Commentary by Rosecrans Baldwin
Preview   Volleys:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Week Four Match Preview

Exposed

Designers are illiterate herd-following pansies, for the most part. It’s part of the job description to be fashionable and shallow.

They're the artists dictators call first, the ones Mao kept employed as long as the "messaging" was clear. They've spent too much time doing too little to feel very much at all. I say the same for most of the writers I know, too, though minus the fashionable part.

But occasionally you come across brains. Brawn. Bloody cow hearts. May I introduce, in the far corner, the polymath Naz "Spikes" Hamid of Chicago, Illinois, and in the near corner, the giant Chris "Bunyan" Glass, of Oxford, Ohio. I've had deep conversations with both of them, when I was drunk, and I can tell you, these two are the real deal.

To start with Bunyan, I was planning on asking him about his influences and his views on typography, but I couldn't keep my eyes off his beard. It intimidates. It tastes like courage. "Why should I put my money on you to win?" I whimpered. "It is hard to match the power of a beard nuzzle when I hug from behind," he yelled at me. "Not good enough," I said, feeling bolder. "What else?" He thought for a moment. "I pay less rent than Spikes. I've got a receding hairline, a better view at concerts. I have a Nintendo Wii."

Spikes was more mellow when we talked. He comes off as Joe Brainy, all work and no debt, a guy you'd let your sister hire as her accountant, architect, and IT consultant all in one. "What do you do outside of work?" I asked. "I'm a bike fiend," he said. "I race on a team. I read, live, and breathe bikes. I'm almost a bit more obsessed with cycling than design." I nodded, though I had no idea what he was talking about. Then I put it to him straight: "If you win, who will you dedicate the trophy to?" "The good people of Illinois," he said. And as I was born in Chicago, you can imagine how this touched me.

We've got a stupendous match lined up, and it's worth noting that this one may be a little different than what you've seen before: Because both Naz and Chris are accomplished photographers, we've invited them to dip into their personal libraries for ammunition. So prepare for brilliance, truth, and beauty, perhaps all on one layer.

Naz has won the toss. The audience is hungry. Let the savagery begin.

Chris Glass

Chris "Bunyan" Glass is a fella from southwestern Ohio who is pleased to have recieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design at The Ohio State University. He juggles designing websites, t-shirts, and other things at Wire & Twine while updating his personal site and attempting to keep track of the time by snapping one photo each day.

Naz Hamid

Naz "Spikes" Hamid is a designer from Chicago, IL. He's easily irritated by inactivity but is a firm believer in simplicity. He takes a mellow approach to things but thinks a great lot about them. His online endeavors congregate here.

Rosecrans Baldwin

Rosecrans "Liar" Baldwin lives in Paris, France. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Nation, and on NPR's All Things Considered. Last century, he co-founded the online magazine The Morning News with Andrew Womack.

GET INVOLVED

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.

Official Coin Flip

Check out The Ref.

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.