Monochrome To Colour (iii)

Okay, this is going to be a long post. So prepare your popcorns, the show’s starting!

PRESENTING TO YOU: Monochrome to Colour!

IMG_008x5In the front cover, a very simple layout is adopted. The title is framed up by a rectangular outline. It was initially a bold straight line, but taking a step backwards and looking at it, it felt very rigid and boring. I went on to trying out different stroke styles and finally decided on this one. It gave of a very sketchy impression, which totally fit into this cover page.

Also, in the front cover, the splatter-like background is actually taken from the first project we did in 2D, Lines. What I did was to scan in the works, and then selected a few to develop on by making it into a vector file, so as to eliminate the possibility of it being pixelated as I will be playing around with the scale of the texture.

In the previous post, I mentioned about using ‘handwritten’ fonts instead of clean and formal fonts. Indeed, using ‘handwritten’ fonts fits into the zine better as compared to using san serif fonts. However, I have also tried out different kind of ‘handwritten’ fonts before deciding on this simple ‘handwritten’ fonts.

IFC & Page 1

IMG_00a86Moving on to the IFC, it is kind of a mini introduction about myself. Laying then into three panels, with round text boxes placed at the thirds of every panel, it leads the eye from ‘text to image, down to text then image, then to the large image dominance of the last panel then to the text’. I post-processed the images to be de-saturated, near to monochrome, as I did not want it to be the main focus of the zine.

1st Panel (ALCOHOLIC)

If you haven’t known yet, I LOVE to drink but I AM NOT AN ALCOHOLIC.

This is the text which is in the description box:

People might call me an alcoholic, but the fact is, I’m not! Personally, I just like to try out different brands of beer, as well as appreciating the aroma, fragrance and the after taste of beer.


I love photography, and I believe a majority of creative people love it too. However, I have a side hobby other then photography, and that is to photograph super cars around town.

I have a part time hobby, and that is go around town and hunt for supercars.

3rd Panel (SNEAKERS!)

Well, I LOVE SNEAKERS. Do I need to say more? 13 pairs should explain everything I guess?

Since young, I have been obssessed with the beauty of shoes, and how shoes can complement a set of outfit. Till date, I have a range of collections with 13 pairs of shoes.

Page 1

Moving on to the first page, it is about me going into university after polytechnic ans National Service. The background in first page are actually the sketches I have done back in Poly days, while I was in Product Design. It fades in from the IFC, so that it leads the viewer to the first page after reading the IFC.

The text box and heading is centralised as it is sort of an introductory description about me enrolling into university for further studies. I did not really want to clutter the page with images as the background is already one with plenty of sketches, which was sufficient to fill up the page. The heading and text in the middle would supplement the page and it feels complete just like that. Again, it is in monochrome, and I used white font on a grey text box, such that it separates with the cluttered background.

Here’s the text:
After spending three years in polytechnic, followed by two years of National Service, it was time for me to further my studies. Hence I applied for university.

All that i have achieved in polytechnic would now become a thing of the past, a fond memory which will always stay with me.

Moving on to university, it would be a whole new exeprience i would say. From meeting new friends from different backgrounds, learning new skills as an undergraduate, to looking things at a whole new perspective.

IMG_0s087Page 2 & 3

Right smack in the middle of the zine, pages 2 and 3, talks about the transition I have into university. This spread would be the last pages that are in monochrome. Shall not bore you guys with the words, as I will be putting them below.

In terms of the layout, I chose my 3D project to fill up the whole spread as it would be interesting to have a huge image to showcase the details in my model making. I also felt that this model was very nicely done and I liked it a lot, hence including this into my zine. Before deciding on this orientation, I actually did a lot of rotating in illustrator, just to look for the correct angle which complements the layout and also look aesthetically pleasing at the same time. This orientation of the image has the spiky parts pointing towards the right of the spread, which was perfect for me to add in my heading and text information. In this spread, I also used white fonts on grey text frames, as my background was dark and the texts will feel like it is floating on nowhere if there was just the texts and no frames.

