“Black, white, and graphic design: a look back on my typography in my Yale college days” #design #smlphil / SML.20130101.PHIL.SML.Design.Typography.History.Yale.Edu.Opinions

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“Black, white, and graphic design: a look back on my typography in my Yale college days” #design and style #smlphil / SML.20130101.PHIL.SML.Design.Typography.Background.Yale.Edu.Opinions

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“Black, white, and graphic design: a seem back on my typography in my Yale school days” #design and style #smlphil…

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“Black, white, and graphic design: a look back on my typography in my Yale college days” #design #smlphil

1995 marks the beginning of my graphic design career. I went to Yale originally to study architecture but I decided to take some graphic design classes because I thought that it would help as I didn’t know anything about design.

The decision to study art was mostly rebellious in nature. Unlike my classmates who mostly come from a fine art background, I was a science nerd in high school (1). I decided to study art mainly because I was sick of living under the shadow of my older sister (2). I also thought that it would make sense for me to utilize the opportunity to study something I know nothing about (3).

The graphic design program at Yale is mostly typography driven. That is, Yale does not really teach graphic design the way other art schools do (3). The only actual “skill” that is taught is typography. There are no rules. Assignments are extremely open-ended. Typically the assignments are something that can be summarized in a sentence—e.g. “Do something with the the dollar bill.” You can interpret the assignment in anyway you see fit. So it was fun to see what ended up showing up in class the next week. (at SML Universe Limited)

SML Ninja Look / SML.20121208.IPH5 / #smlme #smlbw #smlphil #ccby #smlphotography #smluniverse #smlprojects

Be independent. That is my philosophy.

This is why I almost never appear with an entourage of photo assistants when I go out for photo shoots. Assistants are helpful when they know wtf they are doing. If you just hire some Joe Schmo off the block who knows nothing they are useless and often end up taking more time for you to complete any task because they need a lot of directions to get things done.

Pictured: SML as ninja carrying all the photo equipment by myself while being hands-free to snap self portraits. SML’s dad KHL likes to give SML sh!t about buying lots of bags. That’s coz KHL traditionally has a ton of HRs / assistants / secretaries / random humans at his command when he needs to do anything. On the other hand, SML expect zero from anyone and depends only on himself to do anything so SML requires lots of good bags and utilitarian tools so he can get on with his life. :) (at SML Universe Limited)

“Learn to say no.” / SML.20121206.PHIL / #smlphil #ccby #smluniverse #smlprojects

Say no to things which are unrealistic.

I have a tendency to over-commit. In the past when clients asked me if I can do something within an unrealistically short period of time, I used to agree to them and as a result also drove myself to death—literally. The stress was so high that I had contemplated killing myself.

The crazy thing was that since I was a perfectionist then, I decided to postpone suicide because I could not see myself having a tomb with something like “SML, the one who did not finish an XYZ project.” I also considered the possibility that no one would show up to my funeral because I somehow messed up their project. Yes I know that this is all very funny but somehow crazies have their crazy ways to cope with life.

These days I just say no. I tell people to go find someone else for things which I think will kill me. Interestingly they usually stay with me because usually when I was given unrealistic requests like that it was because they could not find any humans to do it and I am usually their last hope.

Wishful thinking is a common attribute among humans. Humans are just weird.

Excerpt from a longer blog post titled “Delete Perfection + Zero expectations / Happiness Life Hacks” on SML Pro Blog: (at SML Universe)

“Be yourself.
Be who you are.
Never change for others.”
/ SML.20121205.PHIL
/ #smlphil #ccby #smluniverse

I used to care about what people think about me. So I change the way I am for others. It drives me nuts.

In order to appear “normal” to people and be able to talk at half my normal rate, I started taking 40mg Strattera (ADHD medication) twice a day in 2007. Although people like it, I have also ceased to win any important international design awards because I also lose my creativity as a result. These days I minimize taking any. I noted that if I need to do any public speaking, if I just take 18mg on the morning then it’s alright. Excessive Biohacking is bad for the soul.

In order to appeal to the body conscious gay community, I used to go to the gym 3x/week and had a professional personal trainer for two years. Did I feel good? Yes. Did he get me into shape? Yes. Did it increase the chance for me to be in love? No. Did I get happier? Yes and no. I did feel better but it is taking so much of my time that I ended up getting stressed out from not having the time to do my work—which is the most important thing in my life. I have thus decided that it is unimportant to me. I exercise these days from carrying all that photography equipment around town and in remote location. That works well.

