History of Design (Graphic Design) #3

For Lecture 4, what piqued my interest the most was the slide on Chairs at Margate by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. I was really drawn by this image, for some reason. Maybe because it was black and white, or because of its unusual half-half composition, and the light dark contrast.

I found a short documentary which highlights the prolific career of Moholy-Nagy through archive footage, photographs and animations.  Produced by John Halas in 1990, the film outlines Moholy-Nagy’s career beginning with his early explorations with light and photography, all the way to his appointment as youngest instructor in Bauhaus in Chicago 1937 by Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus School.

Slightly sidetracking but- While researching about Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, I found this website  where you can download high quality copies of original dada works, remix them and share them back in the gallery. It was pretty cool to see modern reworkings of Moholy-Nagy’s works.

Remixes by Andre Lucifero (Left) and Paolo Vicentini(Right)

Okay, back to the Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy! He was considered  one of the most influential thinkers, designers and art educators of the first half of the twentieth century. He is also commonly acknowledged as a modern twentieth century Renaissance Man as he engages with numerous materials, and fields (within applied arts + fine arts). Additionally, he is influenced by many art movements, and is an influence himself in these art movements-       “‘He did a number of drawings and paintings in Hungary which were really influenced by Cubism, before Dada seeped into his consciousness,’ the curator explains. The Dada aesthetic of experimentation and radicalism particularly appealed to Moholy-Nagy, as did Constructivist abstraction.”

As a multi-hyphenate, Moholy-Nagy did painting, photography, graphic design and typography. Some of his works:

Moholy-Nagy was the most interested in experimenting with light, space and form. His interest in qualities of space, time, and light endured throughout his career and transcended the very different media he employed. Whether he was painting or creating “photograms” (photographs made without the use of a camera or negative) or crafting sculptures made of transparent Plexiglass, he was ultimately interested in studying how all these basic elements interacted together.

Double Loop (1946)

Through his use of diverse mediums and participation in multiple fields/movements, you can tell that Maholy-Nagy tried to adopt the attitude Gesamtkunstwerk, total work of art. His legacy was to avoid the narrowing of experience through single-minded professionalism and careerism by encouraging the mastery of all techniques towards uninhibited plurality and imagination. Most importantly, he taught people to think – that designing is a euphemism for thinking, and that “man, not the product, is the end in view”.


More reading links:

History of Design (Graphic Design) #2

For Lecture 3, what piqued my interest the most was the slide on Gustav Klimt’s Poster for the First Vienna Secession Exhibition. I really liked the composition of the poster. I felt that the use of white negative space in the middle was really unique and rather editorial. I also liked how the warrior at the right is the only thing that is coloured, making her the focal point. She adds unbalance to the whole poster, but also ties both horizontal sections, the top(image) and bottom(text), nicely together. Lastly, the sans serif display type with curvylinear feels used in the poster is also quite interesting- especially when you look at the very thin and slanted S, the stacking of the double LLs, the width of the letter N and the slightly curved top and bottom lines of E, et cetera!

Gustav Klimt, Poster for the First Secession Exhibition (censored version), 1898, lithograph, 63.5 x 46.9 (The Museum of Modern Art)
Gustav Klimt, Poster for the First Secession Exhibition 
  (censored version), 1898, lithograph, 63.5 x 46.9 
            (The Museum of Modern Art)

Desmond briefly talked about how this was Poster for the First Vienna Secession Exhibition in Austria, but what I didn’t know was that the Vienna Secession was an art movement itself. I had assumed that it was a kind of yearly/monthly exhibition called Vienna Secession. But through more research, I came to realise that it was an important movement in Austria!

The formation of the Vienna Secession in 1897, marked the formal beginning of modern art in Austria. During that time, Austria was a nation known for its highly conservative traditions. The Vienna Secession was created as a reaction to the conservatism of the artistic institutions in the Austrian capital at the end of the 19th century.

Back then, two principle institutions dominated the Visual Arts in the years prior to the secession : The Akademie de bildende Kunste (the Academy of fine arts) and the Kunstlerhaus Genessenschaft – a private exhibiting society founded in 1861.

Any established artists during that time would be a part of the Kuntlerhaus society. Works from the group would be selected/rejected yearly for public exhibitions at. Vienna’s main exhibition halls, Ringtrasse buildings. However, with Vienna’s conservatism, it was not uncommon for modernist thinking artists (like impressionists, etc) to have their works rejected in favour of the prevalent naturalism of academic painting, during these juried selections. Conservative artists were favoured and members efforts in decorative and applied arts were discouraged.

Hence, the younger, more progressive members in Kunstlerhaus began to meet regularly at either two cafés to discuss works from emerging modern artists and exchange their own ideas. Eventually, these meetings culmulated into the forming of 2 informal art societies.

Cafe The Blaues Freihaus was home to the group called “Hagenbund”, who were mostly painters. They still tended more towards naturalism. Café Sperl was the haunt of the more exclusive “Siebener Club (Club of Seven)” formed in 1894-95. The Siebener Club consisted of a more diverse crowd (architects, graphic designers, painters), and was more towards stylization. Both groups shared a commitment to new art and a frustration at what they saw as a stagnation of the arts by the Academy and the Kunstlerhaus.