Here is how I feel when I first started University:
Initially, I thought university would function like how any normal polytechnic would.

I have never been so wrong in my life.

University studies felt more independent, where one has to plan his own timetable, and take responsibility for his own education. I have to admit it was quite a culture shock for me at the start. However, as time passed by, things took a turn for the better with the help and advise from my friends.

If one were to ask me how I survived the first foundation year, I would say it was my friends who motivated me to push on.

Why circular text boxes in my pages?

In my IFC , pages 2 and 3, used circular text boxes as I felt that the images used were not very ‘loud’ and it would look super boring if I were to use rectangular boxes to frame up my texts. By using circular text frames, it would make subject more interesting to read and it is also pleasing to the eye.

IMG_0s088Page 3 and IBC

-Page 3-

Finally some colours! This the last part of the transition, which is me, currently in university. By monochrome to colour, colour means the new perspective I have seen in University as compared to my past, and also the things I have learnt in the foundation year itself.

In this spread, it is a shared spread. The layout style is similar to the previous page, but this spread has a strong separation. In the middle of the page is from a 2D project, Typographic Portrait, where I am a bottle opener. As a product designer, naturally I will like things related to products. Another reason for selecting this to be in the middle is the symmetrical aesthetics it has.

In Page 3, the man with angel wings is actually me, popping out from the corner of the page. By having ‘me’ popping out, it symbolises ‘me’ reflecting on my foundation year and my experience in university.

So how do I feel about the upcoming years in Uni?
It has been a very fun and interesting foundation year for me, despite all the whining to each other about the lack of time we have for our projects. Well, these experiences are just part and parcel in the life of a arts/ design student isn’t it?

I find it amazing where so many different designs can be produced, when the same brief is given to everyone. This is one of the reasons why I chose to continue doing Product Design. I feel that through different design outcomes, one can actually see the thought process of an individual.

Looking forward to the upcoming year in university, it would definitely be rewarding in terms of experience, and I would certainly be excited to meet new friends and learn from their experiences.


In the IBC, there is a lightbulb vector again, popping out of from the corner of the page, with a rectangular text box on top of it. It talks about the different people I have met in University, and my excitement to meet new people and gain new experience. With similar styles in the two pages/ one spread, there is a focus on the text boxes, which leads viewer to the images below it. I felt that this composition is more of unique? Usually I have images leading to texts, now I have texts leading to images.

Do I feel excited for the upcoming years?
In this foundation year I have interacted with people from different disciplines, made friends who had strengths in different education aspects. It was really an eye-opener for me as I was able to step out of my comfort zone, allowed myself to observe and learn these valuable skills from them.

Graduating from this foundation year and advancing to specialisation, I believe that I would meet more people from even more interesting backgrounds, as well as gaining more exposure to the real working world.That being said, I am also prepared to step out of my comfort zone to accept the challenges I have in the upcoming years of university education.

*Fun fact: The background is also taken from the ‘Lines’ project!*

Realised that it isn’t circular text frames on both pages anymore?

Reason: These two pages are very heavy on imagery and graphics, I felt that it could actually strike a more balanced composition using rectangles. It could work with circular frames, but it worked BETTER in rectangles.




So how do I look here? Yes this is me, holding up my shirt. Before this image was a more cropped off image which didn’t sit well in the frame. After which i found this image which luckily, fitted well in this frame, creating a stable triangular composition. I took the image, posterised the images and brought down the saturation.

Having the hand extending out of the frame as an extra touch gives a more dimensional impression. I felt that it was necessary as it would actually feel very constrained if i were to fit the image into the frame entirely.

Again, the frame is also done using a sketchy stroke, and the background pattern is in sync with the front cover which actually shows a consistency in terms of style. Being front and back covers, having consistency in styles gives the zine a sense of character which I feel that is very important in any publication.

