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:

Graphic Form #1: Image Making Through Type



  1. What name? –> Natalie Sim Tzyy Chyn, Nat, Natalieszqx, STCN, 沈子勤
  2. Sans serif or serif? What font? WHY
  3. 4 illogical jobs. Characteristics of the jobs/ imagery?
  4. Medium used –> Digital or Traditional? Mix? Attention to background detail


  1. Time keeper
  2. Planet Curator
  3. Upside downer
  4. Cotton Candy Topiarist
  5. Shadow Traveler 
  6. Dragon Tamer
  7. Cat’s Servant
  8. Witch
  9. Snake Skin peeler
  10. Skin Parachuter
  11. Rainbow roller-coaster architect
  12. Android counselor
  13. Fruit Puncher

Some Questions: Should I approach it on a more typographic style or illustrative (like subtle letterforms)
ANSWER: Typography assignment, so the typo should be obvious and the main focus. The typography should be fonts that adopt the characteristic/elements of another thing, instead of being a direct image of the warped thing.

Below:  rough scribble of what I learnt from first consult






backletter- first ever typeface, modelled after scribes. thick vertical lines, thin horizontal connectors. V dense and squished when printed

roman type- Straight lines, regular curves-> clear and legible

Old style- thick serifs, low contrast btwn thin and thick strokes

Transitional- thinner serifs, higher contrast btwn thin and thick strokes

Modern- very thin serifs, extreme contrasts btwn thick and thin strokes


Futura- geometric sans

Gill sans- gentler more natural curves, humanist sans

helvetica- has simple curves, available in many diff weights

computer now allows ppl to create their own unique typeface






After consult, I realised that my design ideas were not exactly what was expected. They were 
too illustrative, and not all elements of my job would be encompassed in the font itself. 
Or it was placing things ontop of my typeface/ placing it in things. 


Now that I better understood what I was supposed to do, I identified the elements related to the job and 
tried synthesizing them onto the font. Brainstorming composition of elements to present my final font design.



Tried using Photoshop 3D extrusion, but I think self drawn typeface was nicer in the end
choosing an appropriate background. Perspective of font on plates would fit 
the second bg better, but I decided to go with the first as the swimming pool 
tiles are more subtle than the pool itself. Suggestion from Shirley: make the 
tiles smaller, so its less distracting
Playing around with the composition of the objects in the jelly, and then 
editing it so they look like they are inside the jelly. Finally, adding highlights 
to the jelly to make it more shiny and smooth, important elements of jello.
Final design's (2nd image) background slightly darker to bring more emphasis to the words.


Trying out different ways to position the alphabets and make them interact with each other. 
Last image is me realizing that I didn't leave enough breathing room for my font, and it 
was just an awkward slight crop, so I decided to zoom out a bit
Trying out different backgrounds
Playing around with the composition of the side cages to 
find a more balanced composition to reach my final (2nd one)



Initial background idea- silhouettes of snakeskin products, mainly shoes and bags. Last image is trying out a darker bg instead of white
Printed the grey NS then drew scales over it (Letter S), and 
scanned. Then redraw digitally. Or could just do a masking 
(Letter N)
Okay, this isn't really artist ref, but I was kinda inspired
by peel to reveal stickers. So my presentation would be peel
to reveal more snake layers under.
Initially wanted to use a crumpled/folded and torn piece of tracing paper as snake shed, but scrapped the idea as there was too many layers
Bought like mounting tape, so that I could make the first layer 
popped out from the last layer, but in the end I didnt really like 
the effect it gave. So I stuck to just sticking the papers directly 
onto each other without any elevation
Physical cut out product and the individual digital layers (flesh and bone)
Thinking back now, I'm uncertain if Shirley will accept my element of peel
(action) as being part of the typeface. But I would personally think it is 
acceptable as if I didnt present it as such in the different layers, I would 
have just combined the peeling and layers into one plane/frame, and just like 
digitally draw the first image. So its the same thing? Like showing multiple 
photoshop layers versus merging them into one ahahahah


Finals (first image physical presentation). Second image is 
just to clearly show the different layers.



I liked how Z and N can be used interchangeably, so I was trying to incorporate that into my composition

 (some experiments when my original idea was driftwood mushroom shaker)


Initially wanted a more subtle show of the element mushroom
by using the gills of a mushroom,and trying to tie it to 
urban planning as the gills also looked like the lines on town
plans, but to be honest, due to time constrains I was unable to 
develop this route more, and I thought that it might be a bit 
too forceful and too abstract for people to guess my job.
Adopted Samjith Samz's matte painting style typography. 
He uses realistic texture on his typeface, and realistic imagery
on the face of the font, coupled with dramatic lighting to create
this fairy tale looking design.
ZQ and Nat
Trying out a background. I think the first image, my gif 
is not working, but its supposed to show how I made the wood
have a yellowy hue, so the last background matches with my 
colour palette more. But I thought it was a bit too 
distracting there, so I shifted the colored part to the top 
left (Final below).





What was the difficulties you have faced during the thinking and making of this project and what did you “take away“?

Thinking: It was really hard to grasp what was the “correct” approach to dealing with this project. The forcing an obj into the shape vs applying elements of the shapes were super similar to me at first, but the more Shirley explained, and the more I tried different designs and ideas,  I eventually got it in the end! And I’m glad I was understand this method in the end, because its a much more unique way to present your typeface, and it can also be applied to other forms/works of art too! A beneficial skill.

Another difficulty during thinking is deciding the elements of the job to put in. Should I be literal and use the thing itself, or should I be more vague and use objects associated with but not represent the thing. I think that although I tried to have a balance of both, my works were leaning more to the literal end as I was afraid it would be difficult to convey the message of an illogical job to the viewers.

Making: I think that the process of making my works was relatively more smooth sailing then the conceptualization process. But because my elements were quite literal,  the hardest part would be trying to make them look realistic or capture the essence of the object properly (my jelly, the showcase, mushrooms, flesh, etc..). But with more practice and experimenting around on my own, I was able to get the hang of photoshop 3d extrusion and like illustrator as well.

Takeaway: Honestly, I think looking back is also one of the most difficult things of any project. Like I think I like the works I’ve produced for this project, and I am a little proud of them. However, I’m always worried that I may have strayed from the project brief, and I notice all the “wrongs”, that I couldve worked better on. Looking back, I’m afraid that my designs might be considered a bit too complicated? especially for my backgrounds as well.. But overall, I learnt a lot about typography and image making to convey a message through this project and hope to do better on my next!! 🙂

Thanks for reading !

PDF of my writeups incase the images above are not clear enough:  TYPO