Category: Project 1 Que Sara

2D Y1S2 P1: Que Sera Sera Final Designs

  1. Cyclist


Mimi’s advice for draft 1: Reduce the number of colors, reduce the width of wheels and look at a way to make a leaner figure to denote speed i.e. change of font.

Result: I cut out some unnecessary lines, reduced the font size of some letters to create a leaner, cleaner and clearer typographic pictogram.


2. Mountain Climber


Mimi’s advice for draft 1: ensure that both side of the “mountain” have the same texture to create unity in the composition.

Result: I created jagged rock forms on both sides, playing with figure / ground relationships to create ambiguity for the letterforms.


3. Bar owner


Mimi’s advice for draft 2: lose the bar sign as it is unnecessary. Keep the rendered font and background.

Result: A simpler, cleaner look.


4. Programmer


Mimi’s advice for draft 2: try to play around with the arrangement of letterforms / play with repetition.

Result: I wasn’t able to create a better arrangement of shapes to create the linear perspective that I wanted, and thus I sacrificed a bit of legibility for the 3 dimensionality for this piece.

2D Y1S2 P1: Que Sera Sera (III)

My ideation made me come up with a few more occupations:

5. Bar Owner

6. Astronaut

Bar Owner

One of the places where I first drew inspiration from was the neon signs of a famous club in the Vegas Strip — The Flamingo. I have been fascinated from young about bars, clubs, parties and the razzmatazz of nightlife.


I tried to draw inspiration from the Great Gatsby as well; it was a great time to be living in where people who beginning to experiment with their own freedom and the limits of their wealth. This created the Art Deco period earmarked by flamboyant designs with luxurious embellishments.


I looked into Cabaret clubs and the iconography / typography, and they shared a similar flamboyance to the bars and clubs. I wanted to incorporate the neon lights of nightlife into my work, but I didn’t want my typographic art to be seen as too sleazy, so I decided against opting for too much embellishment at the risk of appearing obtuse.


This was one of the first designs I came up with. The colour was drawn from the pinkish hues of the neon signs. The font I used was Pacifico, which was a cursive font with a certain handwritten quality to it. I liked the fact that it made the typographic art a bit more personal, but the drawback was that it was “too much like a family restaurant”, according to one too many people.


Another example I looked at was Heineken’s typographic ads.


RISD’s exhibition poster made use of overlapping fonts, which I felt was quite neat but unnecessary if I applied it to my own work. Still, I could explore this idea if time allows.


I liked this installation approach to typography, with the background of the design bringing out the intensity of the lighting.


I developed a brick wall background and made it really dark. On hindsight it might’ve been a bit too dark. Selecting a more purplish color for the “nightclub” font, I tried to exaggerate the lighting effect as much as possible, and complement the fullness of the cursive neon with the more rigorous, but still dynamic hollow signage of “Benny’s”. I also gave “nightclub” a bit of slant so that the design wouldn’t be too static.


DIN alternate condensed bold alternategothicnotwo

I liked the DIN alternate condensed because it was tight and compact. Neon signs are costly to maintain, so in order to make the sign realistic, real life considerations affected my selection of this clean and economic font.



The cursive of Pacifico complemented well with the straight-edged DIN. It was lively and helped make the signage pop.



NASA, the quintessential place one would look to find inspiration for astronauts. Growing up, there was always a fascination with deep space, and when I was in my teens and a churchgoer I started to wonder if humans were the only ones that existed in this vast universe. I like NASA’s thick and smooth-edged font, almost mirroring the designs of the space shuttles it sends to space.



Form and function go hand in hand.


Star Wars also brought an added layer of curiosity, where inter-galactic conflict was possible and interplanetary travel was almost as easy as taking the bus. Along with the movies came a lot of iconography and typography which I drew from as inspiration. 452389950cb9847aed53a395a4ac61a6

This is one of the examples of typographic art I found, and the character is Darth Vader.


I liked this poster a lot as it uses color simply and effectively. The poster is composed such that not much is seen except for red. And Mars is known as the red planet. The yellow is used to denote light and the shadow stark black. The shapes used to make up the rocket are also simple and hard-edged. The adherence to simplicity is what makes this poster stand out, and makes me want to create something like this for the typographic assignment.


I also looked into the idea of constellation, whereby your name can be made up of many different letters scattered across the “universe”.

Unfortunately, quite a number of friends have used this concept for their assignments, which makes me a bit late to the party. 🙁

I’ll keep looking, and will work on new designs if better ideas come up.

2D Y1S2 P1: Que Sera Sera (II)

I’ll continue with occupations 3 and 4 on the list, but they are by no means definitive as I will continue to edit the occupations if I manage to come up with better concepts along the way.

Just a quick recap, here was the list from part one; I’ve made some changes after consultation.

  1. Software Programmer
  2. Bike Racer
  3. Jungle Explorer —> Mountaineer / rock climber (Jungle explorer may be too vague for the brief, and people may have many interpretations of what an explorer can and cannot do.)
  4. Cowboy

Mountaineer / Mountain Climber


Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the duo who first ascended the treacherous slopes of Mount Everest and reached its peak, must have felt like immortals after living to tell the tale. A tale of exhilaration, sheer grit and victory over one’s limitations.

Even as I was fascinated with my father’s work and grew to be as competitive as he was, there was a part of me that always wanted to live life like an adventure. I would read of stories like Robinson Crusoe and wonder if I could lead a life that had no limitations one day.

Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world

In a way, I wondered if I could fulfill the competitive aspect of my personality with something thrilling. Nature was so vast and unexplored, and I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself.


I researched on the typographic expressions for mountain climbing and managed to find some phenomenal work. On the right is an inspirational Christian poster with its very effective treatment of the typeface. The font used is clean, and the peaks of the letterforms like M, N and A correspond with the peaks of the mountains. There is uniformity in the composition and the overlapping forms create additional interest due to the law of enclosure (Gestalt).


I then looked towards playing with silhouettes and negative space, to see if I could draw inspiration from these areas.


In the above picture, the clock draws the viewers’ focus towards the silhouette of the climber..

In the picture on the right, the play of figure/ground relationship form a meaningful concept of the typographic image.


Another example of playing with figure-ground relationships.


3. Mountain climber

I made use of what I learnt in the book Typography Essentials and the material that I researched on to come up with the typographic image based on the figure / ground relationship.

Font: Impact 125b38f2-ca01-49c3-a6de-46e1e738cfe5image3

Impact has a thick body and shoulders, similar to the the shape of rock formations. It also melded well with the side of a rocky mountain edge. I could then combine the image and the font to form a silhouette of a mountain peak.


Adventure without limits is also a benefit of being a cowboy, and that drew me towards the Old West. The stoic, independent cowboy who just needed his horse and pistol. The dusty old towns inhabited with all kinds of queer people; from quacks selling fake medicine to the elderly to the bounty hunter who kills to put food on the table. The poker pubs in the centre of town. Five finger fillet behind the sheriff’s outpost. Heh, my kinda town.


This is one of my favourite games ever — its called Red Dead Redemption 2, where you play as … yes, a cowboy. 


My research for this theme came from many sources, like films, games, and one of these included Old West posters. The rustic, dusty  mood is conveyed through the use of more earthly colours, e.g. ocher. The texture of the poster also seems like a wood carving, another feature of an Old West design.


A few other examples of Old West signages.


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I have a few more ideas that I want to explore, so I’ll leave this open-ended for now as I explore other themes.