With this, I shall sign off as a graduate from ADM Foundation 2D!
I have made some awesome friends in class which I believe to be very important in the future as I would never know when I need their help with anything. I have also seen how creative my friends are and I believe that I can also be like them one day.

It has been an exciting and fun journey with Shirley, and I would have her to thank to be able to pull through this 2D module. Without her guidance and teachings, I would still be stucked in my comfort zone, not willing to try out new things in my work.

Thank you Shirley.

Monochrome To Colour (ii)

Right, as mentioned in the previous post, I have done up some rough sketches for my zine and here goes.

img030 img031

The same concept remains, in terms of minimal layout, clean fonts and bold typeface as seen in the sketches. I felt that this was the style which I really like as I have seen a a few inspirations online as well as in real life, at exhibitions and shows.

What I did next was to source for all my works in the past, be it hobbyist photography, works done in polytechnic, and also works that are done in ADM foundation.




sketch compiles

20151022_154142-01 ME-01-01-01



Wonder why are there no explanations? Well, they are all in the FINAL post where everything is put together, and proudly presented to all of you!

Monochrome To Colour (i)

Finally the last project for 2D! TO be honest, it felt very surreal having to end the semester so soon. We were just having illustrator lessons and now I’m here updating my OSS for the last project of 2D.

So the last project for the foundation year was zine, somewhat your own publication. With that being said, it was a free brief as to the style and the kind of paper we wanted, which also means everything was up to us.

Being our ‘own’ publication of 8 pages, I wanted to create my zine with entirely works of my own. With this idea, I started researching on zine ideas where I came across alot of different creative and inspirational zines. I wanted my zine to be more minimal, large graphics and solid lines to present my works.

In terms of font selection, I thought of using cleaner and simpler fonts, but it felt very formal and corporate. After consultation with Shirley, we decided on ‘handwritten’ type of fonts, so as to bring a friendlier approach since it was a more personal project reflecting on our work.

I have named my zine to be ‘Monochrome to Colour‘, as I wanted to include works from the past in polytechnic and then transit the viewer to my current university life; as well my showcasing my works in my ADM foundation year.

Below are some of the research and inspirations I have for my zine:


Together with all these layout guides found online, I had a rough idea on how I want to execute my work. But first, I had some rough sketches done up, which is what I have been doing since the very first project. I feel that by including the sketching phase in my creative process aids me alot in my development as sketching is instant and I do not need to worry about the idea disappearing just because I am stuck with the technical parts on software. And so, I went on sketching and indeed, more ideas became clearer and I found how to better execute my ideas.

To the next post please!


Here are the 6 final images for my project, Point Of View, with the subject as a potato.

Project 2-01
A potato in the point of view of Master Q. is best buddy.

How this idea came about as my first idea was that this Hong Kong comic back in the 90s, were all the hype. Relating this to my project, using a potato, it is a very straightforward understanding. Instead of using Master Q himself in the composition, I used the colours of his clothes, which I thought would be the most iconic feature of this character. Placing Mr. Potato in black and white would allow him to stand out from the colourful background. Another detail to be mentioned would be the placement of Mr. Potato at the thirds of the composition. This would make the image more interesting to look at, as well as showing the full details of the background.

Project 2-02A potato in the point of view of rock is weakling.

Next up is a round of game fight between the muscular rock and the ignorant potato. Potato is jealous of the rock, who is so strong and tough, hence trained day and night to come to this day, where he can take him one on one. The image is formed with an arcade game fighting scene, where there are elements where one can see in a typical classic arcade fighting game. The rock, naturally strong and tough, need not do anythings to show his prowess, while the weak potato is trying very hard to prove that his training is going to pay off, and that he is stronger than the rock. This brings me to the composition, where the rock is placed in the two-thirds while the potato is placed in the one-thirds of the image to show the hierarchy of their size.

Project 2-03A potato in the point of view of a knife is shave.

We humans go to the barbers to cut our hair. So where do potatoes go to? Barbers too. This image is 3D rendered, and the potato is shown sitting on a chair, waiting for its hairdresser, the butterfly knife to attend to him.