Gustav Klimt, who was a famed decorator for Ringtrasse buildings at that time even began visiting the Siebener Club. Despite Klimt being highly renoun in the bourgeois Ringtrasse culture, he became the most recognized breakaway artist. Eventually, he assumed leadership of the new movement that was about to begin.

On April 3, 1897, a letter was announcing the formation of a new group with Klimt as president was given to the Kuntslerhaus. Many members of the new movement were present members of Kuntslerhaus. They had intended to stay in Kuntslerhaus, while also being a part of the new group. However, on May 22nd a motion of censure against the new group was put forth by the directors of Kuntlerhaus. Thus, the group decided to resign and leave the Kuntlerhaus

Eventually, “The Vienna Secession” was born. It was the coalescence of the first movement of artists and designers who were committed to a forward-thinking, internationalist view of the art world, all-encompassing in its embrace and integration of genres and fields. Whats interesting about this movement is that it doesnt have a specific style/trend, which most other art movements have. Their pluralist approach to the arts makes this movement unique. The Vienna Secession united Naturalists, Modernists, Impressionists, etcetera. Since the Venice Secession was founded to promote innovation in contemporary art and not to foster the development of any one style, the formal and discursive aspects of its members’ work were in constant change back then, to keep with current trends in the art world.  Additionally, The Venice Secession also brought together artists from all disciplines, in hopes of creating “total art” – Gesamkunstwerk, in which all aesthetic elements are subordinated to the whole effect. They were a group of artists, architects and designers who pursued artistic rejuvenation in combining quality building processes with new materials and technologies, and expressive modernist forms.  In practice, this concept promoted artistic craftsmanship across a wide spectrum of disciplines and favored collaborative models of creation over individual authorship. With a focus on bringing back artistic quality craftmanship, the Secession drew inspiration from William Morris and the English Arts and Crafts movement Desmond talked about in previous slides, which sought to re-unite fine and applied arts.

Stylistically, the Secession has been commonly seen as synonymous with the Jugendstil/ Art Nouveau movement. However, it is incorrect to say that they are one and the same, just from different countries. Both Secession and Jugendstil are their own seperate art movements! It is true that Secessionists did incorporate many Jugendstil elements in it’s work such as the curvilinear lines that decorate the facade of the Secession building. Additionally, many Secessionists had been working in the Jugendstil style prior to joining and the group. The Vienna Secession also did honour the Art Nouveau movement in France by devoting an entire issue of Ver Sacrum, their journal/manifesto, in 1898 to Alphonse Mucha’s work. Nevertheless, the Secession developed its own unique ‘Secession-stil’ centred around symmetry and repetition rather than natural forms. The dominant form was the square and the recurring motifs were the grid and checkerboard. The influence came not so much from French and Belgian Art Nouveau, but again from the Arts and Crafts movement. In particular the work of William Asbhee and Charles Renee Mackintosh both of whom incorporated geometric design and floral-inspired decorative motifs, played a large part in forming the Secession-style.

The Secession movement was also heavily influenced by Japanese design. Like what Desmond said, the rise of Japonism rapidly swept through Europe during the late 18th century. Many French artists (Cezanne, Van Gogh) were huge collectors of Ukiyo-e and woodblock prints, and were quick to incorporate the elements of woodblock into their works.  Japanese design was quickly incorporated by the Secessionists for its restrained use of decoration, its preference for natural materials over artifice, the preference for handwork over machine-made, and its balance of negative and positive space. In a way, the Secessionists saw in Japanese design their ideals of a ‘Gesamkunstwerk’, whereby design was seamlessly incorporated into everyday life. They even devoted the Secession exhibit of 1903 to Japanese art. Additionally, the emphasis on flat visual planes, strong colours, patterned surfaces, and linear outlines appealed to the secessionists and helped form a bridge between fine and graphic arts. Klimt would eventually adopt many of these techniques into his own paintings (such as Hope II).

The Venice Secessionist’s building, the Secession House is also something that can be further researched upon. From the onset, one of the most important aims of the secessionists was to have their own exhibition building. Their first exhibition was held at the Horticultural Society in March 1898; where they had to pay a huge amount of money to rent the space. However, due to the success of the exhibition, they were able to financially construct a permanent exhibition building, The Secession House. It was specially designed by one of the members, Josef Olbrich.

The house itself has a lot of further meaning that can be researched upon, but I leave that next time and jump to the meaning of the First Venice Secession Exhibition Poster that caught my attention! –

Despite Classicism having stifled the artists so much, they did not completely reject it when  The Venice Secession was born. In many of Klimt’s works, he uses classical symbols/stories as metaphors to depict the struggle against historicism and repression of the instinctual nature of man. One such example is the poster for their first exhibition.

