By this part of the project, I’m pretty convinced that it each part gets tougher and this was the one I struggled the most with. Unlike the first two parts – 3A & 3B where there was so much freedom, (for a lack of a better explanation) based more on the aesthetics we were going for rather than having an intended message/concept behind the composition.. This was the total opposite, the composition needed to make sense and translate the emotion with the word.

To begin, I misread the brief entirely thinking that we could come up with our own emotions when actually we could only chose 4 to work on from a list that was given in the project brief. Similarly like the first two parts of the project, using just one typeface we had to come up with four compositions expressing the word ‘HELLO’ in black and white, varying the weights, caps, spacing, sizing etc.of the typeface. Basically exploring techniques that do not involve manipulation of the typeface.

Once again, I’ve decided to use HELVETICA NEUE for my typeface reason simply being: There’s so many fonts that I can use from just this one typeface! But eventually I didn’t use that many, sticking to a few of the same fonts like Bold, Condensed Bold and Condensed Black as the thin weight fonts were really way too thin and I couldn’t figure out how to make use of Italics in this case.

So… as a result of misreading the project brief, blur me came up with experimentations on emotions that weren’t usable but I figured no harm documenting them. Luckily some could be further revised/explored as the emotions I had in mind were pretty similar to the list.

The emotions that eventually followed up with the initial explorations or settled on doing later on were: CONFUSED | ARROGANT | ANNOYED | DEPRESSED


For Confused,  I already had it under my initial explorations. My idea to express the emotion was to not have all the letters of the word not sitting on the same baseline and tilted in various angles.

Original Version of Emotion: Confused

However after consulting with Shirley, she felt that the emotion could be better conveyed prompting me with questions like What would make you confused? to even popping ideas on how the image of confusion can be conveyed which led to this, a revised from my initial:

Final Version of Emotion: Confused

The new idea was to have the word jumbled up so much until it doesn’t make sense. Not sure if the emotion was thus brought across but I definitely felt that this revised is way less comprehensible and straightforward as compared to my initial one which creates that sense of confusion!


Under initial explorations I somehow tried creating a composition for this emotion too despite having misread the brief as mentioned. Between the one labelled Irritated and Angry/Annoyed  I was leaning more towards the one below that was labelled Irritated:

Original Version of Emotion: Annoyed

With the repeated uppercase ‘HELLO’ stacked above one another with tight leading, I was hoping to create a sense of annoyance, making one Annoyed. However feedback from Shirley was that the composition was very stagnant, it didn’t give such a feel as the leading intervals were really consistent. The words spaced out well. It would’ve probably been better if the leading was tighter? But way more room for improvement on this one! With her feedback in mind, here’s the final revised version:

Final Revised of Emotion: Annoyed

Pretty much stacking the repeated ‘hello’ word over one another after majorly reducing the kerning between the letters first. Some of the ‘hello’ words are inverse as well. I’m not sure if the emotion is better brought across this way as I was concerned that it might come off as the emotion of Confused as well. But this was my take on the emotion and idea of what might seem annoying!


The composition idea for this emotion came after realising that I had misread the brief but looking back at the initial explorations I had, I felt that I was able to develop from the one that I had the initial emotion of Scared (which was unfortunately not in the list that we could choose from) to express it for this emotion:

From initial exploration of Emotion: Scared

With this composition form that I had for another emotion, on adapting it to suit the emotion of Arrogant.. I thought to retain the condensed and bold font of the word, isolating the letter ‘o’ as well. The ideation of this composition form is based of what I think about the emotion reflected on an Arrogant person in the context of thinking that he/she is better than others hence the exclusion from a group or something. Something like the idea of “you cannot be part of this” – leaning more towards a narrative/contextual intention behind it:

Final Revised of Emotion: Arrogant

So you can see how tight knitted the other letters are (expressed through a tight kerning) with the letter ‘o’ seemingly excluded by having it half out of the frame and the letter ‘l’ looking like a ‘kicking’ action.


For this last emotion, the composition idea was from scratch but I really went simple and literal for this based on my interpretation of the emotion – Everything, the mood is just dull, bleak, and dark hence the black background and the word ‘hello’ inversed to bring across that opposite mood from a happy and cheerful one and in a tonal range that’s almost close to the black background, and small in scale to show like it’s being drowned, engulfed by the surrounding.

Final Version of Emotion: Depressed

For this project I had my parents, friends looking at the compositions; asking them what emotion they could derive from it. Some were successful, they guessed a similar if not exact emotion I was trying to convey but some didn’t. On the idea of interpretation, I feel it’s really subjective. What one person thinks of this may not necessarily be felt the same by another and perhaps the only way to overcome it sometimes in our works is to be quite literal I guess. In terms of expression. (sometimes simple really does work best!)

