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I started with an idea about an event of bus-hopping. And then it turned into an event of a bus tour of horror places in Singapore. And then it turned into an event welcoming you to hell, Asian horror style. Finally, I decided to turn it on its head into a happy-go-lucky ‘Welcome to Hell Party’.

In terms of audience, I was aiming at fans of horror and perhaps the Halloween crowd. I think it would be quite a theme for a Halloween party.

Below are some of my design drafts that later got revised heavily.

In the Misfortune Cookie Packaging, it evolved from a worm-centralized theme into a centipede-centralized theme. The creepy crawlies of the legs gave a more sinister and yet subtle touch to the design, which pleased me greatly. (Thank you, Lisa!)

 

At first, I came up with the idea of a name card, but it felt too corporate and did not have a place in the event. I thus changed it to the resident card that felt more appropriate for your first day in Hell. I also had different variations of the letterhead, from a standard bar with centipedes crawling around until I finally settled with a good mix of antique and grotesque with the borders made out of centipedes.

Initially, I also thought that signing off with ‘Julian’ would be nice, but rethinking it, I thought the handwritten “Welcome to the Afterlife” was quite enough.

I also, if you notice, changed the expression and look of the ‘logo’ as it did not feel creepy enough. I did an Instagram poll asking my friends about the character design and which one they felt more creepy. Just my luck, an animation senior messaged me after seeing that poll and told me that a curved upper lip renders the character more uncannily creepy. I followed the advice and was also pleased with that tip.

As for the book, I initially had the idea of making it a very vector- based illustration book. However, it turned out that given Julian’s complex character design and the 7 stages of hell that awaits to be illustrated, Photoshop provided a platform that was more supportive for this workflow.

I do feel satistified that the style and works have grown out of these initial stages, and am quite pleased with the direction that this topic has taken in spite of the ‘cliched-ness’ of the horror genre.