My ball and chain

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My ball and chain

it gives me comfort;

makes me feel safe.

At times its heavy;

weighs me down.

But I drag it along

because I need it.

My ball and chain

brings false sense of happiness; false security.

This we do not see,

until we’ve created our own happiness.

Our own security.

That DAMN ball and chain…

I still need it.

I don’t want to need it.

How can I do without it? …Oh how.


COVER DESIGN TIPS Part 4 of 4: Procrastination and chitter chatter


I’ve been procrastinating on this last post for cover design tips and what I’ve learnt in publishing.

Originally I was suppose to write about the client brief and deadlines. Then I realised that I’ve already spoken about ‘briefing a designer’… Hmmm, a recap and detour is needed!

But as far as deadlines are concerned, there’s nothing much you can say about them except that they are there for a reason, and they will be here to stay no matter what industry you’re in. The sooner you start seeing it as your friend – rather than your enemy – the less you’ll despise it. There’s two reasons why someone hate deadlines: 1) they miss them all the time, and 2) they not being set realistically. Other ailments are bad communication and bad management. These are factors that make deadlines seem like a black hole and unreachable. Set reachable and more frequent deadlines.

Why I found this last post on what I’ve learnt in publishing hard is quite simple actually. Everyone appreciates the truth, right? And the truth is I’m afraid to end this phase of my design blog posts because what I’ve learnt in publishing is what I know today. And since I’ve written about that already… what happens next?

What’s next will be what I’m learning and discovering now. I’ll be doing my very best to teach you what I know and what I’m learning, new people I’ve come across, interviews with other book designers, new learnings in book design, and business events I’ve attended. I’ll share with you my learnings and views of these events to help fuel the work and life we lead.

Something I’ve been facing particularly this week is that freelancing is not easy. Duh! We all know this and people warn you about this. But neither is working for a boss. What’s difficult is how we view our work. Our skill. Our belief in ourselves is what will make or break us. People will throw their opinions at you whether you want it or not. You need to ignore what’s poisonous or absorb what’s good for you.

I’m grateful for this post. This post is a retrospective. A lesson I’ve learnt while working with agile methodologies..


So here’s a quick recap of all the posts I’ve written on things I’ve learnt in traditional publishing:

Intro to what I’ve learnt in traditonal publishing

The spec handover

The book grid

The spec design

Typefaces and fonts

Thoughts and tips on feedback, criticism, typesetting and the book plan

The book cover

Cover artwork

Cover design tips: Part 1 of 4

Cover design tips: Part 2 of 4 – Typography

Cover design tips: Part 3 of 4 – Colour


Hope you enjoyed and learnt something from these posts. Even if it was just one thing.

But as all good things, sometimes they need to end so that you are forced to start afresh. I plan to do just that with my next posts.

Stay curious. Stay tuned.