So as we all try to catch up on our sleep following a most successful and most exhausting LDI last week, now is probably the best time to bring up a much-discussed component of the show floor. I'm not talking about a new piece of gear, the length of the show floor, or the throngs of attendees who descended upon Las Vegas. I'm talking about that damn sign.
You know the one: the reddish brown silhouette of the guy with the big ears, legs apart, arms raised in triumph, with an All Access Badge around his neck. This one:
This sign apparently generated an unusually large amount of misinformation on the floor. A few of you thought it was supposed to represent Barack Obama, as part of a silent endorsement on our behalf. Note that this idea apparently crossed party lines--we had some people applauding the effort, and some especially misguided souls espousing all sorts of conspiracy theories about our media bias.
Many others took one look at the bald head and big ears and immediately thought it was me. To that end, some enterprising staffers thought it would be funny to affix a blown up photo of my visage onto several of these signs around the convention center, particularly in the conference area. To those people I can only say: Vengeance will be mine.
I am here to disabuse all of you of either notion. The idea that it could be Obama is especially far-fetched, most notably in that the general branding of the show--which involved a wide range of people in different poses of excitement, as though they were at a live event (hence the All Access badge)--had been finalized at the beginning of the year, well before the general publich knew who Obama was, and long before he became the Democratic nominee for President. We pride ourselves on keeping our finger on the pulse of the world around us, but we're not that smart.
The truth is that LDI's art director, Jaeson Lokatys (who some of you may have met at the Live Design booth), put together all of the design components for the show using stock images he'd purchased back in early 08. Now, I will admit that when I first looked at the concept, I said, "This looks great, but why the hell am I in there?" (Insert Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" here). Jaeson, who works in Colorado, had only ever met me once a few years ago, so he had no idea the image bore any resemblance to yours truly. But everyone on staff recognized it too, and got a good laugh at it, laughter that can still be heard to this day.
So, to clarify: It's not Obama, and it's not me. It's just a stock image of a bald guy. Given there are so many other follically challenged individuals in our industry, I'm kind of suprised no one else thought it was them, either. I'll bet you think this sign is about you, don't you?