Project 3 – Poster Design

Value: Punctuality

To me, one of the qualities/values a respectable person ought to exhibit is Punctuality. Being punctual reflects discipline/strict/rigid and responsibility of oneself. In addition, it also shows the respect one has for others. This value has also been ingrained in me since my Secondary School days of being in an uniformed group and further emphasized while serving National Service.

Design Elements

Shapes – Ellipses were used to create the patterns and outline of the helmets.

Lines – Curved lines were used to create the outline of the hourglass. Curved lines gives of an impression of movement, thus it was used to help portray the falling action of the sole helmet. Straight lines were used to create leading lines centering at the middle of the hourglass.

Color – Different values of green were used to represent the camouflage pattern on the helmet. The newer SAF color scheme was used to make the poster relevant in the present context. Red was chosen for the text and background since it is the complimentary color of green, thus creating a bigger contrast and making it dynamic. The contrast between different red values marking the leading lines were reduced so as to not take away the emphasis of the hourglass. White was used for the hourglass to place emphasis on it since our eyes are drawn towards white/empty spaces. In addition, Red and White (colors of Singapore’s flag) makes it relevant in the local context when matched with the SAF helmets.

Font – Impact was chosen as it has thick lines with compressed letter-spacing making it seem rigid and straight following the theme of punctuality being strict and rigid.

Principles of Design

Balance – Asymmetrical balance was used to give stability to the poster design to further emphasize the rigidness of punctuality.

Emphasis – Emphasis through isolation was used on the sole helmet near the middle of the hourglass to draw attention to it.

Gradation – Gradation was used for the squad of helmets; the helmets in front were the largest while the helmets at the back were the smallest. This was used to create depth in the poster.

Movement – The sole helmet is placed at its tip (pivot point) and its center of gravity towards the right of the pivot point indicating movement towards the right. Thus, making the helmet look as though it’s falling.


Gestalt Laws

Similarity – The helmets are arranged and positioned upright in straight rows and columns. The dissimilarity of the sole helmet in a tilted position further draws emphasis to it.

Closure – No lines were drawn for the top and bottom of the hourglass but the hourglass figure could still be implied.

Proximity –  Since the leading lines are grouped together and heading towards a similar direction, they appear to be part of the same object; the background behind the hourglass.

Rules of Third – The elements in the poster are positioned in 1/3 sections. In addition, the text is placed 2/3 of the width of the poster.


Challenges & Takeaway

The main challenge is to learn illustrator and being familiar with the different functions and tools in the software. I found it difficult to use the pen tool but after much trial and errors, I could achieve the straight and curve lines that I wanted. Likewise the main takeaway is to be able to learn a new software and to be able to create a poster using simple shapes.

Project 3 Research and Process

Chosen Value: Punctuality  

Initial Ideas of representation: Things that represent Time Eg. Watch, Grandfather Clock, Hourglass

ResearchI liked how the inverted of the opposite value represented the chosen value.

I liked how there’s implied movement based on the positioning of the basic shapes.



Based on using the idea of choosing something that’s opposite of punctuality, a few ideas came to mind:

  1. Being late when falling in,
  2. Missing a flight,
  3. Hourglass that has more sand at the bottom.

In-cooperating  ideas 1 and 3,  a hourglass outline with helmets representing sand. The helmets on the bottom half of the hourglass are arranged in columns of threes with one empty spot. One lone helmet is left at the top of the hourglass that is tilted to represent the helmet tumbling down. Lines converging to the middle of the hour glass were used to guide the viewer’s eyes to the ‘action’ of the poster (the sole helmet tumbling down). Finally, the text, Punctuality, was placed in the empty spot in the squad formation to conclude the ‘story’ of the poster.

Basic Shapes Used:

Straight lines for the leading lines.

Curve lines for the outline of the hourglass and helmet patterns.

Semi-circle for the helmets.

Ellipses for the patterns in the helmet.

Final Poster Design

Color Selection:

Initially, the old SAF color scheme was used.However, after some feedback, the new SAF color scheme was chosen instead as it was more relevant and was easier to match the background colors. 

Red was used for the font and leading lines as it is the complimentary color of the green helmets, thus creating a larger dynamic range.

White was used to draw attention to the hourglass since our eyes are attracted to white spaces first.

Experimentation of Colors:



Philographics, big ideas in simple shapes

Project 2: Research & Process

Ideas:   Singapore folklore, Merlion


[1] The Merlion is a representation of Singapore’s past, present and future. The fish tail represents Singapore’s humble past as a fishing village which reflects her hardworking nature and serves as a good reminder of not forsaking such a trait in present Singapore. The lion head represents strength and bravery for present Singapore despite the challenges faced as a small nation.

After the first round of consultation, I was enlightened that it was the Bicentennial of Singapore next year. [2] In 2019, Singapore will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of modern Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819.


Image References:

The Merlion, Singapore’s national symbol, Singapore, South East Asia



[1] Channel NewsAsia. (2018). Singapore’s bicentennial commemoration in 2019: A time to reflect on its rich history. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Oct. 2018].

[2] The Fairytale Traveler. (2018). The Story Behind the Singapore Merlion – Past, Present and Future. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Sep. 2018].




Frame 1: To represent present Singapore by having a city silhouette in the background and having the year 2019 displayed at the corner. The Lion head representing Singapore, a Lion City.

Frame 2: To represent past Singapore by having a kampong settlement in the foreground and having the year 1819 displayed at the corner. The bottom part of the Merlion represents Singapore as a fishing village.

Exploring Textures:

Craving using different tool sizes and a rough outline of a possible background and waves in the design.

The texture print gave me a rough idea of carving the scales of the Merlion while the brief outline open up areas of improvements to the design of the first frame.


Experimentation of carving the Singapore Flyer. Having lines carved in the direction towards the center of the circle did not make it look aesthetically pleasing. Thus, there was a need to change the way the Ferris Wheel is carved.





Trial prints of frame 1.

Trial prints for Frame 2

After printing the first cut, additional cuts were done with the print as reference.

Final Lino Cut

Project 2: Lino Cut and Print

Title: The Bicentennial of Singapore


In 2019, Singapore will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of modern Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. The Merlion is a representation of Singapore’s past, present and future. The fish tail represents Singapore’s humble past as a fishing village which reflects her hardworking nature and serves as a good reminder of not forsaking such a trait in present Singapore. The lion head represents strength and bravery for present Singapore despite the challenges faced as a small nation.  The head of the Lion is looking forward towards a future where Singapore continues to remain strong and courageous even in tackling complex issues.


Elements/Design Principles used:

First Frame

The main element used was lines. Thicker lines were used to outline the Merlion with slightly curve and incomplete lines were used to represent the lion’s mane. Thicker curve lines were carved to outline the direction of the waves while thinner lines were hatched in between the thicker curves to increase the energy of the waves (rough waves). The rough waves represents the complex issues Singapore is currently facing and would face in the future. In additional, adding more hatch lines in the waves creates a whiter space around the Merlion’s head. This increases the contrast and creates an emphasis on the Merlion’s head. Small cuts were used in the Singapore flyer that give off a texture that makes the Ferris wheel seem like it’s rotating.

The rules of thirds is used in the composition of the various elements. The city silhouette occupies 1/3 of the frame and are drawn smaller in scale to further emphasize the Merlion’s head. The space on the right of the merlion creates a leading room that makes the Merlion seem as though its looking forward into a distance (future).

Second Frame

The Merlion’s body and tail has more lines craved into the linopad to create the textures and scales of a typical fish body and tail. The waves are just made up of curve lines and are left intentionally darker to create a bigger contrast with the Merlion’s body and tail. This also portrays a stark contrast between the troubles Singapore faced in the past as compared to the present. Horizontal lines were used to create wooden textures of the kampong houses and fishing boats. Thin cross lines were used to represent grass.

The rules of thirds is also used in the composition of the various elements. The foreground occupies 1/3 of the frame whereas the Merlion’s body and tail was carved significantly larger than the kampong (foreground) so as to make it the focal point.

The principle of asymmetry is used between both frames to create a balance when both frames are combined.


Challenges faced: 

1. Trouble visualizing textures:

For example, it was challenging to visualize the method for carving waves in respect to determining which parts of the waves are black and white.

2. Being new to lino cutting, there were difficulties in controlling the amount of strength used when craving the linopad. This was extremely crucial when it comes to craving smaller and detailed parts of the frame. Over cutting due to excessive strength is detrimental since once the linopad is craved, that area will be white when printed. Thus, it was important to crave with patience and precision.


Key Takeaways:

  1. Learning a new skill of lino cutting. Contrary to what I thought would be a stressful assignment, the process of lino cutting was in fact quite therapeutic. I enjoyed the process of craving and seeing the created prints.
  2. Learning how to compose a frame that is aesthetically pleasing. Not only can this be used in art,  it is also useful in design and  photography.



Project 1: Six Emotions Mark Making

Emotion #1: Anger

Anger; a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Personally, anger is an emotion I suppressed inwardly. However, when a line is crossed and I lose my sense of self-control, anger comes out explosively. When this happens, regret is also felt for showing my temper. Interestingly, I don’t remember the reasons for getting angry.

Emotion #2: Sorrow

Sorrow; a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others. Personally, sorrow comes together with the feeling of hatred against the object of disappointment. This object of disappointment is usually in the ‘self’. An intense struggle that reproaches the ‘self’ for the bad decisions made and done.

Emotion #3: Anxiety

Anxiety; a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Personally, when I am anxious, my mind is busy with thoughts of the various ways and methods to rectify the root of my worries. In anxiety, there’s a focus of trying to fix the issue but at the cost of neglecting others.

Emotion #4: Nostalgia

Nostalgia; a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past. Personally, nostalgia gives me a warm fuzzy feeling of comfort even if I am the only who could recall that one particular memory among friends. It’s a good reminder as it brings to mind the importance of life.

Emotion #5: Confidence

Confidence; the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something. Personally, confidence is being secure and firm even through the uncertainties of life. It comes from the hope to know that eventually all things will work out.

Emotion #6: Serenity

Serenity; the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Personally, the feeling of ease comes when I can relax around and do seemingly meaningless activities. However, serenity is often quick and temporal just like the calm before the storm as reality sets in with the busyness of life and there’s no time to relax.

Process & Reflection


For this emotion, a sponge is used to print the crosshatch patterns by stamping the sponge on its edge. A larger force is used to express a stronger and harsher emotion of anger. The soft surface of the sponge is also used to smudge the black paint to express the explosive nature of anger. The sponge is also used to gently smudge the crosshatching in a downward motion to express regret.


The sponge is used for this art piece. Similar to the art piece of anger a diagonal crosshatch pattern is created by stamping the sponge on its edge. Lesser force is used to achieve a lighter tone. The sponge is also used to smudge the crosshatching in an upwards motion to express a tinge of resentment.

AnxietyThis art piece was created using my index finger as the tool for mark making. It was created without any plans and solely created based on the current state of emotion I was feeling which was anxiety. This was the last emotion of the six where I was anxious as I have ran out of inspiration to create the final emotion. In this current state of mind, I started smudging paint at one spot with my finger tip and started to leave more curvy strokes that is seemingly pointing towards the direction of the spot. I continue to add more curve strokes to represent the multiple activities of thoughts running in my mind in my state of anxiousness.

Nostalgia A sponge is used in this emotion by printing the sponge on its smooth flat surface. One edge of the sponge is intentionally coated with more paint to create more distinctive vertical lines which represents the stability I felt in nostalgia. The prints of a sponge gives off a blurry texture which represents flashbacks  and memories of the past.

ConfidenceThe toothbrush was used to draw the diagonal lines on one half of the paper. The lines are intentionally drawn to create a triangle in the white area of the paper. The paper is folded into half to create a symmetry which represents order and a ‘X’ with a point of convergence at the center representing certainty and hope. The upside down triangle represents inbalance while the upright triangle represents stability and security I felt in uncertainties.


