Although Rick Dickinson's name and face are certainly not as familiar as Sir Clive Sinclair's, few other people in the company can have had such a direct impact on the customers' experiences of using Sinclair products.
Dickinson, Sinclair's in-house designer, was the man responsible for the unique look and feel of the early Sinclair computers. The touch-sensitive keyboard and "cheese wedge" case of the ZX80 and ZX81, as well as the legendary rubber keyboard of the Spectrum, were the fruit of Dickinson's efforts.
A graduate of Newcastle Polytechnic, Dickinson joined Sinclair even before he had completed his degree and soon became the company's full-time industrial designer. At the tender age of 21, he was given the assignment of designing the case and keyboard of the ZX80 and ZX81, with the Spectrum and QL following subsequently. He also designed the case of the flat-screen TV.