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Jason Kottke's Match Preview

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Welcome, design-related sports fans -- you small but vocal contingent -- to a first round match-up in the Layer Tennis 2009 playoffs. Today’s players are Aaron Draplin and Sam Potts. There’s not much left to say about Potts and Draplin at this point, but since I’m not being paid to not say anything, here are the particulars.

Aaron Anfernee Stuart Dempsey de la Salle Draplin III[1] found his way into the playoffs courtesy of an epic match with Chris Glass that ended in a tie, which, Jim, correct me if I'm wrong or using too many commas here, is the first time that's happened, ever, in Layer Tennis. [According to a renowned online encyclopedia, "a tie is like kissing your sister". Just sayin'.] To keep warm food on the table, Draplin runs his own design concern from Oregon. Portland most likely. Luckily for this commentator, he recently produced a poster that shows every little bit of works he's done, give or take, since 1993, so I don't need to tell you much more about that. My God, it's full of logos.

Sam Potts[2], a freelance designer from Brooklyn and Layer Tennis rookie, advanced to the playoffs via a victory over seasoned competitor Armin Vit. Professionally, Potts has worked on projects like the look of the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., the books by famous minor television personality John Hodgman, the IFC Center logo, and much more. He's also on the board for AIGA NY and teaches at both the School of Visual Arts and The Cooper Union. Potts' college degree (in comparative literature) has little to do with his chosen profession, a fact that warms the heart of this physics major. What's really fantastic about Potts' devotion to the graphic arts is the vast sums of money he left on the table walking away from the comp. lit. field. Literally tens of dollars.

The two contestants didn't respond to my repeated and increasingly passive aggressive and then overtly aggressive requests for an interview (this is untrue; I am lazy and sent no such queries) so I can only guess at their respective mental states as this first round playoff match stares them down: they are frightened. Which is good for us, right? Cornered animals, lashing out in fear and in Photoshop, should provide for some excellent tennis. Potts won the coin toss and will be going first today. So follow along with the match and Twitter your observations...just include #lyt in the message and I'll use your comments in my commentary as we go along. Allez computers!

[1] Full disclosure: I met Aaron in person once, long ago. We chatted for several minutes and may have shook hands more than once. He was a pleasant fellow, full of both vim and vigor.

[2] Full disclosure: I went to college with a Becca Potts. No relation.

Jason Kottke is the proprietor of, a required stop on just about anybody's bus tour of the internet.

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The Layer Tennis 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

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