Their first exhibition was held on the premises of the k. k. Gartenbaugesellschaft (Imperial Royal Horticultural Society) in 1898. Klimt designed a poster that not only functioned as an announcement to promote the exhibition, but also as a manifesto of sorts.  In the poster, the myth of Theseus slaying the minataur to liberate the youth of Athens is used, as Theseus and the Minotaur is depicted in battle. Theseus, sheltered by Pallas Athena, is the personification of the Secessionists’ new conception of art, while the Minotaur stood for the conservative Künstlerhaus.  A similar, but slightly interpretation of the poster- Athena, is seen as the liberator of the arts, overseeing the conquest of historicism and inherited by the new generation of artists, who is represented by Theseus.  This depiction was taken as an affront. Thus, the k. k. Censurbehörde (Imperial Royal Censorship Office) objected to the fig leaf covering Theseus as they they deemed too small. As such, Klint was forced to censor it by the strategic placement of branches. It was only after this detail had been “corrected” that the poster was allowed to be displayed.

To me, the act of forcing Klint to censor the poster in order for it to be exhibited, clearly illustrates how the art society in Austria back then was so conservative, and restrictive to their artists.

         fig leaf .vs. branches 


Links: Here, here, here, and this is a cool read

History of Design (Graphic Design) #1

For Lecture 2, what piqued my interest the most was the slide on Oracle Bone Scripts.  Desmond told us that in Ancient China, writing was inscribed upon animal bones and turtle shells. These scripts were then pushed through with a hot rod, so that the cracks on the bones could be read and analysed for divinations.

I found the Oracle Bone scripts really interesting for 3 main reasons:

  1. The very medium of the script
  2. The forms of the inscriptions
  3. The function of the Oracle Bone script
  • Using animal bones, especially ox scapulaes and turtle plastrons, as a medium is such a weird choice.  I really wonder who came up with that. It seems really resourceful of them; but at the same time, a rather dark thought to be using dead animal bones/shells/skulls and engraving writing on it.

Oracle bone script, 甲骨文, is unequivocally the oldest recognizable Chinese inscription. It is estimated that Oracle Bone scripts were used between 1800-1100 BC, around (and possibly before) the Shang Dynasty period. I find it intriguing that during this period, writing on hard animal bones was so common in China, whilst other places in the world were already using softer (and I would assume, easier to inscribe) materials- For example, Desmond was going through the use of papyrus, parchment and vellum in the previous slides. The earliest use of Papyrus is said to be in Egypt during 3000BC and about 2550-2450 BC for parchment. This difference in hard/soft materials highlights how knowledge was not easily transmittable and shareable in the old days.

Oracle Bone script on a turtle shell: File:Shang dynasty inscribed tortoise plastron.jpg

  • It is said that among all the Oracle Bone scripts that have been found, the text contains over 30,000 distinct characters, many of which are thought to be variant forms of about 4,000 individual characters. However, out of all these characters, many remain undecipherable by scholars till this day. Can you imagine all the words that have been lost in the translation of time?

Additionally, its really cool how the writings on the Oracle Bone scripts paved the way for the modern Chinese writing we are so familiar with today.  Oracle Bone characters have a pictorial nature, suggesting that they have pictograph origins. However, the characters used in the script are not solely pictographic in function. Instead, they were part of a writing system that was fully functional and mature by the era of the Shang dynasty. Many of the characters were not realistically depicted enough for people who had no prior knowledge to be able to comprehend the script.  Each character had gone through stabilization/abstraction/simplification to functionally represent words, and by extension, concepts. (They were termed as zodiographs by William G. Boltz and Semantographs by Qiu Xigui). Gradually, these characters further evolved to its predecessors- mentioned in the following slides, such as Bronze Ware Script and Seal Script, till our modern day Chinese text. 

Some examples of Oracle Bone characters (and its modern counterpart):

Some examples of Oracle Bone characters

  • Lastly, the purpose of the Oracle Bone scripts is just as fascinating to me. They were used for pyromantic divination, a process which involved inscribing a question with a bronze pin, then heating the bones and inspecting any resulting cracks for the divine answers to one’s questions. These questions mainly centered upon warfare, weather, hunting, and the selection of auspicious days for ceremonies.  Again, the question of who even thought of this, lingers in my mind.  How do you interpret each and every crack, in relation to the question? How do you learn to do so when every single Oracle Bone Script is very different due to the different bone used,  question asked, resultant crack, et cetera? I think trying to read the divination results is an art itself haha. This whole ritual and belief around the Oracle Bone script really shows how auspicious and spiritual the society and its culture was back then.

Example of an annotated script:


Experimental Interaction #3

< The Social Stage >

“Jeriphishing” is a social media narrative done by Celia, Huanglei, Benjamin, and Natalie.

Special thanks to those who followed our story and participated/ played along ❤️ And to Xuan Ming for guiding/teaching us this whole sem!!

To start, log into your google account:
Username: wht.the.hack@gmail.com
Password: jeriphish001


Presentation slides 
(please enable speaker notes for informative annotation on the slides! A bit of peer feedback was also added at the back ehe)

Planning process/ Masterplan Spreadsheet 



Experimental Interaction #2

<Choose Your Own Aperture>

“The Mountain” is an interactive story presented on youtube by Xue Ru, Meishan, Whitney and Natalie.

