Spam hacked my post.

Dear readers,
My apology for some inconvenience links in my post cause by the spam. They are now very becoming much smarter in putting spam in my blog, not only in the comments but in the post it self.
I am in the process of cleaning the post, so bare with me.

Back after a year

I find it interesting to see the changes in many people like myself, becoming lazy to write in the blog but happily to update status in facebook and other social media. It is becoming a trend now to update in social media. What have we become? What kind of society that we are creating for the future.

I would like to discuss further about it. I wonder what makes me slow down or demotivated in writing my blog might be the response from the audience. Unlike other social media, blog stand independently. As in when you’re writing a blog, how do you know how many people actually visited your blog (unless you have the visitors page) or the add on plug in to count how many people have visited your site. It is like you are writing for yourself and sometimes it is not much fun, in comparison when you write and in a short time someone has commented on your thought.

It can be additive and dangerous. But may be because of those two words, many, including myself at one point in time, eager to contribute by updating our daily status. So I have decided that I will start to get back to my blog and discuss what ever idea or thought I have in mind here and not only just updating my status.

Typography lesson 1: How to adjust kerning manually using InDesign

It has been a while since I posted something in my blog. Long long while. The reason being is the workloads have taken most of my time. And I have to admit besides that I posted most of my ‘current status’ in a very brief way in the leading social media, the Face Book. Sad but true, this is what’s happening to most of us today. We don’t tend to write long sentences anymore instead we think of a way to post short and brief to express out ‘status’ of the day. Details seems to be forgotten especially if you are actively involved in Twitter. Anyway, I have decided to continue posting and writing in my blog from now on. This hopefully will aid my poor writing skills as I have not been writing as much as I should or to express my thoughts in details these days. I have been asked to conduct a basic InDesign class for fellow designers who have not been familiar working with InDesign, but still dealing with publications and printing (How is that possible?) The 1st one day workshop session start on the 18 October (which I focus more on the training of mind thinking rather than straight into the technical process using InDesign), and on the 2nd day workshop, they have to present their ‘homework’ that I asked them to work on in the 1st session.

So, today I have completed the 2 days sessions of the basic InDesign class teaching designers how to use InDesign for their design work. Yes, surprisingly not many designers now a days knows how to use InDesign software for their book or any publication design. The workshop started with a hands on concept sketching and taking the designers to a very basic understanding of the process of designing for publication, giving some important basic guideline of publication design that they need to know before they even start working with the InDesign softwares.

One of the most important one among other things is the manual part, on how to adjust some parts of the text manually. One of them is kerning. I thought it would be great to keep it in the record for my blog. Here is to show different type of kerning.

To understand kerning here is a useful text that I have extracted from Ellen Lupton Thinking with Type page. You can read more in the page for details.

Kerning is an adjustment of the space between two letters. The characters of the Latin alphabet emerged over time; they were never designed with mechanical or automated spacing in mind. Thus some letter combinations look awkward without special spacing considerations. Gaps occur, for example, around letters whose forms angle outward or frame an open space (W, Y, V, T). In metal type, a kerned letter extends past the lead slug that supports it, allowing two letters to fit more closely together. In digital fonts, the space between letter pairs is controlled by a kerning table created by the type designer, which specifies spaces between problematic letter combinations. Working in a page layout program, a designer can choose to use metric kerning or optical kerning as well as adjusting the space between letters manually where desired. A well-designed typeface requires little or no additional kerning, especially at text sizes.



Metric kerning uses the kerning tables that are built into the typeface. When you select metric kerning in your page layout program, you are using the spacing that was intended by the type designer. Metric kerning usually looks good, especially at small sizes. Cheap novelty fonts often have little or no built-in kerning and will need to be optically kerned.
Optical kerning is executed automatically by the page layout program. Rather than using the pairs addressed in the font’s kerning table, optical kerning assesses the shapes of all characters and adjusts the spacing wherever needed. Some graphic designers apply optical kerning to headlines and metric kerning to text. You can make this process efficient and consistent by setting kerning as part of your character styles.


In InDesign software, there are ways to work manually, which many have not discovered or learned. So here I would like to share with you how to adjust your kerning manually.

How to do it?

Manually kern letter pairs

In display type or large headlines, some pairs of letters may need a little extra attention. To kern manually, place your cursor between two letters, and change the Kerning value in the Character panel.

Tip: To kern quickly and visually, place your cursor between any two letters; then press Option (Mac) or Alt (Win) and click the left or right arrow keys on the keyboard.


Image taken from InDesign CC tutorial.

Visualising different relationship in life

World-renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini is famous for creating bizarre mutant creatures.

