I’d be lying if I tried to tell you I do not covet the Winterhouse writing award. I do. Like Boromir, I fear this desire will destroy me, or at least drive me to beat up Elijah Wood, which is something I really wouldn’t want to do.
Every year Design Observer puts out the call for entries and that amazing $10,000 prize taunts me like Mohammed Ali, letting me know that as much writing and commentary as I produce on design on a weekly basis, it is not worth $10,000. This could be a false assumption, because I do believe the first prize went to a girl who obsessively dissected emoticons. And that seems to be it: like most of the over-long and painfully dull (re:non-Bierut & Heller) articles on DO, you have to write obsessively about something nobody cares about. Like coffee-filter packaging or something. I’m sure somewhere right now there’s some obsessive-compulsive design writer putting together a three-part thesis on coffee-filter packaging and that’s probably going to take the 2010 prize.
I was looking through the 70 (if you count the one currently-produced Special) strips I’ve got here and feel pretty good about a few of them and the medium’s ability to comment on design, and then the rule set of the Winterhouse took over and I remembered the part about everything needing to be set in Courier. This, by the way, is basically designers removing the design from their papers, and I get it. It’s supposed to remove any typographic context. Maybe the judges have a hard-on for mono-spaced fonts, I don’t know.
With a relatively low entry fee (only $25), I am still considering entering the strip, if only to piss off the judges. However, I think I will wait for next year, in all seriousness, when my journals of milk-cap sticker designs and their impact on the American consciousness are completed.