Commentary by Jason Kottke
Preview   Volleys:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Week Three Match Preview

Making Nice

Are you feeling the love today? I am. And so too are our two competitors. Steven Harrington and Chuck Anderson both self-identify as artists & designers and share one other trait relevent to our business here today: they love to collaborate.

In pre-match comments made to this reporter, Anderson looks on this match as a chance to "collaborate live and make something really cool;. Harrington agreed, saying that he's "really looking forward to making something of quality with Chuck".

So what we're looking at here may be less of a competition but a doubles matchup with Anderson and Harrington against the clock and, er, the clock's doubles partner. Or is this just gamesmanship on the part of these young-but-savvy competitors? Will one "could you give me something that doesn't glow" comment from Harrington send Anderson off the rails? Will the folks in the forums, always hungry for blood, rebel against all this hand-holding comraderie?

Lots of open questions for sure, but one thing is certain: today's match will not be drab or minimalist. Both of these artists love to blow up the canvas with high contrast, bright colors, and layer upon layer of detail. Harrington draws his influence from the psychedelic 70s while Anderson skews slightly earlier; his copy of Photoshop seems to have dropped a lot of acid and hasn't come down yet.

Just moments ago, I spoke with both players as they warmed up for the match. When buttonholed about the short turnaround time, Harrington replied that he's "been looking at Chuck's work over the last couple of days and I'm really excited to see how he reacts/vibes to the imagery that I'll be playing with. I think a lot of inspiration will be based on building off each other's imagery." I asked Anderson about his setup for the match. Photoshop sits at the center of his creative process, but that "most of what I do actually originates elsewhere -- photography, drawings, illustrations, vector/Illustrator".

And with that, let's see what these two young powerhouses will churn out for us today. Quiet, please, for Harrington's serve.

Steven Harrington

Steven Harrington is a designer and artist from southern California. After attending Art Center College of Design, he hooked up with fellow graduate Justin Krietemeyer to form National Forest, a design firm that works on projects from interior design to art direction to web design.

Chuck Anderson

Chuck Anderson is a 22-year-old designer and artist from the Chicago area. Not wanting to wait through four years of design school, he dove full-time into the working world right after high school. Since then, he's accumulated quite a reputation and a client list to match. You may have heard of some of them: Microsoft, Dolce & Gabbana, Pepsi, and Adidas.

Jason Kottke

Jason Kottke hails from NYC and has been the editor of since approximately forever ago. In a perfect world, is about a wide variety of topics like photography, graphic design, economics, and movies, but funny YouTube videos and Star Wars ephemera inevitably creep in. In a previous life, Jason worked as a web designer and hopes he remembers enough about design to comment adequately on these proceedings.


Here's how the game works. Sign up for free Season Tickets to get all the latest information and participate in voting, contests and more. You can also subscribe to our Layer Tennis RSS feed and follow along via Twitter.

Live Match Blog

Congratulations to Mig Reyes, Layer Tennis Season 3 Champion. jc-12.20

Thanks to all the players, commentators and fans who made Season Three of Layer Tennis a big success. And thanks to the crew at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and all the folks at Adobe Creative Suite for making it possible. Watch this space (or sign up for Season Tickets or follow us on Twitter) for news about some special exhibition matches being planned and about Season 4. jc-12.20

Cast your votes on The Championship Match. Both Finalists will receive invitations to play in the post-season tournament for Season Four. jc-12.17

Here's how the voting works. Decide who you'd like to declare as winner and then simply tweet their first name following a hash mark. Either #mig or #noper and, this is important, also include #lyt in that tweet. We'll leave the voting open all weekend and announce our Season Three Champion on Monday. jc-12.12

Schedule and Archive

Find links to all the matches played previously and check on matches to come here.

Presented by Adobe Creative Suite 3. Creative license, take as much as you want.

Hosting and technical advice by the nation's most gracious hosting company, Tilted.

Layer Tennis was created by Coudal Partners in Chicago. We also created Jewelboxing for making awesome disc packaging and The Deck, an ad network targeted at creative folks.