Q&A: Inksurge

Manila-based Inksurge is the brainchild of Rex and Joyce, style broadcasters and coffee junkies. We talk to the pair about their BUYHIPHOP website, working with international clients and, of course, coffee

Computer Arts: What does Inksurge do? Who are your typical clients?
Inksurge: We craft all things with love, therefore we only work for clients that have the same vision as us, perhaps a common ground to the things we are passionate about. Our clients usually come from the art and entertainment-related industries.

CA: You've recently completed a website entitled BUYHIPHOP. What's it about?
IS: BUYHIPHOP Media Ventures is a Franco-American enterprise. It's an urban design and production studio that supports hip hop and urban-minded enterprises with graphic design and interactive solutions for the web, television and video.

CA: Being based in the Philippines, how do you find working with clients as far away as the USA, Australia and Europe?
IS: Because of the different cultures, we notice that there are small things that could really matter - colours and the elements we use may be appealing to us, but not to them. Sometimes you need to research not just for the project itself, but also for the culture you are working in. Other than that, we think that it doesn't matter where you are based any more, or at least that's how we see it.

CA: What's the design scene like in the Philippines? Do you think there is a Filipino design style?
IS: We can't say that there is a strong Filipino design style since our culture has relied on so many others. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how the designer looks at it. You could fall into a group where you get inspired by culture or you could be one who tends to wait for the latest trend. But then you just end up imitating that style. There are loads of like-minded individuals or small groups in different design fields collaborating for the improvement of the design scene. We are delighted to be a part of that.

CA: How does coffee help your work?
IS: Recently we've been extremely bummed-out because our usual coffee hangout has been closed down. That's how much coffee matters to us.

CA: You have an experimental space called schema. What are your plans for that?
IS: Schema was supposed to be an online collaboration with artists we love to work with. It enables designers to discover new things - processes and experiences. We were very happy with the results of the first one and are now looking forward to another. But we need to mend our eye-bags first.

CA: Our cover feature this issue is on self-promotion. Have you got any advice for designers who want to get noticed?
IS: As Alex Garland said in The Beach: "Never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience and if it hurts, it's probably working."

INFO: Find out more about Inksurge's work by visiting www.inksurge.com, http://schema.inksurge.com or www.buyhiphop.com.