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 "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 "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 "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.
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