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John Nack's Match Preview

Axis and Allies

Behold, two warriors enter the plane of contest.

At their feet, a grid stretches to the vanishing point.

Around them, like the softest snow, Tetris blocks fall.

At their sides, Light Cycles hum, awaiting their summons.

Behind their eyes, every moving shape is measured, measured, weighed, and considered--distilled to its elements & built up again.

Dimension X: One Khoi Vinh, design director for the New York Times web site, champion of the grid layout system, co-creator of the sharply minimal Basic Maths WordPress theme. His bike's tail reads, "For Thuy, with love and squalor..." Canine co-pilot/old media monetization strategist Mister President sits expectantly in the sidecar.

Dimension Y: One Nicholas Felton, globetrotting design ronin, life-chronicler of the Feltron Annual Reports, co-founder of personal data visualizer Daytum. With his Terminator's-eye view, he sees the falling numbers spell "blonde, brunette, redhead..."

The Paper of Record meets Life's Recorder.

Quantums meet Quantifier.

Dimension Z: Yours truly, one-time middling Web designer, purveyor of match-grade toddlers, and one who somehow talked himself into being a "guy with name on the Photoshop splash screen." I'll layer commentary on their layers, possibly without adding depth. (Also, I'll brutalize analogies.)

Happily, this exhibition match is a "friendly":

- Egos & pixels to be harmed: 0.
- Exact years of Photoshop's existence to be celebrated: 20.
- Number of volleys to be played: 10.
- Minutes per volley: 15.
- My facility with this quantification schtick: "Ask Again Later."

Nicholas has won the coin flip and will go first, playing the odd-numbered layers. Khoi will play the evens and will have the last word.

So now, world, with an open heart and an empty layer stack, I say unto you in the words of my pretend uncle: Allez Pixels!

John Nack writes about Photoshop, Adobe and things related (and cool things not so related) at his influential blog. His perspective on design software in general and Photoshop in particular seems like just the right angle to take for today's match which coincides with the ubiquitous image editing softwares 20th Anniversary.

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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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