These questions were posed for the Layer Tennis match that went down on October 19, 2007 with Naz Hamid, commentary by Rosecrans Baldwin and hosted by Coudal Partners.  VIEW THE MATCH

The short bio of Chris Glass

Chris 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 attempting to keep track of the time by snapping one photo each day.

How do you characterize your style of design?


I grew up with books like Foxfire on the shelf. If you’re not familiar with the series it is like an encyclopedia mixed with blogs–but on paper. It was all about the people of Appalachia and had diagrams for churning butter, skinning a rabbit, or building a chair.

A stint in Germany through high school and in St. Gallen Switzerland through college opened up my perspective on visual order that extended beyond the classroom.

Mix those things together and you’ll find I’m a fan of clean design, but also like some rough edges–imperfections that are quite obviously human.

Who’s your design hero and why?

Sesame Street taught me to sing and dance about numbers and letters. 

Jim Henson created a universe with characters so fantastic that I wanted to live there.

Ed Emberley gave me the elements to understand how to construct pictures.

Charley Harper for his style.

The Magnavox Odyssey II made me fall in love with pixels and motion. The Logo programming language helped me see that I could build things and make those pixels move on a screen. The Amiga computer added graphics and more advanced animation to the mix. Macintosh took everything up a notch. These technologies are all my hereos.

I hadn’t considered who made book covers until I felt compelled to search the inside flap and found Chip Kidd

Other folls that have informed my outlook:Tim Burton, Clement MokRyan McGinness, my professors at OSU (for the skills),  my first boss (for the semantics).

How long have you been in the business?

13 years. I started making CD-ROMs right out of college in 1994. The methods keep changing but the principles are essentially the same.

What do you have that the other guy doesn’t?

I believe I’ve mentioned the beard already. 

I also have cheaper rent, a receding hairline, a better view at concerts, and a Nintendo Wii.

The cream or the clear: what are your personal addictions when it comes to design? Outside of work?

PROFESSIONAL ADDICTIONS: I’m addicted to the reliability of table-based web design. Don’t get me wrong–I love the idea of CSS–but when I spend days jumping from browser to browser and scratching my head, all of a sudden the spark is dead.

Also guilty of: 

  • Starting a job when there is no content.
  • Saying “Sure!” too often


  • Candy Bars
  • Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Have you ever cheated?

In gradeschool I copied someone’s S.R.A. for reading comprehension. I don’t know what those letters stand for, but these were index cards with multiple choice questions. I thought they were mindless and said as much when confronted with my deception.

My stance did not lessen the guilt laid upon me however, and I can’t remember cheating since.

What’s your set-up for photography equipment?

Canon 20D with a 50mm f1.4 lens (a “prime” or “normal” lens, which I love). I also have the kit 18-55mm lens (which I don’t really like).

When flash is required, I try and bounce the Canon Speedlite 430EX. Sure wish I could fire it remotely without breaking the bank.

Things I do not have: camera strap, viewfinder cushion, or lens cap.

What’s your design motto?

Visual design: I’m not sure if I have one aside from, “simplify.” 

Interaction design: Set expectations. Provide clear paths to find things or explore.

Photography: Carry a camera. Use it often. Whittle, curate and share.

Why are you a better lover than the other guy?

It is hard to match the power of a beard nuzzle when I hug from behind. 

In design, are you a flyweight, middle weight, or heavy weight?

I’m torn. Though I like things simple and light in tone, I do have to unbuckle my belt after meals.

That said, I’m not sure how these categories are measured. I figure I’m in the middle of understanding my craft in all regards.

Who will your win or loss be dedicated to? 

If it’s a win? I’d like to thank the entire Univers family, and my parents for their love, support, and mix of artistic and engineering genes.

A loss will be dedicated to a twelve pack of Budweiser.