Beginning video:


The whole video is slightly abstract and meant to be read as a metaphor– The stairwell itself is a metaphor for your own mind. The action of going up the stairs is you striving to do better. The rope is a metaphor for limiting yourself. The action of going down the stairs is you accepting that its okay to “fail” or temporarily give up.


The video begins in darkness– You are blindfolded literally, but figuratively it means that you are blinded.

The whispers in the background is your own voice– you are blinded by yourself. You whisper nasty thoughts/words into your own head.

You are forced to accept the help if not, you restart the game– When you are blinded by yourself, you need to learn to seek/accept the help of/from friends.

You are bounded by a rope, but you can choose to try and take another step or not– The rope is actually imaginary limitations/restrictions we impose onto ourselves. Sometimes before we even begin, we believe we cant do it. This idea cements itself into our minds, hence we cant do it. Perhaps if we were to just try before saying we cant, then we might prove ourselves wrong and succeed.

You see your friends climbing up, and you want to follow them– You aspire to reach their levels/standards as well. To make/do work that is better or equivalent to theirs.

However, when you go up, you find yourself returning to the same level you were at– You realise that you can’t follow them and you make no progress.  Sometimes in life, our effort is not enough for us to succeed; and no matter how hard we try, it will still be futile.

Another voice appears and tries to guide you– The voice (in red shoes) is yourself, an “enlightened” version that was finally able to get out of the stairwell. The voice tries to tell you that following your friends will go no where, because it knows.

The voice mentions that you’ve been here before– The times before when you’ve tried to do as well as your peers, but still failed to produce work as good quality as theirs. But you didnt give up and continued chasing after them. (until you burned out and accepted “defeat”)

You are forced to give up– It takes a while, but you have to accept the hard truths. Sometimes, no matter how hard we may try, our efforts are just not enough; and we just keep trying but failing and getting more frustrated at/depressed with ourselves. At this point in time, it is more beneficial to give up for now, and try again later.

When you walk down, admitting “defeat”, you can go out and breathe a breath of fresh air. You re-energize yourself and equip yourself( red shoes) to try again. You’re now prepared and ready (white shirt as symbol of enlightenment). When you try again, this time, you can climb up and up, reaching new floors and levels.

After we conceptualized our story, I came across a poem, and I felt like the poem resonated with the message behind our story. Hence, we decided to put the poem in. It was introduced subtley at the beginning-  set as the phone lock screen. Then at the end of the whole story, we let the image play, in hopes of tying up the whole story, so that it can further drive the message behind the story, and viewers will understand easier.

In our video we cut the poem down to its most relevant parts, but this is the full thing:


Graphic Form #2: Locale


WHAT: Short for “fanzine” or “magazine,” a zine is a noncommercial, often homemade, mini magazine. Zines are published in small print runs. As zines are not typically made to turn a profit, they can often give expression to views and interests outside the cultural mainstream.

BRIEF HISTORY: Self-publishing has always been closely associated to art, with movements such as Dadaism, Surrealism and Fluxus, etc. Young artists used zines as a way to break out of the gallery exhibition system, to forge their own unique creative space, and independently reach out to audiences to convey whatever messages they wished. Zines became a distinct form, and grew steadily in importance from the 1930s to the 1960s with Science fiction fanzines. Punk zines emerged in the late 1970s as part of the punk movement and DIY ethos in that era.  With increased accessibility of photocopy technology, the zines developed a photocopied, cut-and-paste style that has now come to be associated with zines. In 1991 the Riot Grrrl scene encouraged an explosion of personal and political zines with explicitly feminist and activist themes. After the 1900s, with the rise of the internet and digital technology, zine culture was not killed. Instead, it evolved into another category of zines, E-zine, creating online and open source spaces for zine communities to network and exchange information.


Compzine: Collaborative zine, usually one editor only
Artzine: Feature photos, artworks; or even the zine as an artistic concept itself
Political zine: Zines that specifically deal with topics like politics, anarchy, social justice, history and current affairs


FC- Front cover
IFC- Inner front cover
Page 1- odd always on the right side
Page 2- even always on the left side
Page … …
IBC- Inner back cover
BC- Back cover

Note: FC, IFC, BC and IBC and all have a higher media value; advertising



Its actually quite hard to look for zines online??

Simple illustrations/images with lots of white space. First 3 are of more graphic style, narrative.  
Last 2 slightly more interesting as the text and images interact with each other, although I think 
there's too much negative space

^ Photobook layout should I choose to use photography. Large photographs, with equidistant white borders. Minimal/small text

Usual photo and text magazine layout. Very organized --> too static and boring?

SENGKANG RESEARCH (aka. content idea) 

I researched upon a design thinking framework useful for ethnographic research and deep user observation:  POEMS framework. I decided to use this framework to a smaller targetted area around my house (as Sengkang is very big so I narrowed it down).