Overtime I have stopped doing things just to please the crowd. I have principals. I make it my mission to talk about important issues which no one talks about. I make it my mission to blog about things which mainstream media will not cover. I have learned over time that being popular is unimportant to me. I am happy being on my own. If others don’t like me it’s ok. By being who I am I am able to do what I love. By being who I am I no longer waste time with people who are unimportant to me.

Self identity is something which defines who you are. Embrace it.
(at SML Universe)

SML Facebook Network / SML.2009.SMLNET.Facebook

Full res (3000x3000):

There are many people I am friends with on different social media sites where I don’t know in real life. I use social networks differently then most people I think.

Most people use social networks to keep in contact with their friends. I, on the other hand, use social networks to find interesting people, converse with them, and then when I have had much fun with them on these networks, I proceed to then meet them in real life. When the term Web 2.0 was popular way back in 2009, I used to call this behavior Web 3.0.

I meet people this way from all social networks—networks which you won’t think that it is possible to meet people but somehow I did.

+ Delicious (social bookmarking site): I met David Bausola (zeroinfluencer) because I was researching the interactive agency R/GA and he also appear to be tagging a lot of their content.
+ LibraryThing (social book collection site—way before GoodReads existed): I met Juhan Sonin this way. LibraryThing has an interesting feature which compares library according to similarity. As a designer + technologist, I have a rather unusual library which spans both design and technology. Juhan also is an interaction designer and so he also reads design, technology and photography. When I met him on Libraryathing, our library has a 75% overlap. It’s too bad that he’s straight as otherwise I would so date him! :)
+ FriendFeed (the super awesome share everything site which Facebook bought): I met Deborah Hustic (a Linux-loving technology blogger who blogs about everything from wearable technology to Linus distros). I met Sofarsoshawn (a super awesome crazy funny gay writer in Canada). I met Ode Andersson (an awesome Swedish guy who crazily enjoys my Facebook posts)—swedes are awesome! The people I met on FriendFeed I don’t yet meet but I plan on visiting Europe next year or two and I plan on meeting all of them when I do!

The social web is unbound by geographical locations. We are all connected through hashtags and data analytics. It is amazing that way. Use it. Harness it. Make web your own.

#smlnet #smlphil #ccby #smluniverse (at SML Universe)

Want to “manage” your Google search results and “optimize” your SERP? Stick your bio onto the Wikipedia user page. I can almost guarantee if your name is Paul Smith you can fight the rest of the guys if you do it :)

Why does that work? It’s all net theory. Recommended readings: Amazon Listmania list titled “Networks and Parallel Microworlds”) Google’s PageRank algorithm had largely to do with network theories for scale-free networks. If you just apply techniques learned from reading network theory books you can figure it out—that whole industry called “search engine optimization” aka SEO is a no-brainier if you know the properties of any scale-free networks. Bonus: the human networks work the same way. Social networks work the same way. Traffic networks work the same way. Relationship networks work the same way. Pretty much everything in life work the same way. Learn one thing, hack the world! It’s awesome.

SML Wikipedia / SML.20121204.SC.SMLNET.Wikipedia / #smlscreenshots #smlnet #smlwikipedia #ccby #smluniverse #smlphil (at SML Universe)

“Work should be play and play alone. Do what you love — that’s the only thing which matters.” / SML.20121203.PHIL / #smlphil #ccby #smluniverse

When you do what you love, you will have passion. When you have the passion to do your job, you will be good at it. When you are good at your job, people will love you for it and usually happy to pay lots of money for it.

Don’t ever work for money. Money always follow when you do what you love. Money should be the result, not the reason.

Disclaimer: this philosophy works for SML but your results may vary. SML cannot guarantee results for everyone and cannot be held liable for your life nor financial situation. (at SML Universe)

Because of being accused of “illusion of grandeur,” countless people commit suicide every year. Whenever I have the urge to kill myself, I send an email to my sister, and she will then proceed to call me and make sure that I am ok, usually with these same words. They are helpful to me. For everyone who is desperate because all those assholes out there is giving you crap just because of who you are, don’t. “You are important. You matter.” / SML.20121202.PHIL / #smlphil #ccby #smluniverse (at SML Universe)

A friend told me that she is going to buy this. Are you nuts?! I thought that I was crazy. Apparently I am really very “normal”—but maybe our concept of currency differs. This is why I think that £€$$ is more + why I prefer bartering over monetary exchanges. Since the concept of value differs, it makes sense to exchange goods in measures which could only result in a positive sum game. #finance #opinions #smlphil (at SML Universe)