The setup is based on a retro barber shop, with black and white tilings and red chairs. The potato again is placed at one-third of the image to make the image more interesting to look at, as well as to suggest a sense of depth in the barber shop.

Project 2-04A potato in the point of view of Russia is vodka.

VODKA! Many of us do not know that one of vodka’s ingredient is potato. Upon knowing about this fun fact, I decided to go ahead with the idea of relating vodka and potato. After more in-depth research, I found out that Russians drink alot to keep their body warm, hence the decision to include Russia into the image.

The image above is inspired by the statue of liberty in New York, just in the context of a potato. The potato is holding a bottle of vodka, and he is clad in the potato sack which symbolises the Russia flag.

In composition context, it is a central triangular composition so as to convey the impression of the stability of the image, similar to how stable the Statue of Liberty is.

Project 2-05A potato in the point of view of foil is a superstar.

Often we consume potato chips and dispose of the packaging. In this image, it shows that actually, when the potato is inside the packaging, they are labelled as a superstar awaiting their time of glory (when we open up the packaging).

The shirt, is made with the inner side of the packaging of potato chips, to bring the image into the context of them living in the their glamourous world. The skin acts as their hair, to make them look more suave and superstar-like.

It is a central composition with radiating lights which brings the viewer’s eyes to the potato, making him the focus of the image.

Project 2-06A potato in the point of view of an artist is stamping.

Lastly, we remember that we used to cut shapes out from raw potatoes, paint them, and then stamp them onto a blank piece of paper. This idea inspired me to make use of potatoes, to compose this image instead of including potato in it.

Inspired from Piet Mondrian’s “Composition” artwork, I took reference from his masterpiece, and recreated his work, out of stamping. The reason for choosing his work is because it comprises of the 3 primary colours, red green and blue.

Why red, green and blue? It brings us back to the basis of art, where the first few colours we interact with are these three basic colours. With the wooden frames, the whole image would simulate an artwork being framed and hung up in a museum.

When Potatoes Potate.


With the initial 18 ideas which I thought could be developed, I filtered them down to what seems to be more interesting to work with. As such, I started to build my final art works. There wouldn’t be much talking, so let the pictures do the talking!


Cutting potatoes up into shapes just like how we used to do it when we were younger.




Here’s where the fun part comes in. Putting in the colours!


I have to admit that it wasn’t easy to actually achieve straight lines using potato slices.


Putting colour onto the shapes which i cut prior to the actual painting process.


TADA! Nope, this is not the final piece. This is just 10%(?) I left this to dry so that I can continue with other colours without smudging them together. So next up, making the frame!


After measuring a suitable size for the ‘frame’, I proceeded to cut out 4 sides of the ‘frame’ and then used wooden laminates to wrap it, to simulate a wooden frame.




And the ‘wooden frames’ are done! After this part, the black paint have dried already, which means I can continue putting in the other colours.



*inserts fast forward footage*

Alright, done with composing the artworks! As for the other 5 images, they were more or less digitally illustrated, I would reveal them in their final form in the next post. Till then!

Looking at things dffiernetly.

My name is Hong Sheng and I am done with Project 1. This new project is going to be something like, what if one day you wake up, and you find out that you have turned into something else? How would you look at everything around you? Which also means, using an object, and look at things from THEIR perspective: Point Of View.

Given this project brief, the first and only thing that came to my mind was to use potato as my subject. Yes, potato. So here are some “point of view” ideations when I first started.


Once again, as always.

A start of a new semester, and of course, the start of a new project! Given this project brief, I found the project interesting as we are going to put our name into context of something. Having the freedom to explore ‘anything’, I was able to allow myself to go into different directions so as to come up with interesting ideas.

First off, research is the most important part of this project. With no research, there wouldn’t be inspirations or any ideas on what I wanted to do. And so, I started my research.

What is typography?