PEOPLE– main groups of people there

  • Children (at playground)
  • Old folk (at the resident corner)
  • Helpers (accompanying)
  • Aunties (dancing one)
  • Families/Working adults
  • Petowners

OBJECTS– objects used by the people and populate the environment

  • Chairs and benches
  • Bicycles, scooters
  • Balls
  • Court yard open space 
  • Flower potsENVIRONMENT– describe the surroundings and main features 
  • Mainly HDBs
  • Carparks
  • Compassone Mall
  • Playgrounds and Exercise corner
  • Foodcourts
  • LRT Tracks
  • Community garden
  • Rather quiet in the day, more lively at night

MESSAGES– messages/conversations being communicated and how

  • Scams/Phishing (in lifts)
  • Repainting of HDBS (notice board)
  • Elderly conversing about gardening

SERVICES– services offered/available to people

  • Coffee shops
  • NTUC
  • Book borrowing cart
  • Transport- LRT and Bus

I would say that SengKang is a rather normal neighborhood, that is characterized by the sheer number of HDB blocks. However, I realised one thing that set it aside from other HDB populated neighbourhoods (like Yishun or AngMoKio, etc) was the LRT tracks that weaved in and out the buildings. Researching a bit more, I learnt that only 3 LRT systems exist in Singapore, and Sengkang was the 2nd one to have it.

Train System Map

I found out that Sengkangs LRT cars were different from Bukit Panjangs one,  making Sengkangs cars slightly more uniquely Sengkang.  Since I am now focusing on the LRTs in Sengkang, I wanted to feature a specific spot- A carpark rooftop garden. It is my favourite space in Sengkang. One of the special qualities about that specific rooftop garden is that you get to be on the same level as the LRTs (whilst most other carpark gardens around the area are either higher or lower than the track). You get a great view of the LRT tracks, and can even catch the sunset there. Furthermore, the greenery there provides a nice contrast between nature and manmade (HDBs, LRT track).

Possible elements/principles–> Form, Shape, Space, Contrast, Line?

sighs I think it was too boring:///

DESIGN RESEARCHImage result for elements of art

I decided to go with LINE.  But what about a line can I use?

  • horizontal
  • vertical
  • diagonal
  • straight
  • curved
  • thick
  • thin
  • opaque
  • translucent
  • IMPLIED LINES -> use of neg space
  • broken lines
  • line starts off as a dot
  • outline?



https://www.peopleofprint.com/collective/groduk-boucar/ –> strong presence of lines, and art style.

https://www.peopleofprint.com/solo-artist/amrita-marino-fiorucci-zine/ –> simplicity, strong colour palette, use of texture

https://www.peopleofprint.com/pop/12-posterzine-best-sellers/ –> all rather unusual colours?

https://www.peopleofprint.com/interviews/andrew-stainforth-zine/ –> experimenting with different materials, the interleaf translucency

12 Posterzine™ Best Sellers


Wanted to focus on mrt and the garden. but shirley said too boring to see too many times?? I used a photobook kind of approach, but without the borders. I think the zine just lacked substance and content. Then i told her about me wanting to try drawing  instead? And she said that might be good cause then I can get more interesting angles, and to try something new!

Original photography idea of garden x lrt



I’ve never tried a flat simple vector style before. My drawings are usually quite 3d shaded style. So I decided to challenge myself to do just a vector style. I found some artists for reference:


Strong use of diagonals and dramatic lighting. Use of grainy texture + strong color palettes


Again, TEXTURE!! Humans and environments as patterns


Bold eye catching colors. Patterns, GESTALT (stripe beach one), fusion of objects with play of angles? 
entirely flat application of colour


TEXTURE. night scenes? hmmm. 
The use of gradient

Their use of texture makes the vector style a lot nicer. And the importance of colour selection.

So I tried doing something fast and small in their style. I added noise to the apple, but I think that my grain can afford to be bigger to show the texture better:



I really liked how the art style and text layout in two imagine dragon music videos- BAD LIAR and NATURAL  !!!

Text confined within shape of the image.                                Text warp with the shape.                             Text obscured by imagery. Kind of gestalt?                                       Interesting angles for visuals.      Play in the size of fonts.
Layering of text and visuals create depth.                                  Patterns and text!                                                 Image in text instead?               Diagonal layout.



Honestly, I feel really lost as to what to do. I think this is because despite actually never moving house, I don’t really relate to Sengkang (unlike other people who have like deep ties with their locale cause its their childhood). My impression of Sengkang is just imprinted as this place with a lot of HDBs, and thats about it. Even though Sengkang is my house, I live in Bishan (grandparents house) and Jurong (NTU hall now :/) for a larger part of my life than Sengkang itself. I feel slightly displaced at this point in time. I was thinking of using this as my story maybe? A narrative kind of zine, more storybookish. I also wanted to make use of the idea that a line is a moving dot.

