When we first got our assignment of producing a zine, I was pretty excited. I always wanted to create my very own magazine to show my friends and I am glad to learn InDesign because this skill is essential in the magazine industry.

Art Direction & Concept of Zine

I initially wanted to tap on the concept of ‘Love’ for my zine. I’ve complied a list of stories that I wanted to write about love from the previous assignment, ‘Point of View’. However, our tutor advised us to try to not tap on other concepts and it would be better to showcase the work that we have done in semester 1 & 2. *Guess I’d have to leave my ‘Love’ to next year’s assignments then. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to complied my past works into one magazine. I thought that it is also a great opportunity for me to prepare a portfolio where I can show my future interviewer the works that I have done in school.

I didn’t include everything that I have done into the zine but instead, I chose the best works and incorporated them into my portfolio to the best of my ability. The concept for my zine would be professional and creative. I want it to be eye catching and interesting. It is crucial in the selection of content. However, I knew that because I am using my past works for this assignment, formulation of content is relatively less important than composition now. I categorized my works into 3 categories: Photography, Arts & Crafts & Illustration. All these in which I have experimented in 2D class.

Front & Back Cover

1 2 Front Cover 3


For Presentation ConfirmedFront

For Presentation Confirmed

I particularly liked my ‘Less Reliance on Coffee & Pills’ visual from semester 1 assignment, ‘Ego’. I felt that almost all the modules that I have taken requires me to consume large amount of coffee and pills. Not that it is something very bad but I love the irony of showcasing the zine yet the cover is a representation of what created and holds the work together. I spent a great deal of time trying to produce an impressive front cover. I wanted to convey the idea of ‘Then & Now’ where Then represents the work that I’ve done in semester 1 and ‘Now’ represent the work that I have done this semester. To give the idea of ‘Then’ I chose to incorporate the visual of a old school TV screen as the background for ‘Then’ to represent the past and created a 3D effect on ‘Now’ to represent modern and new. To further add on to the appeal of the front cover, I overlay the image and text such that the pills are lying on top of the words.

It is with multiple of experiments playing with the sizes and focus of the texts  and imagery before I took a step back and look at my front cover. Sometimes, visuals have to be evaluated from both close and far. I felt that the entire composition looks really messy and it lacked focus. Everything on the front cover is desperately trying to grab your attention.

Without further ado, I scarp off the huge old school and 3D texts and replaced it with a simple black title font encased in a rectangle. We learnt that placing visual in the middle can be boring and mundane. Yet, I still went ahead to place my title in the middle. This is because the pills have already created an asymmetrical visual on the front cover. Hence, the placement of the title in the middle is negligible. In addition, the colours on the pills is able to compensate for the black on the title and box.


For Presentation Confirmed copy

I was struggling to think of what to put at the back. I initially wanted to leave the back blank. But I thought I could incorporate more visuals that I’ve done. Bearing in mind that I cannot randomly choose a subject to place at the back, I opened up my files to search for relevant associated with coffee or pills. I thought that the ‘coffee & pancakes topped with maple syrup’ (Hello, My Name is Dan & I am Sweet) visual from ‘Typographic Portraits” fit the composition well since the front cover have coffee stains. Hence, it makes perfect sense to place the visual beside it.

In addition, the pills on the front cover are piling up and increasing from left to right. Hence, the main focus is on the top right. To give the visual a better balance, the coffee is placed on the bottom left.


For Presentation Confirmed2

Moving on to Photography, I flipped open numerous magazines to get inspiration. Since my concept is professional, I left the background white. Another reason is because I want my photos to pop out from the zine. Hence, I don’t want any distractions in the background.

Title Consideration

The title font is a consideration when I piece the photos together. I chose a clean cut and bold font to represent photography because the photos I used are mostly strong and high in contrast between the subject and the background.

Hierarchy System

For Presentation Confirmed2 copy

I wanted to included my photography work ‘Wisdom + Bravery = Confidence’ from my ‘Ego’ assignment. I played with the sizes of the frames and initially placed the Confidence on the round frame. I wanted to convey the idea of hierarchy system where Wisdom and Bravery is supporting Confidence.

