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Layer Tennis

Have you ever played Layer Tennis?

Layer Tennis is a live design event where matches are played using video, animation, sound, photos, type and lots more, but the basic idea is the same no matter what tools are in use.

Two competitors swap a file back and forth in real-time, adding to and embellishing the work. Each artist gets fifteen minutes to complete a “volley.” A third participant, a writer, provides play-by-play commentary on the action, as it happens. A match lasts for ten volleys and when it’s complete, fans say what they think and help declare a winner.l


The primary Layer Tennis Playoffs are hosted by Coudal Partners in Chicago, but you can play against a fellow designer for fun to sharpen your skills and break up the ritual—part of Mig’s advice to spend less time on things.

Mig Reyes outlines the game in his talk on backwards advice from May’s CreativeMornings/Chicago event. Jump to 18:26 for a play-by-play of his duel against fantastic letterer Jessica Hische.

Give it a try!

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