BY TERRI PROVENCAL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHAYNA FONTANA
f my mother was convinced I was a talent, I was convinced I was a talent,” recalls Stan Richards, the
founder of Dallas-based The Richards Group, the largest independently owned advertising agency
in the country.
Sitting in his office, minus a door to keep the creative minds collaborating—with views of a
rushing Central Expressway, a rocking cow parked by a floor-to-ceiling window, and miscellanea on a
single long cabinet from ad campaigns—Stan tells me, “I loved to draw as a kid. I drew all the time and,
as a result, became pretty good.” Later the family moved to the New Jersey shore, where the tall young
man was also a basketball player, though his creative side won the arm wrestle. “My mom thought I was
the next da Vinci. Our refrigerator was always full of my drawings, and that was great encouragement
for me growing up.” Richards was born in 1932 in suburban Philadelphia.
A New York Pratt Institute-grad, Richards took off for Los Angeles, following in the footsteps of
one of his heroes, Saul Bass. “I wanted badly to work for Saul Bass, a West Coast designer whose work
I’d greatly admired.” On the way to L.A., Richards paused in Dallas. “I’d had my share of summer jobs,
but I had never interviewed for a real job before. I decided to stop in Dallas and do several interviews
so I’d be better at it when it really counted.” Charmed by the city and the welcoming reception of its
denizens, his stop became permanent.
Stan Richards seated on the open staircase connecting all departments of The Richards Group