However, based on the composition of the photos itself, it is better to consider of the direction in which the subject of the photo is looking. Hence, I placed ‘Wisdom’ looking to the right on the left, ‘Confidence’ looking to the left on the right and ‘Bravery’ looking straight in the middle. The end results gives the photos a dynamic triangular presentation.

Flow of Subject’s Focus

For Presentation Confirmed2



The focus of the model on the left in the top right photo is the strongest. Hence, I placed the image at the top and it occupies more space as compared to the other two photos. The two models are looking at each other in the middle photo. Hence, they are placed on the center. The model on the right is the main focus in the third photo.

In totality, there is a flow of focus in the right tier from left to right as it flows down.

Arts & Crafts

I’d consider myself to be the weakest in arts and crafts. I hate to do things hands-on where I have to get my hands ‘dirty’. However in 2D, I experimented with things I don’t know would work in the end but went on eventually. Most of the arts and crafts project came out decent or better than I expected. It is also because I felt that my arts and crafts work is the weakest, I placed the spread in the middle. They say always place your strongest work on the front and back.

This was my initial composition.

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I felt that my ‘Hello, My Name is Dan & I am Disgusting’ visual is the most eye catching visual. Hence, I dedicated one page for it on the right. I also placed the two other visuals from ‘Point of View’ in it and they are chosen because both visuals are colourful; rainbow-like. To compensate for the colours, the title is left black. However, I hated the spread. I felt embarrassed by the composition I produced for Arts & Crafts. I hated it so much because it is so plain and boring.

Change in Overall Design

I decided to play around with the composition again. I removed the boring title and the double lined box and replaced it with a boundless white text on grey circles of varying sizes and opacity. The reason for using round shapes is because it complements with the rectangular images or else everything will look too angular. It is because the images itself are pretty loud (gruesome meat & colourful canvas), I chose to use white and black for the title so as to not distract the reader too much away from the photos.

Focus is Important

I cropped out the box and the image tightly, showing only the meat itself. This brings focus wholly to the meat. In addition, I expanded the image such that it filled out through the bleed. Doing it this way will make the image pop out more.

Size Matters

Playing with image sizes, the two other photos are scaled smaller than the meat. After doing so, I felt that the spread is too plain without any description of the process. Hence, I wrote a short description of what materials I used and the inspiration behind the work of the 3 works. As compared to the initial spread, this new spread is definitely more appealing and interesting in composition. I also felt that the reading of this spread is also much easier as compared to the initial spread.

For Presentation Confirmed3


I felt that my ‘Illustration’ spread is the strongest among the rest. This is due to the eye-catching ‘In the pink of health’ from my previous assignment, ‘Ego’.

For Presentation Confirmed4

Title Consideration

In illustrations, it is common to use brushes to form your design. I used Levi brush to design the title because I felt that it best represents the idea of brushes.


I scaled the fire visual so largely such that it fills up the entire left page. In addition, to make the spread more appealing, I placed it on one-third of the spread.  Since the background of the fire visual is black, I decided to make the entire spread black. This enables my visuals to pop out more.

Title Fonts Relevant to Work Presented

Since we are pushing for the idea of brushes, I looked back at my past works to find the visual that utilize beautiful brushes. I felt that my ‘Humpty Dumpty had a great fall’ from ‘Nursery Rhymes’ done in semester 1 is a perfect representation. Hence, I incorporated that into my spread.

Direct Reader’s Attention to 1 Focus Point

In the original visual, the shattered glasses reached the top of the egg. In order to make the spread more interesting, I expanded the image and added more shattered glasses on top of the egg yolk. The resultant look is able to direct the reader’s attention from the egg to the top, and the title. I also flipped the fire image such that I am looking to the right. This would divert the readers attention to the title on the right. In the end, both the fire and the egg is going towards one focus point: The title.


