by Eric Twardzik
Your banker. Your child psychologist. Your high school principal.
However and wherever you came across these early authority figures, they likely shared one thing in common: a desk nameplate bearing their name or station in life. They knew—as we do now—that you only get one chance to make a first impression. And in that moment, a gold-framed strip of walnut fastidiously inscribed in white letters implied significance.
We wanted one… someday. Perhaps we even attained one prematurely, thanks to a nominal appointment as captain of the debate team or a successful (if at all disputed) run for student council president. And just when we thought we’d made it, the high school yearbook arrived announcing one-dimensional superlatives such as “Most Likely to Become President,” “Best Smile,” and “Class Clown,” only to be bestowed upon a chosen few like titles in a feudal kingdom. And if there can only be one of each, where does that leave everyone else?
That’s why we’ve repurposed the desk plate, twisting it into something… self-deprecating. These aren’t titles you’ll find on the desk of a tenured professor or senior United States senator. These are about coming to terms with unfulfilled potential. We like to think of them as desk plates for antiheroes.
“Former Child Prodigy.” “Underachiever.” “Black Sheep.” “Troubled Youth.” “Unruly Heir.” They're desk plates for the names they call you behind your back. Beat them to the punch before they take their seat.