Welp! It’s finally here, the final 2D post of Sem. 1 :’D


I was initially inspired by Japanese Packaging/Brand Design from stores such as Kinokuniya and MUJI.

Their effective use of simple shapes and colours caught my interest and I delved into reading about Japanese Graphic Design.

In my research I was trying to look for distinct identifying features of the style, but I couldn’t figure just what exactly it was

Things that did stand out to me though, were their use of typography, simple shapes/designs, abstractions, and their ability to (seemingly) haphazardly toss things together and still make it work.

Not finding the “thing that makes it Japanese” so to speak, made me constantly worry if the designs I made were or were not going to be of the aesthetic. My fears were eased a little after Joy shared some links and a quote saying

“People ask me to define Japanese graphic design, and I can only respond, “Well, it’s kind of difficult, and here’s a long explanation as to why.” It’s hard to narrow it down to one definitive characteristic because it’s just so diverse. ”

And this open-endedness leads to the challenging aspect I was facing, but also, large room for interpretation.

I also have this want to have some degree of variety in the designs cause I’m afraid it’ll come off as “Hey look he doing the same thing over and over again”. Which is kinda funny, cause inevitably there’d usually be some recurring aspects to everyones work.

Another thing that I was afraid of, was as my reference material had so much Japanese typography, I was afraid of relying on them to tie the piece together, and so I made it a point to make sure the designs were solid enough before I added the typographical aspects in. With that, now onto –





I find myself constantly thinking constantly, analyzing especially OVERanalyzing. The different aspects of my thoughts are portrayed by the collage of different brains and it also signifies the messiness of my mind as well. The green rectangle is my pursuit to think outside the box. A quote “As above, so below” which means that things are a reflection of things elsewhere, inspired me to make an illusion to trick the brain with word MIND reflected at the bottom. However, this isn’t actually the case, and only seems like it at first glance, even if rotated, the words below is actually DNIM.


The first thing that came to my mind when thinking of creativity is a burst of ideas. I tried to capture that visual in my head with this very motion graphic inspired look, with a radial flare of shapes and colours. The blue squares in the middle represent the creative process going from a pale idea to something more solid and vibrant. Currently, I associate creativity with school, and the corner elements represent tape that people use to stick up their art work on walls.


These aspects come together in the form of a venn diagram, but these aspects alone do not make up ME as  a whole. As with a map’s compass in the corner, the ME’s around the square point outside the square to direct people to other aspects of me around in that squares reality/mindscape.




I wanted to parody Japanese coffee ads as they usually have a very macho undertone to them. I portrayed this with a buff arm, and a very strong red (with a subtle gradient). The price of 70 cents is how much I’d value my own ability, which I’m constantly satisfied with and hence, is like “cheap” coffee. I also debated for a long time where to put the price, I was told it was odd on the forearm and should be on the bicep or below the arm. After a while I realized I wanted it to be different and decided that I was just going to leave it where I initially placed it.


I often doubt my work, ideas and many other aspects in my life and for this square I wanted to create the illusion of a three dimensional space using simple shapes. Doubt makes me feel small and vulnerable and so, in this space, I put a reclusive, shy, red “embarrassed”, little man to portray how I feel. There’s also a small little notice on the wall, that has the Japanese word for doubt. The blueish-greyish combo helps contribute to the feeling of the cold, isolated and sad vibes in this image.


At first I wanted to parody newspaper ads that always tell people to eat this and do that to improve themseves and be a better person. But me, not wanting to repeat the idea of an ad, went with another representation, mutants! Mutants are like humans, only “BETTER”. Hence, I had a head shooting out lasers, like Cyclops of the X-men. I managed to reference the ads I mentioned at the start, by placing the head on a snow-caped mountain. The “snow” however, is made of newspaper. The head on top of the “ad” mountain represents me rising above the need/want of manufactured self-improvement. Behind the head is a radiant wobbly aura of coloured light, showing my advancement into a higher state.




The factory represents my idea of just PURE output of work, a factory. And I went with a muddy toxic-waste green with no depth to further push the idea of flat soul-less work. I was also inspired by manhole covers in Japan, and my mind relates them to industrial imagery. There’s a little reference to my inspiration in the symbol next to the factory as these manholes have the city’s logo on them. The symbol in this square, is of Kagoshima, My mothers hometown.


This one was a little tongue-in-cheek with the drug reference. My previous research of psychedelics, I read about peoples profound changes in perspectives and their life. I thought that this could be what combats the dull, emotionless factory-like nature of output. I used sharp, bright and electrifying colours to bring a feeling of excitement or liveliness. In trip reports of LSD, people see angular geometric shapes. They also sometimes get moments or sounds, playing repetitively in their perceptions, hence the background. Reports also tell of meeting higher beings that tell them about life and ego (hey hey hey!) and I represented this with these funky cat people. However, I am not advocating drug use of any sort, these are substances that require supervision, discernment and are not to be trifled with. It can exacerbate mental issues that people have, and speed up the development of these issues. Bad trips also happen where the person experiences hours of terrifying imagery and sounds and have to wait it all out till it’s over. Hence, I put this foreboding skull peeking out behind the head to signify these looming dangers of psychedelics.


Cold hard output, overcome by changes in outlook and mindset creates a me where ideas flow freely and coming from me with genuine thoughts and feelings. These concepts flowing out of my mind in vibrant colors, my eyes glazed over in visuals of food. The environment further pushing the vibes of calm, blissful tranquility. However, an ideal is not what I’d consider an end. In the Japanese dramas that i’ve seen my mother watch, at the end of an episode, there’s always a “to be continued” in the bottom right corner. Referencing that, I’ve place the words “ideal” (in japanese) in the same spot signifying that this is always going to have an aspect of progress.




When I thought of settled, the first thing that popped into my head was an image of a bowl and a red ball fitting snuggly inside. It exuded vibes of being settled and calmness, sort of like when you’re wrapped up warmly in bed. A bowl of rice is also rather settling in a End-of-the-day-sitting-down-and-eating-dinner-with-the-rest-of-the-day-behind-you type feeling. Other things that give me a sense of calmness is being high up in the sky. Peaceful, wide open space. So a bowl of rice, high up in the sky, encapsulates all these ideas and feelings into one. Most importantly though, is that in 5 years, I want to feel calm and settled in my work, not necessarily at an end goal, but with a clear and definite direction that it’s going to (ideally).


I was inspired by a play I saw, Kafka on the Shore, an adaptation of a Murakami book. In the play, the sets where in large transparent boxes on wheels. When the scene change or evolved, the stagehands could roll the set pieces around dynamically. Going with this as a portrayal of mobility, I used images of nature, to represent the aspect of calmness as well. Moving is often a rather stressful event, but I want to be mobile but not frazzled by it. The names the squares sometimes to do entirely encapsulate the vibes that often overlap in my mind. The dots represent my want to be able to assimilate into whatever location I’d be in, like the green dots, trying to blend into the green background.

2020 (ME IN 5 YEARS)

I’ve often thought about going elsewhere and setting up shop elsewhere in the work. Being settled in my work + the ability to be mobile would allow me to do so as with a clear path, I’d know where my boundaries lie. This square shows me going about the globe, and I’d hope to be doing something related to the arts when I do so. I didn’t just go with the visual of a map and a plane flying around as I also wanted to emphasize the aspect of soothing calmness, and I find that space gives me that same feeling. The stars sparkling in the sky always gives me that sense of calmness and awe that I’d also want to feel in that stage of life (+ every other stage. Wouldn’t we all hahaha?)

In closing, I’d like to say thanks to everyone for all the nice comments and support. The post-it notes really help and are always heartwarming and always encouraging :’D


MUCH THANKS TO JOY!! for being such a supportive and nurturing lecturer to our artistic sides (and our stomachs). I really appreciate the help you’ve given!


This week, I find myself mulling over my designs. Whether they fall under the category of ‘Japanese Aesthetics’ so to speak. Whilst making them, I do feel so, but when comparing against my reference materials, I start to get unsure. I’m not sure if this is due to actual faltering from the aesthetic, or unsatisfactory feelings when compared to the pros. (I’m guessing/hoping it’s the latter)

Internal struggles aside, It’s also been a bit of a bummer when certain ideas don’t seem to come to fruition and I scramble for an alternative. Like for example, for my ‘Psychedelics’ square, I couldn’t handle the messy psychedelic collage mediums, nor could I juggle my own variation of it. Fortunately though, whatever I’ve come up with subsequently, I’ve quite liked.

Been listening to a lot of music that I associate with with the look I’m going for, to get into the headspace as well.

Seiji Takahashi – Gion

Just a couple of the designs W.I.Ps (the colours look WAY different here, in fact, pretty awful on this site, once uploaded, hopefully this is just the site compression + forced rgb?)

And for one complete line (some W.I.Ps)

Been thinking of the advice of keeping relative scale in check as well, the line seems to have worked! Still worried that the most photorealistic heavy designs might not fit in with the rest :/

Also mentioned rather early on, was the element of typography in Japanese Graphic Design, something I find to be missing from most of my squares.

But debating between whether use of Japanese text is a clutch in making the aesthetics count as “Japanese”. I guess it’s made me stray away from putting them in blatantly. (There’s actually some in 2 of the squares posted here). But I do want to make more use of it as well, but without relying on it for the design entirely. Making sure that the design is solid on it’s own before I add the typographic elements in.

(ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧ ~ FINAL WEEK DESU ~ ✧・゚:*╰(✧∇✧╰)

For this EGO assignment, I have decided to go with a Japanese Aesthetic.

I’m really fascinated by the distinct look it has and my aim is to figure out how to convey the look in my own way.

The way they use typography, at first glance, looks so haphazard and doesn’t seem to follow any rules, and yet, it just seems to work.



I mean, look at this mess, but it does work. It ends up being the aesthetic. I figure, there must be a balance to be found, preventing it from plainly looking like JUST a mess. The same seems to extend into the more outlandish styles of Japanese Street Fashion.

Even their CD cases have the fat border on the left, pretty much a synonymous feature with Japanese Edition releases.

Their use of shapes and colour is also something I am currently delving into. I’ve noticed their usage of random shapes, which brings an almost child-like vibe to it, personally. Some of the illustrations are also what some would consider to actually be for children.


Still, I’m really intrigued by the mindset and process that ends up at these visuals.

One of my references will be the band Boredoms, one of my favourite bands, also referenced to in my Dadaism Post~

The closest thing they have to a frontman, is Yamantaka Eye (up in the air). He creates artwork for the band as well as for external projects and they range from psychedelic collages to (once again) simple shapes.

Some of it is pretty out there (as is their music), but I fully intend to utilize the visual style of his collages for one of the squares to convey a psychedelic vibe.

Other influences I will be drawing upon, Joy’s suggestion of researching into Japanese people has helped generate more ideas to source from. It’s been pretty fun, especially since stepping out of ideation limbo onto a definite visual track. Researching has also been enjoyable, particularly when ideas get sparked from unlikely sources!

Apologies as I can’t upload pictures of my work at the moment. I left my thumb drive that had my work at a printing shop and by the time I got there, they didn’t have it. :'(

Will do so as soon as I get back to my images in hall!



Colour Theory


There are two types of colour mixing, Additive and Subtractive

In both cases there are three primary colours, three secondary colours (colours made from 2 of the three primary colours in equal amounts), and one tertiary colour made from all three primary colours.



They both have different sets of primary colours.

(R)ed, (G)reen, (B)lue for Additive (C)yan, (M)agenta, (Y)ellow for Subtractive.

In Additive mixing, the combination of all the colours results in white. An example of mediums that use additive mixing would be lights and computer monitors

In Subtractive mixing, the combination results in Black, such as in paints or ink.

Colours come in various Hues and saturations. Hue is also known as “the colour of a colour”, in a pretty vague but comprehensible way.

Saturation, being the intensity of the colour.

I myself don’t fully understand how to use a colour wheel as of yet, but fortunately there are a variety of resources out there, such as the one below.

Colour theory

I also found this pretty cute tutorial on more practical use of colour theory!


Check out his other tutorials, they’re pretty nice and funny~

ALSO check out  – Adobe Kuler – as a starter for colour palettes








I think this activity really helps a lot.

It helped me look at a lot of aspects about myself that I either didn’t really notice, pay attention to, or things that weren’t at the forefront of my mind.

Really appreciate all the cool insights~  ( ̄▽ ̄)ノ

I am pretty happy with my lil’ hut in 2020 on the Singapore-Boat too, hahahaha.

Moving forward into the EGO Project

With the inclusion of colour, comes a balance I haven’t been able to figure out.

I’ve not been very good with colour schemes in the past, hopefully through this project I can improve quite a lot.


Since this project is an introspective one, an artist that sprang to mind was Kyle Thompson, a photographer, who’s work has a personal aspect.





While this isn’t a photography project, one thing that I really liked about his photos, was the tone of the colours and I’m looking to possibly incorporate those sorts of colours.

I had a couple others in mind as well, but I can’t seem to recall them at the moment, so what I did was to look through my Tumblr account that I haven’t really touched in awhile, but I was pretty sure there’d be stuff in there that’d be relevant.

Found a couple of things that are stirring some vague ideas out, about colour, designs and concepts.

Might update once I find more!