Meet Your New Media Messiah: Wired’s Scott Dadich Is a Cross Between ‘Jesus and Pele’

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The man, the legend, back when he had a beard. Photo: Patrick McMullan

You've got enough disposable income to plunk down $499 for an iPad. Or even better, you're part of the 102,884 people who've downloaded Wired's new iPad app. But did you ever stop to think what wunderkind, what messiah in a skinny tie, what second coming of Christ might have conceived of and designed such a thing? The Observer's John Koblin did. And he had no problem finding Condé Nast bigwigs like David Remnick and Tom Wallace willing to give Wired creative director Scott Dadich — who got his first break designing lettering for a bagel store in Lubbock, Texas — a tongue bath.

It's no secret why Condé Nast is salivating over their newly anointed prince of design. For publishers, the iPad brings the possibility of a fresh start and another revenue stream. Online, consumers are too acclimated to getting content for free. Besides, they didn't really realize what a big deal that whole Internet thing was going to be. On smartphones, the screen is too small to bother with a whiz-bang layout. But on the iPad, they can charge (Wired's app is $4.99) for a gorgeous, touchable user interface, start integrating the print side with mobile, and design advertiser-friendly new interactive, targeted ads. Dadich is at the forefront of streamlining Condé Nast's efforts. But does that mean we should worship him? According to these people, yes.

George Lois, legendary Esquire art director:

With a talent like Scott, magazines will never die.

Evan Smith, Dadich's former boss at Texas Monthly:

[Dadich is] some sort of combination of Jesus and Pele ... He's one of those clever people who can take history and the future and merge them into the present. ... People have done that before in other genres. Miles Davis did it, Frank Lloyd Wright did that. And I think Scott has the capacity to do that.

Photographer Platon:

For me, what makes Scott interesting is his respect for content. Of course, he does have this uncanny sensibility of embracing technology — not even what it is now, but what it will be. But he also has a deep understanding and respect for good design. I'm talking about history of design. . . That's why he's powerful. He has good taste. He has done his homework. He knows the history of design and art and it's enabling him to do something with the technology.

Tom Wallace, Condé Nast editorial director:

We're at the beginning of what I think is going to be just a monumental creative burst for this industry. And Scott is the guy who is there at the beginning of this. He's helping to birth it — there's no question about that.

Glamour editor Cindi Leive:

You gotta write all about his style!

David Remnick:

I think Scott Dadich is going to play a serious role in developing the design of The New Yorker in print, on devices and on the Web. And I invited him into that process because he precisely understands not only the design so well, but also is interested in making The New Yorker a better version of itself rather than an extension of Scott Dadich.

The Savior of Condé Nast: Scott Dadich Is The New It Boy of the Mag World [NYO]