Sunday, November 9, 2008

Half-Assed Graphics Design: Portland Marathon Edition

This congratulatory certificate arrived in my mail today -- er, in my e-mail. Granted, the one I received had my name in the white space between "certifies that on October 5, 2008" and "completed a certified 26 mile 385 yard marathon distance," but when I saved the file, it came up this way, just waiting for anyone to enter a name in the blank, any name at all, whether it's the name of a person who completed a 26 mile 385 distance or not, whether that distance was certified or not, whether the completion occurred on October 5, 2008 or not.

In 2006, the first time I did the Portland Marathon, they sent me the same certificate, but in the form of actual paper. I still have it on my wall where it helpfully gathers some of the dust particles that would otherwise float through the room or attach to something less interesting. I didn't like the typeface they used to render my name, and I didn't like that they used my legal name rather than my go-by name, but I liked that they went to the effort. It was, as the saying goes, a nice gesture.

This year and last year, by contrast, the other half of the ass that made the 2006 certificate possible dropped from the effort. Now it's an e-mail that I can print. (And notice all the black on that image -- do you really want to burn through that much toner? I don't.) I can print it on my own printer and my own paper after making some choice alterations to the name field -- what's to stop me?

And what's to stop you, dear reader?

My cavils aside, the Portland Marathon is a very well-run event and I have no serious complaints about it.


Zennalathas said...

Ah, sweet; my printer says I finished the Portland Marathon! GO ME!

Dale said...

Well done Zen!!

Martin R. said...

Dale, great service. I haven't done a dot of exercise in over twenty years, to the best of my knowledge. But I have done the 2008 Portland Marathon...I have a certificate to prove it. If I had any friends I'm sure they would be impressed at my improbable athleticism. I'm already looking forward to doing the 2009 run. It really wasn't has hard as I'd imagined.

Dale said...

Martin, I was too bashful to say so before, but I had thought I spotted you out there. So you can tell your friends that in support of your tale of marathon glory, should they dare to doubt you.