Typography is the design and use of typefaces as a means of communication. It is considered to have begun with Gutenberg and the development of movable type. But typography has its roots in handwritten letter forms. Typography encompasses everything from calligraphy through digital type and type on Web pages. It also includes type designers who create new letter forms as well as designers and calligraphers who use the letters as part of their designs.

– Typography uses typefaces and the white space around and through them to create a whole design.

I also researched about the anatomy of a font type, as I have always been very interested in the study of a font type. There are actually different parts in a single font, as well as the spacings between the fonts, they have terms for it too! So this is an infographic on the different parts of the font.


After looking up on typography design, I came across some images which would be some of my inspirations for the project. I wanted my work to be more of minimal, straight to the point, playing with negative/ positive spaces and of course, a piece of work that is visually pleasing.


half_m typography_logo_17 pause_m 09_typography_in_logo

After looking up the web for inspirations, I began exploring on what I could be. I gave myself room to be open to anything, so I can arrive at different interesting ideas. Eliminating and filtering out, there were several ideas that I thought could be quite interesting to go into further development. And so, sketches and ideas started to generate in the sketch book, which brings you to the Process post

Till then!


When ideas starts to get churned out.


Having done up the research in the previous post, I went ahead with the ideation process where I filtered down my explorations to the few selections below (eliminating 2 out of the 6):

1) My name is Hong Sheng and I am a Playground
2) My name is Hong Sheng and I am a Circuit Board
3) My name is Hong Sheng and I am Beer
4) My name is Hong Sheng and I am a Waffle
5) My name is Hong Sheng and I am a Scientist
6) My name is Hong Sheng and I am a Magnet


I chose playground as one of the further developments as I found the subject itself interesting to play around with, especially the slides, and stairs leading up to the upper platform. Having chosen this subject to develop, I proceeded with the sketches to generate more ideas.


Using ‘Sheng’ in my name written in Mandarin, I made use of one stroke in the character to be the slide as I found it to fit perfectly into the context. With this discovery, this shall be into one of the finals! Not this of course, the final one would be modelled out and rendered to bring out the context.





Well, as a product designer, as well as partly a geek, I chose a circuit board to represent me. Being just straight lines, I found it relatively easy to work around with. To make the final outcome more meaningful(?), I actually planned to have a piece of green acrylic mounted and have the metal circuits to be created by think stripes of tape. However, after seeing the sketch below, I believe you would understand why I did not select this to be one of the final artworks to be submitted.


Here’s the reason why. After sketching out the concept, I found that it was actually quite plain looking. Even if i executed the idea with different materials, it would definitely look nice but it will not be as interesting as the others I would feel.




save water, drink beer. (kidding)

Beer, being my favourite-est beverage, is also chosen to be an experimental subject for this project. After ecploring around the area of beer foam, I found that I got stuck working with beer foam. Therefore, I steered myself towards another direction without leaving the beer topic. And that is… BOTTLE OPENER! Without a bottle opener, how would one have access to beer right? So I went forth to develop the idea of ME as a bottle opener.


I realised that I could actually play with negative space in this case. The H in my name could actually be the opener, and the S could actually be the handle. Now this is interesting. While doodling on this idea, I thought to myself how awesome would it be to have a bottle opener which is inspired from my name. This also means, it’s going for the finalist selection!



Not much of a reason why I chose waffle to be one the further developments, just that I really like waffles a lot. Bearing this favourite snack in mind, I thought that the grids could be of an interesting aspect of the waffle I could work on. Other than the repeated patterns that forms the waffle, an idea struck me while I was considering the execution of this work: materials. I decided to play around and explore different paper textures to achieve a different result, as compared to just a print. BUT! First things first, sketch it out!


Using freehand sketch, I managed to get hold of the basic shape of the waffle which I wanted. After drawing it out, I proceeded to scan the sketch into the computer and make the drawing into a vector so that it was easier to work with.


Having done so, it was time for me to add life to it, so it looks like a waffle, not just a monotone sketch. After this was done, I knew I had to add in something to put this waffle into context, say some honey?


In illustrator, I got hold of the vector of honey and put them at the top. The idea behind this was to show the honey flowing down the waffle which is my name. Also, to simulate the liquidity of the honey itself, I considered this to be printed on glossy paper.




Why scientist? To be honest, I was never good in my science since young. People might say, why do you still like science when you’re not good at it? Well, I dislike science, but I love LAB TIME. It was just like a playground to me. All the apparatus, tools etc. They were all very interesting to me. This was why I chose scientist as one of the shortlisted subject. Not aspiring to be a scientist, but to just enjoy playing around around with the apparatus.


The initial sketch was satisfactory, forming ‘HONG’ with lab equipment, resting them on a test tube rack, where it is supposed to be. Happy with the sketch, I brought this idea further in Illustrator.


Using purely vectors, I wanted to keep this subject as simple as it could be lest it becomes too cluttered when I add in too much details. I wanted the focus to be on the main apparatus, not the small details. There will still be details, but they are not the main focus. However, after looking at the digital sketch, I felt that it could be pushed even further.




Magnets have always been a very intriguing object to me. How could a plain piece of metal be attracted to each other?! Hence, I went to look it up more in-depth in Google, and came across images like what you see above. I found these lines very interesting and got me inspired.


Magnets have N and S ends in order for them to be attracted to the opposite side. What if the N and S ends are changes to H and S ? This is the inspiration I got from magnets. Other than being two ends of a piece of metal, could I be a magnetic field? I don’t know. I got stuck. As much as I got stuck, I did not let go of this idea as I really like it. I wanted to use real magnet to see if things could work out, but eventually it did not. Which means, MAGNETO IS OUTZ.

With these processes, I was able to decide between the 6, which 4 to select for the final submission. They are:

  1. P_ _ _ _ _
  2. S _ _ _ _ _ _
  3. W_ _ _ _ _
  4. B_ _ _ _ _


The Fantastic Four.


First off, inspired by the iconic dragon playground in Singapore, the first final artwork is this.

no it’s not this.

This is the one.


Using my chinese name ‘SHENG’ in mandarin character, it is modeled out in 3D and then rendered. To further enhance this image, the small details you see that makes up the character and the border around it are actually tiles which is used in playgrounds in the past. Colours used are very friendly and it pops as there is an image of a HDB building in grayscale. I feel that this composition brings out the ‘feel’ of the past, whereby playgrounds are actually the heaven for children.

Bottle openerPrint

This, is also modeled in 3D and then rendered to a image. Composition, made up of 6 beer bottles, 3 pairs of repeated colourways. The 3 colours represent my 3 favourite breweries, Corona, Carlsberg and Heineken. They are placed in such a way where all the bottle points to the main focus, which is ‘me’, a bottle opener, also rendered in red.



After printing out the vector image of the scientist that forms my name, I felt that something was still missing. *YES THE TEST TUBE RACK IS MADE OF WOOD!* Realising this ‘further enhancement’, I gave the test tube rack its ‘skin’ which is a artificial wooden laminate. Upon adding the wooden laminate to simulate the test tube rack, I felt that it complete the art work which filled up the ’emptiness’ I felt while executing it.


Before the finale, some behind-the-scenes on how I put this piece of work together after printing.


Printed out on textured paper, it did give the waffle a contextual sense of touch. It looked more like a waffle as compared to printing it on normal paper.20160216_004836

Cutting them out was not an easy job as the edges had to be relatively smooth, else it would not look as ‘crispy’ as a fresh waffle would. Next up would be the ‘glossy’ honey I mentioned earlier.20160216_005909

One could not really tell from the photo, but it is printed on glossy paper and then laminated with a glossy finish. The finish was exactly what I wanted to achieve.



This final piece is my favourite one, not that I am biased against waffles, but I really like how the different textured paper brought about a sense of touch and sight. Other than physical aspects, I felt that the colours in this artwork worked out well, simple yet straight to the point.

And this sums up my first project of 2016! Till next project!