Locale; Process I | Graphic Form

Locale//Process

Introduction

After my presentation of the concept, Joy allowed us to look through some past year works from our seniors. Initially, I wanted to stick with what I was comfortable with; informative infographics that would be done through clean and simple illustrations. But as I browsed through more past works, I found myself intrigued and interested in attempting something more abstract. However, building upon the concept of “Transient Changi”, not gonna lie, I soon found out that wasn’t really what I wanted either. Narration and flow have always been a very important aspect of all my ideation processes; a sense of flow and wholeness always plays a part in getting my message across. Considering how the zine! was meant to be a chance for self-expression, I, therefore, decided to do something in between the spectrum.

Informative < ——- HERE ——– > Abstract

Not too content heavy but at the same time retaining some sort of ambiguity that you would get from an abstract work. A form of narration and flow was a crucial consideration. Ultimately, my concept was founded on one thing: “Get my audience/reader to want to see Changi V for themselves!”

CONCEPT #1

Transience of Locale -> Under-appreciation -> Is it actually still relevant?

From my research, I realize Changi is remembered for all the wrong reasons, an unsung place that in the modern context has lost its voice and inevitably its relevance to the people of Singapore. Out of mind, out of sight, right? But is that really the case? Whether or not we see it, have we been blindsided by our modern perceptions, that we simply cannot see how incredibly relevant Changi Village still is?

False perceptions vs True relevance

RESEARCH

In my opinion, Changi Village is an incredibly scenic locale and to pay homage to this, I tended towards my zine being more photo-based rather than illustrative. Furthermore, having already done a crash course worth of illustrations and infographics during my research presentation, I decided my illustrations just weren’t going to cut it! Not that I hate them, but I felt within the given time frame, photos would do a much better job in capturing the reality of things.

For research, I wanted the style to affect the storytelling capability/function of the zine! I took a look online to source for design inspirations, and at the same time, I was constantly looking out for a specific style that I wanted to adopt in creating my own zine! I took special note of two aspects during my research 1) Printing style & 2) Layout.

To start, I did a general search on Pinterest to see what zines were out there in the creative market. Here are some design styles that I found interesting and unique although a bit irrelevant to what I was going for.

   

I know, I know, largely illustrative… but the following images really started to spice things up for me! I came across an unfamiliar style of printing called risograph printing. Albeit not in a photo zine format, I was mesmerized and in love with the prints this method was churning out.

Great aren’t they! But as mentioned early, I wanted a photographic zine, so instead of making such a loose search, I narrowed down my research but instead of simply searching up ‘photographic zines’, I tagged the idea of risograph printing into my search to see what I would get and wow…

Not only were the riso prints aesthetic, it somehow still manages to capture the details within the photographs. I especially like the juxtaposition between the mood blue and fluorescent pink, I felt the superimposed effect would run well with my concept.

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT & SHORTCOMINGS

After looking at zines online, I was motivated to start on my zine. I started off by planning my pages out. Though it was a just rough mockup, Joy also told me how crucial it was going to be to have my pages planned and to know for myself where each content would go.

From my draft I planned:
Pg 1&8 – Homes 
a high-quality image to show and establish the area of Changi, serving as a preamble to the design style of the zine!
Image of the iconic red coloured HDBs contrasted with a real home setting in Changi.

Pg 2&3 – Kopitiam
The famous hawker centre against the hungry working generation (hawker centre is part of their work culture and traditions)

Pg 4&5 – Changi Ferry Terminal
Modernized Pulau Ubin Ferry Terminal juxtapose against dilapidated bumboats (the livelihoods of the captains of each ship.)

Pg 6&7 – Changi Chalets
Same old boring Chalets compared to how many Malay families in Changi see them (a place of family gathering over the weekends; social spaces).

 

However, after consulting with Joy regarding the direction and concept, I was likely heading towards, Joy had her concerns regarding the use of risograph printer as the printing process often takes too long and true enough… as I headed down to Knuckles & Notch (the only riso printers in Singapore), they told me that they would take two weeks to print an 8 page A5 zine. It was impossible especially since I wasn’t at all ready to print

 

 

Next up, my process in overcoming the setback.