“A line is a dot that went for a walk.” Using this as the main action for my zine, I thought of the following narrative: A dot feels out of place in his surroundings, so he decides to embark on a journey around Sengkang to try and come to terms with himself and his locale. Through the pages, he starts growing longer and becomes a line. Eventually when he comes back to the start, he is content. Sits happily in his environment now. Feels that he has grown.



draft compositions and possible text
First image was my first attempt at trying a vector style,
but it was still sort of 3D-ish. And the colours looked very 
dull, so I decided to reference an artist's artwork for
colour palatte and style - flat with dramatic hard edged shadows 
and highlights.
I had the idea of using white space to simulate walls and create 
an implied void deck(Gestalt). Additionally, the images that 
were between the walls would be a montage/collage of different
parts of the neighbourhood that were mundane yet interesting
in their own way. But I wasn't sure how to go about doing it.
I thought of just doing some closeups of void deck pillars,
and putting a bike in place to provide some depth and context,
but it was still very hard to get...
In the end, I decided to follow the exact structure of my void deck. 
I also decided to add in a few other tones (grey and red)
to help define the space a bit more, instead of solely 
using white space. The fifth pic felt like it lacked 
depth to me, it looked like a flat gallery wall. 
So I decided to try and the walk way even further back, 
and I think that the zig zag path way helped simulate 
more space.
Finding images to put into my collage. I felt that playing 
around with the sizing of objects in my montage helped bring 
about more depth too. I tried having a kind of realistic proportion
like the playground at the back is smaller, but at the same time
I wanted to make it more evident its a collage, so theres images 
that are out of proportion (like the pipes. they should be smaller)
Objects within my montage I illustrated  
I wanted to do a top down view of the HDBs similar to artist ref
(first image is an outdated pic of the color of the HDBs)
Making of my vector HDB blocks based on the color scheme
of my HDB in real life. Some awkward windows I did not know
how to draw. And then I decided to make the windows and balconies 
and lift lobbies into a separate pattern before warping them
to fit the buildings. The buildings themselves are a pattern/
tessellation as well.
Deciding on cropping of this composition
Illustrating the LRT uniquely weaving through the HDBs in SengKang
Trying to create a pattern based on iconic images from my 
previous pages for some additional texture. HDB windows, 
balcony railing, LRT track and void deck made into a "logo"
which is then tiled behind the map. (After test printing: Words
on the map are too huge!!)


Font Choice: Arial Rounded MT Bold.

Being a more storybook like zine, I wanted a fun and friendly font that was simple, so it could complement my more detailed illustrations. Arial Rounded is sans-serif making it less formal and serious than a serif font, more fun! The rounded-ness made the font organic and pleasing to the eyes. Coupled with the bold, this font is really simple and easy to read. Because it isn’t fanciful, it doesnt distract the users away from the visuals that are equally (or even slightly more) important.

Title: Align is a play on "A Line" as they sound similar. 
Decided to make the title big and ironic by misaligning the
word itself (l,i,g,n) in a slightly chaotic manner. I also 
tried to fit it within one column.
1) Trying to fit the paragraph was hard. 
2) I wanted to warp text to the LRT track but it looked weird,
 was hard to read and didn't flow, so I decided to do something
like Imagine Dragon's music video where the words kind of 
fit well with the image, but it didnt follow the "shape/line"
of the image 
3) Also tried out varying font size of certain words in my 
sentence. I thought it looked nice, and brought emphasis to
certain keywords. However, the visual hierarchy would break 
the flow of the sentence and viewers would'nt read the 
sentence from the start or in the correct order.
Tried warping text so it helped to create more depth. Initially
was contemplating doing the starwars style,but it was too hard
to read. The text also became very big, making my font size 
inconsistent throughout my zine,so I decided to compose my 
layout with the three columns in mind and fit it within 2 columns.
Then, I skewed the paragraph slightly to still give it some
perspective since my other text in this spread had perspectives;
Adding contact details to the last page. First image was kinda
cool, but felt too much like a magazine, didnt fit the style 
of my zine. Decided to go with the cloud idea as it fits my 
and actual utilizes my illustrations.
Attempting to follow the layout of three columns for some of
my text. So I get a variety of text layout styles? Ones that 
warp, flow with the illustrations and ones that are aligned 
with the columns.

COLOR PALETTE (and text size)

Complementary colors- Blue + Orange 
Analogous colors- Orange + Brown, Purple + Blue

Front cover: Vibrant blues contrast with the orange,
making the page very bright and happy. Happy colors
ironic compared to the dot's mood, though it sort of 
reveals the happy ending 

Back cover: The cheerful colors reflect the line's mood

Color palette compliments friendly storybook style of my zine


Monochromatic purples and greens. (Also analogous)
Color palette of HDB buildings accurate with real life

Cool colors create an added moodiness that is in line
with Tod's uneasiness/questions. 

Tod is called Tod because its dot backwards!!

Font size of TOD: 48 as I wanted to introduce my character
Rest of the fonts: 12. Though if compared to my text at 
the back, they look slightly bigger (I think it's because
of the warping process. I should've accounted for this and
adjusted my text smaller after warping?)

Text colors: Darkest shade on the left page, and white on 
the right for maximum contrast.

