Sunday, 13 January 2013

Let’s talk about my closer-to-reality job

When people ask me about my “dream job,” I’d say in a heartbeat: Gundam pilot. Why? Because as far as dreams go, it’s the most impossible. For one, I’d have to wait until After Colony 195, which is probably five centuries from now. Also, I don’t possess the athletic and mental capabilities of Heero Yuy, my childhood hero. Finally, it’s not nice to wish for an all-out global war just so I get the chance to fly around in a giant mobile suit.

So let’s talk about a job that I call my closer-to-reality job.

Neon colors, word art, frames – OH MY!

Whoever is reading this entry, I'm sure that you've had your fair share of travels around cyberspace. I'm pretty sure that you've also gone through the experience of opening a webpage, and upon seeing it load, utter a cry of "MY EYES DAMN IT MY EYES.”

I'm sorry Hellenic Children's Museum, but this website seriously gave me nightmares.

I take things a bit more seriously than most people. When I see a website or image such as the one above, I devote a minute of my time silently screaming, looking at the page source, and contemplating the fact that someone got paid to do this abomination.

After I have calmed down from my tirade, introspection usually follows. I ask myself, why the eff don't these people take their webpages more seriously? What kind of eyes are you using to think that bright pink on a neon green background is a good idea? Did you know that splash pages were so 90s?

Sadly, I know why companies and individuals commit mortal graphic design sin: they don't think it’s important enough.

I can definitely see where they're coming from, working in a non-profit organization. Why spend money on a good web designer when you can spend more for funding programs or buying more supplies? I experienced this in my own work, where the company’s website hasn’t been redesigned since the 90s. Even though my boss so very badly wanted the website revamped, she didn’t have the time, and she couldn’t pay a proper web designer to do the job because they needed funds for other things. Sadly, the design aspect of things usually takes a backseat to other programs and activities.

But the thing is promotion and information dissemination is just as important as the programs you conduct or the services that you offer. I know that people say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or in this case, a company by its website or infographics), but I think that having well-designed, carefully structured websites and graphics are a sign that you take your mission seriously. It makes it easier for people to see what you stand for and how you want them to take part in your mission. It’s like going to a job interview in a collared blouse and tied back hair and subconsciously saying – “I care enough about your company to not look like a hobo in your presence.”

That’s why I’ve always said to myself, I really want to help out these companies that can’t afford to get their cyberspace message across. There are so many charitable organizations out there that need to get their causes out, but they just can’t come up with the time, efforts, and funds to do it. Take this website for example:

I’m sorry Books for the Baranggay for using you as an example, haha. But see, it’s a perfectly good cause that needs funding and contributions, but it doesn’t get as much help. A large part of it is probably because navigating their current website is a nightmare. People don’t know how to help because they can’t figure out how. Also, they aren’t motivated to help because the design doesn’t engage them to find out more about the cause.

This is why I want to be a cyberspace media design maven (yay for invented terms!). Because there are perfectly good organizations out there that need help with their graphic design needs. What better way for you to get your point across than spreading it through cyberspace, where everybody is sure to be on at least a portion of their day? I make it sound like a job for a super hero, but really, it’s just a job for someone like me who wants to help spreading good causes and missions.

But let’s step on the brakes for a while.

Of course there’s a reason why this dream job remains a dream (just generally less than my Gundam pilot or political hacker dream). For one, I only possess beginner’s HTML, CSS, and Javascript knowledge, thanks to an elective college course. I studied Communications, but not Graphic Design, so I’m still a bit lacking in that department. Also, I still need to feed, shelter, and clothe myself, but doing these projects for a minimal amount may not give me my basic necessities.

Even so, I believe this dream of mine can become (and needs to be!) a reality. I’m currently self-studying web and graphic design for my current job and for freelance endeavors. I’m also figuring out a way to balance a stable job with practicing my skills. Hopefully, my dream won’t be so far away from the future. Here’s to less pained eyes from graphic design nightmares!

And maybe, who knows, I can still manage being a Gundam pilot on the side.


