For at least ten years I have been a member of the Authors Guild, a wonderful organization mostly concerned with writers' rights, copyright and its infringement and the like. As a benefit of membership, the organization offers a website template, and this website template has the wonderful attribute of being extremely easy to update with absolutely no bother or fuss. However.
Though the guts are stellar, the way the template looks is in no way a brilliant moment in the history of graphic design. The type is glumpy, the column proportions odd. If I were, say, a woman who writes books about vampires, the fact that the type on the headline band seems to be falling to pieces would mean little. But since I spend much of my day criticizing design, my worry that my credibility is in jeopardy lies in precarious balance with my ease in the template's use.
To cover this awkward balancing, I tried for a while to use only templates for all my written and web-designed communications in a sort of ironic laughing-at-the-vernacular way, but that got dull somewhere around 2005. Recently, I thought I could hide under the "undesigned" rubric-- my site a seeming homage to Dimitri Siegel's '90s retro Urban Outfitters site-- but the truth is that my undesigned 90's site is a real undesigned '90's site, and for that reason not "undesigned" or retro, but merely-- well-- cheesy.
Ever niche-oriented, I had begun to think that being a design educator with a cheesy site put me in a fairly special category. Well on the way to making it my own little personal identifier, I recently got stalled when students started assuring me that I am not the only design professor who has a glumpy site and that, in fact, my site does not even come close to the cheesiness of some other design professors' sites.
For this reason I have decided to host a contest: The Ilyin Prize for Professorial Website Under-achievement, beginning to be known casually around upper design circles as the IPPWU.
Rules: All IPPWU entries must be real websites or blogs created by or for living design professors. Ironic representations of cheesiness are not eligible, only true cheesiness will be considered. Students may enter the work of their professors, but we recommend the assumption of a nom de plume, particularly if you plan to have that professor ever again in your career. Professors may enter the websites of other professors, but, again, entering under an assumed name may be appropriate.
How to apply: Just go ahead and put your chosen url for the cheesiest design professor site right below here in the comments along with any comments you feel may sway the judges to give you the glittery prize.
A select committee of design professionals--I will name them if we get any entries-- will make the decision somewhere around January 30th, if not sooner.
Deadline for entries: January 15th, 2011.
Entry fee:none. Although if we had an entry fee we could probably offer a really glittery prize, like a Caribbean cruise or something. However, an entry fee could sully this already suspect scheme, and for this reason, no Caribbean cruise is planned at this time.
Please suggest GP you feel appropriate to your entry. The Committee will take your suggestion under consideration during the judging. We can tell you right now, though, that DeBeers is not yet a sponsor.
Clarification: The GP will go to the person who suggests the winning website, not to the originator/s of the website. The originator/s do, however, receive the glory of being bestowed the Ilyin Prize (not the glittery prize) and of being mentioned in this blog.