Diverse colour palette as this is a montage of diff scenes. 
But I think the colours in the montage is kind of faded/pastel 
though rather saturated, so they are still quite harmonious? 

Variety of colour helps show the mood change of Tod's feelings.
Reflect how he is introduced to all these normal things but 
sees them in a new light.

Tod realised font: 24. Bigger to incite visual hierarchy so 
viewers will know where to start reading the sentence.
Rest of font: 12. 

Text color: Red to match the void deck elements (pipe and 
floor tiles. Also to be more eyecatching and help act as 
leading lines

Monochromatic colours: Orange, Blue, Grey 
Analogous: Blues + Purples 
Complementary: Blues + Orange, Purple + Yellow

Left page sunset because I wanted to make it seem like a 
full day of walking has passed. And that its obvious that 
time/something has changed with Tod. Sunset --> understanding/
new found appreciation has set within Tod.

Right page map,wanted the LRT track to be more obvious so made
it bright blue with yellow below, while the rest of the map was
dark. The yellow from the this page is also the same as that 
on the left and on the covers. Consistency!! Purple and greys
used also found in other spreads. 

This is home font size: 24. Because I wanted to make it a 
point. But I didn't want to make the visual difference between 
font sizes too big as that would be too jarring, loosing its
Places name font size: 24. To make it obvious on map.
Rest of the fonts: 12, consistent with previous pages. 

Font colour: Darkest shade on the left page and brightest 
shade on the right. blue font against orange, and yellow font
against purple, complementary colors ensure that the contrast
will make my text readable.


After doing the inside spreads, I realised that the colours
inside were more similar compared to the ones I used on the 
cover spread, so I considered using the same cool purple blue
colours on the outside. However, I felt that changing complementary 
colour scheme to analogous made my cover duller and less
attractive. With the lack of warm colors, it lost that happy 
feel and meaning, though it did look slightly more harmonious...
But I felt that my orange cover was okay because in the sunset
page, I would reuse the same/similar warm colours again. And
theres still some in the middle spread, so them being on the 
cover would'nt be out of the blue (pun intended haha)




My placement of elements were too near the edge of the paper, and even with bleeds, it was very hard to get it printed right. T^T my contact information cloud got cut in order for all the pages to align nicely so I had to troubleshoot. I cut another cloud up from my other print and sticked it over haha….

I tried printing on two different papers, art card and high white. The colors on art card were super bright, slightly neon-ish. It was too striking, and the paper was slightly yellow, which made my void deck spread look a bit weird. So i decided to submit high white which had  bright white paper and slightly less vibrant colours so they looked more harmonious. Also I asked the store to help me bind my art card one, but it was slightly off at certain pages as they didn’t account for the misalignment during printing. Hence, I binded the high white one myself.

(sorry blurry image) but my @username got cut off at the bottom
Second image there's a white line (though i thought I left bleed??)
(ft. the cloud I cut up for my final submission)
Third image the page didn't line up in the center
After printing, I realised that the spreads on the right perhaps look better
when they are paired up like that as they have similar visual elements (HDB or Track)
and brightness. Hence I was contemplating switching the layout of pages, but I would need
to edit the story and texts, so I decided against it..



I was afraid that my work wasn’t very zine-y, because it didnt have a lot of overlapping font and mixed media. But I was heartened by peoples comments from the feedback session:”)) They were so nice:””)) I thought my zine would be boring but people actually liked it!! I think a zine can be anything, so my zine is ziney too!!!! I’m actually pretty proud of how my illustrations turned out. Because I wanted to follow a certain style, I really paid more attention to artist works and their colour palettes this time. I would draw in this style again next time heh^^ And at the beginning, I really struggled with my disconnect of Sengkang not really feeling like home or being super unique with cool, quirky places to visit. But now I think that that’s okay! Because SengKang really is just like any other neighbourhood. Its a humble, quiet, unassuming town, where the small things add a little character to it, and thats what I like about it. I’m happy to call it my locale. Sometimes we focus too much on interesting things that we dont realise boring can be interesting too?



Natalie Sim

My name is

                                       Jelly Swimmer
My name is 

                                         Time Keeper
My name is 

                     Driftwood Mushroom Urban Planner
My name is

                                         Snake Peeler


Click here for creative process journal



extra gifs:


i’m sorry this is so long ;______;

Personal Diary,
T H E  J O U R N E Y
  9th December 2031. 

The last thing I remembered was falling
Then a loud resounding thud through my head
Sickly red pooled around me.
Its warmth comforted me
as the darkness I wished for finally came.

The next time I opened my eyes, I found myself sprawled on red.
But this time, it wasn’t warm- it was cool and damp. What the fuck happened, where the hell am I? I wondered to myself as I lay motionless, waiting for pulsations in my head to stop. The ringing in my ears wouldn’t go away. 