It’s so much fun writing about dreams! And like my new friend Elle says, “…it’s never too late to start dreaming, [and] I’ve decided to start now.” She’s still in the process of imagining her dream job, so give her a nudge over here! Let’s all commiserate in the loveliness of our dreams.

This entry is part of a blogging challenge by Wanderrgirl.


  1. Badly designed websites are a pet peeve too! :))

    But then again, these things are sometimes, like human beauty, dependent on the eye of the beholder.

    If it's really what you want to do though, I think it might be a good idea to do mock designs for these sites, that you can add to a (hopefully) growing portfolio. Sort of a practice ground.

    Good luck with learning all the technicalities...and maybe, eventually, you'll become known for being the graphic designing Gundam pilot. :)

    1. Thanks Lorra! Yeah I see what you mean, but still a bit of sprucing up always helps in the long run!

      Right now I'm trying to practice with websites for friends and co-workers :D

      I really like the title of graphic designing Gundam pilot! :D

  2. Uy, wag ka, there are personal-sized mechs already in construction, so maybe a Gundam pilot sometime in the future isn't too far off, eh? ;D

    "I think that having well-designed, carefully structured websites and graphics are a sign that you take your mission seriously."

    All the awards for this statement! Exactly -- making sure your thing -- be it a website, a product, or even a blog post -- looks great means you care. This can also help toward improving the state of the nation through design. As for you teaching yourself HTML and code, I fully support you on that. It can be great fun tinkering with the inner workings of a website, and surprising yourself. Here's to seeing you make the Internet a more beautiful place to be in! (

    1. Haha IKR! But the Gundam at Odaiba is only a framework model :( Hehehe!

      Thank you so much for this comment, Jonette! I do think this country in particularly doesn't care too much for design and new media. And it's a shame since we have such a huge web presence! You inspire me in my journey towards a beautiful Internet :D

  3. I strongly agree with this entry.

    Shouldn't this be a point where academia drops in and says "let this students practice by improving your websites" and let botht he students participate in a real life project as the same time as they contribute to a real cause, as instead of an artificial exercise from which probably the student would get less feedback and would contribute to nothing.

    1. Thanks man! I agree, however in this country, creative endeavors usually take a backseat in the academe in favor of the sciences. But I seriously hope it becomes a requirement for students to learn a bit of HTML and graphic design principles! And I like your idea of having students work on real life projects. I hope someone in the government thinks it up.

  4. Hi Ji! I was nodding the entire time I was reading this, haha. I mean, I've been in the development sector for three years now and the amount of people still using Word Art and Clip Art KILLS ME.

    I agree with Lorra, maybe you should do mock-up redesigns of non-profit orgs for your portfolio! Maybe make it a segment of your blog? Like do one org a month then explain why you designed it in this way, etc? That might help you get future clients as well!

    Like you, I only know web design based off my Googling and self-teaching/exploring. It's served me well so far - it's such a useful skill for all my projects!!! Just keep on learning and improving - we reaaaaally need more creative people in the dev sector! :)

    1. Thank you so much Arriane! Yeah, I cringe whenever I see banners and promotional materials made by local politicians! Bakit Word Art?!?

      I think it's a good idea too, and I might try it out! I'm also trying to accept website commissions from friends and family, so once I hone my web design skills, you can be rest assured that I will be volunteering for non-profit organizations and the like. Thanks again for your encouragement, I'm so glad that you opened this blogging challenge!

  5. Hi Ji! This post resonates with me a lot! I've been a design freak ever since I remember, and it makes me want to pull my hair out when websites (especially those you know people visit frequently) are such poorly designed!

    I've been taking on web design projects since last year too. It's a bit challenging since I'm also self-taught like you, but it's been a rewarding thing to do so far. Reading your post gave me the idea that I can do it for a good cause too, like with organizations! :)

    And yes, being a Gundam pilot really would be the icing on the cake wouldn't it? ;)

    1. High five Allie! Hahaha! Me too, sometimes I want to e-mail them and say, "I will make over your website! You need an intervention!"

      Your website is soooo nice for a self-taught designer! I hope I can attain that kind of caliber with my work as well.

      And it's true -- you never know! I could be designing during piloting downtime ;-)