Overall I felt that this project though challenging, was a really interesting way to push and train us to communicate a message through typography. Something which I haven’t tried before! 🙂

For this project, we had to create a series of patterns just by using a single letter of any traditional typeface and this time round I chose to go with a san-serif typeface for variation. We could play around with spacing of the letters to create variations, repetition of rows/columns or even overlapping of the letters to create the form.

Funnily for this particular project, when first heard of the brief I thought it was going to be real fun and easy to create the pattern compositions since right away when patterns were mentioned I had the preconceived idea that it would just be tessellations and more tessellations. Which wasn’t exactly wrong but that would be the easier way out to approaching this project I guess. Furthermore, we had so many things which could play around with. But I guess that was the struggle for me, the same with the other two projects – The freedom that came with it. I guess I was so used to having projects that had to be conceptualised beforehand, a message to be brought across and with restrictions but on the contrary all the three projects were rather free and easy with little limitations except maybe for the last one!

Anyway back to the process, prior to getting started on my patterns here were some inspirations I had in mind:

I kind of wanted to veer away from the usual tessellation kind of pattern but I guess it was inevitable at some point as my brain was already adjusted to that as what a pattern would look like. Surprisingly, I managed to get a composition that I really liked. Here are some of the explorations I had before narrowing down to the best two for submission (click on image to enlarge):

I struggled to even come up with one pattern initially but I think for me it was the momentum. Once I got a pattern out, I realised it could go another way to form way more. Just like the explorations I had for two of the letters/number used: ‘R’ and ‘0’. With just one combined form and the application of different techniques, I was able to create 2 entirely different pattern compositions for each respective letterform. I realised with that endless patterns could be churned out and I’m pretty sure even before looking that everyone’s compositions would be VERY different, unique and one-of-a-kind even though we may use the same letterform and typeface. Super amazing.

The typeface that I went with for this project was HELVETICA NEUE – I love its variety of fonts

And these were the two compositions that I eventually went with for submission reason being for the tessellation looking one using the letter ‘r’, it looks simple yet I liked how there’s thick and thin lines involved thanks to the convergence of the letterform in the centre that was created with the radial method and the application of the swatch onto it.

Using the Letter ‘r’


As for the second composition (below),  using the letter ‘o’ in varied fonts of the typeface (bold, thin and light) I created a simple motif of sorts and was randomly playing around with scale, overlapping of motifs and angling them differently. Also, I suddenly remembered how we could play with negative spaces and tonal range as well! Played around a bit more and somehow got this!! I liked how it created a 3D kind of effect and dimensionality to the pattern composition thanks to the tonal range. The white motifs would be the foreground and then slowly the others repeated but fading and shrinking in size.

Using the Letter ‘O’


Overall this project was slightly on the challenging side but I’m really happy with all the experimentation especially with the pattern using the letter ‘O’ (above). I was pleasantly surprised by its unexpected outcome, achieving a pattern without the default use of tessellation 🙂

For this project, we had to select a traditional typeface and create a series of composition explorations from it using the varied fonts from that one typeface to create variations in thickness for dimension of the image form. Basically we could ‘dismember’ the anatomy of each letter of the font, combine them to form our image composition which I thought sounded pretty fun but at the same time worrisome since the possibilities were endless! The end deliverable was two best compositions and I thought it would be nice if I could have it as a series/themed kind of sorts rather than two compositions that are entirely different 🙂

On to brainstorming the themes for this project, I had way too many in mind of my favourite things – Studio Ghibli animation films, Harry Potter (I liked the minimalistic designs I found online), and of course Singaporean things. Here were those I wanted to explore (click on image to enlarge and view):

I had to narrow the themes down somehow and since I felt like doing something more close to heart and more iconic it was down to the last two ideas and my determining factor was since I’ve been drawn to those iconic heritage playgrounds of Singapore having worked on it for an art project last year… the Singapore heritage playgrounds it is!

I chose both the Dragon playground at Toa Payoh and the Dove playground at Dakota Crescent reason being that these two stood out to me most in terms of their iconic feel and rich heritage of the location they are located at. Also, there’s just something beautiful, nostalgic and iconic about these playgrounds though I haven’t been to any yet and some are soon to be demolished/have been. Just seeing them in images, the rustic mosaic design and brilliance of incorporating playground elements like the slide/see-saw to its form it’s pretty intriguing.

As for the choice of typeface, advice given was to use a serif font as it allows for strokes that go from thick to thin, basically variations in thickness of lines which actually helps to create dimension for the image composition. The typeface I chose was Cochin and I particularly liked the Italic font of the typeface because of its unique curvature at the ears and tails for some of the letters.

This was the first version I had for both playground compositions and for the subsequent consultation it was said that the Dragon playground composition pale in comparison to the Dove one in the sense that the Dragon playground’s looked flat unlike the Dove one whereby there were variations in the thickness of the playground structure using the Bold Italic/Italic fonts of the typeface and breaking up of the individual letters.

