A Web History (Updated)

Some of you may not know that I don’t really have proper training in graphic design. You see, I am an Industrial Design graduate, and although we share the same foundation classes with the VisCom students, we focused on different things – and we didn’t focus on graphic design. Back then I would watch my VisCom friends do their plates and think that I’d rather make those than my plates (which were mostly engineering drawings). Also, this was the early ’00s, when going online was a relatively new thing (Friendster, anyone?) and owning your blog or posting in LJ was supposed to be really cool. I had delusions that I could write really well, so I started a blog (it was full of angst, no, ANGST).

I noticed that most users have very different layouts from the ones offered by LJ, and they were very popular. How did they do it? I wanted my blog to look as pretty as those! So I studied HTML, Photoshop, and soon CSS by myself. I spent about half of my weekly allowance on computer rental every week, just to figure out how they worked. We didn’t have laptops or wifi back then. ( If you were staying in the dorms like me and you’d want to go online, you’d go to the University Shopping Center to rent a PC.) Pretty soon someone gave me a domain name (andreavenge.happy-dagger.net! I know, so cheesy!) and I started making websites from scratch. Here are some samples of what I did in Livejournal, happy-dagger, and Multiply. I did so many in the span of 6 years (in 2010 I stopped blogging altogether). These are not examples of good design, lol. Some are even just trendy at the time and altogether really bad, but I’m posting them so you can see how I was back then.

My very first website. It sucks. What the hell?
The links for this design are those squares below. I know. WTF.
I just discovered Photoshop here. Hello Blurty and Livejournal! Yikes!
Boy, do I love iframes. And I never played this game! (I did play FF9, which is superior, come @ me.)
Dear readers of 2004, I am so, so sorry.
Y’all need to know that I am edgy when I was in college and I loved Tarantino movies. RIP Sally Menke.
Neon in the early 2000’s? It’s more common than you think. Also, was I really sure that I was taking an art degree?
I loved this because you need to “rub” the image to get the links, like Catholics do to their statues. It’s also very alienating. I still visit this statue in Manila when I get a chance.
Finally something a bit cleaner. But those brushes! They will haunt my little edgy heart forever!
Overdoing it in the Multiply Dot Com. Remember Multiply? We actually got paid for doing people’s layouts!
My last Multiply layout. I learned to keep it clean and stop abusing the filters. I stopped blogging and coding after this site.
Until Beruna Girl Dot Net! I was pretty rusty at coding but hey! Also, the logo needs work, oof. But what an improvement.
Our last iteration. I coded this from scratch and used a flat-file CMS. That was 5 years ago!

And I guess I learned graphic design this way. I wasn’t even keen on being the Next Big Thing or even looking for work; I just wanted to have a pretty blog. I got to learn how to use these programs and codes this way, and this, in turn, helped me in making projects and presentations. What I learned from all of these, I applied in school, and soon, at work. I didn’t even think that all of these would land me a job, or lead me to pursue graphic design. Back then I wasn’t aware that I was learning at all – I just thought it was a hobby that I was really passionate about. And if you think about it, learning should be kind of like this.

*Original post on June 24, 2012