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A Design Story!

I have transitioned more into the field of design from my beginnings in filmmaking and 3D artistry. From Jurassic Park to the bootleg version of the first ever 3D Studio Max, I’ve shared pretty much everything here as well. However, unfortunately I don’t have any interesting stories on my Design Journey. I don’t even remember when exactly I got exposed to the world of design or (flipping for intellectual elegance) design of the world!

I think I can say that the first form of graphic design that I started working on was Note-taking! The kind of notes that we take while listening to our school teachers in primary and middle school. What started as a boring errand soon became something that I enjoyed. The design of notebooks with no content inside; Spaces for you to fill in— It was intriguing. That was my canvas! And I got too carried away with it. I remember I was more particular about how my notebooks looked to others than to myself. I wanted it to be neat, have a lot of breathing space and absolutely no overwriting! I guess you could say I was unknowingly dabbling in alignment, negative space, and hierarchy even before I could spell those words! I concentrated on putting the best form of letters into my notebook and in that process, I forgot the main goal of taking a note! I was way behind the teacher and I was not even trying to catch up. I took my time to carefully write words with perfect kerning, leading and margins. I even went to the extent of writing apologies instead of striking off an error. I even won a state-level prize for the best handwriting.

During this time, I got fascinated and influenced by other note-taking systems used by my competitors (classmates). Particularly these two nerds—One used a peculiar way of taking notes by incorporating shapes and connectors which was very new to me and the other one used rulers to divide sections of notes into blocks. The notes looked beautiful with that sort of arrangement.

An early rendering of my handwriting from an old notebook

My first ever design project was an ensemble journal of fictional movie titles that I would make in the future! I tried creating a text style for each of the films based on its content. Looking back now, the names were too silly; Its good that I lost that journal somewhere.

I was just playing around with my first computer when Yahoo! Geocities became a popular thing. This offered free space for anyone on the internet where you could upload a webpage. I had to figure tools to get a website up and running and then came Paintshop Pro (I wasnt aware that paintshop pro is a rip-off of well, photoshop!) and Microsoft FrontPage on a Demo CDROM. Took me a couple of days to figure these tools out (There wasnt anything called Youtube back then!). I prepped imagery and typography in Paintshop and assembled everything in frontpage to get an html out.

Uploaded these to Geocities and there I had my first website running!

The first site was inspired from eBay and it had thumbnails of daily objects that people could click and order online and I would buy them and deliver them physically! It was just a concept and noone was aware of it as very few people had internet in my hometown! This was before Amazon, Flipkart and all e-comm sites. The logo was the text, “Migranasia” ; a play of migration & asia (I have no idea why though) and it was a just a simple serif typeface with a modification to the starting and closing letters.

Logo for Migranasia aka the failed jeff bezos!

A “serious” design project was given to me during a class presentation during the same period. We had a form a group in class and present a topic to the school. The first requirement was to create a group name and badges for every member. The job came to me as I was the only one with a computer. There were lot of names that came up in the discussion, but we finalised on something that made sense during my teenages!— “Synchronised”. I started on working on Paintshop, but I wasn’t happy with any of the results. I went to paper, sat with a couple of magazines and did a collage with type. I was cutting out letters from various magazines and pasted it to form the word, “Synchronised”. As usual, i got bored of that pretty quickly and I stopped it at “Synchro” (which all of them loved) and made photocopies of the real paper work to make it look cohesive in monochrome and for easy duplication.

DigitalReprodof_Synchro logo for the class presentation

Had fun writing this.

So, To be continued.


Saaliq Maqbool
Saaliq Maqbool
Feb 24

Amazing, the minimal notebook one got me 😂, need some more content like this.🤌🫶


Feb 24

Inspired me a lot 🔥need part 2

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