 

Locale; Process II | Graphic Form

Locale//Process

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

 As the ability to juxtapose the images over one another was essential to my work, I was incredibly dependent on the risograph styled prints (images below) as the print style allowed for insane contrast through the use of neon colours. Therefore, in an attempt to salvage concept #1, that meant finding a way to mimic the risograph effect through photoshop.

Experimentation

The following images are visual mockups for the draft I had initially envisioned. Done through photoshop using the following functions:
1) halftones
2) solid colours
3) screen filtres
4) overlay (multiply)

Credit: learn how to do it here!


Fluorescent pink

Changi red (colour picker from photos).

Fluorescent red (derivative from Changi red).

 


Mood blue halftoned effect as a dull contrast.

Fluorescent (Bright colours) = Represents False Perception
Dull (Darker colours) = Represents True Reality

Mock Up #1

As Changi Village is iconically red, I decided to try a combination of red and blue instead of using fluorescent pink. Blue would remain as my chosen dull colour as I wanted the “reality” to be represented by a melancholic and sad colour. In the end, apart from being aesthetically disgusting, I felt concept #1 was falling apart.

Perhaps it was the way I shot my photos (not representative of Changi), perhaps it was the colour scheme? Or maybe it was just the way I edited the photos. Ultimately I decided that the way I was going about it was not achieving satisfying results.

Mock Up #2

Even after the implementation of more fluorescent colours, and playing around with the angles and more strategic impositions, it was still not working out!

CONCEPT #2

However, through the process of re-creating “risographic images”, I stumbled upon an interesting realization.

My photo manipulation techniques had a way of making photos appear somewhat vintage and old. Here are more examples:

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? WOW!!

Using these ‘Pseudo Old’ photographs, I built upon concept #1

Transience of Locale -> Under-appreciation -> Forgotten -> Remembering

I thought about an old Photographic vintage album; because what better way to observe and reconnect with what we took for granted in the past? Photo albums have a way to evoke a sense of nostalgia and reminiscence especially over the things that are now gone.

Nostalgia and reminiscence are strong emotions that can often trigger a desire to relive memories and past experiences.

From my draft I planned:
Pg 1&8 – First thing you see (Full Spread)
HDB Blocks & Signages

Pg 2&3 – Prominent aspects of Village area
Hawker Centre
Fishing Stalls

Pg 4&5 – Iconic Changi (Full Spread)
Changi Creek Bridge

Pg 6&7 –Prominent aspects of Sea area
Changi Sailing Club
Bumboats
Changi Beach Park (Epiphany)

Bear with me, I know I’ve talked a lot, I will give a detailed explanation of my layout in a while! 

 

Wanting to stay as true to the photos as possible, I decided that my zine would have elements akin to a ‘Lookbook’ nicely composed images with minimal typography and information. I wanted a clean minimalistic design. Hence, I referred to a few more works by designers, and also more minimalistic works from Pinterest and Google.

After looking at a few examples online, I felt ready to start again!

Locale; Zine | Graphic Form

Locale//Zine

Final Pages

A coherent flow in the photographs’ layout and composition are paramount to a good photo zine! It was tempting to use all the photos I took to showcase all of Changi Village. However, I decided that in this case, less would be more! I wanted to be more specific with the ideas I was sharing instead of confusing my reader with weak photos.

In essence, my selected pictures reflect what Changi Village would be to me when I reminisced about it in the future. An Old Fishing Village, that is separated into two key parts, the village and the sea.


To facilitate the risograph effect as much as possible, I also printed my zine on an off-white/creme textured paper (The Natural 110GSM) that I found at Fancy Papers. I must say, a simple yet incredibly crucial step to take as the quality of prints are really affected by the type of paper used!

Cover Page


There are two spreads in the zine that are (in a way) considered full spreads, the cover page and the center spread. Bearing in mind that the cover page is meant to introduce the style of the zine, I went full out “self-expression” in this one as it was difficult to find any good looking ‘photo album covers’ online.
I super-imposed the same image over itself so that even when the zine is folded, the viewer would know that the back cover was linked to the front and vice-versa; making use of the full spread capability of the cover page. As much as the picture introduces the style, the iconic landmark (HDB Flats) in the image is also the first thing that introduces itself to you upon entering the Village.

Page 2 & 3 – Village Area

The 2nd spread showcases prominent village aspects such as the communal hawker centre and the most famous fishing appliance shop in Changi Village.