I stared blankly towards the sky, willing for the chaos in my head to end. Stop stop stop stop STOP. And it did, as if I had pressed pause.  With a clearer mind, my memories and emotions came flooding back to me. I suddenly understood the gravity of my actions, and they weighed heavily on my chest. Regret squeezed my lungs, and had me gasping for air. I was now desperately praying for the ringing in my ears to come back, to numb me of everything, but it never did…

As I slowly sat up, I realized that I was surrounded by rolling hills of crimson. A dark sea of mis-colored grass, as if mocking me. Even the sky was a a deep shade of red. Red was my favourite color, but now I’m sick of it. Everything was red.

Having sat at the same spot for three hours straight, battling with the demons in my head, I couldn’t take it anymore- The deafening silence, the realization of eternal loneliness, the self torment of the mind. Tears welled up in my eyes till they overflowed. Why did I do that? Why was I so damn stupid? Why did I naively assume that things would be better? This is hell. The tears kept raining down my cheeks as if a tap had broken. I had broken. The sounds of my wailing echoed through the valleys of the hills. A desperate broken soul. I always was. Someone help me please.

Amidst my vision blurred by tears, I thought I saw a dark shape appear before me. It had a distinct silhouette- a tall and slender form, with curled horns on its head. I thought I saw lips curl into a malicious grin.  Hastily, I rubbed my eyes, but the figure disappeared. Was that just a figment of my imagination? Have I gone delirious? Howeverat the ground where the figure once stood, was a white card that read:

I hope you’ll find yourself at home here.
If you’re feeling hungry, walk around a bit and you”ll notice an abundance of food all over. My recommendation is that you take whats inside, at the core. I assure you, it is the most succulent. As for drinks, I’m sorry to say that there isn’t a wide spread. But beggars cant be choosers eh? Nonetheless, I’m sure you will find it refreshing. Hope you enjoy them!

A surge of relief coursed through me. The note sounded inviting and comforting. Maybe things were changing for the better.

Perhaps I should listen to the note and look around more. I trudged forward through the tall mahogany grass. Trees started appearing in the horizon. From afar, I could see long bulbous forms hanging on the branches, peeking out from among the dense canopy of the trees. What on earth, those fruits are huge!

However, as I walked nearer, the forms started to take on more clarity. No….. They cant be….. I stared in horror as bodies hung abundantly from the tree. The blue and purple bodies drained of air and blood were a striking contrast to the overwhelmingly red landscape. I stared agape at the convulsive scene of hanging bodies, swinging ever so slightly… left… right…. left…ri…

My stomach dropped, and I felt nauseous. I looked down at the fallen body, only to stare at my own face, with a snapped noose around it. I retched at the revolting scene. With much difficulty, I forced myself to look up at the hanging bodies again. They were all in different stages of rot, blood trickling down the fingers, onto the grass. I wondered if this was what gave the grass its mahogany color. Wait. What the fuck am I even thinking? 

Disgust washed over me once again, and I began sprinting. Get away from those trees! I ran as fast as my legs would take me. I trembled and shook uncontrollably as I ran, an image of the scene I just saw imprinted in my mind.

Soon, I succumbed to exhaustion and my legs buckled. I was hungry, thirsty and tired. As my head hit the ground, my vision darkened. I swore, just before I knocked out, I saw two slender legs infront of me and looked up to a wicked grin…

I awoke the next day. The next few days, I walked for days on end, trying to find something, anything. But all there was were trees with my hanging body, and fallen ones that littered the ground. What sick twisted world was I trapped in? With each passing day, I got weaker and weaker. Why dont I just die already. But how can I when I already am? 

I’m not sure how many days have passed. I couldn’t keep track anymore. I barely moved. I  grew desensitized, it felt like I had no emotions left- I lay calmly against a tree of hanging bodies, staring out blankly. Hunger ate at my stomach and thirst brought a drought to my mouth. Once again, I found myself wishing for darkness, and then I didnt. What if this same thing repeats itself? What if it only gets worse in the end? No no no, no more. I’m already at the bottom of a black hole, I dont want to go even deeper than that. Not again.

“Wow, such resolve. Good for you. If you’re so weak, why not have something to eat and drink? Its all there for your taking you know…” A faint voice whispered through the trees

Perhaps it was my overly fatigued mind, or my sudden desperation to live, or that damn inveigling voice, but something in me clicked. I knew what I had to do. Detached of any emotions, my limbs moved themselves, and I found myself crawling to the nearest fallen body. I stared at its face- no, my face– as I plunged my hand right  into my chest, and pulled out the core. Surprisingly, it felt warm and heavy in my hands. Blood dripping down my arms, I thought I could feel it beating again. But I didn’t care. I chewed and tore deeper into the juicy chunk, cranberry spraying everywhere. I drank all the red liquid it could give me. Slowly, the pain in my stomach faded and the dryness in my mouth was soothed. Relief flooded over me once again.

After consuming the heart, I moved on to the rest of my body.  I ravenously tore into the flesh. At the corner of my eyes, the figure appeared again. But I was too busy devouring my meal. It causally flicked another card towards me. I stopped to  pick the card up with my bloody hands. I turned to face the figure, mouth agape, prepared to talk but it disappeared.

The card read: