Billy Blue School of Design lecturer Digital Production and Online Advertising. UTS lecturer for industry projects 3rd year program.

2006 – Ric joined Wacom Australia to enhance new business development by leveraging his expert knowledge and relationships in Professional Graphics Industries, Tertiary Education Markets, Business and Enterprise Customers helping to grow Wacom Australia’s market share in the ANZ region. Strategically for Ric this brought him in direct contact with the creative fields of Film Design, Game Design, Industrial Design, Graphic Design and Digital Art, etc. interacting with the leading global practitioners. It inspired him to start working on a Book considering his depth of knowledge in the Digital Arts, HID and USD and he called it the Art of Making Marks and also started the blog Art of Wa (‘Wa’ meaning ‘Harmony’ in Japanese language and the philosophy behind the name Wacom)

2009 – Ric was promoted as Global Evangelist/Partner Manager – Global Brand Team. The book Art of Making Marks was completed and published by IdN Publications. Project leader for Wacom’s Global Web and Global CMS projects initiated early in 2009 when he contracted the founders of one of Australia’s top web agencies HotHouse, who follow USD principals to develop a global customer experience. Ric functions as Writer/Editor for corporate communications out of the Japanese head office. He attained a CEO’s award for successfully communicating Wacom’s reputation in global professional Digital Content Creation markets in 2009. (DCC)

2010 – Ric was appointed to Wacom’s newly formed Global Brand Management team GBM headquartered in Germany and continues to drive Social Web, Evangelist and Partner engagements. He continues to project lead Wacom’s global CMS strategy and implementation.

Ric’s background as a Creative Professional and Innovator over the past 30 years in emerging new fields of art, design and digital media has given him unique insights and forward thinking when considering new conceptual (NUI) natural user interface models, alternate market opportunities, audience behavior, creative and technology innovation.

VP NSW AIMIA, Industry Liaison Mentor at LAMP Laboratory of Advanced Media Production – Australian Film TV & Radio School. Digital Media Lecturer at University of Technology Sydney UTS, University of New South Wales CoFA, Billy Blue Design School and Computer Graphics College. Co-founder or the ’4 Day Thing’ design education workshops, IDEA International Design Education Association. Advisory boards – TAFE, SAE, Create Australia, Bond University.

Ric Holland’s Specialties:
Executive Producer, Creative Director, Marketing Director, Art Director, Graphic Designer, 2D & 3D Artist, Digital Media Producer, Brand Strategist, Digital Media Lecturer, Industry Liaison, Business Development, Creative Technology Evangelist.

“Ric Holland, you have always been so far in front of the industry that by the time we’ve all caught on to what you’ve been talking about, you’ve already moved on.”

Quote by Michael Stoddart – Adobe Systems Pty Ltd

“Ric Holland was one of the first in Australia to foresee and then realise the potential of digital imaging and design. He went…where no man had been before(!), and accumulated experience and expertise that put him at the head of the pack. Others trailed in his wake. He took the lead and, while others have since joined him at the front, he has never slackened the pace. Ric is not afraid of large concepts, big jobs and enormous creative risk, and he comes up trumps every time!”

Quote by Colin Wood – Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Design Graphics Magazine

In the early part of Ric’s design career (1980-85) when running his design studio pre the desktop revolution he would create a new board game, develop its brand and packaging then produce the TVC and marketing collateral all in a very tight deadline because he could control it all himself. In those days he had created over 20 board games (Neighbours Game out sold Trivial Pursuit in UK) as well as producing work for clients in the Film and TV industry, Automotive, Fashion (His own clothing label), etc. He would develop branding and marketing material, packaging and product development and with his talent for illustration and design using many different media types, took him into the fields of 3D modelling (physical 3D) and TV set design/building, sculpture, airbrush/spray painting, studio photography, 35mm film, motion control photography and more.

In the mid 80s he saw the early introduction of desktop publishing to be a way for him to streamline parts of his finished art process. The laborious work of marking up type, the setting done externally and then the bromide camera work done internally to build camera-ready finished art. This process could now be all done in-house with desktop publishing equipment. Outputting bromides on a Linotronic L200 soon gave way to 4 colour separations as the computers and output devices became available. In this era (late 80s – early 90s) Ric not only forged new ground locally but also set some firsts for his achievements in the international market raising the attention of companies like Aldus, Scitex, Apple, Adobe, IdN Magazine, Design Graphics Magazine, Desktop Magazine among many others. Ric by then had earned a reputation that won him awards, endorsements and the respect of his peers. He presented at numerous conferences locally and overseas and had many articles published. His work in the field of pre-press was however only the beginning as totally new products like Radius VideoVision and SuperMac’s Digital Film came on the market, Ric found himself learning non-linear editing and video effects to combine into his work flow for his expanding client list. Radius even paid for him to present his work in Hong Kong and the US.

Effectively becoming one of the first truly integrated media production companies Ric aptly renaming his studio Extreme Digital to reflect these digital capabilities. Ric was responsible for all the branding and TVCs for the MacWorld Shows in Sydney of which he was always proud to say he build all the media using the technology these shows were all about. His clients ranged from Sony, Compac, Microsoft, BHP to Queensland Tourist & Travel Corporation’s entire branding one year and Nida Acting College’s CD-ROM Game. Producing interactive CD-ROMs had become part of his studio’s regular output along with digital video, 3D animation, print design and pre-press production with the first digital prepress colour proofing available in the market. Allied with businesses that were co-located with Extreme Digital, Ric could also provide Kodak Pro Photo CD scanning, Technical Support and Telecommunications Services.

It is no surprise that Ric sees trends that others fail to see even today. The coming Digital Photographic age (mid 90s) with image banks online was foremost in his mind when he agreed to merge with local Pro Photographic Laboratories, Vision Graphics. His vision was to set up a pro photographic services organization online providing image banks and output services across Asia Pacific. Timing wasn’t to be however with the Asian stock market crash and his partner preferring to play it safe. Ric parted company with VG after 2.5 years taking his technical and multimedia staff with him to set up a purely interactive production company to fly under his original Extreme Digital brand again. Co-located in the new (and still being built) Studios 301 premises in Alexandria, owned by a long time client and friend Tom Misner who also ownes the global audio engineering empire SAE. Hewlett Packard entrusted their value proposition for 1998 to Extreme, where a Riven (game) style interactive presentation was produced allowing customers to “Fly Through’ the HP organization and with supporting print collateral, web and staged events, themed trade show stands with high quality audio visual content, it all stacked up to be very impressive work for the time. Apple Computer were also entrusting all the Third Party Products division’s marketing and trade show events to the talents of Extreme Digital along with Kodak, MetaCreations Corporation and others.
An exciting opportunity arose to co pitch the Sydney 2000 Olympics Website to SOCCOG. Three months of Ric’s studio resources were allocated which resulted in delivering the winning tender. IBM however took the project internal, taking all the intellectual property with them due to some finer points in the tender agreement. Ric and his team were devastated to say the least.

It was a hard decision Ric made to close down his studio. His drive and determination had taken him from a 21 year old starting his own business, through two recessions and 16 years of successful business trading, producing literally thousands of creative projects, an ever changing palette of technical and creative resources, choosing staff, training staff and finally firing his talented staff (and friends) as he was to become focused in a new direction.

MetaCreations Corporation was a US software company Ric had been involved in through his associations originally with Kai Kraus who he met at the San Francisco MacWorld Show. Kai was showing off his first product then called Kai’s Power Tools 1.0 (KPT) later he become CTO of MetaTools Pty Ltd, a software ‘rock star’ and finally was appointed CEO of MetaCreations Corp. Ric also had met and become friends with Mark Zimmer and John Derry, the founders of Fractal Design and the inventors of Fractal Painter. (A popular competing software tool to Adobe’s Photoshop). Ric was a guest at the function held by the two organizations just before it was officially announced that the companies would merge and become MetaCreations Corporation. Ric saw the opportunity with MetaCreations, closed his company (Extreme Digital), moved house and office all in two weeks. This was a dream come true to finally work for the company that developed many of his favourite software tools and become part of the family that had in part shaped his career. It also was in a lot of ways for him like becoming one of his clients and finally experiencing business life from the other side of the fence. How decisions are made from within a large multinational corporation and how to grow the local business from his Australian home office out-post. Ric enjoyed presenting and evangelising the 2D & 3D software tools on stage to large audiences often partnering on Adobe and Macromedia’s road shows across Asia Pacific. Ric spent a lot of his time developing education licensing deals, permissive marketing and supporting the dealer channels. MetaCreations ultimately fell victim to the ways of the dot com era and after his first corporate redundancy, Ric for the first time was unsure of his next move. But there it was IBM the Goliath that had so easily brushed Ric aside a year earlier had now opened it’s doors beckoning him with shares and a large dot com salary to become it’s Asia Pacific Creative Director and the second in charge of a 60 strong creative staff and state of the art eBusiness production department called Interactive Branding and Design. Ric was appointed to the committee to oversee the design and building of the IBM Innovation Centre in Pyrmont. (to be the first of many across Asia)

It was a steep learning curve getting up to speed with all the new enterprise IT software and lingo but in months Ric was comfortably handling the responsibility for some of the largest eBusiness projects there was at the time in this region. His closest CD counterpart being in Boston or London, Ric was it for this region. Over a year on the Thai Farmers Bank project put Ric in the company of one of Thailand’s most powerful men, Kun Ban Tun. CEO TFB. Ric had to keep this man happy, keep the project on track and be responsible for the final resulting solution. Aus $1 Million project that ultimately won IBM at least $60 Million in flow on business. Ric spent 3 months working with IBM’s brightest minds in the winning of the $5 Billion Westpac outsourcing bid and conferred frequently with the IBM research labs on the latest technical innovations. eBusiness was of course ultimately in a declining market with the final collapse of the dot com industry and the big projects ceased to exist. IBM is so large that it was more like the Queen Mary running a ground in shallow water so it wasn’t going to sink just time to lighten the load. Ric’s team had dwindled to a staff of ten who were still busy on intranet projects and internal work for other departments. He even ran work experience programs to keep his team stocked with the necessary staff just to deliver on the current work. Ric knew that building intranets seemed to be a web developers destiny for some years to come or until when the corporate world was wired up enough to do another ebusiness roll out.