I felt that I’ve grown a lot as a designer. I have learnt a lot from this final assignment in terms of composition and technical skills. I am glad to learn InDesign because there are many uses for it.


Point of View – Crayons

For this assignment, I decided to use crayons as my object. My initial object was love but I think I will leave it for assignment 3. Crayons came as a spontaneous idea during consultation and my tutor told me that clients could throw you a random object and ask you to work on it in the industry and you have to base on your creativity to make it work. Hence, I took on the challenge to explore crayons as my object.

I am someone who prefer more of graphic designing and a little photography but this is the first time I am working with art and craft. To be honest, I don’t really like craft because I am not exactly very good with small little things and getting hands-on and messy. But for this project, I decided to go all out. This assignment have a mix of art and craft, photography and digital imaging.

Crayon in the point of view of Easter Day is egg art

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I boiled the eggs for it to be hot before I can sprinkled the crayons bits on it.

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I planned ahead the colour coordination before spinkling by putting the colours in the same as well as contrasting colours.

  • Yellow, red and orange.
  • Red, purple, and blue.
  • White, blue and green.

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I’d like to named my first experiment the ‘Disappointed egg’. The colour look really bad on the brown egg and it was a mistake of mine to melt light green on the dark blue because it doesn’t really complement the colours.

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I tried to dye the eggs in purple food colouring but still, it looks really off with brown eggs.

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WHITE EGGS TO THE RESCUE. Not a lot of places sell white eggs so I had to deliberately go to the high end supermarket to purchase it.

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Because I ran out of bottle caps, I constructed a makeshift system to hold on the hot eggs while I sprinkle crayons bits on it.

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The texture that appeared on the eggs are beautiful and interesting. I really love the end state where the colours complemented each other giving the eggs a gem like look.

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With the hair dryer, I can make the textured effect more obvious.

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Mixing the crayon bits together.

10l3wo10l482 10l3yp

Spirnkling the magic on the hot white eggs. They are really hot and I burnt my fingers a few times.

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I took my eggs up to ADM to take photos of them. I also bought chocolate eggs and place it around my gemstones to further enhance the textured effect as they contrast with each other.

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Post-production where I focused on the turquoise egg by increasing the focus and blurring the rest of the eggs especially the orange one at the back because it stole the attention away.

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In addition, I cropped the image tighter to reduce the appearance of the orange egg.


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Crayon in the point of view of fire is a candle.

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I initially placed it on metallic gold paper but I want a clear reflective image of the crayons, hence I switched to sliver.

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I lited the crayons with fire and it was pretty weak at first but it became bigger as time goes by. I discovered that the fire thrive on the liquid wax instead of the paper around the crayons.


I initially placed all the candles together and wanted to use the full image as my final work. However, the exploration of cropping my images came after consultation and I found it more interesting.


I cropped it to just three candles instead.

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Equal standing.

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It was a tough decision between the image above and below. The image above shows movement of the flames and it is not easy to capture the short flame. However, I felt that the image below has more ‘story’ and it is much more interesting as a composition. Thus, I chose the image below as my final work.


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Crayon in the point of view of an empty canvas is a galaxy / burst of colours

When it comes to creating the burst of colours, I had to plan the colours in advance as well. I chose to colour orange and green; purple and blue together because they are analogous.

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I started off by placing the green crayon on the canvas an using hair dryer to blow it.

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I wanted to give up half way because I simply cannot mix the colours well and it look really awful that I used my fork to scribble around because I was frustrated. However, I persisted and the colour managed to mix with with each other and the resultant texture was interesting as well.

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To further illustrate the idea of a galaxy, I melted the white crayon and splattered it on the canvas to make it look like a burst of stars across the universe.

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I initially settled for the idea of the galaxy but I further enhance the idea but creating a sphere made of melted crayons in blue and green and place it at the corner of the canvas. I placed it on orange because orange contrast with blue.




