After hours of lengthy, serious speeches at last night’s National Design Awards, attendees were treated to an oasis of humor when Stephen Colbert, appearing via a segment taped at his Colbert Report desk, presented designer Stephen Doyle with the Communication Design Award.
Watch Doyle’s nimble fingers X-acto their way through the intro, then stay tuned for Colbert’s treatise on Doyle’s expertise, including publication design, environmental signage and calculator typography. Doyle designed Colbert’s book I Am America and So Can You and tells Co. that it was a “thrilling romp” through Colbert’s brain. “Brilliant, acerbic, quick and endearing, Stephen would snap into and out of character at our photo shoots, and like a fine comedian, use his entire body make a gesture or nail a point, adding physical to his intellectual genius.”
Doyle asked Colbert to present the award in-person, but unfortunately he was unable to attend. “He was very disappointed that taping his show conflicted with the timing of the presentations,” says Doyle. But even in his absence, Colbert’s incredible delivery was the highlight of the evening. “Toward the tail end of an hour’s worth of heartfelt acknowledgments last night, Stephen’s wacky introduction last night was a welcome surprise,” says Doyle. “You could feel the crowd’s pleasure-o-meters zip from zero to 100.”
To add to the fun, and as Doyle says, “deflate the pomp,” Doyle thanked Colbert — who he credited as his father — and delivered his acceptance speech in verse, to the absolute delight of the crowd. Definitely not the norm for stuffy awards shows, and a fitting triumph for communication design. Bravo to both Stephens.