Posted by ABC ARTS on Thursday, 24 March 2016


Patricia Piccinini: A Dark Fairytale – previewWorld-renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini is famous for creating bizarre mutant creatures. Next Tuesday’s installment of ABC TV’s ‘Creatives’ examines her roots and influences, along with the profound impact the death of her mother had on her work.Patricia Piccinini: A Dark Fairytale | 10pm Tuesday March 29 on ABC TV and ABC iview.

Posted by ABC ARTS on Thursday, 24 March 2016

Roundtable Discussion 2012: The State of Design in Malaysia

The State of Design in Malaysia – A Roundtable discourse in IcoD Design Week in Sarawak.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 3.04.06 PM

This is a dossier that was done through the discussion about design in Malaysia among local and international designers, what is ed educators and practitioners in the Sarawak Design week in 2012.

It was released rather late. I got to know about it in 2014. But at least its out. What’s more important is the content of the discussions. Its rate to have the design discourse in Malaysia documented as such. For that an applause should be given to the people who have put their efforts and hard work in making this happen.

I think we should have more design discourse (which is currently happening a lot in Malaysia) just that not many of the discourse can be accessed. This is because most of it focus on discussions but not on documentation. To get the voice out is to get the information spread out widely to every part of Malaysia (and the world if possible) to every designer (the first and foremost) and to others who is interested.

We should have a hub that provide all this archive beside that are fully funded and supported by the design industry and institutions such as MRM. Sadly it is more an efforts ( a very good effort) made by the Malaysian design archive to host it.

Its a valuable reference and it should be read by all so called designer and design academic in Malaysia. This is hope that the designers in Malaysia can have an idea about the state of design in Malaysia, or at least to have an overview of Malaysian design status. Furthermore to know the design community in Malaysia and who is Dato Johan Ariff.

You can read more about the Dossier The State of Design in Malaysia here.

Round Table Discussion 2012

Happy Chinese New Year 

This year Chinese New Year (CNY) is the monkey year. Let’s hope that all the monkey business will go well and that we all will be happy and live well together in this year.

Happy New Year my dear bloggers and visitors.

Design thinking enhancing ideas

When I saw this video published by a friend in YouTube I was stunned watching Jihong Yeom  a Korean designer twisting the wired hanger and transforming it to what ever you can think of. But what more interesting here is not only his ability to transform the hangers to another object but also his ways of seeing or visualising what he will do and also plans everything in his head.
I would like to discuss here the latter part in the this blog and yes if you watch his series in the Youtube you might be thinking ‘This is easy, anyone can do this, all you need is a hanger and a plier’. Indeed it looks easy, but what you’re missing here just, which would happen when you actually try to do it yourself, is that you have not much ideas of what to do and how to do it.
This is the technic of design thinking that anyone should be learning, and be aware that the wired hanger is just a tool to make anything that you think of happen. What really interesting is the thinking behind the designer Jihong Yeom, his process of visualising the object in a short time and then making it happen. His skills is not an overnight skills. It takes practice, trying and finding error, rework, rebuilt, rethink of a better way to approach and so on. Isn’t this is the design process that most successful designers do in their everyday life?


Yeom’s idea of designing the book holder was just to facilitates the way we can improve our life. to make life easier and to help each other. Not so much of to design something big, something awesome or  something fantastic. Simple idea can grow, and that is what each of us should be focussing on.

Watch Jihong Yeom

Happiness Project For George Town, a Visual Communication Class Project

This is a project that I did with my Visual Communication class. The idea comes from Dr. Chris Kueh from Edith Cowan University in Perth who is also working on the similar plan for his design students. We thought that it would be interesting to have a similar project based on a different city. So Chris will work on city of Freemantle, Perth and I will work on George Town, Penang.

In my visual comm class the project runs for 14 weeks with  110 students from different areas of design and arts, a mix between Graphic Comm. Design students, New Media Design students, Product Design Students, and Fine Arts students. The brief was short, as the whole idea of the project is based on the design thinking and the ideas that the students will discovered through out the process. The brief of the project is to visualised this: What does Happiness means for George Town, as a city? The students were taken on a trip to George Town in 2 buses, accompany by myself, and three tutors. I have designed the path for the students to go through and gathered some information. The idea behind this is to get the students (1st, 2nd and 3rd year of degree program) to discover the problems and then think of a way to facilitates the problem through design. Each of the students have to start documenting their design journey through personal blog. Most of the students are not familiar with having their own personal blog, as they are used to the site of social media such as FB and Instagram to post their thoughts, so creating their own blog is a new discovery for them.

There are lots our theres but here are some links.

Nur Azreen  Ng Seen Yen Blog Joan’s Blog Wong Shin Nin Blog Pong Ee Lin Blog Polly Lee Blog Nur Diyana Blog Chan Keat Tan Blog Amyhappyproject NgYunLai ChinPeiJun

Here is a video done by one of the student Ahnaf Hakimi.