Crayon in the point of view of a girl is make up

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Inspiration for eyeshadow – Purple eyeshadow

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Application of a little purple crayon on the eyes.

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Inspirations for hairstyle – Wet comb back look

I had a vision for a wet hair look for my models. Hence, I researched on it.

penelope-cruze-slicked-back-wet-hair-look Jeremy-Scott

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Use of a lot of water to comb on the hair.

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I initially placed a black background but it was too small to cover everything.

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Photos worthy of mention

IMG_5144 IMG_5145 IMG_5146



The chose the image above in the end because the focus of both of my friends’ eye is really strong and in this visual, composition takes precedence. They are both placed in the center with my friend’s face trying to match my other friend’s face. To further emphasize the focus on my friends’ eyes, I cropped the image tightly to create a pyramid perspective.



Crayon in the point of view of light is a man

When it comes to compositing this visual, I had to place the crayons on a white piece of paper, switch off all lights in the room and shine the light at one spot.

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However, I couldn’t get the image right and it look really off due to the lines created from the crayon breaks.


I decided to photoshop the face of a man to the visual.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

I initially settled for the image above but I decided to further enhance and make the visual more realistic by adding lines from the original image to the face.

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Crayon in the point of view of a toddler are french fries. 

This is the last visual that I explored. I had a tough time coming with the idea but I decided to superimpose my niece into the visual and adding fries as grass and rain. I use purple as the background because it contrast well with yellow and I placed my niece at the 1/3 of the image to make the visual more interesting.

french fries2

I change my idea and tried to make the fries more subtle by changing the rain to yellow crayons only.

french fries3

However, I ditched this image because this is really not my style and it just does not look very presentable or interesting or relevant. Hence, I changed the concept. My final image is simple but more relevant to the title. I superimpose a macdonald fries holder holding only yellow crayons to make it look like french fries. I use black as the backrgound because it contrast well with yellow and red. I added light smoke to the french fries to make it look like it’s piping hot and delicious. I also place the subject at the 1/3 of the image to make it more interesting as a visual.



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Lesson Learnt

From this assignment, I learnt the importance of adaptability. Clients can throw you also random product for you to market and it is your job to make it as appealing and attractive as possible. I am more confident when it comes to working with random ideas now.

Typography Portraits

I am Free

I would like to call it ‘Birds of Paradise’ too. A universal representation of freedom would be birds. Hence, I decided to explore typography with birds.

Below was my initial idea. I downloaded birds brush tools and tried to paint it on the photograph. However, I felt that it does not look as convincing and use of photographs as background is not advisable. Hence, I decided to change the look.

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I decided to manipulate birds of different colours to form the shape of my name.

I started off with using an outline of my name in text.

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I find images of different birds online. I prefer to find those of colour as it will make the composition more appealing.

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Manipulation of the birds

I find birds of suitable shapes and place them on the letters. I mostly use the skew tool to change the shape of the birds.

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For the background, I chose the sky because it contrasted well with the colourful birds. White and blue also represents freedom. I lowered the opacity and applied gaussian blur to the background to make the foreground stand out further.

Loose feathers were added individually to give the composition a more realistic look.

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End State

Birds of paradise BIRDS


I am Sweet

To give off the idea of sweetness, I feel that maple syrup would be a good representation as it is often used to complement pancakes and waffles.

Initially, I placed the pancakes in the middle and the cutleries at the side. However, after consultation putting it at the side would make it visually more interesting.

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Pancakes are duplicated and lightened to make it look like there are numerous pancakes.

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Table cloth was added to make it look more interesting.

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I was trying to make this pancake look more like pancakes because many of my friends thought that this is latte art. Hence, I played with scaling and added a cup of coffee next to it to emphasise the size of the platesScreen Shot 2016-02-16 at 21.56.19

To make the coffee more realistic, I added smoke using smoke brush. I also rotated the cup such that the light is accurately shining from one point in the composition.

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Importance of layers with different styles.

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Only one layer visible below. (Does not look as appealing)

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I wanted to use a white background but went ahead with a dark brown background instead for better contrast.