Following the feedback from Shirley and after further refining, I managed to achieve the variation in thickness for the Dragon playground composition playing with the idea of depth as the three different parts forming the Dragon’s body fall under foreground, mid-ground and background – I thought it’d be cool to bring out my observation that way and at the same time to create dimension within the composition. The final revised look of the Dragon playground below:

And these were the final two compositions I had for Project 3A:


Overall the project was really fun and the process of bits and pieces of the various letters from the typeface to form the composition was rather therapeutic, almost like putting together a puzzle I feel! For some unexplainable reason I love this theme so much that I’m already considering to expand on it for the next and final project for Typography! We shall see 🙂

Yes progress! Moving on, more about the banner layout. As mentioned previously, I wanted to have a central one-eyed goblin figure in the largest scale whilst the rest of the background be just repeated motifs of the various Korean food monsters and food randomly placed around the central goblin motif. I went ahead with this arrangement in mind and surprisingly it was turning out well until… consultations/peer review week happened before recess break. Ina gave feedback on how the inverted goblin motif at the bottom came off as a little distracting and confusing, that I could perhaps do something about it:

Suggestion by my peers was to have it tilted a little/change its colour/add a bit more elements to it to distinguish the motif from the one above  so that the idea of having a central motif is still shown. Those were really valuable feedback!! In the end I went ahead with just having one of the one-eyed goblin motif placed in the centre and upped its scale to further bring out the idea as seen in the following images in the media gallery below.

Another issue that came about for the banner was that since it was rather carefully planned (in terms of which motif should be placed where) the remaining fillers for the background proved to be a problem as I did not know what else to add. To which Ina suggested that I could try overlapping my layers to see if I could figure out a way to have a more integrated background on the whole rather than just following my initial idea of having the bowl of noodles joined to the goblin and it’s noodles spilling out to just flow everywhere across the banner; the wavy organic lines of the noodle spilling about I felt would help create a feel of movement throughout the banner as well rather than it looking too stiff and rigid.

Here are two variations I came up with – One with more of the noodle waves as the fillers and one with less. Eventually I went ahead with the one with less noodle waves (right image) as fillers as I found the one with more (left image) to be more messy:

Subsequently, I played around with the colours of the background. To give it a background little dimension I added a filter/texture of sorts:




Below is the final composition and background colour that i went for reason being that I felt the dark teal background colour acts as a good contrast to the pastel-coloured motifs in the banner composition. The dark blue background came out way too contrasted, the teal way too subtle. I stuck with blue hues for as the background as I somehow felt it was a cool colour that complemented the vibrant pastel-coloured motifs.

Also, rather than having the organic waves of the noodle fill the background and make it look messy and distracting, I opted to use the egg bread motif  instead as fillers rotated and scaled in various angles and sizes which I think worked out better:

Now to bring the file over to Illustrator, vectorise and refine it so that resolution and file size for printing wouldn’t be a problem! But if all else fails… I suppose the Photoshop file still works as all these motifs were kept as its original quality with no merging of layers/flattening of image. We shall see! Finally, I’m back on track 🙂

I’ve really been lagging behind this whole OSS posting of our process but now that it’s recess week… time to catch up!! Definitely way more progress since the last post! So picking up from where I last left off: My motifs. They’ve evolved quite a huge bit. This was how it looked like back in Week 4 and I ought to have updated about it after consultation with Gillian but…

Anyhow, here’s what went down and how the motifs have progressed since then:

From the consult with Gillian a few weeks back, I solidified my concept further with the idea of having food monsters and food distributed /peeping/playing hide and seek in the background in different scales based on different types of Korean foods (sticking true to the Korean essence as the inspiration was heavily influenced from the Korean mythology of the one-eyed Dokkaebi and how it has this characteristic in which it likes to eat.

Other than the food motifs, I was thinking of coming up with my own interpretation of the one-eyed goblin as the central motif, the largest in scale and centralised as the main motif/element of the banner composition. The idea came about after seeing Gillians banner in class that week – Hers had a central motif (I liked that aspect!) and the composition flowed down nicely with the other motifs complementing the flow .

Layout aside and back to the motifs, Gillian said that they could be more simplified in the sense that currently there’s too much sketchy linework going on (as seen above) and that they could be as simple as placing the eyes and body parts at just random places. As I was sharing how I observed the food form and identified possible spots that for example, where the eye could be at – replacing the egg in the ramen, etc. she said that actually creating the food monster motif can be as simple as  just adding body parts to the existing look of the Korean food.

Thus I went to make the changes, drew more motifs and picked out the colours I wanted to use for the banner. The colour palette and drawing styles I referenced:

Overall I was going for a more cute-grotesque look. What i did next was to sketch out the food items/monsters and traced over it using the Wacom tablet over in photoshop which I managed to achieve a cleaner finish. Here are some of the original sketches and it’s final look after blocking in the colours:

Refined food (monsters) motifs

More about the banner layout in the next post!