Wednesday, August 31, 2011

‎"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert Heinlein)

Friday, August 19, 2011

On Helvetica - One Size Fits All

I eat my words all the time. This time too I think I might have to.

Well, not really.

I don't know.

I wrote a fast paced, melodramatic and charismatic article called When In Doubt Turn To Jesus And Helvetica in Salt Book last year (August 2010). The story is about how Christian arts and design (read church ~) have lost all sense of relevance today. The design and creativity are stale and drained of all originality. So instead of trying to blatantly copy what they are seeing around them, turn to Jesus (as Christians should in all cases anyway *cringeworthy cheesiness*) and stick to using Helvetica (not Papyrus please, thank you - yes, I know it looks like a font Jesus would use, but that is because Jesus lived in Israel and in the turn of BC and AD, which we don't. This is 21st Century.)

That was my ideal back then.

As you do. You learn. You research more. You study into things. You understand. You.. Grow up.

Now I have to say Use Of Helvetica Incessantly Without Imagination Means Lack Of Originality.

The thing I can't stand about Helvetica is the One Size Fits All way it offers itself to every designer (or non-designers). But at the same time it is that same reason why I love it.


I shall continue on this essay/idea/writing/article soon.

Now I have work to do.

And no, I am not using Helvetica. At all.


Last words - Helvetica is a bit like Converse Chuck Taylor. There's something about it special though its the most ordinary damn thing! Maybe thats why we all love it. Maybe thats also why we all hate it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Awesome Review of Doordarshan - According To Samosapedia

Writer and blogger Kuzhali Manickavel suggested we look at everything Doordarshan did as "experimental". It's brilliant, because only then do we realise how extreme those guys were.

Think about it. Weeknight programming featuring a man in a loincloth pushing rubber tubing up his nose and pulling it out of his mouth. Two cloudy spermatozoa circling each other to the soundtrack of a wailing dirge, before coalescing into a shimmering oneness. 

Deeply strange German competition called Telematch that stopped just short of dwarf tossing. Russian wolf saying, "I'll get you, rabbit." Excellent (and I mean it) animation about national unity featuring squirrels and butterflies. 

Music programming where the camera always focuses on the muscian who *isn't* performing at that moment, and is usually picking his/her nose or brushing away sweat from brow.

"I went to the MOMA finally."
"How was it?"
"Doordarshan was better."

Monday, August 15, 2011


So, my new site is up OH-BEN.COM

Its a pretty simple site. Just to document what I do and to direct people who want to see my work to proper places, since my social media presence is a bit too all over the place.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Majestic Youth Album Design

The album design for Majestic Youth is ALmOST ALMOST done... And I am getting carried away by the experience - and since no one is here to talk to, I thought I'd ramble on this blog.

This album, first to familiarize a person who have no idea what I am talking about, is a music record produced by Majestic Church. What sort of music is it? Well I am happy to say that our church music sounds different from all church music that I have ever heard. When the path and vision was first struck, we wanted to steer away from all stereotypes, much as they work and they serve their purposes. We thought there are many people who connect to music that are rock and roll. There are also people who connect to new music, electronic, electronically alternative music (and a lot of pop too). So we thought we want to do that. So I'd genre the album - Electronic, dance, hip hop, world and easy listening (some songs atleast).

Well, designwise, I am the Creative Director so I have the liberty to take this anywhere. I thought the design should also be different and almost jagged. Not polished like Michael Buble, not cheesy like Beiber, not grungy like Foo, not alternative like (I don't know), not too dancey like Black Eyed Peas, not indie like the underground bands. But I have borrowed elements from all of these. Except Beiber - there's nothing to borrow there.

The whole concept started from the Comme-des Garcons branding. They are my inspiration.

Then came Japanese-English typography. Then came a bit of Linkin Park. Then came Wong Kar Wai's films. Then came a lot of design posts on Tumblr. If I were to name the biggest source of inspiration for this its Tumblr.

Don't get me wrong.  I am only rambling at 11:13pm. Physically wanting sleep, but mentally and willingly wanting more design.

OK, lets get this work done.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Buildtech Animation

An animation film I did for Buildtech Holdings Christchurch. It was really fun and pressing at the same time. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three Years in Christchurch

Today, 4 August 2011, marks the three years in Christchurch. I feel like it has been ten years in every good possible way. Here's a blog post from my first week here. Reeks of nostalgia.

I was so lost back then. A lone character in a country and city so alien to him, as I keep saying, a place so polarly opposite to where I am from.

But I have to say, God's been good. Things have been great. Things have worked out way better than I would have imagined.