Monthly Archives: August 2008

Portfolio Section: The Basics

Portfolio section in progress.

So for the past week, between work and the Olympics, I started working on the portfolio section of my beta site. I figured that I could draw inspiration from the Olympics and get a boost in pursuing my goals and all the good stuff.

I purposely have not yet made the link available from the home page because I don’t want new visitors to stumble upon my site thinking that the active link to my portfolio leads to a complete collection of my work. You may, however, manually type in the URI and see what’s been done so far. If you don’t know what the URI is, there is a hint on the home page’s navigation.

I haven’t figured out exactly how to lay out the page yet. I’ve designed probably five or six web portfolio sites, always trying to figure out the most efficient and logical way to navigate. My criteria for the layout include:

  • how easy it is for new visitors to understand how to navigate within the portfolio section;
  • how the work is displayed against the rest of the layout;
  • how accessible it is for browsers without/that have turned off style sheets, JavaScript, and other applications;
  • how it would translate onto mobile device displays;
  • and what kind of experience most visitors would get from viewing this site.

I’m trying to avoid laying out boxes (or squares of “transparencies”) into neat little rectangles. I’ve done that before and even I’m getting a little bored. I’m trying to let the function take care of the form.

And it doesn’t look like I’ve done much so far, but I’ve actually fixed the code behind the navigation so that it works in more than one page with the same code, as well as allowing it to work (more or less) in JavaScript-disabled browsers.

Comments on the background image?


What Am I Doing? (Aug 2008)

I had been away from work for 44 hours since the evening of 8/8/08. Of all those 44 hours (except for when I was sleeping), there was not one where I didn’t think about the Olympics: trying to find amazing images of the already amazing opening ceremony, checking the TV schedule for the next exciting sports event, channel-hopping among sister networks, and looking up Olympic facts of past and future (and present) Games.

But when I came into work yesterday, it was as if I had stepped into a different world. Most people would probably call it the normal world, or the real world. Other than the newspaper front page photo of the relatively less inspiring Olympic Cauldron (compared to the ceremony performances), there was no mention of the Olympics in the store whatsoever.

I was surprised for a moment. I was reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around an event that features the best of the world. Random stabbings still occur; political conflicts are still initiated; extramarital affairs are still exposed; and entertainers still pass away. Those credit card and home improvement store commercials about the country’s best athletes being ordinary people, or ordinary people being the country’s best athletes painted a rosy and emotional picture for me not about what life could be, but what life actually is, except that it’s not entirely true. Silly me for being fooled and tear-jerked by marketing and advertisers.

Watching the Games on TV, commentators tell brief stories about some of the athletes, about how they were not completely ready in their previous Olympic performances four years ago when they were just mid-teens, and then about how they would be too old four years from now when they are in their mid-twenties.

That got me thinking about my accomplishments in life and in the world so far. Since I had recently spent a birthday in my “early” twenties, I feel like I haven’t done much compared to those athletes. But it’s not like I haven’t done anything for my life and my future. In the past few months, I’ve tried to be more productive while holding a non-design job. I also had a chance to figure out what I really enjoy in design and in life.

In the past few days, for example, I was able to reaffirm that, for whatever reason, I am very passionate about the Olympics. For me as a designer, it goes beyond the logo design and the branding strategies. It’s not about medal count, and it’s not really about which country is hosting it. It’s about the simple ideals of siblinghood and global unity, of striving for the best of and improving ourselves, and of spreading humanity, love, peace, fairness, and hard work, etc. to as many people and minds in the world as possible.

These are some things that motivate and inspire me to do better and work harder in life. They keep my hopes up and make me believe that everything will be just fine in the end. This month, I am moving forward and writing my own dramatic profile story.


2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Links

I just watched the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and I am beyond ecstatic and proud of the superb job the organization has done. Because of the time difference and the exclusive broadcast rights in the States, the opening ceremony had already occurred early morning of August 8, 2008 Pacific Daylight Time, and nothing is broadcast on TV until the evening. So I avoided all news sites and blog feeds for the whole day, fearing that I will see anything already posted from the ceremony before I could watch the broadcast in the evening. I wanted to be completely surprised.

Usually, when I mentally prepare myself for a big event, like a highly anticipated movie premiere or the days of my high school and undergrad graduation, I upped my expectations so much that I become disappointed when the moment finally comes. Not this time. Not at all. The team that organized this ceremony did not let me down. I am extremely satisfied and I am glad I did not give in to any temptations with the spoilers.

I just want to say that China has done a great job showing the world the power of the masses, that with enough people, and with an amazingly detailed creative vision, we can be great and amazing and awe-inspiring at anything we want.

I rarely post external links without much analysis, but this is an exceptional exception. I am listing links that I find worth checking out on the opening ceremony. I know it’s only been two or so hours since I watched the ceremony, but I have heard nothing but good things and praise about it, so I must share this excitement and positivity with everyone. (I will add more as I find more pages.)


A Road Trip Journal à la Stephen Shore

I just got another reason to go on this road trip. I want to document a part of America in 2009, not for right now, nor for 2010, but for 2044, and for any time in the distant future.

I just saw this post on the front page of NPR. It’s basically about Photographer Stephen Shore’s road trip across America in the summer of 1973.

Looking at the real life images of the 1970’s and not something recreated by Hollywood, I can’t imagine how the things back then was actually the latest and most advanced they’d ever seen/had. As a young kid like myself, I also can’t imagine how life would be in 2044, nor how life in 2044 would imagine life back in 2009.

The subject of time fascinates me, so I could go on forever talking about time. (Huh, didn’t even realize I made a pun.) But I just want to say that now I have an even greater desire to go on this trip.