This art piece was created by accident when I was trying to wipe of drops of ink on the table with a blank piece of paper.  The smudges gave me an impression of calm due to the light tones. I used the toothbrush to add in ‘X’ marks in the empty spaces to represent hints of a storm beneath the calmness in my interpretation of serenity.



As a person who is used to do things by a systematic and logical manner, I found it challenging to think out of the box when it comes to art. I felt that there was always a limitation in creating an intentional art piece. From this project, I realised that the nature of art correlates with the nature of the artist. If the artist doesn’t venture out of his comfort zone, the art pieces he creates tends to be more rigid. Likewise, the emotion of the art piece the artist creates is reflecting of his emotion in his creation. I found that I liked and enjoyed the process of the creation of anxiety and serenity more so than the planned pieces of anger, sorrow, confidence and nostalgia. This project has indeed given me new perspective in approaching art.

Project 1 Research & Experimentation


Mark Making Tools:
Toothbrush, Sponge & Index Finger

Experimentation of Tools:
Toothbrush (Dark Tones)

Toothbrush (Light Tones)

Experimentation of Emotion Creation:
Negative Emotions

Negative Emotions

Positive Emotions

Positive Emotions (Folding)


Research on Mark Making, Types of Lines, Shapes & Emotion:

Mark making describes the different lines, dots, marks, patterns, and textures we create in an artwork.

Untitled by Willem de Kooning

Mark making is used – in the form of separate brush marks or dabs of paint – to add life, movement and light to paintings. Artists working in an expressionist style such as Willem de Kooning also created representational artworks using mark making. In his Untitled drawing of 1966–7 de Kooning uses rough charcoal lines, marks and smudges to suggest the movement of the people he draws.

Action painters such as Jackson Pollock (who dripped and splashed paint onto his canvases)


Thin lines are fragile. They appear easy to break or knock over. They suggest frailty and convey an elegant quality. They are delicate and give off an ephemeral air.

Thick lines on the other hand appear difficult to break. They suggest strength and give emphasis to nearby elements. Thick lines are bold and make a statement.

Horizontal lines are parallel to the horizon (hence the name). They look like they’re lying down, at rest, asleep. They suggest calm and quiet, a relaxed comfort.

Vertical lines are perpendicular to the horizon. They are filled with potential energy that could be released if they were to fall over. Vertical lines are strong and rigid. They can suggest stability, especially when thicker.

Diagonal lines are unbalanced. They are filled with restless and uncontrolled energy. They can appear to be either rising or falling and convey action and motion.

Curved lines are softer than straight lines. They sweep and turn gracefully between end points. They are less definite and predictable than straight lines. They bend, they change direction. Curved lines express fluid movement.

Zigzag lines are a combination of diagonal lines that connect at points. They take on the dynamic and high energy characteristics of diagonal lines. They create excitement and intense movement. They convey confusion and nervousness as they change direction quickly and frequently.

Circles have no beginning or end. They suggest well-roundedness and completeness. Circles are graceful and their curves are seen as feminine. They are warm, comforting and give a sense of sensuality and love. Their movement suggests energy and power. Their completeness suggests the infinite, unity, and harmony.

Squares and rectangles are stable. They’re familiar and trusted shapes and suggest honesty. They have right angles and represent order, mathematics, rationality, and formality. Squares and rectangles suggest conformity, peacefulness, solidity, security, and equality. Their familiarity and stability, along with their commonness can seem boring.

Triangles can be stable when sitting on their base or unstable when not. They represent dynamic tension, action, and aggression. Triangles have energy and power and their stable/unstable dynamic can suggest either conflict or steady strength.

Spirals are expressions of creativity. They are often found in the natural growth pattern of many organisms and suggest the process of growth and evolution. Spirals convey ideas of fertility, birth, death, expansion, and transformation. 



Bradley, S. (2010, March 29) The Meaning of Lines: Developing A Visual Grammar. Retrieved from