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Crossing borders

Graphic designers recount how they overcame inexperience to land clients here and abroad.
By Portia Silva |

Every business venture entails risks, and the uncertainty increases when its proponents are either inexperienced or offer non-traditional services to a highly traditional market. Inksurge, a multi-disciplinary studio that accepts work for print, Web, and “anything related in between,” is one example of a business that transcended both roadblocks.


[related|post]Shortly after working for an established information technology firm, young graphic designers Rex Advincula and Joyce Tai founded Inskurge in 2002. The first two years of operation were only an experimental period for the partners; it was in 2004 that the business finally took off as “official, full-time work,” regularly receiving commissions here and abroad.  

Advincula, an IT graduate from AMA Computer School, says: “It has always been a dream for us to exploit the potential of the creative industry. It is of course hard to break in the market just like that, so we decided to shape Inksurge as more of a design offering rather than merely art pieces that generate income.


“It simply means that no project revolves around our ideas as artists alone. Our standards dictate that we have to be able to express ourselves and mash it up with the clients’ demands.” According to the partners, the goal of Inksurge as a team has always been to maintain good relations with clients so “they keep on coming back.” After all, the business has been heavily relying on word-of-mouth marketing ever since they started. Tai also reveals that their active participation in global design portals helped boost their exposure to foreign clients, including American music agency Buy Hip-Hop.


“The artistic process and creative vision put in for a project is the same for local and international clients. What we do have to take note of are certain elements, like shapes and colors, that might have varied meanings in different cultures,” says Advincula. Tai chimes in: “Constantly challenge your team not to repeat what has been done before.” Cases in point are the following works of Inksurge, catering to the requirements of specific audiences.


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