Dialogue in the Dark

It was my second time at Dialogue in the Dark. Even though I knew what is going to happen, I still felt insecure. Because we are already so used to our sense of sight, the sudden moment of darkness scares me. My eyes kept trying to see things, but there is absolute darkness inside. Vision is of no use, we had to maximise all other senses, the sense of touch, hear and smell. I also rely strongly on the person in front of me. I have to trust her and our guide. Uncle Gary, the master of this environment, he guides us along and ensure that we are fine, hence it provide us with a sense of security.

I felt that Dialogue in the Dark pushes me out of my comfort zone orienting me to a world/ place without pictures and colours. After this experience, I learnt that not everyone is as fortunate as us, we should treasure the things that we have now and not take things for granted. I am also truly impressed by how positive Uncle Gary is,  like how he feel visually challenged people can accomplish wonders just by using other senses.

Task 1A: Exploratory Research

1. Current Issues Confronting Our World Today:

Plastic Waste

Sources: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-41866046/the-giant-mass-of-plastic-waste-taking-over-the-caribbean

The over consumption of resources and creation of plastics are creating a global crisis of waste disposal. The more developed countries are known for producing an excessive amount of waste or garbage and dumping their waste in the oceans and, less developed countries. Plastic, fast food, packaging and cheap electronic wastes threaten the well being of humans. Waste disposal is one of urgent current environmental problem.

Dying Dialects

Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/world/asia/china-beijing-dialect.html

The declining use of dialects among the younger generation has significantly reduced over the years. This issue is not just happening in Singapore, but also countries like Malaysia, China. etc. Articles have shown that Chinese parents from different dialect backgrounds do not want to burden their with learning dialects as it has no economic values. Parents are more concerned with the two main languages English and Mandarin. Even for my family, my parents tends to speak to us in Chinese or English. And they communicate with each other in Hokkien. Dialects are more commonly used among the older generation and this slow death with be an irreversible trend. We would hardly hear any youngsters speaking in dialects. 


Sources: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singaporeans-respect-all-races-but-racism-still-an-issue-survey

Despite Singapore trying to support multiracialism and cultivate racial harmony, with many saying they respect people from all races. However many said they have experienced racism or indicate that they hold racist attitudes. One of the most recent campaign featured Mediacorp actor Dennis Chew dressed in brownface while impersonating an Indian man and also cross-dressed to look like a Malay woman. This advertisement have sparked a controversy in Singapore as it is not the first time it has happened which have angered a lot of minorities. 


Sources: https://www.tnp.sg/news/others/maia-lee-people-judge-me-my-tattoos

To the public eye, tattoos are a taboo. The idea of leaving a permanent visual on one’s skin doesn’t favour with most people. Many people would imagined tattooed individuals to be unapproachable and fierce, going anywhere near them was a violation. Personally I feel times have changed now, younger generation now see tattoos as a form of art. However, the older generations still associated tattoos are ” bad” person. Some companies/ occupations like hiring manager etc.. do not accept employees to have tattoos.

2. Why is this issue important to you? Who does it affect and how?
Chosen Topic : Dying Dialects

Singapore has become more globalised over the years. Most young Singaporean are not able to speak their own dialect; Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew and more. There are much more fluent in English and Chinese. Similarly for myself,  I am unable to speak fluent Cantonese to my grandparents, my grandparents speak primarily in dialect. I am also ashamed to say, my grandparents tried speaking to us in Mandarin instead as they are trying to build better relationships with their us, grandchildren. 

  • Keep Culture and Languages Alive

I feel that although most Singaporean speak English as our first language, it is also important to maintain a link in our roots, or a part of our culture would be eased in the next generation.

  • To Build Bond with Elderly

Next is many elderly in Singapore speaks in their dialects. Being able to connect in the same language makes interaction a more human experience. You break down the walls of the individuals who require help, allowing them to open up to you. Communicating and connecting with the older generation in dialect will help in rekindling the relationship between all generations.

  • Dialect helps to Save Lives

Dialect is also very important in our healthcare industry. Doctors, nurses, social workers and even volunteer have to know dialects as they need to interact frequently with dialect- speaking patients. Imagine a situation where you meet a senior, the conversation could not go further than a few phases.

3. Who do you need to communicate to, and why?

Target Audience: Younger Generations (After the 1990s)

Target to youths in Singapore between 16-28. Younger generations who understand the importance of communicating with elderly, giving them a chance to speak for themselves, they deserve to be heard. Or for grandchildren to learn simple phases to form greater bond with their grandparents. Or anyone who are interested in learning a new language to keep our culture and language alive and to pass down these culture to younger generation.

4. How has visual communication contributed to address the cause?

Example 1:

Designer/ Organization: Simple Learn Hokkien by Simon Bacher , Medium: Mobile application, Year: 2017

Mobile application was created to teach those people who are interested in learning Hokkien. The icons were simple and direct, which makes it easy for users to understand. It teaches more advanced Hokkien like forming sentences. However I felt that this application lack of images and colour.