After IBM finally decided to close it’s Interactive Branding and Design departments internationally and make all staff redundant, Ric was snapped up by one of these smaller interactive developers, Different (ex Sapient) and he worked as CD and project lead on IAG’s intranet, the make-over for South Corp’s investor website and ironically the interactive branding for Fiji Color’s online digital photographic services web site.

By now Ric had ‘seen it all’ in the interactive space and had been involved in all types of ‘digital media production’ both large and small.

Some new markets had attracted his attention while still at IBM, these being Customer Analytics, eLearning, Massively Multiplayer Online Games, Music Online and Social Networks, so in typical Ric Holland fashion he researched all these areas from a local and international perspective, gaining contacts, worked freelance in some of those areas to gain valuable insights as well as a few more like, 3G and 2.5G Mobile broadband content, IPTV, Interactive Cable TV, etc.

Ric gained clients by offering his specialised services to organizations like IdN Magazine, Studios 301/Interactive, INXS, SAE, E-Book Systems and Red Centre. (Technology Development Funds Managers for Victorian Government) He lectured at the University of NSW CoFA, University of Technology Sydney, Australian Film and Television School, Billy Blue School and Qantm/SAE in the field of Digital Media Production.

Education has held a special place in Ric’s career. Ever since he was appointed as Patron to the Enmore Design Centre (late 80s) to assist with aligning the graphic design course (adoption of new technology) to industry best practice. Ric co-founded an association called IDEA with Eden Anthony the head of Graphic Design at Enmore. The International Design Education Association hosted presentations for the benefit of students with overseas entities such as Russell Brown (Adobe’s most senior Creative Director) David Carson.
(Well know graphic designer from New York)

Out of this association was born a yearly workshop event called the 4 Day Thing.

Over the past ten years this annual event in which design students from a number of educational institutions have been brought together to work with industry to undertake multimedia design for key Australian charities. The students come from schools, TAFE and Universities. Industry professionals mentor the students during this event. The educational institutions who have hosted the event have included TAFE NSW (the Design Centre Enmore), University of NSW, College of Fine Arts as well as several key industry players such as IBM (Australia) All through Ric’s contacts and networks he has organised the hosting organizations, mentors and sponsors.

Schools, colleges and universities whose students have participated have included:
TAFE Sydney Institute–Design Centre, Enmore; Randwick; St George; North SydneyTAFE Northern Institute–Hornsby Design Centre, Charles Sturt UniversityUniversity of Wollongong, University of Newcastle, University of Western SydneyUniversity of NSW College of Fine Arts, Billy Blue School of Design, SAE/CGC, KvBMarist Brothers Kogarah, Mount St Joseph, University of Technology.

The Charities supported in this event over the past 7 years have included:
* the Exodus Foundation* the Asthma Foundation* Society for Responsible Design* the Wilderness Society* Jane Goodall Institute* Starlight Foundation* Lawyers for Human Rights* Brain Injury Respite & Development Service (BIRDS)* Australian Red Cross * Humour Foundation–the Clown Doctors * the Australian Cancer Council * the Breast Cancer Institute * CanTeen * the Humane Society * the Guide Dog Association * Paraplegic & Quadriplegic Association * Reach Out * Stepping Stone * Kendall House * Oasis * UNICEF * the Epilepsy Association * Friends of the Alexandria Library * the RSPCA * Breast Health Link * Matthew Talbot Hostel * Marine Discovery Centre * Barnardo’s Australia * Westmead Children’s Hospital * the Australian Quadriplegic Association
* Mission Australia * the Independent Blood Council * Amnesty International (Newcastle) * Food Share * Spinal Cord Injuries

Participation and support in the way of prizes and technology for the 4 day thing and its objectives has been given by such entities as IBM GSA , Dell Computer, Apple Computer, IdN Magazine, Adobe Systems, MetaCreations Corporation, Corel, Wacom, Macromedia, Photodisc and many more over the years. The digital media designed and developed by the students include Branding & Marketing concepts for Print and Web campaigns, Interactive CD ROM, DVD and TVC media.

Ric held the position with in AIMIA as VP NSW and Education Representative. He has many contacts in digital media education both in the private and public sector.


37 years experience developing concepts and delivering literally thousands of creative/technical projects both locally and internationally with a proven track record in forming and leading creative teams, managing client expectations, delivering projects of both large and small scale.

A creative powerhouse with a business head on his shoulders, Ric has an eye for seeking out innovative techniques, talent and technology for getting the job done faster, cheaper, better.

Ric has a wealth of knowledge, skills and talent, a unique perspective on what has been and more importantly what is still to come.