Last spring design director Steven Hoffman called a friend, Lloyd Ziff, who was then art director of Condè Nast's Traveler, and asked him if he was enjoying the gift subscription to SI that Hoffman had sent to his office. He was not, Ziff replied, because his assistant made off with each issue as soon as it arrived. Intrigued, Hoffman asked more questions, and a couple of months later, after Ziff had left Traveler to start his own firm. Hoffman hired the assistant, Darrin Perry, to work on our Summer Olympics preview. Perry, 23, is now a regular staffer and played a key role in designing this special baseball issue.
This is an article from the April 5, 1989 issue
Perry is no ordinary sports enthusiast. In addition to following baseball, he is an avid hockey fan and has traveled, at his own expense, to the Olympics in Los Angeles. Calgary and Seoul. "I just love the Olympics." he says, recalling how he first got hooked while watching Bruce Jenner and Nadia Comaneci on TV in 1976. "I love the variety of sports and what the Games symbolize—people putting down their differences and trying to accept each other."
A native of Asheville. N.C.. Perry got interested in design at an early age. After graduating from the North Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston-Salem, he received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Parsons School of Design in New York City. While at Parsons he attended his first hockey game—between the Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers. "That game was the most exciting thing I ever saw in my life," he says. "So fast, so aggressive. All the patterns and shapes on the ice, like a Jackson Pollock painting." And baseball? "It's different, but I don't see it as a Norman Rockwell painting—it's more abstract, geometrical. To me there's more beauty in abstraction than in something straightforward."
Perry has incorporated that idea into the design of this issue. "I tried to do something that would fit the character of baseball," he says. "I wanted the reader to feel involved, as if he were watching a game unfold right before his eyes." Hoffman calls the result "Bauhaus baseball." because of the use of geometric shapes and primary colors, elements of the Bauhaus style developed in the 1920s and early '30s.
Though Perry looks comfortable here in catcher's gear, his baseball career was, in his words, "limited and without success." He played 3½ years of Little League, primarily "in that most dreaded of positions, rightfield."
We're glad to have found a more suitable role for him.