Center Spread – Transition

Displaying Changi Village’s most iconic feature, the single-walk way bridge. The bridge, in reality, links the village area to the sea aspects of Changi Village; Changi Beach Park and Fishing Zones. In my zine, I have exploited and made full use of the centre spread. Not only do you get a full detailed view of the bridge, but it also acts as a visual bridge. This spread not only connects the village photographs to those taken at the sea, but acts as a strategic transition to enhance the readability of the zine. The composition of this photo is well balanced; with dark and light spots. This spread, therefore, acts as a transition to move from much darker compositions in spread 2 to much lighter ones in spread 3. Overall I felt I made good use of this space despite it only being one image.

Page 6 & 7 – Sea Area

Prominent sea aspects of Changi and… hang on… is that… me!?

The Epiphany

All in all, the entire zine is designed and laid out to replicate an old photo album. Photo composition, the crop of the photos, and even the way I had to position myself in the last photo is designed, to make you think these images are taken from the past. To further add ambiguity, the chosen colour to add a sad melancholic feeling and a date stamp is added but without its year.
The design is meant to invoke in the viewers’ reminiscence and nostalgia which is more than just about remembering the past. It is an emotive response that makes a person want to go back and to relive these lost memories. As the reader comes to the end of the zine, an epiphany is presented! The last photo which on first glance looks normal…? But upon a closer look, the ominous figure is strangely familiar; yes it is me! The epiphany is a resolution to the reader; explaining how all these photos that you were just looking at are not old but are in fact taken just last week. The beautiful recollection you experienced earlier is still beautifully there!

Prints

Personal thoughts

Not gonna lie, I struggled quite a bit for this assignment. It’s one thing to understand and visualize a concept but it’s another to construct and form it. Only after being certain about my concept and tying it tightly with my design style was I able to create something that others could understand. I went back to the drawing board a couple of times for this one, but thankfully it was all worth it! I must say I still enjoyed doing it! I have learnt a lot from this project and the process, albeit excruciating, has kindled a new-found passion and interest in the topic!!

The Journey | Experimental Interaction

25 August 1982

“Take a deep breath, calm down and tell me when you’re ready dear…” Detective Rowry said as his hands instinctively reached out to comfort Melissa. “Who are you, where are you from and why did you want to speak with me?”

 

“I-I’m Melissa Portwood, I’m 12 years old, I live in the private sector of the orphanage, and I… I think I witnessed the murder of Frankie Pilton.”

 

“Can someone get me this young girl’s records?” Detective Rowry signalled to his subordinates. “Okay, I’m all ears, what happened?”

 

“It started with a d-dream…”

 

***

24 August 1982

Melissa woke up frustrated as she fumbled around for a glass of water. “Not again, that damn door, why won’t it ever barge?”

 

Her steely eyes from her chubby reflection in the mirror was all it took to convince her that she needed to get to the bottom of this mystery. She knew better than to suppress the inner Sherlock within herself. It had been two weeks since the dreams started and the scenes within them felt all too familiar.

 

Melissa tiptoed out of her room, which proved to be difficult with her large flat feet, but determined, she very quietly made her way down the hallway in case not to wake anyone else up. “So the dream starts here,” she muttered under her panted breath. “at the front door of the orphanage. It passes the office, then the interview room and up the carpeted stairs that lead to my favourite place of all, the DINING ROOM!” Melissa leant back smiling with contentment at the thought of breakfast. “FOCUS MEL, FOCUS, now is not the time to think of food. I have to solve this mystery before the other orphans get in my way!”

 

Melissa retraced the steps from her dream and as she turned the final corner, strangely enough, came face to face with the door that precluded the end of her dreams. She was fully expecting her dream to stay a dream, but, it was real, and it stood right there. Finally, after a moment of silence to accept the eerie coincidence, she proceeded to inspect the door.

“Hmph, locked, just as expected.” As she nudged the door in an attempt to open it. Then something caught her eye, a metallic silver shine that glistened slightly in the rising sun. “THE KEY! Hanging right here? That’s odd, wonder why I never noticed before? But, I guess that’s why they call me Melissa Holmes, I’m just that good.”

 

She inserted the key jittering with excitement, she gave it a twist, “ker-lunk” went the door bolt. This was it. What secrets laid beyond?