A better title would have been “Five brutally honest but not necessarily nice things that young designers might not be eager to hear” but it would have been too long, and — who’d like to read that?

The inspiration for this post came from Mitch Goldstein — who posted a few days ago a call to designers to share thoughts with soon-to-graduate students (read the thread on Twitter, some of the answers are insightful and smart):

I left the Academy of Arts 25 years ago and I…

I love design, yet I’m filtering it, I’m opting out of it, I’m killing it. I confess: I’m torn.

Here’s my predicament:

On one hand, I do appreciate — after more than 25 years of design practice — a beautiful, well-crafted website. I can get really envious (because my websites are always put together in a hurry) when I see beautiful typography systems, with well-paired typefaces and generous white…

While talking to one of my colleagues, a few days ago, I had an epiphany regarding one of the most important — yet underestimated — designer skills: the ability to create order. Meaningful order.

The power to organize and clean up fuzzy datasets

Everyone has a favorite definition of design — mine is Victor Papanek’s:

Design is the conscious effort to impose a meaningful order.

— Victor Papanek

Meaningful order refers, for me, not only to • expressive order in layers of symbolism, • aesthetically satisfying order in shape and rhythm or •…

Empty gate at Hamad International Airport in Doha at sunrise. © Cristian Kit Paul.

I traveled far and often during the last few years — in 2018 alone I boarded 50 flights and spent more than 200 hours in the air, enough to circle the globe 3.4 times — mostly for business and mostly to Asia. So my friends started asking me — do I have any travel advice? Well, here is what I learned.

First, the important stuff

  1. Important: check that your passport doesn’t expire in the next 6 months. You probably won’t be able to use it if it does;
  2. Important: in order to be able to know at all times where your boarding passes, passport and immigration forms are, keep them in one place that doesn’t…

The Keymaker is an old program and his past is obscure

Keymaker in his shop, Hong Kong. © Cristian Kit Paul.

“The future is already here,” says Mr. Gibson, “it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Pure brilliance, of course, but reverse-engineer it and this holds equally true when observing the past: spotty and unevenly mapped, yet very much still here, solidified into time-glaciers receded into the crevices of Hong Kong like some sort of time-fjords of past one can navigate equipped with only a good pair of sneakers as a powerful time machine.

“Only a magic goldfish that grants no wishes,” she thought, “might live forever”

Berlin. © Cristian Kit Paul.

The estrangement, the strong dark shadows and the surreal 23-letter sign — where is De Chirico when you need him? After jumpstarting the “illusionist” surrealism for Dali, Ernst, Tanguy and Magritte with his oneiric pittura metafisica, De Chirico suddenly went batshit crazy at 30, pretending he’s a Titian-league classicist. He was very far from it, but believed he got better as he got older.

Aren’t we all?

Born under the sign of The Dark Side of the Moon

Istanbul. © Cristian ·Kit· Paul.

There are the 12 usual signs of the zodiac, of course — Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and, finally, Pisces — and little did I know about the other, hidden signs. The incomprehensible, mysterious ones, carried by chosen people living eternal lives in the oldest cities of the world.

Then, one day, I met a man born under the sign of The Dark Side of the Moon.

Cristian Kit Paul

Designer, co-founder of Brandient.

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