Life at 720 dpi

Falling down the rabbit hole of design jargons is like an unending maze; a marathon with no finish line. You run breathlessly from article to article, come across new terminologies every 5th sentence and the next thing you know, there’s 860 tabs open on your web browser and words like ‘halftone’, ‘dithering’, ‘letterpress’ etc. circling inside your brain like a carousel. Pantone spot colors was alien to me until yesterday. If you’d told me a year back that coated paper is not suited for business cards, I would have probably exclaimed ‘HUH?’ and walked away. Flashback to four months ago: I did not know anything beyond the fact that InDesign is used mainly for print. Not to brag, but now I have an entire portfolio assembled on that oh-so-amazing software and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. Running from one printer store to another (gotta thank Gaja for all the help), finding out to my horror that the light blue in the original image has drastically turned into a rather yucky green thanks to change in color space, dealing with unexpected software glitches, screwed up sleep cycle, not being able to get the dimensions I’d hoped for, numerous failed attempts at getting everything pixel-perfect, not quite achieving the right print quality, figuring out a workaround, reiterating after taking feedback into consideration (500 gazillion opinions and the clock ticking like it’s being chased by 500 wolves is reeeeaally not a favorable situation y’know?) slogging like crazy until the very last minute, and finally watching the efforts culminate in a 15-page book called a portfolio, is truly priceless.

Every single step has been a memorable learning experience. I can never forget the myocardial infarction moment when the ‘Illustrator has stopped working. Close program’ dialog box popped up JUST after I was done making a ton of modifications that were yet to be saved (fortunately I had a JPEG backup, uneditable but saved nevertheless… whew), or the alignment trouble I faced when digitizing the paper prototype (note to self: ALWAYS create a handmade working model before using digital medium). When I look back on it now, they seem so trivial. How could I get worked up about alignment? All I had to do was be a little more careful about the dimensions. Lesson learnt, you ask? You bet. The more I learn the more it feels like what I know is only the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg keeps getting bigger and my OCD intensifies proportionately. Obsessive-Compulsive Designerding, in case you’re wondering.

In other news, Sheekha came home with a cutesie-schmootsie cupcake on my birthday – I had totally not seen that coming and was honestly very touched. Unlike my previous birthdays, where I would meticulously jot down a list of all the things I wanted and pester friends to fulfill my desires in childlike enthusiasm, there was no hullabaloo surrounding my birthday this time around – I kinda like it that way now. Mommy dearest got a cake in spite of me asking her not to get any (we’re all one cake bite away from a hoarse voice and sore throat), Nav wished me first thing in the morning and so did dad. Some of my friends stayed up and wished me at 12 midnight. What more could I have asked for?

I met Bernie around two weeks back at Glen’s Bakehouse, we ate and spoke (well, I did all the rambling while he patiently listened), and man, how I wish I’d got to show him my portfolio sooner! I continue to be in great awe of his constant guidance/inspiration despite his busy schedule and am ever grateful for his eloquently-phrased suggestions/feedback. Seriously lucky to have him for a mentor! Bernie, if you’re reading this, a heartfelt jumbo-sized thank you for everything.

By the way, my school friend Apoorva is leaving to the US for higher studies. Specializing in Mechanical Engineering, how supercool is that? After what seems like centuries, we caught up at Truffles. Anu, Suha and Appu were flabbergasted with my “lady’s fingers” arms (not my fault if I cannot put on weight however much I try) since they were seeing me after a really long time. Guna didn’t utter a word as she’s lost hopes on me – sigh. We had some great food (no lasagna this time), I got teased for my choice of beverage (frankly I thought the lime and orange fizzo was nice but everyone else said it tasted like Rasna – yeah I rolled my eyes too), went on a long drive, clicked loads of pictures and made plans to meet up one last time before Appu flies off. Is it just me or are we actually growing up real fast?

Speaking of growing up, Nav’s birthday came and went at rocket speed. I was grinning like a chimp when the shopkeeper asked me to write down the message to go on the cake. Older sisters do have the right to be cheesy on their li’l bro’s birthday, okay? But… little brother is not so little anymore. Damn, I feel old.


Old reminds me, I have officially started watching Friends! Woohoo! I didn’t want to grow old without ever having watched this wonderful show. Two episodes into season 1 and I was already texting everyone I knew to send me the rest of the seasons by mail. Crazy addictive, that show.

Of late, I have become very very susceptible to skin allergies. When the dermatologist told me it’s due to sun exposure, my jaw had nearly dropped on the floor. I’ve hardly ever stepped out of home the past few months, where did this exposure even come from? After applying dozens of ointments I’m okay now, although I do feel like a diseased cow occasionally. And now time for some more design OD’ing. Just gotta keep ‘moo’ving!


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