Something to aim at

'Something to aim at'
'Something to aim at' Philip Abang. A goal is not always to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at. _Bruce Lee
A goal is not always to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at. _Bruce Lee

Isn’t it ironic that when a goal isn’t reached it is deemed a failure on ones own path. Although, not everyone sees it this way.

I have beat myself too many times not reaching certain goals that I had set. I look at my endeavour as a failure rather than a journey of discovery, learning and growth. I forget the progress and gains made in that process. I completely forget that some goals I had set was certainly to give me something to aim at, and definitely something to focus on.

The keyword in a goal is the phrase ‘something to aim at’. Take away our goals and we have nothing to aim at however basic that goal may seem.

I have come to the realisation that some goals take longer to achieve than others. Some are for self development and discovery, while some are just things that can take our awareness to certain areas. In all, it is just something that our awareness is aimed at.

I am practising being less harsh on myself realising that the process and progress in every goal is what counts. I wouldn’t look back at any point to evaluate my process or progress if there wasn’t something aimed at in the first place.

Be gentle on yourself if that goal isn’t yet accomplished. At least, you are driven by an aim. Take some time out to see your progress and what you have learnt in the process.

Slow progress to your goal is better than none. You still have ‘something to aim at’.

Design, Art direction, Post
By Philip Abang


Verse 11. Mastery



There is the temptation to have our fingers in every pie. With growing societal and personal demands, it seems like our craft is no longer enough to sustain these demands. The underlying pressures stretches us to become almost everything from photographers, designers, writers, illustrators, bloggers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and the list goes on.

Graphic design is said to be everything. Look around and you find design everywhere, from packaging, logos [Identity design], branding, collateral design, environmental design, iconography, information design [infographics], posters, advertising, editorial, motion graphics, you name it.

As a graphic designer there is the pressure to be good at all the above. However, you can master any of the above and still do well. For example, there are prolific poster or logo designers whose sole earning comes from mastering the art of logo or poster design. Same can be said with editorial, motion design or any other.

Michael Bierut is a prolific logo designer. Also, Milton Glaser known for the ‘I NY’ logo is a prolific poster designer. These famous designers are specialist in their craft. Other graphic designers worth mentioning that I admire and to many are role models include Stefan Sagmeister, Massimo Vignelli, Paula Scher, David Carson [Exploratory Typography], Sean Adams, Bonnie Siegler, Jonathan Barnbrook, Erik Spiekermann, Saul Bass (Title Designer), Edward R. Tufte (Information design), Kyle Cooper (Title Designer), Vince Frost, Margo Chase, John McWade and Ina Saltz. These designers are masters in their craft from environmental design, exploratory typography, identity design, branding, motion, editorial, exhibition, interior design, type design, and teaching design.

Today’s designers are asked to be all of the above. Honestly, that takes your entire life trying to master everything, and I’m afraid to say, there is a chance you remain master of none.

Bruce Lee’s quote denotes a case of mastery in a specific area. The Principle of Specificity indicates that one becomes skilled in a particular area. Nonetheless, mastery requires persistent practice, from fundamental to advance, and from advance to mastery.

I admire those with a signature style. A style that can be pinned to a particular individual in any work of life. I still strive to attain mastery in a specific area in graphics, with 10,000x practice that is achievable I will say.

Lest I forget, Bruce Lee was a genius in his craft.

Design, Creative direction, Post
By Philip Abang