End State

Pancakes 4

A5 horizontal Brochure Cover A5 horizontal Brochure Display


I am Abstract


I was always fascinated with Piet Mondrian’s work and marvelled how simple yet appealing his artworks are. Hence I decided to recreate that look and add my name to it.

In Piet Mondrian’s most notable artwork, he simplified the subjects of his paintings down to the most basic elements, in order to reveal the essence of the mystical energy in the balance of forces that governed nature and the universe.

mondrian_1 inspired_bei_mondrian_by_manshonyagger-d35kfou 3265711_orig

First Draft


Second draft

In the first draft, the ‘D’ is not obvious. Hence, I added ‘sides’ to make it look more like the letter ‘D’. I initially placed ‘DAN’ in the middle but change it to the side instead because it would make the composition more interesting.


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End State

The end state looks cleaner and full.





I am Disgusting

This idea came up pretty last minute after I finalised my 4 designs. I was surfing the net for more ideas when I chanced upon this typography where it is a texture of human skin with wound stitches on it. My very first reaction was disgust and it is memorable to me even after I tried searching for other typography designs. I wanted to create a similar typography digitally but I was afraid that it may not be as realistic. Hence, I decided to try creating it hands-on.

I’m someone who likes things that are gory and bloody. I always wanted to try something related to it and I thought this is the perfect opportunity.


Being an avid fan of American Horror Story, this idea looks similar to a scene in the show where one of the character actually stitched herself to two other people while she is still awake. (She was very high at that moment). I remembered that I was disgusted watching that scene as well. I guess why certain ideas worked because it creates a shock value and that image did a good job on it. The director managed to disgust the audience by showing something which is out of the world; crazy. I wanted to create the same effect on my audience.

Here are some inspirations from American Horror Story.

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I was thinking of where I could purchase something that is similar to human skin. I went to the supermarket to look around and I decided to go on with the pig trotters. I bought some thick and thin needles and black threads and proceed on to sew onto the meat. (I didn’t managed to take many photos because my hands are all dirty from touching the slimy meat.)

I also looked up on Youtube on how to stitch a wound and I wanted to stitch on the skin but the pig’s skin was really really tough. It is almost impermeable and the needle I used was pretty thick yet I still cannot pierce through. (It’s like a Nokia phone, so strong) In the end, I had to slice the skin really strongly with a knife and stitch on the meat inside instead.



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It takes patience to slowly stitch and I took hours interacting with the meat. It is quite heavy and hard to handle it. It was not easy to form the letters. While I was working on the meat, I was actually watching the American Horror Story scene at the same time. I have to confess that I actually had a ‘moment’ stitching the meat.

Creation of box

I painted the box with white acrylic paint and tried to give it a textured look. White background would contrast well with the skin and blood. I dabbed red food colouring on my fingers before splattering on all sides of the box.zaa2u

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I was pretty much affected by the entire process; sawing through the skin and fats and piercing through the raw meat. It was a bloodied process. After stitching, I dabbed on the stitches with red ink again to emphasis on the outline. I initially wanted to name it ‘I am in Pain’ but I couldn’t shake off how disgusted I felt, with the meat and myself. I decided to name it ‘I am Disgusting’ instead.

I looked up for the meaning on dictionary to be sure.

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(And to be honest, this is the sickest work I have ever done to date. I was thinking how did Lady Gaga managed to wear that meat dress on that night!)

End State



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I am Brand-Obssessed

Use of gold Versace & Chanel buttons on black velvet background to give off luxurious feel. ‘Ng’ is my surname.


I am Brand-Obssessed

List of my favourite brands. ‘D’ in Prada, ‘A’ in Versace and ‘N’ in Givenchy forms my name vertically.


I am a Coffee Addict

Superimposing my name on coffee foam as coffee art.


I am a Coffee Addict

Use of coffee stains to form my name.

Coffee Stains

I am Messy

Ironically arranging random items to make it look messy and slipshod.