Graphic Form – Image Making Through Type

For our first project, we were tasked to create typographic portraits using our names to depict other careers which we would probably consider on taking. The jobs which first came up on my minds were the ones which I was interested in when I was younger, and real jobs which which I was interested in.

After jotting most of the jobs down,


… I guess pursuing my passion in design was a wise decision.



Initially, I was inspired by the works of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. The collage-like style was interesting, and was something which I have yet to try out with.

I wanted to do something similar, with the letterforms at the back and the relevant elements at the front. However, after a few attempts, I felt that the elements might overpower the letterforms, and would make them look less distinguishable.


I liked Charlie Davis’s style of illustrations as well, and how he was able to incorporate a letterform into each compositions without it looking out of place at all.


Ideation & Exploration

I decided to use my nickname “Shri” in my compositions, and initially, I wanted to choose careers which I was interested in, and starts with the letter S, H, R, and I.

  • Sewist / Sleep Specialist
  • Hotel Chef / Historian
  • Researcher / Ramen Critique
  • Inspector

But I eventually chose other “jobs”, including jobs which are fictional, as the job choices were too limited.



Tried out with vectors, and was inspired by the contrasting colours and elements seen in Malika Favre’s works. A sewist is a person who creates art through embroideries, hence I tried to implement elements from the job, such as the embroidery frame, embroideries, needles and thread.

However, I decided to change my idea halfway, as it felt rather “cold” and forceful.

Sleep Specialist

Decided to try a different style, which was inspired by paper-cuts, and David Huynyh’s works.

I chose the sleep specialist career as I could probably “pass off as one“, as I knew quite a lot about what might helps us to fall asleep better. However, all of these knowledge and methods have never really worked for me, and I wanted to show how ironic and shady it would be if I were a sleep specialist; heavy eyebags, a fellow patient / roomie during the overnight-monitoring sessions at the clinic.

Decided to tweak the idea as it was rather difficult to portray the job, and the letterforms are not working out.


“Sustainable broccoli consumption,”

I felt that I probably would not have the patience needed to be a farmer – probably harvesting the wheat impatiently ( letterform S ) and relying on irrigation without noticing that other parts of the crops were not watered ( letterform R ) . Furthermore, I would probably have finished all of the harvest before I could even sell them ( letterform H, and letterform I – the empty crates and empty truck ).

After my consultation with Joy, I decided to tweak the idea as the perspective was too flat.



Moving on…



Initially, I wanted to use a capital “H”, and Joy suggested to swap the letter for the lowercase “h”, as this might look a tad bit forceful.

// finalised version & description below //



The final 4 jobs which I ended up choosing was inspired by my own health and personal issues, and they are jobs which I probably would want to have, but I would definitely fail at.

For all 4 of my compositions, I decided to create them in the same illustration style and a similar colour scheme to make them look like a set. I ended up trying a papercut-inspired style, which has overlappings, shadows, and textures, as I wanted to try out something different. To further help the whole thing look more like a set, I decided to use the exact same alphabets; S, H, R, I, and san-serif typefaces throughout the 4 compositions, albeit with varying thickness, rigidity, cases, and forms.


Colour scheme


Final Compositions


I had always been fond of the oceans, and dreams of sailing the seven seas. But it was a dream never to be fulfilled, as I could not even stay on a kayak for a few hours without feeling seasick for a week afterwards due to motion sickness. If I were to become a shipmaster, I would probably get too dizzy and nauseous, and would probably re-enact the sinking of the Titanic.


I decided to use the typeface called “Hobo”, as it was thick but had no straight lines, which makes the alphabets less rigid and blocky, and I felt that it would suit this natural-like setting better.

Uppercase S – The green meandering trail of puke, which was coming out from the bridge of the ship.

Lowercase h – The iceberg – I was trying to steer the ship through the arch of the iceberg instead of sailing in the open sea, and on reverse instead of sailing forward.

Uppercase R – The penguin.

Uppercase I – The iceberg on the top right.








Cow Abductor 

Developed from the farmer idea. It was inspired by how my family always suggested that I should become a farmer to sustain my broccoli addiction, and I thought, why not become a farm robber instead.  And one of the more popular “farm robbers” would be the UFOs, which was said to have “robbed and mutilated cows from farms”. But if I was one of the aliens in the UFOs, I would probably be stealing broccolis instead of the cows.

I decided to use the typeface called “Open Sans”, as I decided to play a little with perspective to make the letterforms look more natural. Open Sans was able to make the letterforms still look legitable regardless of the perspective and thickness.


Uppercase S – The fence, and the broccolis being transported into my UFO.

Lowercase h – The farmhouse.

Lowercase r – The smoke coming out of the chimney.

Lowercase i – The “light” of the UFO, as well as the hemispherical glass of the UFO which suggests the lowercase form.







I have always struggled with putting things into words, which makes it rather difficult for me to teach others. This was inspired by my internship experience, where I had to teach a few of my colleagues and juniors. My poor colleagues would always sort of understand what I was trying to teach, but often could not understand it fully.

In this composition, I decided to portray myself as a swimming instructor. I fulfilled my job as the student was able to swim in the end, but the student was not swimming straight like how it was supposed to be. :’))))


I decided to use Monserrat, which was rather geometric, which suits the swimming pool, and the widths of the alphabets are bigger – which makes things remain rather big and distinct despite the perspective.

Uppercase / Lowercase S – The meandering trail of the student.

Uppercase H – The walkways of the swimming pool. The uppercase form was subtly implied.

Lowercase r – The hair of the parent, or the body posture of the coach ( form was reflected ).

Uppercase I – The seats opposite.







Mattress Tester 

Developed from the sleep specialist idea. A person with sleeping disorders would probably be the candidate for the job, but I felt that it might not be the case for me, as practically nothing helps me to have better and longer sleep.

The job of a mattress tester was to test mattresses, and hence in the composition, I made it look like I had been testing so many mattresses and even stacked them altogether like power cards, and yet I was still counting sheeps and was unable to fall asleep.


I chose the typeface called “Oh Wonder Sans” as it was thin and less rigid, which I feel that would suit this composition and job better – less formal and blocky, and a little flowy.

Uppercase / Lowercase S – The trail of sheeps, and the patterns on the plain mattresses.

Uppercase H – The bedframe which was supporting the mattresses.

Uppercase R – The body posture of the character, with the teddy bear and the bolster.

Uppercase I – The ladder.





Overall, I enjoyed this project as I was able to do something more personal. I had lots of fun trying to play around with the letterforms,  depicting my minor-but-irritating issues and the careers which I could never have, in a more lighthearted and satirical way.