Example 2:

Example 3:

Designer/ Organization: Koh Kuan Eng , Medium: Flashcards and Books


The 46- year-old ex-creative director, Koh Kuan Eng created a series of flashcard, books and many other items for his seven year old nephew who could not communicate with his grandparents in their native Hokkien dialect. Each flashcards come with the illustration of an object, objects we faced everyday and its dialect pronunciation.

The used of bright colours and playful fonts make it very suitable for young children. Children tend to have shorter attention span, hence the simple and straightforward words and illustration helps to convey the message quickly.

“Dialects is like an old friend. A friend who grew up with us. And we have lost touch with this friend for quite a number of years now. It’s time to get in touch again with this friend; a friend who not only reminds us of who we are but also where we come from.” – Kuan Eng

Project 2- Hamadryas Baboon

Click here for presentation slides : Hamadryas Baboons

Research: After doing my research, I found the unique point of my baboons. And it is that they usually come across looking like very aggressive, and very scary beasts, but the reality is in most instances they will not seek to actually attack and kill their deadly enemies that they come across. 

Instead, baboons will try greatly over exaggerate their dangerous image and bluff their way into intimidating and scaring off other animals that they themselves genuine  fear off. The baboon’s major predators are humans, leopards and the cheetahs. Knowing that they can easily kill or injure them. So what they do is to strut in a threatening manner while showing their teeth.

Title: I’m Gentle and don’t love trouble

Event: Date a Baboon Party

Target Audience: Single (looking for a date), Family, Couples

Hierarchy: When the reader look at this fierce baboon and followed by the title “Im gentle and dont love trouble.” They will be curious how this dangerous looking baboon be gentle. This is to hook them into reading the body. Where they decode the hidden message and understand that baboon exaggerate their dangerous image in order to protect themselves from being eaten up. Then after they read the body text. They may want to interacte with the baboons what they can do is login into the website to get their tickets. I feel that date and location is very important so the size is larger than the body text.

Design Elements : Lines, Texture and Size

Lines to show the form of a baboon. And texture to emphasis on the frown of the baboon. And I have also increase the size of its 2 large teeth.

Design Principles : Gestalt Law of Closure, Asymmetrical and Balance

 Even though the baboon is cropped, our brain still perceive this figure in their complete appearance. The poster also shows a sense balance. Although the design are arranged asymmetrically, The baboon on the left and the text on the right. It still create the impression of equality in weight.

Colours Palette : Pastel Pink, Yellow and Black

Pink and yellow to give off the positive and warm comforting feeling. Black background with pink polka dots, which helps to bring out the fun element .I tried using pastel colour in the previous poster, however I realised using a dark background helps to bring out the contrast and the poster won’t look as flat.

Typeface : Baskerville and Avenir 

I chose to use baskerville for my headings. Baskerville are transitional serif typefaces. It has a more rounded serif. It generally appear to be softer and more elegant. Which creates a friendly yet authoritative feel.  Body text, I used a sans serif typeface because there are more words. If I were to use a serif typeface, it will be harder to read as there are more strokes. So using a sans serif typeface, it will look more direct, more clean and minimal.






Project 1- Hamadryas Baboon

Stage 1 : Mindmap/ ResearchHamadryas Baboon

The hamadryas baboon is a species of baboon from the Old World monkey family. They can only found in a very specific area of the world: Africa and Arabia. Hamadryas baboons are very social animals. They spend hours grooming each other and communicate in many different ways, such as calls, scents, and gestures.

Physical Description

The males baboons are often twice as large as females. The fur of males is silver-white in color and they have a pronounced cape which they develop around the age of ten, while the females are capeless and brown. Their faces range in color from red to tan to a dark brown.

Baboons usually come across looking very aggressive and scary. But in reality,  they will not seek to actually attack and kill their deadly enemies that they come across. Instead, baboon will try greatly over exaggerate  their dangerous image and bluff their way into intimidating and scaring off other animals that they are genuine scared off.

Both male and female baboons have reddish-pink padded bottoms that make it more comfortable for them to sit on rocks to sleep, or the hard ground when they are foraging around for food.


Unlike other monkeys, baboons stay on the ground most of the time. They are primarily terrestrial, but will sleep in trees or on cliffs at night. An opportunistic feeder, it will take a wide variety of foods, including grass, fruit, roots and tubers, seeds, leaves, buds and insects.  Baboons may also hunt small mammals, including hares and young gazelle.

I drew out the main features and characteristics of a baboon. They have a strong torso, a dog like muzzle. Hamadryas baboon have wide and sharp nose.  Long sharp canine teeth and a powerful jaw. They also have long and flexible arms that allow them to pick up and place objects very delicately.


Stage 2: Logos

Stage 3: Thumbnail sketches

Stage 4: Final Sketches

Stage 5: Colour Studies